I was one of five co-hosts recruited in 1995 to create and produce a poetry and writing program at CHSR, to fill a gap in the programming. Prior to that I had been a guest on radio programs, back to my teens, primarily for poetry-related activities. I was recruited because I was a published poet known for giving poetry readings and hosting author readings in the Fredericton. I had been a guest on shows at other community radio stations, including CKDU in Halifax, but hadn’t previously thought of producing or hosting my own program. I was, and still am, interested in radio and the potential to broadcast local writers on the airwaves, and through the internet. Over several years the other hosts drifted as their lives took them elsewhere.
I am a writer, artist, educator, and book publisher. My undergrad studies were in fine arts at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (BFA, 1988)—where I was making audio art among other things—in Halifax, followed by, in my never-ending learning, a Certificate in Film & Television (2008) from the NB Filmmakers’ Co-operative, and a MEd (2012) at the University of New Brunswick. I am a Past President of the League of Canadian Poets, The editor of ten collections, I am also the author of seven poetry books—three of which are also translated and published in Bosnia i Herzegovina, and in Serbia. Currently, I am working on my application for doctoral studies at UNB, while Broken Jaw Press continues to publish books, and I continue to write and make art.
Who would be your dream guest on your show?
Dream guest? I don’t know… over the years I’ve interviewed many writers, artists, performing songwriters, and filmmakers. There’s always new artists arriving on the scene, while senior artists can disappear before you get around to them … don’t know if I can single out someone.
What made you decide to come to CHSR to air your show?
Location. I was living in Fredericton, and CHSR was the only campus or campus–community radio station in the city. Nowadays, people can choose to go directly to the internet but I like the mics and being in MCR (Master Control Room) broadcasting live directly to the airwaves. If I lived elsewhere I would want to look at the local station(s) to see if something similar is possible. Being at CHSR has been a good decision; one that’s seen me receive several Barry Awards, most recently the Directors’ Choice Award in 2010.
Where do you see the show going in the future?
Recently, I was approached by Fredericton poet Nela Rio about incorporating a Latin American writers feature into the show—meaning it would most likely be in Spanish and Portuguese. I did this once before—1999–2000, with submitted cassettes Nela collected in her scholarly research at St Thomas University—for which I received a Certificada de reconocimiento from the Academia Iberoamericana de Poesía/Asociación Prometeo de Poesía in Madrid, Spain. I can see adding more culture and multicultutural arts content than I already do—and I have broadcast readings with poetry in 19 languages that I recorded in Fredericton. I receive queries for downloadable podcasts of episodes. I really should look into that (in my “spare time”). Another area being discussed right now is the creation of a Spoken Word Corner at CHSR—independent of Ashes, Paper, & Beans, but it would likely produce material suitable for broadcast on my show.
Ashes, Paper, & Beans: Fredericton’s Writing & Arts Show
Joe Blades is producer–host of the award-winning weekly Ashes, Paper & Beans (started in 1995), broadcast on 5pm-6pm, every Wednesday here on CHSR 97.9 FM, Fredericton’s campus–community radio station.
The show features interviews, readings, lectures, reviews, and arts news, including studio-produced recordings of poetry, spoken word, slam & dub poetry, drama, fiction, and audio art.