Piece image
Image by: Brenda Ann Kenneally 

Just a Girl

From: Lu Olkowski
Series: In Verse: Women of Troy
Length: 04:59

A documentary poem about an afternoon spent with Billie Jean Hill at the Flag Day parade in Troy, New York. Billie Jean is a 25-year-old woman with a young son, who recently lost her job as a hotel housekeeper.
Playing
Just a Girl
From
Lu Olkowski

Billie_jean_in_hotel_small Billie Jean dreams that one day she will meet the love of her life, get married, buy a home and start her own business (maybe a McDonald's franchise).  She lives near the city of Troy which claims to have the largest Flag Day parade in the country -- everyone comes out for it -- including Billie Jean.  She had some big plans for this day.  This documentary poem is read by Brenda Ann Kenneally, the photographer who has been photographing these women of Troy for the last 6 years. 
Heads up: this poem contains some coarse language, and describes situations that may not be appropriate for younger listeners.


 

 

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Piece Description

Billie Jean dreams that one day she will meet the love of her life, get married, buy a home and start her own business (maybe a McDonald's franchise).  She lives near the city of Troy which claims to have the largest Flag Day parade in the country -- everyone comes out for it -- including Billie Jean.  She had some big plans for this day.  This documentary poem is read by Brenda Ann Kenneally, the photographer who has been photographing these women of Troy for the last 6 years. 
Heads up: this poem contains some coarse language, and describes situations that may not be appropriate for younger listeners.


 

 

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Terrific slice of life

Great listening - knockout subject, original delivery - different without souding gimmicky, just simple authenticity and a powerful story.

User image

Terrific slice of life

Great listening - knockout subject, original delivery - different without souding gimmicky, just simple authenticity and a powerful story.

Broadcast History

Originally broadcast on Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen on November 6, 2009.

Transcript

Hosted Version (hosted by Kurt Andersen) Version

HOST IN: I’m Kurt Andersen. This month, Studio 360 presents “In Verse” – a multimedia reporting project combining poetry, interviews, and photography. This installment takes us to Troy, New York. A century ago Troy was a seriously thriving manufacturing town. Today, it is very much not that. We’ll hear a poem called “Just a Girl,” by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett. It documents an afternoon with Billie Jean Hill, a 25-year-old woman with a young son, who lost her job in May. Heads up: this poem contains some coarse language, and describes situations not appropriate for younger listeners. Lu Olkowski produced this story.

BILLIE JEAN: My sister had her babies today! My sister had her babies…

NARRATOR: Her sister’s water broke this morning and her Cymbalta’s
not working and she’s soon to be homeless because those
twin nephews are fast on their way

BILLIE JEAN: if one of us ain’t o...
Read the full transcript

Unhosted Version Version

HOST IN: I’m Kurt Andersen. This month, Studio 360 presents “In Verse” – a multimedia reporting project combining poetry, interviews, and photography. This installment takes us to Troy, New York, where the median income for a family of 3 is under $17,000. We’ll hear a poem called “Just a Girl,” by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett. It documents an afternoon with Billie Jean Hill, a 25-year-old woman with a young son, who lost her job in May. Heads up: this poem contains some coarse language, and describes situations not appropriate for younger listeners. Lu Olkowski produced this story.
Read the full transcript

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

[insert station name] presents “In Verse” – a multimedia reporting project combining poetry, interviews, and photography. This installment takes us to Troy, New York, where roughly one-fifth of the population lives under the US poverty line. We’ll hear a poem called “Just a Girl,” by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett. It documents an afternoon with Billie Jean Hill, a 25-year-old woman with a young son, who lost her job in May. Heads up: this poem contains some coarse language, and describes situations not appropriate for younger listeners. Lu Olkowski produced this story.

OUTRO:

[PLEASE NOTE THIS OUTRO IS MANDATORY]

“In Verse” is a part of MQ2, an initiative of AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Inc. with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The project was created in partnership with Virginia Quarterly Review and originally aired on Studio 360.

Additional Credits

"In Verse" was created by Ted Genoways and Lu Olkowski

Poetry by Susan B.A. Somers-Willett
Poetry read by Brenda Ann Kenneally
Photography by Brenda Ann Kenneally
Production by Lu Olkowski with help from Erin Davis
Edited by Emily Botein
Mix assistance by Pejk Malinovski

“In Verse” comes to you from Public Radio Makers Quest 2.0, an initiative of AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Incorporated. This project is made possible with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. "In Verse" was created in partnership with Virginia Quarterly Review and originally aired on Studio 360.

Related Website

http://www.facebook.com/inversepoetry