We're working on a new version of PRX. Want a sneak peek?

Shakespeare in the Alley: Bob Dylan's Poetics

Series produced by Bill King

Series image

Twelve (12) shows, 59 minutes each, discussing Dylan's lyrics as poetry. Each show is about one-half music, one-half commentary.

This series of 12 one-hour radio shows (to be expanded to 13) divides the time between commentary on the lyrics and playing Dylan singing them. Bob Dylan is the contemporary American successor of Walt Whitman, Woody Guthrie and Allan Ginsberg as a democratic poet in opposition to the elite tradition represented best by the early T. S. Eliot.

This series was aired on WETS in Johnson City, Tennessee in the fall of 2008. Wayne Winker, station director commented on the show and its reception:

"'Shakespeare in the Alley' is an outstanding analysis of the poetry of Bob Dylan. WETS-FM ran the series as a lead-in to our fundraiser, which (perhaps not coincidentally) was our must successful drive ever. We have received more comments from this series than any we have run in recent memory. One listener wrote, "This is EXACTLY the type of program public radio SHOULD carry." The commentary and examples bring new life to songs many of us have heard for decades, and provide an outstanding introduction to Dylan for younger listeners. We have had so many requests for a rebroadcast of the series that we plan to run it again prior to or during our spring fundraising campaign."

The writer/producer/narrator for this radio program, Dr. Bill King, has written and produced two earlier, shorter versions of this series which aired with favorable local reception. This expanded series seeks to reach a wide audience including both those who already have an interest in Bob Dylan's work and those who love poetry and music but know little of this artist working in a medium not usually associated with poetry. The companion website (www.dylanalley.org) provides extensive supplementary material.

Hide full description

This series of 12 one-hour radio shows (to be expanded to 13) divides the time between commentary on the lyrics and playing Dylan singing them. Bob Dylan is the contemporary American successor of Walt Whitman, Woody Guthrie and Allan Ginsberg as a democratic poet in opposition to the elite tradition represented best by the early T. S. Eliot.This series was aired on WETS in Johnson City, Tennessee in the fall of 2008. Wayne Winker, station director commented on the show and its reception: "'Shakespeare in the Alley' is an outstanding analysis of the poetry of Bob Dylan. WETS-FM ran the series as a lead-in to our fundraiser, which (perhaps not coincidentally) was our must successful drive ever. We have received more comments from this series than any we have run in recent memory.... Show full description


12 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First

  • Added: Jun 18, 2008
  • Length: 59:40
  • Purchases: 6

  • Added: Jun 19, 2008
  • Length: 59:20
  • Purchases: 6

  • Added: Aug 12, 2008
  • Length: 59:23
  • Purchases: 8

  • Added: Aug 12, 2008
  • Length: 59:01
  • Purchases: 6

  • Added: Aug 13, 2008
  • Length: 01:01:55
  • Purchases: 6

  • Added: Aug 13, 2008
  • Length: 59:36
  • Purchases: 6

  • Added: Aug 13, 2008
  • Length: 01:00:13
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Released Dec. 1967
The JWH album traces Dylan's relationship with America and his spritual journey from outlaw to family man, from joker to thief.

Bought by KPIP-LP, Red River Radio Network, WMNF, KIDE Hoopa Tribal Radio 91.3fm, and WETS


  • Added: Aug 14, 2008
  • Length: 01:02:25
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Bill King dusting his broom
Dylan's Relationship to His Art, to himself as Artist, and to his Audience

Bought by KPIP-LP, Red River Radio Network, WMNF, and KIDE Hoopa Tribal Radio 91.3fm


  • Added: Sep 27, 2008
  • Length: 59:13
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: The Wayfaring Strangers Lay Down a Weary Tune
This show begins a two part series by focusing on ballads in the early albums released in 1963-65.

Bought by KPIP-LP, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, Red River Radio Network, WMNF, and KIDE Hoopa Tribal Radio 91.3fm


  • Added: Jan 14, 2009
  • Length: 59:58
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Dr. Bill King
Introduction to this series on Bob Dylan's Poetics with focus on "To Ramona"

Bought by RadioFreePalmer, KPIP-LP, Cove Mountain Educational Broadcasting, WRGY, Northern Community Radio - KAXE & KBXE and more


  • Added: Apr 02, 2009
  • Length: 59:54
  • Purchases: 10

  • Added: Apr 02, 2009
  • Length: 59:35
  • Purchases: 7