Here are Bob Dickerson and Ina Johnson at Peninsula Literary in January, 2014
While still dogpaddling in his mother’s womb, Bob Dickerson wrote his first poem, a free verse sea ditty based on the story of Jonah and the whale (no offense to his mother). Later he attended a music and arts school in the town of Hot Coffee, Mississippi, where he developed what can only be called a complete absence of any discernible rhythm or sense in his language. He then sharpened this uncanny lack of poetic skills as John Cage’s personal assistant (Dickerson’s incessant caterwauling led to the idea for Cage’s most famous work Silence). Numerous honors lie in Dickerson’s future—Nobels, Oscars, all-night parties with Jay Z and Beyonce. But for right now, he’s content to produce poetry that annoys his friends, invigorates his enemies, and contributes mightily and justifiably to the absolute decline of Western civilization.
Ina Johnson started her adult life as a Parisian pipefitter mostly working in the sewers next to the Moulin Rouge. One night an Appalachian boy down on his luck sold her his banjo and she was hooked for life. Her clawhammer style has wowed critics and audiences all over the world. She has won numerous awards including the Minnie Pearl “The Price is Almost Right” Banjo Slam as well as the Martha White Banjo-and-Cakebaking Competition. Recently, the Knoxville Gazette broke the story that Paul McCartney has selected Ms. Johnson to be a part of his Beatles reunion tour scheduled later this year. Get back, Bela Fleck. Here comes Ina B. Johnson.