Nine Questions

Bo McGuire hails from Hokes Bluff, Ala. Currently, he suffers the Tucson heat gladly, as a Rogers Fellow in creative writing at the University of Arizona. He teaches other people's poems at the UA; his own poems and articles can be found in The Pinch; Forklift, Ohio; The Cincinnati Review; and at

What was the first concert you ever saw?

I sat on my Uncle Sonny's shoulders to watch Jerry Lee Lewis play piano when I was small, because my mama wanted to go. The first concert I chose was Reba McEntire in her heyday.

What are you listening to these days?

A little Sam Cooke, a little Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and a whole lot of Lady Gaga and Beyoncé.

What was the first album you owned?

Reba McEntire's Rumor Has It, but the first tape I ever owned was The B-52s' "Love Shack" single.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?

Bob Dylan. He wouldn't work with Dolly Parton a couple of albums ago. I don't understand a creature who wouldn't jump through briars for that.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I would give a lock of blonde curl to see Ike and Tina Turner circa 1965.

Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Taylor Swift.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

Three Dog Night's "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)."

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

Dolly Parton, manicured-hands-down. A) I don't believe you can hear her voice and not believe in something bigger and something grander (with glitter) at work. B) She's a genius of the simple, and a genius of the complex simultaneously. C) Dolly taught me a deep love of the place I come from—that is, the South, in all its beautiful-tragic glory.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Trio, the Dolly, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt collaboration.

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