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An audio producer is this poet's unsung hero


My Unsung Hero from the team at Hidden Brain tells the stories of people whose kindness left a lasting impression. Today's story comes from the poet Joy Ladin.

JOY LADIN: I have had a slowly disabling illness for many years. And in the past year, it's intensified to the point that I've made a list of things that I want to do while I'm still able to do them. And on that list is recording a reading of one of my books of poetry called "The Book Of Anna." And it was almost too much for me to find somebody.

But I found a woman who said, come out to my studio and we'll do a recording of this. And I explained about being ill. And she said, OK, I will drive to you. And I explained about being on disability. And she said, OK, I won't charge you for the transportation time - which is about 5 hours roundtrip - I'll just come out, and we'll just do the recording. And I explained that I would need to be lying down in bed while I did this. And she said, that's OK, I will sit on the bed beside you and hold the microphone over you so that you don't have to sit up.

And that's what she did. She drove out one summer day, and for a total of about 6 hours, she sat on my bed, leaning over, holding the microphone so that I could make this recording. Afterward, I learned that her father was in the process of dying and that he was the inspiration for her to extend herself in this way, that she felt like that was the way that she was going to honor his life.


LADIN: Her example of responding to my need and my disability and my sense that this was important for me to get done by extending herself in so many ways, including giving up some of her precious time with her father, that makes her one of my unsung heroes.

SHAPIRO: Unlike many of the people featured in this series, Joy Ladin actually knows the name of her unsung hero. It's Debbie Blicher, an audio producer based in Sudbury, Mass. And Ladin hopes to have that audio version of "The Book Of Anna" completed by this fall.

My Unsung Hero is also a podcast. You can find new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. To share the story of your unsung hero, record a voice memo on your phone and send it to Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.