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By George Bilgere and John Donoghue

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Hard to believe, but Wordplay is now in its ninth year on the air at WJCU. The show has evolved into an offbeat mix of poetry, comedy, and an ongoing exploration of the possibilities of the spoken word. Wordplay's opening monologue blends music and language (and sometimes sound effects) into a surreal, funny, often darkly serious meditation on the state of one man's struggles to live in the bewildering world of contemporary America. The show also features guest appearances by local poets such as Ray McNiece, Mary Weems, Michael Salinger, Katie Daley, Jack McGuane, Gail Bellamy, and dozens of other interesting voices. And nationally known writers like Billy Collins, Robert Pinsky, Rita Dove and Paul Muldoon have performed on the show in connection with their readings at John Carroll University. But the real strength of Wordplay is the interaction between co-hosts George Bilgere and John Donoghue. The two poets read short, interesting poems by important writers. They banter about poetry, argue about it, and generally give each other a hard time. A Plain Dealer article about Wordplay called the show "the Click and Clack of poetry." Not a bad description.

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