A Tribute to Conrad Balliet (1927 – 2018)

David Lee Garrison

Conrad Balliet read poems on his WYSO (Yellow Springs) radio program, “Conrad’s Corner,” for twenty-five years. A retired English professor and Yeats scholar, he died recently at the age of 91. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Conrad was the dean of poetry in the greater Dayton area. He knew all the poets and supported their work. He came to readings, he hosted the Tower Poetry Group at his home, and above all, he read local poets along with the famous ones on his show, which will always be called Conrad’s Corner.

There are thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of poets and wannabe poets in America. Conrad Balliet was not one of them. He was a reader. He read poetry because he loved it, and through his presentations on WYSO he inspired thousands of other people to read and to love it as well.

The pleasure he took in what he did was infectious, and his open and generous spirit was never more evident than when, at the end of each program, he would chortle his signature line, “Thanks for listening!”

Now it is our privilege to say to Conrad, “Thanks for reading! Thanks for your support! Thanks for everything!”