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Radio host’s viral poetry sparks worldwide connection

Click to play video: 'Radio host’s spoken word poetry strikes a chord'
Radio host’s spoken word poetry strikes a chord
WATCH: Country 105 radio host Josie Balka is captivating audiences with her emotionally charged poetry. As Joelle Tomlinson reports, it’s caught the attention of Hollywood A-listers. – Feb 21, 2024

Country 105 radio host Josie Balka never anticipated her thoughts, hastily written in the notes app on her smartphone, would transform into a viral sensation.

“I would think about a term, a word, a line and be like, I’m going to write a poem about that,” said Balka, a co-host on Corus’s Gregg and Josie in Calgary. “When I was turning 30, I was trying to get my thoughts into a song, and it wasn’t working, so I turned it into a poem.”

She posted that poem online, and said it garnered a positive reaction, shifting her mindset to poetry. Within months, her spoken word videos have captivated audiences, with thousands sharing her words on their social media platforms.

“To this day, I feel like this must be a lie,” laughed Balka. “I don’t really believe that it’s happening and I don’t understand it, but I’m excited about it.”

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After posting a video about body acceptance in October, it caught the eye of celebrity Chrissy Teigen. Teigen shared Balka’s poetry to her feed on New Year’s Eve, and Balka’s social media exploded.

“I was at a wedding and Chrissy Teigen shared my poem on her story, and I thought what the heck,” said Balka. “A few days later Kim Kardashian followed me on Instagram. I actually sent her a message asking her if it was an accident.”

Balka’s words are heartfelt and intimate, and she uses the platform to be candid about her own insecurities and and the trials she has been through. Her viral poem, commenting on body size and value, and how the two do not correlate.

“I lost 130 pounds at one point in my life, and had a surgery after that,” said Balka. “Then I went into sepsis and almost died.”

“I think going through that helped me to find words through music and poetry, to say you can do what you want when it comes to your health, it’s not just the way you look in jeans.”

Balka’s following on social media is at 700,000 and growing. She plans to eventually publish a book of her poems, and hopes to continue to share poems that resonate with the community she has manifested online.

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