'Verse Journalism' poems examine the impact when institutions leave neighborhoods

April 9, 2012

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Sheila Barabad
Participants in the Neighborhood Writing Alliance Verse Journalism workshop

A form of poetry inspired by the news was born here in Chicago. Poet Gwendolyn Brooks coined the term “verse journalism,” which lets writers turn their opinions about the news into poems.

Adult writers experimented with the form in a recent Neighborhood Writing Alliance (NWA) workshop. WBEZ recorded the poems in collaboration with the NWA, a station partner. We’re presenting those poems through the month of April in celebration of National Poetry Month.

In the second of this series, we hear the poem At the Center of Trauma by Nicole Bond about the closure of Michael Reese Hospital. Then Tony Sarabia sits down with Rachel Weber, a professor of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, to discuss what happens when neighborhood institutions close down.