WBEZ | National Poetry Month http://www.wbez.org/tags/national-poetry-month Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Jennifer Steele and the poetry of self-discovery http://www.wbez.org/series/gift/jennifer-steele-and-poetry-self-discovery-106845 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Jennifer_The _Gift_310x230.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago is home to many organizations that help young people to express themsleves, including Young Chicago Authors, After School Matters, Street-Level Youth Media, Free Write Jail Arts, and YOUmedia, a learning space housed in Chicago Public Library&rsquo;s Harold Washington Library Center that gives teens access to countless books, innovative technology and mentorship with working artists. &nbsp;</p><div>Series producer Stanzi Vaubel traveled to YOUmedia to talk to young poets and their instructors, which led her into a conversation with teaching artist Jennifer Steele. &nbsp;While they were talking, Jennifer discovered that poetry is a kind of prophecy for her, a way to discover what she does not yet know about herself. &nbsp;Jennifer reminds us of the voice that can speak &ndash; and illuminate &ndash; a little of our own mystery. &nbsp;When we write, we come into contact with memories and &nbsp;feelings &ndash; and also the future selves that are still dreaming, and writing, us into existence. &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>YOUmedia</strong> was created as an innovative, 21st century teen learning space that works to connect young adults, books, media, mentors, and institutions throughout the city of Chicago in one dynamic space designed to inspire collaboration and creativity. &nbsp;Mentors from Digital Youth Network as well as Chicago Public Library librarians lead workshops to help teens build their skills and create digital artifacts &ndash; from songs to videos to photography to blogs. &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Jennifer Steele</strong> is a teaching artist for various organizations around the city of Chicago including Hands On Stanzas, Camp of Dreams, and Young Chicago Authors. Her poems have appeared in <em>Columbia Poetry Review</em>, <em>Caduceus</em>, <em>Warpland Journal</em>, and <em>Beltway Quarterly Online</em>. She received her B.M. from Howard University and her M.F.A. from Columbia College Chicago.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>In celebration of National Poetry Month, WBEZ presents </em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/gift">The Gift</a><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/gift"> </a>&ndash; produced by Stanzi Vaubel and curated by Rachel Jamison Webster, author of September: Poems. This project is a collaboration with <a href="http://www.universeofpoetry.org/">UniVerse of Poetry</a>, a station partner that aims to celebrate poets from every nation in the world. &nbsp;Each piece drops us into a poets&rsquo; inner life, reminding us of the gift of being human among others.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 26 Apr 2013 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/gift/jennifer-steele-and-poetry-self-discovery-106845 Linda Hogan sees the return of the buffaloes http://www.wbez.org/series/gift/linda-hogan-sees-return-buffaloes-106714 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Hogan310x230.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This interview with Chickasaw poet Linda Hogan was one of the first that was done for <em>The Gift</em> poetry series. It dropped producers Stanzi Vaubel and Rachel Webster immediately into the depths <em>&ndash; </em>into the roots of hunger, where we are connected to life and to the animals.&nbsp; Soon after, these words by philosopher Martha Nussbaum were discovered by them:</p><p>&quot;We do not automatically see another human being as spacious and deep, having thoughts,&nbsp;spiritual longings, and emotions. It is all too easy to see another person as just a body which we&nbsp;might just think we can use for our ends, bad or good. It is an achievement to see a soul in that&nbsp;body and this achievement is supported by poetry and the arts which asks us to wonder about the&nbsp;inner world of that shape we see <em>&ndash;</em> and too, to wonder about ourselves and our own depths.&quot;</p><p>And in this way, Linda Hogan became the embodiment of soul <em>&ndash; </em>by sharing so much, by telling stories of dolphins and horses, and by living her belief in each creature&#39;s fullness.</p><p><strong><a href="http://www.lindahoganwriter.com/">Linda Hogan</a></strong> is Writer in Residence for the&nbsp;Chickasaw Nation and author of several award-winning works of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, including&nbsp;the memoir, <em>The Woman Who Watches Over the World</em>.&nbsp; Here she reads from her book of&nbsp;poetry, <em>The Book of Medicines</em>.</p><p><em>In celebration of National Poetry Month, WBEZ presents&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/gift">The Gift</a><em>&nbsp;&ndash; produced by Stanzi Vaubel and curated by Rachel Jamison Webster, author of&nbsp;</em>September:&nbsp;Poems<em>. This project is a collaboration with<a href="http://www.universeofpoetry.org/">&nbsp;UniVerse of Poetry</a>, a station partner that aims to celebrate poets from every nation in the world.&nbsp; Each piece drops us into a poets&rsquo; inner life, reminding us of the gift of being human among others.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 19 Apr 2013 09:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/gift/linda-hogan-sees-return-buffaloes-106714 Stuart Dybek recalls the spark of metaphor http://www.wbez.org/series/gift/stuart-dybek-recalls-spark-metaphor-106454 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Stuart_Dybek310x230.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Do we really understand metaphor? How much do we really engage with our world metaphorically? We all have days when a cup is just a cup, a tree is just a tree, the sky is just the sky. And yet the world through this flattened lens lacks depth and discovery, which metaphor invites. New potentials open up when disparate elements begin to correspond with one another, when we realize that opposites hold some mysterious common ground.</p><p>Writer Stuart Dybek talked with series producers Stanzi Vaubel and Rachel Webster about his discovery of metaphor and the feeling that such a discovery unleashed in him as a child. It reminds us of the spaciousness of the mind, and the way wonder can change everything.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/stuart-dybek"><strong>Stuart Dybek</strong></a>&nbsp;is the author of two volumes of poetry and three works of fiction, including <em>I Sailed with Magellen</em>. He writes most often about his hometown of Chicago. Dybek is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.</p><p><em>In celebration of National Poetry Month, WBEZ presents </em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/gift">The Gift</a><em> &ndash; produced by Stanzi Vaubel and curated by Rachel Jamison Webster, author of&nbsp;</em>September:&nbsp;Poems<em>. This project is a collaboration with<a href="http://www.universeofpoetry.org">&nbsp;UniVerse of Poetry</a>, a station partner that aims to celebrate poets from every nation in the world.&nbsp; Each piece drops us into a poets&rsquo; inner life, reminding us of the gift of being human among others.</em></p></p> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 12:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/gift/stuart-dybek-recalls-spark-metaphor-106454 Thursday Thingy: The POETree has bloomed! http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-05-19/thursday-thingy-poetree-has-bloomed-86750 <p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Remember all the beautiful poems you guys posted in the comment section a couple weeks ago - you know,&nbsp; for the POETree mission?</p><p>Remember we said we'd get back to you with the video, once the POETree was in full bloom?</p><p>Today is that day!</p><p>And let's remember that the POETree was conceived and brought to lovely life by Mission Amy KR regulars Lisa Coughlin and Anna Mangahas. &nbsp;(this is me <strong>planting a kiss</strong> on each of your cheeks.)</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zlLngYYTPGE" width="560"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>And for those of you who missed this week's Monday mission, I'm closing with it again here. Please note that it combines two of my all-time favorite things on earth: <strong>TRUTH...and pillows</strong>.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/23653565?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="560"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>See you Monday!</p><p>yours,</p><p>amy</p></p> Thu, 19 May 2011 13:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-05-19/thursday-thingy-poetree-has-bloomed-86750 Louder Than a Bomb: We Step http://www.wbez.org/content/louder-bomb-we-step <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-28/thumbnail 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="451" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/23044974?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" width="601"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><div>At the Taste Entertainment Center on Chicago’s South Side, rows of flashing lights wink on the dance floor and a cluster of shimmering disco balls twinkle above the heads of club-goers. The venue hosts a variety of events - its original name was Taste Disco - but on Friday nights the Taste is the place for steppin’ in Chicago.<br><br>Not to be confused with the rhythmic, percussive style popular with African American fraternities and sororities, Chicago Style Steppin’ is a smooth, down-tempo ballroom dancing style that came to prominence in the 1970s and retains its popularity here, but also in cities with large black populations like Detroit, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.<br><br>WBEZ’s Richard Steele has hosted a weekly stepper’s set at the Taste every Friday night for the last 15 years. People love steppin’ because “you get a chance to style and profile,” Steel says. Meaning, it’s a chance to get dressed up and show off your footwork. The men wear silk ties and three piece suits, the women wear tops that sparkle and gold lamé heels. “Nobody steps in flats,” Steele says.<br><br>Steppin’ also offers the chance to groove to classic tracks with a romantic streak, like Al Green’s <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVzYxqG9N1c">Let’s Stay Together</a> or R. Kelly’s <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj71KbE6ekg">Step in the Name of Love</a>, songs that eschew the vulgarity of some contemporary hits. “That’s why we call it the after work set for grown folks,” Steel explains.<br><br>Although steppin’ today has a toehold mostly among baby boomers, some younger enthusiasts have gladly taken the torch. Take for example poet Lamar Jordan, 22, who grew up in the hip-hop generation but has old school steppers for parents. &nbsp;For him, the dance culture is synonymous with a kind of Chicago pride that becomes the point of entry for his poem <em>We Step</em>:<br><br><em>This ain't the typical hoe-down<br>you're accustomed to in your town,<br>this is Chi-Town.<br><br>The greatest city in the nation.<br>And steppin' is its physical representation.</em><br><br>Jordan is a former member of the Steimenauts, the award-winning spoken word team from Steinmetz High School whose intense, gut-wrenching final performance steals the show in the Louder Than a Bomb <a href="http://www.louderthanabombfilm.com/">documentary film</a>. To round out our video series celebrating National Poetry month, we asked Jordan to perform We Step at the Taste. And he did, amidst a crowd of regulars cheering him on. You can watch Jordan’s performance, and see his dance moves, in the video above.<br><br>WBEZ is a presenting partner of Young Chicago Authors' Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam Competition and Festival. Click <a href="about:blank">here</a>&nbsp;for more information. Special thanks to Taste Entertainment Center and Richard Steele. &nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 29 Apr 2011 22:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/louder-bomb-we-step Thursday Thingy: Billy Collins Action Poetry http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-04-28/thursday-thingy-billy-collins-action-poetry-85795 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-28/billy-collins-action-poetry-collage.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" height="475" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-28/billy-collins-action-poetry-collage.jpeg" title="" width="476"></p><p>Just when I thought Billy Collins' poetry couldn't possibly get any better, this comes along.</p><p>I'd rather not taint your experience with unnecessary intros and blabbing. &nbsp;So here, just enjoy:&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.bcactionpoet.org/">Billy Collins Action Poetry</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>(And let me know if you were able to stop at one, or if you simply had to watch them all.)</p><p>Also, <strong>HIGH FIVES again to Lisa Coughlin and Anna Mangahas</strong> for concepting this week's dazzling mission. &nbsp;Thanks to the plethora of wonderful poems you've all submitted in the comment section, looks like we'll be having ourselves <strong>one super lush POETree!</strong></p><p>yours,</p><p>amy</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><strong>MISSION AMY KR HANDY LINKS:</strong></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/amykr/2010/01/missions-accomplished-the-archive/12696" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);">Mission Archives</a></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="http://www.whoisamy.com/" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank">Amy's Website</a></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mission-amy-kr/id420630232?mt=8" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank">Download the Mission Amy KR mobile app</a></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/amykr" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank">Subscribe to Mission Amy KR</a></p></p> Thu, 28 Apr 2011 15:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-04-28/thursday-thingy-billy-collins-action-poetry-85795 Mission #70 Let's plant a POETree ! http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-04-25/mission-70-lets-plant-poetree-85646 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-25/Wallpaper-tree.jpeg" style="width: 499px; height: 490px;" title=""></p><p>April = <strong>Poetry Month</strong></p><p>Friday April 29 = <strong>Arbor Day</strong></p><p>So what happens when you put these two celebrations together?</p><p>We are going to plant a big, beautiful <strong>POETree!</strong></p><p><strong>HERE'S WHAT <u>YOU</u> DO NOW:</strong> &nbsp;Share a favorite poem in the comment section. The only criteria is that a) you have to really, really love it; and b) it's probably best if the poem is not super long. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>HERE'S WHAT <u>WE'LL</u> DO LATER:</strong> &nbsp;We will gather up the poems, transfer them to paper "leaves" which we will then hang from the best public tree we can find. We will document and preserve this magnifcent tree in photos and video, which we'll of course post here later. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>AND FOR ALL YOU ROMANTICS OUT THERE</strong>: If you want to dedicate a love poem (or heck, even write your own original love poem), just include your name and the recipient's name with the poem in the comment section. This way we can include that dedication info in the final video. (and what a surprise for that special someone, right?)</p><p><strong>ONE MORE VERY IMPORTANT THING:</strong> &nbsp;This week's POETree mission is "rooted" in an exchange we had here a few weeks ago, when I asked if anyone had a mission idea they'd really like to see happen. &nbsp;<strong>And so POETree kudos and full credit go to Lisa Coughlin and Anna Mangahas, cherished regulars of this blog.</strong>&nbsp; Thank you so much, Lisa and Anna.&nbsp;</p><p>ANNA MANGAHAS is a newbie AYSO soccer coach, lifetime learner, volunteer coordinator for the best non-profit ever (<a href="http://www.inspirationcorp.org/programs/cafe/cafe.html">Inspiration Corporation</a>) and soon-to-be teacher who likes to cook up trouble in and out of the kitchen. Her favorite bands are&nbsp;<span class="yshortcuts" id="lw_1303747368_5" style="line-height: 1.2em; outline-style: none;">Sly and the Family Stone,</span>&nbsp;<span class="yshortcuts" id="lw_1303747368_6" style="line-height: 1.2em; outline-style: none; cursor: pointer; background-color: transparent; border-bottom-style: none;">Michael Franti</span>&nbsp;and Spearhead. &nbsp;LISA COUGHLIN&nbsp;<a href="http://doughnutdreams.blogspot.com/">makes doughnuts</a> (<em style="line-height: 1.2em; outline-style: none;">not the kind you eat</em>) and dreams up ways she can make the world a happier, more wonder-filled place to be.</p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><strong>QUICK KEY LINKS:</strong></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/amykr/2010/01/missions-accomplished-the-archive/12696" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);">Mission Archives</a></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="http://www.whoisamy.com/" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank">Amy's Website</a></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mission-amy-kr/id420630232?mt=8" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank">Download the Mission Amy KR mobile app</a></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/amykr" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank">Subscribe to Mission Amy KR</a></p></p> Mon, 25 Apr 2011 16:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-04-25/mission-70-lets-plant-poetree-85646 Local poet uses her words to get noticed http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-25/local-poet-uses-her-words-get-noticed-85638 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-25/poet shot.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In honor of<a href="http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41" target="_blank"> National Poetry Month</a>, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> has been showcasing poems from everyday people with a passion for writing.</p><p>You may have seen Betsy Benefield around town, but Chicago is a big, busy city. Everyday we encounter people we’re likely to never actually meet. We’ll never know their triumphs, their difficulties or their hidden talents.<br> <br> Producer Melissa Townsend introduces Betsy Benefield. Townsend met Benefield through the <a href="http://www.jot.org/" target="_blank">Neighborhood Writing Alliance</a>.<br> &nbsp;</p><p><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/22837981?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=cc0422" frameborder="0" height="340" width="440"></iframe><br> (Photos by Cristina Rutter)</p><p><em>Music Button: Sven Barth, "InterLewd 6", from the CD The Blow Sven Theory, (The Wonderful Sound)</em></p></p> Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-25/local-poet-uses-her-words-get-noticed-85638 Louder Than a Bomb: Scaffolding http://www.wbez.org/content/louder-bomb-scaffolding <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-22/Raven thumbnail.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="338" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/22757566?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" width="600"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><div>Raven Hogue says she and her younger brother have dealt with their parents’ divorce in very different ways. Both took to the pen, but whereas Hogue writes poetry, her brother writes graffiti.<br><br>Hogue says her 13-year-old brother has gotten in trouble more than once for tagging. This was part of the inspiration for her poem <em>Scaffolding</em>, in which she describes washing spray paint out of her brother’s clothing and struggling to understand his behavior. “Another fine for our parents to fight over,” she writes, his “fingers are wrecking balls.” &nbsp;<br><br>Her piece is the third in our month-long series of young poets performing their work on location, in honor of National Poetry Month.<br><br>To set the scene, we filmed the 17-year-old Oak Park River Forest High School student performing at a writers’ wall in River Forest, IL. You can check out Hogue’s poem in the video clip above.<br><br>WBEZ is a presenting partner of Young Chicago Authors' Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Slam Competition and Festival. Click <a href="about:blank">here</a>&nbsp;for more information.</div></p> Fri, 22 Apr 2011 22:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/louder-bomb-scaffolding Local poet discovers writing later in life-and is still learning http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/local-poet-discovers-writing-later-life-and-still-learning-85329 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/Writing Flickr Graham Binns.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In honor of <a href="http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41" target="_blank">National Poetry Month</a> <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> is hearing from local poets. Doris Arrington came to writing in her 50s; twenty years later she’s still going strong.<br> <br> Doris was born in Mississippi and grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where she still lives. She spoke with producer Melissa Townsend about her writing and the story behind one of her very first poems.</p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 14:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/local-poet-discovers-writing-later-life-and-still-learning-85329