Your NPR news source

Poetic Justice: A Conversation with Delbert Tibbs and Cliff Kelley

SHARE Poetic Justice: A Conversation with Delbert Tibbs and Cliff Kelley
Poetic Justice: A Conversation with Delbert Tibbs and Cliff Kelley

Delbert Tibbs


Listen in for a special evening focused on incarceration and creative expression. Delbert Tibbs, a former death row prisoner who was exonerated, readings selected poems from his recently published book of poetry. Afterwards, Cliff Kelley, noted talk show host on WVON, facilitate a conversation about the power of poetry in the anti-death penalty movement.

Delbert Tibbs was sentenced to death on Florida’s death row in 1974 for the rape of a white woman and the murder of a white man. His sentence was overturned after two years once it was shown that he was wrongly accused and convicted. He has since become an anti-death penalty and civil rights activist. A play (and subsequent film), The Exonerated, included his case among the six profiles of wrongfully prosecuted men and women in the United States. He is affiliated with Amnesty International, the National Inter-religious Task Force on Criminal justice. He is also on the advisory board of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Here he presents a selection of poems from his recently published book of poetry Selected poems and other word/works.

Cliff Kelley is the host of “The Cliff Kelley Show,” which airs Monday through Friday from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM on WVON. He has distinguished himself as a popular talk show host who brings a wealth of knowledge on local, national and international affairs to WVON’s vast listening audience. A native Chicagoan and attorney, Kelley has been in active in Chicago’s political arena for more than 30 years, including 16 years in Chicago’s City Council. Kelley has been a featured guest on issue-oriented programs on local, national, and international television and radio and is a frequent contributor to Chicago Tonight. He has traveled extensively to the Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

This program is co-sponsored by The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, Chicago Public Radio, and the Chicago Public Library West Englewood Branch.


Recorded Saturday, April 19, 2008 at Chicago Public Library-Englewood Branch.

The Latest