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Morning Shift

WBEZ Journalist Partners With Poets To Tell Stories of Chicago Gun Violence

WBEZ is about to wrap up our year-long series Every Other Hour. The title is an allusion to the fact that, based on the numbers, a person is shot in Chicago about every other hour. 

The interactive project was designed to go beyond the lists you heard or read from other news organizations — lists that indicate how many people are shot and where over a 24-hour period. We wanted to know who picked up a gun, and why. 

We also wanted to look at the city’s violence through different lenses. One of those lenses was poetry. 

Quraysh Ali Lansana is a well-known poet in Chicago with more than 20 books of poetry to his name. He was the last protégé of the legendary Gwendolyn Brooks, and he teaches writing at the Art Institute. Ali Lansana was the series’ poetry editor. 

We're joined by Ali Lansana and WBEZ’s Patrick Smith, who reported out the stories that were paired with the poetry.

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