Poet Nicole Bond of Hyde Park was personally affected by the closing of Michael Reese Hospital. A close family member had worked there from 1967 until the hospital closed its doors, and died shortly after.
In researching for this piece, Nicole revisited newspaper articles her family had archived as the hospital began to transition following its purchase in 1991. She also read “All Our Lives: A Centennial History Of Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, 1881-1981” by Sarah Gordon, which Nicole found to be “an amazing resource” – it had been a gift to her family member from the hospital during the centennial celebrations.
Click here to read this piece.
Verse Journalism is a form of poetry inspired by the news. It was born here in Chicago when Gwendolyn Brooks coined the term. Another gifted local poet, Quraysh Ali Lansana, taught the form to participants in a Neighborhood Writing Alliance special workshop series. Lansana had NWA writers turn their opinions and reactions to news events into poems, which WBEZ will present throughout the month of April in celebration of National Poetry Month. This series was recorded in collaboration with the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, a station partner.
Click here to listen to other Verse Journalism recordings made as part of this project.
And hear more about what happens when institutions leave neighborhoods as part of this Eight Forty-Eight interview with UIC professor of Urban Planning and Policy, Rachel Weber.
You can also listen to Quraysh Ali Lansana speak with WBEZ’s Jason Marck about the origins of verse journalism and his own experiences with the form.