Poet Charlene K. Smith heard an interesting interview with Jack Hamann, author of On American Soil, which led her to write this piece about Samuel Snow and the other black soldiers who received an apology from the U.S. Army in 2008. The soldiers had been falsely court-martialed on charges of rioting and lynching a prisoner of war during WWII. Snow died shortly after his name was cleared at age 84.
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.
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.