poetry

"Poetry is good food."

That's the lesson award-winning writer Peter Markus has been teaching to kids in Detroit for years.

He taught creative writing in the Detroit Public Schools and he is the senior writer with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, which places writers in public schools to hold creative writing workshops.

Keith Taylor is a naturalist as well as a poet. Every summer, he spends several weeks at the University of Michigan’s Biological Station.

The poems in his newest collection contain a close, almost scientific, attention to detail. This is a collection that delves into the truth of beauty, evanescence and life through communion with the natural world.

It's been a relentless news cycle this week, so here's a break for at least a few minutes from politics, national security and healthcare. We turned the mic over to some students way outside the beltway.

Tyehimba Jess was awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for poetry with his collection, 'Olio.' In it, he tells the stories of early African American performers.
Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess is an African American poet from Detroit. He recently won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for his collection of poetry called, Olio. The poems are inspired by blackface minstrel shows.

Minstrel shows were variety acts – skits, dances, music, comedy, and were popular in the 1800’s and well into the 1900’s. Performers would paint their faces black, and act out routines that often denigrated African Americans.

What will Bill Murray do next?

The beloved actor's curiosity seems boundless. It should be no surprise, then, to learn that his new project finds him paired with a classical cellist.

You've heard of poetry slams, TED talks and the Moth. Now, we'll introduce you to PechaKucha 20x20, happening Thursday at Tenacity Brewing in Flint.

David Stanley, one of the organizers of the event, joined Stateside to explain what this presentation style is all about.  

 

When classic English poet John Keats coughed up blood in 1821, he knew it wasn’t a good sign. According to medical historian Dr. Howard Markel, Keats was able to diagnose the disease that would end his life: consumption.

He teaches young writers at the University of Michigan, and he practices what he teaches.

Throughout the years, Keith Taylor has published short stories, co-edited volumes of essays and fiction, and written powerful collections of poetry.

Taylor joined Stateside to talk about his newest book of poetry, The Bird-while

A Nation Engaged: The Land of the Free

Oct 13, 2016

Throughout this election season, NPR and its member stations have been having a national conversation called "A Nation Engaged." The project has looked at central themes in this year's election, including this week's question:

What does it actually mean to be American?

We put this question to some promising young spoken word artists, and we'll be sharing their poems with you all week.

Today, we bring you a poem entitled The Land of the Free by LéAndra Gregory, a student and Citywide Poet at Detroit Schools of the Arts. 

Kinetic Affect members Kirk Latimer (left) and Gabriel Giron bring their spoken word poetry to audiences all over the country.
Kinetic Affect

Kirk Latimer was a high school English teacher when he heard a student get up and perform spoken word poetry for the first time. He was so moved by the experience that he encouraged all his students to tell their stories through spoken word poetry.

But then in the middle of class, one of his students called him out. He challenged Kirk to share his own story the way he wanted them to share theirs. And  he did. 

 

The National Park Service printed Moheb Soliman's poems using the official colors and iconography.
Moheb Soliman

It’s a hot Saturday afternoon in Leland, Michigan. The sun is out and a lot of people are visiting Fishtown. Sonja Vanderveen is up visiting from downstate. She’s standing in front of a National Park sign, with poetry on it.

“There were towns, and beaches spooning," she reads. "There was longing, and belonging. There was plenty of parking, and abandon lots. There was sunset. Three scoops of peach high and as wide smeared." 


Poet Mike Delp addresses a men's gathering in Cedar, Michigan. He recently authored a new collection of poetry called, 'Lying in the River's Dark Bed.'
Dan Wanschura

On a recent Saturday evening in Cedar, Michigan, about 40 guys are gathered in the home of Jeff Smith, the editor of Traverse magazine. The night is centered around beer and poetry. The beverage of choice is from the recently opened Lake Ann Brewing Company. The poet is Mike Delp.

Mike Delp has a new book titled Lying in the River’s Dark Bed. It’s what he calls the confluence of the Deadman and the Mad Angler— characters he’s has been crafting for years.  

 

Former altar girl pens chapbook on clerical sexual abuse

May 10, 2016

Writer and poet Kelly Fordon grew up as a Catholic altar girl in the 1970s, and has published The Witness, a chapbook centered around sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

Chapbooks are used by poets to focus on a single theme or topic. 

Fordon never expected to write against the Catholic Church, but believes that people shouldn't be so quick to defend priests accused of abuse. Fordon joined Cynthia Canty on today's Stateside to discuss The Witness.

Morgan Springer

Incarcerated poets get together weekly at Writer’s Block, a poetry writing workshop at Macomb Correctional Facility outside Detroit. Eight inmates file into a conference room. Dressed in navy and orange jumpsuits, they greet everyone with affectionate handshakes.

 


This summer marks the 32nd season for the Stone Circle.

Poet Terry Wooten is known for having created this space for poetry, storytelling and music on a family farm near Elk Rapids.

"There's something in our DNA that you cannot sit around a fire and not want to hear stories," said Wooten.

As part of our series "Poetically Speaking," we're highlighting Michigan poets.

West Bloomfield’s Diane DeCillis’ first book of poetry, Strings Attached, has been named a Michigan Notable Book for 2015.

DeCillis draws on her past and her family in many of her poems, including the poem for which the book was named.

Tarfia Faizullah was born in Brooklyn, raised in Texas, and now makes her home in Detroit.

Her first book of poems called Seam, won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award.

The poems bring us the stories of the 200,000 to 400,000 Bangladeshi women who were raped during that country's 1971 Liberation War, a conflict that saw East Pakistan and India at war with West Pakistan. That war led to the birth of the Bangladeshi republic.

Our special series "Poetically Speaking" highlighting poets and poetry in Michigan continues. 

Julie Babcock grew up in the late 70's and early 80's when playgrounds were full of sharp, hot metal and asphalt. 

Michigan poets and multimedia artists, Michelle Bonczek Evory and Robert Evory, will be the first artists-in-residence at the Gettysburg National Military Park. 

The program invites artists to immerse themselves in the park's historical landscape and expand their own creative pursuits to inspire and engage new audiences.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Broadside Press. It was founded in 1965 by African-American poet and publisher Dudley Randall.

This groundbreaking company has published a long and distinguished list of African-American poets and writers.

Christine Rhein is the author of Wild Flight (Texas Tech University Press), a winner of the Walt McDonald Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in many literary journals, including Michigan Quarterly Review, and have been featured at Poetry Daily and The Writer’s Almanac

"I wrote this poem in response to the heroic work accomplished at Gene Codes Corporation, in Ann Arbor, following 9/11," she says. "The poem, a weaving of programming language with poetic language, explores the event’s impact on the software developers and beyond."

Our series "Poetically Speaking," highlighting Michigan poets, continues. 

Stateside celebrates National Poetry Month with a special month-long series on poetry in Michigan.

We'll be talking with Michigan poets about their new work, about poetry in the 21st century and about why poetry continues to inspire.

Poet Jamaal May captures 'Hum' of Detroit

Apr 1, 2015
Jamaal May

Jamaal May's first collection of poetry, Hum, won him a Notable Book Award and a Beatrice Hawley Award, among other accolades. The Director of Creative Writing at Interlochen Center for the Arts calls the Detroit-raised poet a "rising star."

May is working with writing students this week at Interlochen Arts Academy. He also agreed to a free public reading Thursday night at The Writing House.

Peter Payette

Terri Wooten never wanted to write academic poetry.

“I had a vision of writing for the common people,” he says.

More than 30 years ago, he built a circle of boulders—88 in all—behind his house north of Elk Rapids. Since then, poets and storytellers have gathered around the campfire to perform for audiences that sometimes number more than 100.

This month, an anthology of Wooten’s poetry is out called "The Stone Circle Poems." Peter Payette stopped by his house and sent this postcard.

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