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poetry

Terrance Hayes.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

"In a second I'll tell you how little writing rescues." That promise, from the opening poem of Terrance Hayes' "American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin", is only partially kept. 

The poems in the book are in constant motion. They shuttle back and forth between Emmett Till and Maxine Waters, slavery and hip hop, the nation's future and the past it can't bear to look at. 

Courtesy of Jacob Wesley Sutton

In the wake of school shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida this year, parents are asking: "How do I talk to my child about mass shootings?"

KUOW helped answer that question with a story we did in March.


Ronda Broatch

News stories can be disturbing sometimes, but KUOW has a way to help process these stories.

We call it #NewsPoet — and it involves a Pacific Northwest poet writing an original piece inspired by one of our stories.

Today we revisit the story about the last man to be put to death by Washington state.


Imani Sims is KUOW’s inaugural #NewsPoet – a program in which Pacific Northwest poets respond in verse to what the station airs. Below is an excerpt of her poem "Better than Captivity."


Kelli Russell Agodon is a poet based in Kingston, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Casey Martin

Starting this month KUOW is celebrating local poetry with a series called #NewsPoet.

A Pacific Northwest poet writes an original piece inspired by a KUOW news story. This week we hear from Kingston-based poet Kelli Russel Agodon.


Katy Ellis is a mother and dedicated her poem to Charleena Lyles who was pregnant when she was killed.
KUOW PHOTO/CASEY MARTIN

The news can be troubling and sometimes disturbing. 

For poets it can be a source of inspiration. To help process the stories in our news feeds, we invite poets to write an original piece inspired by a KUOW story for #NewsPoet.


Today KUOW launches a new series celebrating Pacific Northwest writers. 

We invite local poets to write an original piece inspired by a KUOW news story.

It's called NewsPoet and our first is Seattle-based poet Imani Sims.

 

The Richard Hugo House on Capitol Hill in Seattle, 2010
Flickr Photo/Brent Ozar (CC BY)/https://flic.kr/p/8RCN8H

In the poem "Maybe This Building Should Go" — and a series of redactions —  Frances McCue considers the emotional pull of particular places and buildings. The poem is part of her collection "Timber Curtain."

Bill Radke talks with KUOW poetry correspondent Elizabeth Austen about McCue's new collection, including why the poet chose to redact or erase her own poems.

Courtesy of Josh Patterson

In a parallel universe, poets stand on street corners and recite for us. We stop what we’re doing and gather together with friends and strangers to listen. Then we pay them some tribute and go on with our days, moved and enriched in some way.

Washington state poets laureate Claudia Castro Luna and Tod Marshall.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

When you're the poet laureate of Washington state, you log a lot of time on the road. "I got a new car for the job," laughs Tod Marshall. It came to him with 12,000 miles on it, and is now hovering around 57,000 as he hangs up his traveling hat.

Poet Melinda Mueller
KUOW Photos / Gil Aegerter

What will it take for Seattle to become climate-friendly?  That's The Burning Question this month on KUOW.

In this interview, reporter David Hyde put the question to Melinda Mueller, a Seattle high school biology teacher and a poet, and the author of "The After," a book of poems that imagines the world after humans have gone extinct. 

Future poet Kevin Craft with his parents, circa 1968. His poem "Matinee" explores the effects of feminism on his mother, himself, and his parents' marriage.
Courtesy of Kevin Craft

Set on the boardwalk at Ocean City, New Jersey, Kevin Craft's poem "Matinee" considers the trajectory of his mother's life, and its effect on his own.

Courtesy of Lloyd Montgomery

As we begin another new year in these United States of America, it’s an opportune time to listen in to the creative voices of descendants of the original inhabitants of these lands.

'Black Courage': A young poet's words to her son

Jan 2, 2018
Angel Gardner, Seattle's Youth Poet Laureate 2016/17
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

Angel Gardner started writing while living in a group home as a child. She wasn’t into therapy, but sometimes she wasn’t into writing in her journals either.


Courtesy of Rick Fienberg TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel

2017 was a fun, rigorous, informative year for the producers, editor, and host of The Record. Here are some of the segments we couldn’t forget.

Portrait of Mary Elizabeth Bowser, Union spy in the home of Jefferson Davis.
Courtesy of Melinda Mueller

Bill Radke talks with poetry correspondent Elizabeth Austen about Seattle-based poet and science teacher Melinda Mueller’s poem “Covert Acts.”

The three-part poem is set in the American Civil War, and illuminates the lives of Union soldier Private Mary Galloway, field surgeon Mary Edwards Walker, and freedwoman and Union spy Mary Bowser — three women who defied the constraints of their time.

KUOW Photo/John O'Brien

There are so many great literary events in the Puget Sound area every month. As individuals, we make it to those we can. Sometimes we miss one we really wanted to attend. It’s the same for us here at Speakers Forum. But we’re especially grateful we didn’t miss this one.

A screenshot of the Seattle Poetic Grid.
seattlepoeticgrid.com

Seattle is a city that’s been shaped by technology, from Boeing to Microsoft to Amazon. But there’s a new digital presence influencing how we see the city: poetry. The Seattle Poetic Grid is the culminating project of Claudia Castro Luna, in her role as the inaugural Seattle Civic poet. In conversation with The Record’s Bill Radke, she says it makes perfect sense for a poetic atlas to live in the world of ones and zeros.

Courtesy of Libby Lewis Photography

Since 1994, the Seattle Arts & Lectures Writers in the Schools (WITS) program brings professional writers into classrooms to help student writers find their voices and hone their skills. 

Poet Jamaica Baldwin
Courtesy of Stephen Lestat

In the immediate wake of President Trump's inauguration, Seattle poet Jamaica Baldwin wrote a series of poems, including "Vigilant," excerpted below.  KUOW's poetry correspondent Elizabeth Austen talks with The Record's Bill Radke about the ways the poem gives voice to an emotional reaction that is both larger than that single event and feels freshly relevant with each daily newscast. 

Elisa Chavez (left) and Ian Martinez (right) are slam poets in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke speaks with Ian Martinez and Elisa Chavez about identity and slam poetry. The duo are members of the Rain City Poetry Slam. They will be competing at the national slam poetry competition in Denver on August 12. 

Courtesy of Reema Tuffaha

My daughter asks me to explain
but my words falter.

Think about the Syrian civil war and refugee crisis. The seemingly endless cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Now, if you have kids in your life, think about how you talk to them about war and human suffering.

Brian Weiss

Six years ago Seattle poet Tara Hardy was blindsided by a mysterious chronic illness. It nearly killed her. She talks with KUOW's Elizabeth Austen about what it was like to live with that mystery, what changed once the disease had a name, and why she believes we're all living with a diagnosis of "human frailty."

Seattle poet Azura Tyabji has been writing poetry since eighth grade. Her big dream is to publish a book.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Azura Tyabji stepped up to the microphone at a community forum this spring, most of the audience members had no idea what to expect.

Courtesy of Libby Lewis Photography

Yes, poetry month is over. But how about some more poetry anyway?

We’ve collected readings from the Seattle Arts & Lectures poetry series over the last two months. You’ll hear the work of poets Ellen Bass, Ross Gay and Alice Notley. Each spoke at Seattle’s McCaw Hall.

Poet Jane Wong
Courtesy of Helene Christensen

Bill Radke and KUOW poetry correspondent Elizabeth Austen discuss an excerpt of "Pastoral Power," a sprawling, image-driven poem by local poet Jane Wong. The poem is rooted in a trip Wong took as a teenager to the rural village in southern China where her mother grew up. 

'I Will Not Ask The System Politely To Dismantle Itself'

May 3, 2017

Troy Osaki is on the verge of graduating law school. But the law, he says, is not enough. What about poetry?

Two short poems from Seattle's juvenile jail

May 1, 2017
A poem read by a teen reader at King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle. The reader, a teen girl, had memorized it and therefore didn't read from the page.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

CHICAGO ON THE SOUTH SIDE

By a young man in juvenile detention, age 15

Everybody should know
that when I was younger
I was at school one day,
I went straight from lunch to recess.
My brother was driving down the street.
Somebody was shooting at his car.
The police said that one of the bullets
went through the window and
hit him in the back of his head.

He lost control of his car
and crashed into the monkey bars.

A poem read by a teen reader at King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle. The reader, a teen girl, had memorized it and therefore didn't read from the page.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The girl had been raped as a child.

Years later, she was in juvenile detention in Seattle, telling her story to Richard Gold, who was helping her write a poem.

Seattle poet Quenton Baker and Spokane high school student Ben Read have poems published in a new anthology titled 'WA 129.'
Photos courtesy of Helen Peppe and Sophie Carter

Each week during National Poetry Month, we're featuring works by Pacific Northwest poets, curated  by KUOW's Elizabeth Austen. Most are drawn from the new anthology "WA 129." 

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