THE POWER OF POETRY #25: DONNEY ROSE

   The Power of Poetry      – Donney Rose I came into poetry in a way that many young Black boys find an entry point to the world of creative writing, through hip hop. My older brothers were hip hop fans, thus I grew up in the culture and my appreciation of the music was heavily influenced by my appreciation of the lyricism its … Continue reading THE POWER OF POETRY #25: DONNEY ROSE

THE POWER OF POETRY #20: “I USED TO HATE POETRY” – DENICE FROHMAN

 Photo Courtesy of Conrad Erb, LiveConnections “I Used to Hate Poetry” — Denice Frohman For many poets and writers the story goes like this: I always loved reading, I had books everywhere, and started writing poetry early on as a kid. I’m not that poet. My parents were concerned with me getting excellent grades (which I did), but didn’t instill a passion for reading, especially … Continue reading THE POWER OF POETRY #20: “I USED TO HATE POETRY” – DENICE FROHMAN

THE POWER OF POETRY #19: ANNA BINKOVITZ

   The Power of Poetry ​Last week I was sitting in a classroom at Lesley University, listening to my professor Rafael Campo open a seminar on the elegy, and the power of poetry to “speak the unspeakable.” One example we looked at was Martha Collins’ poem “Her Poem,” which addresses some of the biggest unspeakables in our lives; love, spirituality, and yes, death. It’s not … Continue reading THE POWER OF POETRY #19: ANNA BINKOVITZ

THE POWER OF POETRY #18: “THE VINEYARD OWNER” – Lewis Mundt

THE POWER OF POETRY: THE VINEYARD OWNER — Lewis Mundt I.   Let me tell you two stories. The first: Somewhere in California, a man named Rubén Vásquez leaves his house with a small knife, planning to go to a vineyard and kill his father. Instead of finding his father, Vásquez finds the vineyard’s owner, who disarms him by knocking his hand against a tractor. And … Continue reading THE POWER OF POETRY #18: “THE VINEYARD OWNER” – Lewis Mundt

THE POWER OF POETRY #13: “YOU TALK TOO MUCH” – CRISTOPHER GIBSON

  You Talk Too Much – Cristopher Gibson   “CRISTOPHER!” Is what I recall most about school, the dinner table, church, or really anywhere I was with other people as a child. Anyone who knows me knows that I talk…a lot. As a kid this was in hyper drive. I just couldn’t seem to find my vocal box off switch. My father found it funny … Continue reading THE POWER OF POETRY #13: “YOU TALK TOO MUCH” – CRISTOPHER GIBSON

THE POWER OF POETRY #11: DUNCAN SHIELDS

The Power of Poetry – Duncan Shields Poetry uses language to surpass language. That is the central thought I’ve come to believe during my relationship with the spoken and written word. Effective poetry resonates with people. It evokes a response in the listener (or reader) that’s different from looking at a sculpture or hearing a symphony.  I find that music and imagery access a different … Continue reading THE POWER OF POETRY #11: DUNCAN SHIELDS

THE POWER OF POETRY #10: “WHAT POETRY MEANS TO ME” – CLEMENTINE von RADICS

WHAT POETRY MEANS TO ME            – CLEMENTINE von RADICS What Poetry Means To Me   “Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson Three years ago, I was in a bad relationship. One night, we had an argument … Continue reading THE POWER OF POETRY #10: “WHAT POETRY MEANS TO ME” – CLEMENTINE von RADICS

THE POWER OF POETRY #7: BLYTHE BAIRD

   THE POWER OF POETRY By Blythe Baird The first time I was exposed to spoken word poetry, I was a sophomore in high school. It was a strike of pure luck. My first day back at school after months of intensive rehabilitation for mental and physical health issues, a special event called Writers Week was happening. I sulked into the auditorium with my English … Continue reading THE POWER OF POETRY #7: BLYTHE BAIRD

REVIEW: BLOOD PERCUSSION – NATE MARSHALL (BUTTON POETRY / EXPLODING PINECONE PRESS)

Sprinkle my ashes across the north side of Chicago & the surrounding suburbs.   the south side has seen too many black boys become the end of a flame. “In the Event of My Demise”  After reading the introduction to Nate Marshall’s Blood Percussion, I was deeply moved, but a little worried that the pieces would be so grounded in the world of Chicago, that … Continue reading REVIEW: BLOOD PERCUSSION – NATE MARSHALL (BUTTON POETRY / EXPLODING PINECONE PRESS)

REVIEW: OUR NUMBERED DAYS – NEIL HILBORN (BUTTON POETRY)

    To say I hate you would imply a world in which I kissed more than your stomach. Look, we’ve established that I’m a jerk, so let me say this: I am a flat tire and you are a pothole full of lug nuts. I am a pile of bricks and you are holding a sledgehammer, which is to say I would not exist … Continue reading REVIEW: OUR NUMBERED DAYS – NEIL HILBORN (BUTTON POETRY)

The Power of Poetry #4: “The Transformative Power of Poetry” – Ethan Smith

The Transformative Power of Poetry – Ethan Smith On language When I first started writing intentionally for poetry performance, I thought my word choice was easily understandable, and was often frustrated when people were confused about the language I was using. Over time, I improved at actually saying what I was trying to say – very important when given a stage and a captive audience. … Continue reading The Power of Poetry #4: “The Transformative Power of Poetry” – Ethan Smith

POWER OF POETRY #2 – EBONY STEWART

    “Power of Poetry” by EBONY STEWART I remember being eight or nine when my parents finally got divorced. Or should I say, when my mother finally gathered all her strength to leave my father. She took us with her. I wasn’t sad, I knew they shouldn’t be together. I knew my mother deserved someone better for her and us girls. For the next … Continue reading POWER OF POETRY #2 – EBONY STEWART

REVIEW: PORTLAND POETRY SLAM – SO, WHAT? (Where Are You Press)

From “A Letter From My Well-Adjusted Adult Self (Whenever That Will Be) To My Current Mid-Twenties Self”  To get out of bed on a good day with depression, the ghost of your hope still needs to hop up first, pick up the frame, and shake you out. – Leyna Rynearson I feel pretty honored to live a mere 15 minutes from where the Portland Poetry … Continue reading REVIEW: PORTLAND POETRY SLAM – SO, WHAT? (Where Are You Press)

REVIEW: JESSE PARENT – THE NOISE THAT IS NOT YOU

Jesse Parent looks like he would hurt you, and then hug you, and probably sit you down to explain exactly what you did wrong. And you would listen. You would listen well, because he doesn’t mince words. He’s not going to throw metaphors at you, or make you figure out what he’s trying to say. Jesse Parent is one of poetry’s straight shooters – and … Continue reading REVIEW: JESSE PARENT – THE NOISE THAT IS NOT YOU

REVIEW: HIEU MINH NGUYEN – THIS WAY TO THE SUGAR

When I showed Hieu Nguyen’s “Buffet Etiquette” to my high school juniors, one of my students stood up, cheered loudly, and exclaimed, “He got that so right!”. Given that the student is one of my quietest, it only emphasized the power in Nguyen’s words. The connection he’s able to build with his readers and listeners is impressive, and it has everything to do with the … Continue reading REVIEW: HIEU MINH NGUYEN – THIS WAY TO THE SUGAR

Review: NO MATTER THE WRECKAGE by Sarah Kay

Enchanting. Honest. Humble. Uplifting. Delightful. Courageous. Finding just one word to encapsulate that which Sarah Kay brings to her debut collection is like choosing my favorite star in the night sky. Already familiar with poems such as “B” and “Private Parts”, I was delighted to delve into No Matter The Wreckage (Write Bloody Publishing). From the first verse, Sarah invites us to witness the journey of … Continue reading Review: NO MATTER THE WRECKAGE by Sarah Kay

Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls

  Review by Courtney Myers   As I looked at piles of chapbooks spread across the coffee table, ripe for review, I couldn’t help but pluck this one from the bunch. Being a gutsy girl myself, the title demanded my attention almost as much as the featured authors did. Honestly, you had me at Patricia Smith, Andrea Gibson, and Sarah Kay. Just as the title … Continue reading Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls

REVIEW: Alex Dang – You Can Do Better…But The Bar Has Been Set Pretty High

  Living just over the bridge from Portland, Oregon, I’ve had the esteemed pleasure of watching Alex Dang at the Portland Poetry Slam over the last couple of years, and it is quite the treat. There’s an ease to which he carries himself that makes him incredibly approachable, but when he steps on stage, the emotion, the conviction, and perfectly well-phrased pieces flow straight from … Continue reading REVIEW: Alex Dang – You Can Do Better…But The Bar Has Been Set Pretty High