Midday on Poetry: Sonnets and Slam | WYPR

Midday on Poetry: Sonnets and Slam

Sep 5, 2018

Today, it’s Midday on Poetry:  Tom and his guests explore a variety of poetic styles that all resonate with universal themes. 

Tom is joined first by two local poets who enjoy international acclaim.

Md-based poets Elizabeth Spires and Michael Collier.
Credit Spires photo by Celia Bell; Collier photo courtesy Michael

Michael Collier has written numerous books of poetry over the past forty years, including The Ledge -- a finalist for the 2000 National Book Critics Circle Award.  He served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 2001-2004, and he stepped down last year after more than two decades as director of the prestigious Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference @Middlebury. He leads the creative writing program at the University of Maryland.  His latest evocative collection, published by the University of Chicago Press, is called My Bishop and Other Poems.

And Elizabeth Spires is the author of seven collections of poetry and six critically acclaimed children’s books.  She is a Professor of English at Goucher College, where she holds the Chair for Distinguished Achievement.  Spires' new book is a searing collection of probing and poignant work called A Memory of the Future

Then, Midday on Poetry continues with some champion slam poets. 

Tom is joined in the studio by five members of the Dewmore Baltimore Youth Poetry Team.  The team is fresh from their win this past July at The Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, in Houston, Texas. It was DewMore Baltimore’s second win in three years at that prestigious contest, where every year, over 500 young poets from around the world compete for five days of artistic education and expression.

The DewMore Baltimore Youth Poetry Team in Midday's Studio A
Credit Cianna Greaves

The five team poets (as pictured here, left to right, with Midday host Tom Hall) are:  Adjoa Baidoo; Deleciea Greene, aka London Obsidian; Keyma Flight; Maren Wright-Kerr, aka Lovey, who is also the current Baltimore Youth Poet Laureate; and Kraileani Lea-Conner, aka Summer Knights.  Standing with the group, second from left, is the team's coach and mentor, Victor Rodgers, aka Slangston Hughesa well-known Baltimore slam poet who hails originally from Pittsburgh. 

The team performs two of their winning slam poems, Libyan Letter and Wild Fire.

Midday on Poetry was live-streamed on WYPR's Facebook page, and you can find the video here.