Arts

Arts and culture

Sue Stephens

When you hold a poetry contest involving themes of love or attraction, expect lots of poems using food as a metaphor.

It's as if our attraction to a potential mate and our appetite for food occupy the same place in our brains.

Small wonder, then, that two of the six winners in our "Relationship Poems" contest involved food. Yesterday, we featured a poem about corned beef. Today's winner is called "A Cheesy Love Poem."

Some poems were meant to be read aloud. Today's poem, a Valentine to corned beef, was meant to be sung.

It was written by Doe Macarus of Williams Bay, Wisconsin, who sang it for us during a recording in our studios. Macarus wrote the poem in fourth grade after receiving a Valentine's Day card from a boy. Now 84, she submitted it for our "Relationship Poems" contest.

Her poem is one of six selected by our judge, Susan Porterfield, a poet and English professor at Rockford University.

Carl Nelson

Remember when we asked for your relationship-themed poems for Valentine's Day? We received 118 listener responses by the Jan. 29 deadline, which made for a busy weekend for our contest judge, Susan Porterfield.

Hats As Heritage

Feb 4, 2016
Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Rock Valley College Studio Theatre presents the gospel musical “Crowns” this week and next. 

Regina Taylor's "Crowns" follows Yolonda, a tough city girl from Brooklyn who is taken to South Carolina after the shooting death of her brother.  There she is mentored by her grandmother, Mother Shaw, and a group of women who, through their stories, help her heal from her loss and more.

Dorothy Paige-Turner plays Mother Shaw.  She says Yolanda undergoes another, deeper kind of journey over the course of the play.  The women are with her every step of the way

A Voice You Can Feel

Morris Robinson has the kind of bass voice that reverberates so strongly you feel it in your concert seat. Listening to it, you assume he's been singing all of his life. And he has — but not opera.

Morris Robinson has the kind of bass voice that reverberates so strongly, you feel it in your concert seat. Listening to it, you assume he's been singing all of his life. And he has — but not opera.

WNIJ/Victor Yehling

Friday is the final day of sculpting for the artists in the 2016 Illinois Snow Sculpting Contest, and teams were hard at work bringing their works to fruition.

Designs this year are mostly fanciful, with the occasional more-serious work. The official competitors are complemented bay an array of high school teams.

Spectators were not in short supply, as a fairly steady stream of cars wended through Sinnissippi Park on North Second Street in Rockford.

Nicholas McCarthy was born without his right hand. Pursuing the piano would not exactly appear to be the most intuitive career choice. And yet that is exactly what the 26-year-old British pianist has done. His debut album, Solo, will be released next week.

McCarthy's "Aha!" piano moment came relatively late, at age 14, after he heard a friend play Beethoven's "Waldstein" Sonata. In a flash, he saw his future. He was determined to become a concert pianist.

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