poetry

Every Mother's Day, millions of Americans take Mom to brunch. Kids try to repay a year of home-cooked meals with breakfast in bed. And those remembering a departed mom place flowers at the cemetery or raise a glass to her portrait.

This year, WNIJ listeners can write a poem and maybe read it on the air. We launched our first-ever Mother's Day Poetry Contest this morning.

The next four years will be very good for poetry.

That's according to Susan Azar Porterfield, who says our nation's current political divisions echo previous tempests, which sprouted an abundance of biting verse.

In 2003, Robert Bly, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and more than 8,000 other poets submitted their work to a global movement opposing the Iraq invasion. The book Poets Against the War collected 262 of those poems.

Like many people, poet Allison Joseph watched last Saturday's press conference with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer shared statistics that questioned the news media’s reporting on the size of the president’s inaugural audience.

Spicer's numbers were easily debunked.

Then, on Sunday, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared on Meet the Press to assert that Spicer’s falsehoods were simply “alternative facts.”

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

One of Illinois’ great poets comes to life this weekend on a stage in Chicago. DeKalb resident Steve Duchrow performs his new work about Vachel Lindsay at the Chicago Fringe Festival

He spoke with WNIJ’s Susan Stephens about his tribute to the Springfield native who walked across the country in 1906. Duchrow starts with the end of Lindsay’s poem, “The Flower-Fed Buffaloes.”           

Northern Illinois University

Internationally renowned poet, Lucien Stryk, died January 24th in London at the age of 88.  Stryk wrote and edited more than two dozen books, including collections of his poetry, and translations of Chinese and Japanese Zen poetry.  He also taught creative writing and Asian literature at Northern Illinois University from 1958 until he retired in 1991.