The Residency and Passionate Bedfellows

Cait Johnson raised some eyebrows and made a roomful of writers blush when she talked about orgasms. According to Cait, a Stonecoast faculty, the best orgasms happen when two people are vulnerable and intimate with each other. To hear her tell it, that same intensity’s achieved when writers engage in other genres. Cait’s wise words […]

2011 in review

Here’s what the “WordPress.com stats helper monkeys” came up with in their  2011 annual report for this blog.   Here’s an excerpt: The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out […]

The Black Poets United And They All Got Down

The panel of poets at a Baltimore City Library quietly considered an audience member’s question: “When did you know you were a poet?” Evie Shockley, a presenter, smiled as the response brewed in her mind. She’d been asking herself the same thing until she took a poetry workshop led by Lucille Clifton. If you wrote […]

Urban Renewal: Major Jackson and Audre Lorde

The speakers in both Major Jackson’s 11-part poem “Urban Renewal” (from Leaving Saturn) and Audre Lorde’s Coal are both city dwellers coming to terms with the changing landscape. They fear possibly being displaced and mourn the once familiar structures city officials left “crumbling to gutted relics.”[1] The speakers aren’t alone in their suffering. “A chorus […]

The Quiet Photographer and The Bullhorn: T.S. Eliot and Amiri Baraka

A well-known poet once defined the poets’ role as that of “forensic scientists.” But, instead of a crime scene, poets comb the world around them, looking for evidence that the poem occurred. In that context, the speakers in T.S. Eliot’s Collected Poems: 1909-1962 and Amiri Baraka’s Transbluesency: Selected Poems 1961-1995 aren’t just concerned residents and […]

Bettina Judd’s Poetic Justice

She didn’t go looking for poetry. In fact, it was the other way around, Bettina Judd told a packed house Friday evening at the 14th and V streets Busboys and Poets. She was the Sept. 9 feature at the Nine on the Ninth monthly poetry event, the longest running series hosted exclusively by Hughes poet-in-residence […]