July 27, 1997 |
As Frankie Dudley flips through a thick stack of looseleaf pages, peering through reading glasses at the tip of her nose and with a pencil perched to make corrections, she looks like a schoolteacher. But the 37-year veteran of the Philadelphia public school system has retired from the classroom and is launching a new career. At 61, brimming with a lifetime of lessons and wisdom to impart, Dudley has begun to transcribe and publish her words for a wider audience. Her home for 24 years - and new office - in the township's Pennypacker section has neat stacks of folders with pages of more than 100 handwritten poems, a dozen short stories, two plays and a memoir in the works.
May 4, 2005 |
Just like the hundreds of students gathered in the Ira Aldridge Theater on the Howard University campus to hear her read from her new book of poetry, Jill Scott sets goals. "I have a checklist," the platinum-selling recording artist reveals to her adoring audience. "First, I wanted to be Storm from the X-Men, but that didn't work out. I wanted to be a ballet dancer, but that didn't work out, either. I wanted to be in a Broadway play. I checked that off. I wanted to win a Grammy.
April 21, 2002 |
What can a poem do for a city? The editor of the Commentary Page asked me if I'd try answering this question. I know what he's up to. April is National Poetry Month. And he hopes to motivate Philadelphians to make poetry a part of their lives by showing that it can have practical value. That it can be important. My first thought was to point out that our schools require students to memorize certain great poems so we could reestablish a shared cultural community. Learning poems by heart can serve to embed models of linguistic beauty in the imagination, and raise our expectations about how we communicate.
January 25, 2004 |
The sunlight reflects off the pond in A.V. Christie's front yard. It streams through her living-room windows, casting a reflection that "makes you feel like you are under water," she says. Inside her home, a converted 18th-century barn, Christie writes her poems. Her reputation was established when her first collection of poems, Nine Skies, was one of the winners of the 1996 National Poetry Series competition. Christie, 41, currently teaches at La Salle University. She has taught writing workshops at many of the region's colleges - including Bryn Mawr, Villanova, and Penn State Abington - since she moved to Chester County seven years ago. Much of Nine Skies is a lyrically haunting remembrance of her older brother, Andrew Christie, who suffered from schizophrenia and committed suicide when he was 32. "I never really thought of poetry as therapy.
September 18, 1992 |
Janna Jaep, with some trepidation, carried her screams here yesterday in an embroidered bag, and her high school chum, Bruce Niebuhr, eager but uncertain, packed his in a squared, black-cloth case, each at once hoping and fearing they would be heard. They brought their poems, cries from the marrow against life's darkness, a darkness first understood in adolescence, then paved over with layers of maturity in all but those called artists or poets. They brought them to historic Waterloo Village where, with the early sun dissolving treetop fog, big yellow buses disgorged 2,700 other adolescent poets and where poets of much greater renown were gathered for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poetry Festival.
March 11, 1996 |
"It's just an awful emptiness without him," confided dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, somber in gray suit and black turtleneck, gazing up like a chastened choirboy toward the vast nave of Manhattan's Cathedral of St. John the Divine. He was talking Friday evening about the loss felt by many friends of Joseph Brodsky, the Russian poet who came to America at age 32 after years of hardship at home. Brodsky won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987, served as poet laureate of the United States from 1991 to 1992, then died suddenly of a heart attack on Jan. 28 at age 55. "It feels like a giant hole," Baryshnikov continued of his countryman and fellow emigre, with whom he'd bonded during their years in New York.
February 18, 1991 |
Another big scene at Borders Book Shop Friday night: 300 people, all eyes toward a nook on the second floor, where, on a little island of carpet flanked by the Plants, Animals and Environment shelves, Ally Sheedy - Betsy's Wedding, WarGames, The Breakfast Club, you know, that Ally Sheedy - pulled pages from a blue portfolio and read poems to the attendant throng. To a cluster of early arrivals seated in front of her lectern, to the latecomers who crowded against railings and walls, to the college students and couples in matching black leather, to the curious older folks and stray handful of young ones, to the hissing of the espresso machine off behind her, the actress from Hollywood - you know, the Brat Packer - pulled her auburn hair back in both hands, leaned into the microphone and read: There's been a slight mistake, Miss.
July 3, 1994 |
When Toni Marchione was growing up here, she had no idea that she would become a New York actress with the name of Jenna Sky. And she certainly had no idea that two poems she wrote in her early teens and buried in her back yard would become part of a volume of her original verse now housed in the permanent collection of the Spring-Ford Area Historical Society. During Sky's childhood, the historical society didn't exist. The site just off Main Street that it now occupies was then the Royersford railroad station.
December 14, 2003 |
With a tape recorder in hand, Ernest Yates walks the streets of Philadelphia, observing his environs ever so carefully until an image catches his eye, sparking his imagination and his next poem. Yates, a Lansdowne resident who was born in the Panama Canal Zone and grew up in New Orleans, is fascinated by the rich ethnicity and history in his adopted city, Philadelphia. "I'm a poet of the Philadelphia streets," said Yates, who will present a selection of his poems at a reading Wednesday at Tyme Gallery in Havertown.
April 21, 1996 |
Watching her beloved grandfather die of cancer broke Samantha Endur's heart, but she just couldn't seem to tell anyone how she felt. Instead, the fourth grader wrote a poem: He lies in bed all the time He lies there thin and ill He's dying here and now Soon he will be faraway. . . . "It was easier to write about it than talk about it," said Samantha, who attends the J.F. Cooper School in Cherry Hill. Writing it down not only gave Samantha a means of expressing her sadness, but also landed her a place of honor in a state anthology of student works.