June 18, 2015 |
Seventeen-year-old David Jones, who'll be a senior this fall at West Philadelphia High, was not surprised when he learned he had been named Philadelphia's next youth poet laureate. "It was super cool," he said after receiving the honor during a City Hall ceremony in front of his family, friends, and city officials including Mayor Nutter. "Honestly, I kind of expected it. " Jones, who has been writing poetry for years, was calm and confident as he recited one of his poems, Birds , an homage to Maya Angelou's famous work.
June 14, 2015 |
SOMERS POINT, N.J. - Poetry was apparently too controversial for Atlantic City this year, as a plan to pay poets to read their work at the city Farmers' Market was abandoned by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority after some political blowback. But Somers Point has held the line against the (haiku) haters - naming, and paying, the bay town's first poet laureate, Northwestern grad-turned-wine-store-event-planner Maria Provenzano of Egg Harbor Township. Provenzano, 26, will put the concept to its first real test Saturday night, as she does two short, mostly unannounced "Pop Up Poetry" events, one at 7 p.m. at the bar at Sandi Point Coastal Bistro, formerly the famed Mac's, followed by another at Gregory's.
September 19, 2014 |
Several years ago, poet Sonia Sánchez had just returned from her three-mile morning walk. As she sat on her porch sipping green tea and reading the paper, she heard childish voices from the sidewalk nearby, raised in agitation. Aroused from her moment of tranquillity, she asked the schoolchildren why they were arguing and invited them onto her porch to quell their unrest. She asked them to listen to the birds singing - to feel the peace that embodied her home. "This is my house, this is my porch, but this is also my sidewalk," Sánchez told them.
June 18, 2014 |
Soledad Alfaro-Allah was sitting in her poetry teacher's class at Science Leadership Academy when the e-mail arrived. It said she would be named Philadelphia's new Youth Poet Laureate. "I got up and I just screamed," said Alfaro-Allah, 16, who lives in Mount Airy. So loudly that her teacher thought something was wrong. But in fact, things were very, very right for the teenager, who had already proven herself as a poetry MVP at her school and now would step onto a larger platform.
March 11, 2014 |
For present-day Ukrainians, Taras Shevchenko's poetry still resonates. "Oh bury me, then rise ye up/And break your heavy chains," the revolutionary icon urged in his 1845 poem "The Testament. " The poet, who was exiled for writings the Russian police considered seditious, remains a cultural force in Ukraine as it faces Russian military occupation of its Crimean peninsula. Nearly 100 people from the Philadelphia-area Ukrainian community gathered again at Independence Hall on Sunday, reciting the work of Shevchenko and other poets and listening to the Prometheus Ukrainian Male Chorus sing revolutionary songs.
February 1, 2014 |
At a City Hall ceremony today, Mayor Nutter announced the appointment of Frank Sherlock, 44, as the second poet laureate of Philadelphia. Sherlock succeeds Sonia Sanchez. He'll serve for two years, during which he will receive a stipend of $5,000. Duties include mentoring young poets, a couple of official readings, and community-service work. One of his first duties will be to help select a youth poet laureate, also the second, succeeding Siduri Beckman. Beth Feldman Brandt, executive director of the poet laureate governing committee, said: "This position is not just an honorary appointment.
September 6, 2013 |
WANT TO be Philadelphia's next poet laureate? The city's Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy released application materials yesterday. The post has been held since January 2012 by award-winning poet and retired Temple University professor Sonia Sanchez. Her term ends in December. "We could not have had a more perfect inaugural poet laureate than Sonia Sanchez," said Gary Steuer, the city's chief cultural officer. "Her continued work as an advocate for peace during her term has solidified the commitment to both poetry and community involvement as essential qualifications for the role of poet laureate.
July 2, 2013
LIKE MANY TEENAGE girls, Siduri Beckman, 15, considers her life to be very stressful: As the city's first youth poet laureate, there are lots of poetry events; she's also a peer counselor at Masterman, as well as a member of the school's choir, a musical group, the track team and the cross country team. Even during the summer, her agenda is pretty full. Last week, after a brief vacation with her family in Cape May, Siduri traveled to a school-funding rally in Harrisburg to read "A Word from the Cripples," her poem about the frustrations of students in the city's public schools.
April 9, 2013 |
The topics ranged from love and sex to history and time, but it was all poetry in motion Sunday at the Arts Bank in Center City. Among the recitals was a graphic short poem by Lamont B. Steptoe, "New Orleans," that described having nonviolent, sexual fun with women in the Big Easy. "Most people can't pull that off," Sean Lynch, 20, said. "It's so hard to pull off being vulgar in poetry. " Lynch, a student at Rutgers University's Camden campus, said he had been writing poetry for a decade but performed for the first time in a public forum during Sunday's 17th annual Poetry Ink. Lynch said Steptoe inspired him to go public.
April 2, 2013 |
Daniel G. Hoffman, 89, longtime Swarthmore resident, professor at Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania, and onetime U.S. poet laureate, died Saturday at the Quadrangle independent living facility in Haverford. He was remembered fondly by students and fellow poets around the world as his latest book of poems was just being published. Mr. Hoffman was a mainstay in the local poetry world, much in evidence at prominent events such as the West Chester Poetry Conference and major venues such as Kelly Writers House at Penn.