May 13, 2015 |
Darlene Sistrunk says writing saved her. After her 20-year-old son, Justin, was murdered in 2009, she took up her pen. She dabbled in poetry intermittently. But it was after attending a book signing, featuring award-winning author Ntozake Shange and hosted by the nonprofit Arts Sanctuary, that she was inspired to share her story. "I was angry that I was still alive," Sistrunk says. "I had to find a way to work through it. It all started with poetry. " Valerie Gay, executive director of Art Sanctuary, says such empowering moments are at the core of the Sanctuary's mission.
September 20, 2014 |
Observe International Peace Day on Sunday with poetry, music, and art at Penn Museum's "Footprints of Peace. " Special guests will be poet and peace activist Sonia Sanchez and Philadelphia youth poet laureate Soledad Alfaro-Allah. Sanchez and Alfaro-Allah will share their poetic words of peace, and the artwork of more than 100 children from the Artistic and Cultural Enrichment summer program in West Philadelphia will be showcased. Other performers include poet Black Ice; actor and storyteller Vinie Burrows; poet and actor Jessica Care Moore; singer Lady Alma; vocalist and interdisciplinary artist Imani Uzuri; and actor T.C. Carson, who portrayed Kyle Barker on the sitcom Living Single . The event is part of Peace Day Philly 2014.
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.
January 11, 2014 |
Amiri Baraka, 79, the poet, New Jersey state poet laureate, playwright, music critic, and activist whose career spanned the Beat generation, the civil rights upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, and many social and poetic controversies since, died Thursday, Jan. 9, at Beth Israel Medical Center in his hometown of Newark, N.J., of complications after surgery. He had long battled diabetes and attendant circulatory problems. Sonia Sanchez, the first poet laureate of Philadelphia and a longtime friend of Mr. Baraka's, said by phone that "you don't want to believe this, because of the history and her-story of this man, his impact on our literature and our country.
November 9, 2013 |
Philadelphia's First Person Arts organization revels in the power of the biographical tale, the traditions and innovations of the memoir, and all aspects of documentary. Its second-Monday Story Slams and RAW workshop events throughout the year focus on everyday people telling extraordinary stories. Yet, when it comes to letting its hair down, the nonprofit FPA goes full monty for its annual Festival - this year, its 12th, with 11 days of truth-telling and myth-making from pros and amateurs alike in venues from West Philly (Drexel University)
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 23, 2013
By Jim McGovern The 10th annual Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation is scheduled for Sunday. When I heard the news about the attack in Boston, I wondered if we would still walk. Of course we will. In fact, everything we stand for is in direct opposition to the shameless act of hate and violence that rocked the world last week. On Sunday, walking together will be Muslims and Jews, Christians and Sikhs, Buddhists and seculars, and on and on. We will honor and celebrate our fellowship and the messages of peace and connectedness found in all these great religions, but even more so in the deepest crevices of our hearts.
January 15, 2013 |
I LOVE MY CAT. It sat on a mat. It's OK that it's fat. I love that. That was the first poem written by Siduri Beckman, then 6 years old. It was terrible, she says now. But eight years later, her poetry has landed her a one-year gig as the city's first youth poet laureate. Mayor Nutter and Gary Steuer, the city's chief cultural officer, will make the announcement Monday evening in City Hall. Beckman, 14, a student at Julia R. Masterman School in Spring Garden who aspires to be a district attorney and eventually a Supreme Court justice, stood out among the 30 applicants.
January 3, 2012
Mayor Nutter has added another feather to Philadelphia's cultural cap by naming Sonia Sanchez its first poet laureate. Nutter announced the idea of creating a poet laureate program in May, during a Sanchez reading at City Hall. A committee that included novelist Lorene Cary recommended Sanchez, a natural choice. A teacher, mentor, activist, and humanitarian as well as a poet, Sanchez, 77, has long been regarded as the city's unofficial poet laureate. But now the job is truly hers.