Tag Archives: poetry

Chicago Poet Avery R. Young’s photo-commentary on the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

Avery R. Young is a local poet, activist, and educator (and I am lucky enough to count him as a friend, too). He champions unconventional showcases for his work, including facebook and taped up on doors (see below). Jive on.

more on avery.

more on trayvon.


Louder Than a Bomb in Concert: english class heretics.

Featuring work by LTAB all-stars, alumni, and co-creator Kevin Coval
Friday, August 5 & 6, 2011   7:30pm
Zacek McVay Theater

TWO NIGHTS ONLY!

This will be one of the most exciting nights at the Victory Gardens this summer!

Don’t miss out on ENGLISH CLASS HERETICS: LOUDER THAN A BOMB IN CONCERT! The stage artists from the largest and most explosive youth poetry slam in the world, Chicago’s own Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) will take over Victory Gardens with an evening of great performances.

This exclusive concert presentation features the best LTAB performances from recent years as well as performances by LTAB staff, teaching artists and alumni (including poets from the critically acclaimed LTAB documentary.)

Tickets: $15
Buy Now
773.871.3000
TTY: 773.871.0682
tickets@victorygardens.org


Tour Guides: Take a Tour of the Real Chicago

For six nights only, poetry meets the stage meets Chicago in this theatrical exploration of urban life. Collaboratively written by members of the Poetry Performance Incubator, this ensemble piece offers a lyrical tour of the Chicago tourists never see.

According to the Guild’s Coya Paz:

“This is a collaboration between 10 spoken word poets, 7 of whom perform. The piece offers an insider’s look at Chicago culture(s), covering things like the difference between catcalling on the Northside and the Southside, how you can tell when a funeral procession is for a youth or an elder by the rims on the cars, what do do when your white friends want to go to a rib place waaaaaay down south, and why Time Out shouldn’t be the expert on culture in Pilsen. We tell real life stories about people pooping on trains, plotting murders on trains, and falling in love on trains. We passionately detail the reasons why Mexicans and Irish people should be in solidarity, especially when it comes to beer. We talk about toxic spills in Pilsen. We talk about why Rogers Park is for hippies. And so much more!” 

This reminds me of the “Ghetto Bus” that was in the News back in 2007.  The Bus took folks on a tour of inner city Chicago… the part of the city that tourists tend not to see.

Does anyone remember this?

From MSNBC.com July 22, 2007

CHICAGO — The yellow school bus rumbles through vacant lots and past demolished buildings, full of people who have paid $20 for a tour of what was once among the most dangerous areas of this or any other city in the United States.

But for the woman with the microphone, this “Ghetto Bus Tour” isn’t just another way to make a buck from tourists. It’s the last gasp in her crusade to tell a different story about Chicago’s notorious housing projects, something other than well-known tales about gang violence so fierce that residents slept in their bathtubs to avoid bullets.

“I want you to see what I see,” says Beauty Turner, after leading the group off the bus to a weedy lot where the Robert Taylor Homes once stood. “To hear the voices of the voiceless.”

click here for the rest of the article.


WORD: Across Generations

WORD: Across Generations Sunday, January 17 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Victory Gardens Biograph Theater 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago

 Join The Public Square and Chicago Public Radio for WORD: Across Generations with poets Carloyn Rodgers, John Murillo, and Aja Monet.

•Carolyn Rodgers (see poem below) emerged from the Black Arts Movement in Chicago in the 1960s as a “revolutionary poet,” creating a distinct and profound black aesthetic.

•John Murillo is an Afro-Chicano poet and playwright, a graduate of New York University’s MFA program, and a recent fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

•Aja Monet is a Cuban-Jamaican poet originally from Brooklyn, now residing in Chicago. At 22 years old, she is currently the youngest Grand Slam Champion of the Lower East side’s legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café.

Each poet will perform their work and then participate in a post-performance conversation, followed by an Open Mic Showcase. This event is taking place as part of Chicago Public Radio Presents… The 2nd Annual Winter Block Party for Chicago’s Hip-Hop Arts.

 For more about this exciting day,visit chicagopublicradio.org.

“The Block Party is a tribute to the working artist of the hip-hop generation in Chicago and an opportunity for the city, traditionally segregated, to see each other across neighborhood and viaduct.” – Winter Block Party Artistic Director Kevin Coval.

It is Deep
(don’t never forget the bridge you crossed over on)
by Carolyn Rodgers [pictured above]

Having tried to use the
witch cord
that erases the stretch of
thirty-three blocks
and tuning in the voice which
woodenly stated that the
talk box was “disconnected”
My mother, religiously girdled in
her god, slipped on some love, and
laid on my bell like a truck,
blew through my door warm wind from the south
concern making her gruff and tight-lipped
and scared
that her “baby” was starving.
she, having learned, that disconnection results from
non-payment of bill (s).
She did not
recognize the poster of the
grand le-roi (al) cat on the wall
had never even seen the books of
Black poems that I have written
thinks that I am under the influence of
“communists”
when I talk about Black as anything
other than something ugly to kill it befo it grows
in any impression she would not be
considered “relevant” or “Black”
but
there she was, standing in my room
not loudly condemning that day and
not remembering that I grew hearing her
curse the factory where she “cut uh slave”
and the cheap j-boss wouldn’t allow a union,
not remembering that I heard the tears when
they told her a high school diploma was not enough,
and here now, not able to understand, what she had
been forced to deny, still–
she pushed into my kitchen so
she could open my refrigerator to see
what I had to eat, and pressed fifty
bills in my hand saying “pay the talk bill and buy
some food; you got folks who care about you . . .”
My mother, religious-negro, proud of
having waded through a storm, is very obviously,
a sturdy Black bridge that I
crossed over, on.


What Happens to Words in the Sun?

QALansana

Quraysh Ali Lansana

From Public Square, a project of Illinois Humanities Council, news of a Saturday Afternoon session at Englewood’s Perry Mansion Cultural Center.  Mix poetry and conversation across generations, color, and neighborhood lines.  Add sunshine and grow…

“Join us for an afternoon of poetry, conversation, and sunshine as some of the most prolific and profound poets in Chicago come together. Each of the poets will perform their work and participate in a post-performance conversation, moderated by spoken word artist Kevin Coval about the power of words.

 

Called “Word: Across Generations”, this intergenerational and intercultural event will include Quraysh Ali Lansana, director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center at Chicago State University and author of They Shall Run-Harriet Tubman Poems and southside rain; Adrian Matejka, author of Mixology; Angela Jackson, acclaimed poet, playwright, and fictionist; and FM Supreme, Louder Than A Bomb poetry slam champion. The event will be emceed by Kevin Coval and music will be provided by DJ Seanile from Tomorrow Kings.
Reservations are recommended and can be made at events@prairie.org or by calling 312.422.5580.

Date:
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Time:
3:00pm – 5:00pm
Location:
Perry Mansion Cultural Center
Street:
7042 S Perry Ave
City/Town:
Chicago, IL

Brave New Voices 2009: Spoken Word Freshness

BNVmain

This weekend is the culmination of the Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Slam Festival.  Mindblowing, bone-chilling work from youth that’ll renew your faith in “these kids today”.

Check out the Finals tonight at the Chicago Theater, hosted by Chinaka Hodge, and emceed by Chicago Spoken Word legend Kevin Coval:

175 North State

Chicago, IL

7pm-10pm

general admission $18

click here for ticket info

If you miss the event tonight, you can also catch the Brave New Voices documentary series (presented by Russell Simmons) on HBO…


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