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poetry

Two Missouri General Assembly candidates sit with headphones on behind microphones for a radio interview.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Parkville candidates for Missouri House look to replace term-limited state Rep. Nick Marshall.

Lauren Arthur's big Senate win in Clay County has many Missouri Democrats hoping the same could happen in the neighboring state House race for District 13. We sat down with the two major-party candidates to discuss their proposed policies on a gas tax increase, marijuana legalization, violent crime and more.

Segment 1: A new documentary illustrates the tension between police and African-American communities.

Black and Blue is a new documentary by Kansas City native Solomon Bass. In it, he follows a former police officer named Donald Carter, who struggles with the question of being both black and a police officer. Solomon Bass joins us to talk about the story behind the documentary.

File photo by Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Classical music doesn’t have to be an intellectual exercise. For composer Ingrid Stölzel, it's an accomplishment when the audience feels goosebumps.

“It’s such an amazing thing we can experience when listening to music. It’s just a physical reaction to what we’re experiencing,” Stölzel told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard. “It’s a phenomenal thing.”

The Before Columbus Foundation announced the winners of the 39th annual American Book Awards on Monday. And Bojan Louis's "Currents," a debut poetry collection published by BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is on the list. 

"I'm celebrating!" Ben Furnish, managing editor of BkMk Press, wrote to KCUR in an email.

Segment 1: The average age of the U.S. farmer is 60. Who will step up to feed America?

A recent documentary looks at the challenges the next generation of farmers in America are experiencing.

Google

Segment 1: A shuttered charter school in Kansas City leaves some families in the lurch.

Courtesy of Lucky Garcia

Two years after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, gun control remains in the headlines. But the conversation surrounding race, sexuality, and privilege has faded, something that a Kansas City-area collective of queer poets of color is working to change.

Kevin Young

Kansas doesn't have many opportunities to brag about being home to someone who's a mover and shaker in the national culture.

But Topeka can be proud of Kevin Young, who was named poetry editor of "The New Yorker" last year and is director of the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Young moved to Topeka when he was nine, and spent his formative high school years in the city.

Segment 1: Poetry Editor for The New Yorker was influenced by childhood in Topeka.

Kevin Young's latest collection of poems Brown reminisces about his childhood in Kansas and how figures like Linda Brown, James Brown and John Brown have made an impact on both a historic and personal level.

Katie Moore/The Topeka Capital-Journal

Annette Billings says poetry isn’t about precious kittens and pretty flowers. Rather, she says, the form often calls for much harder, more controversial subject matter.

“Sometimes I feel compelled to write about a murder,” she says, “or a woman who’s living in a domestic violence environment.”

H.C. Palmer

H.C. Palmer had graduated from medical school but hadn't yet finished his residency when the Army drafted him in the mid-1960s.

President Lyndon Johnson's administration took 1,500 men from medical training programs across the country and sent them to Vietnam as surgeons.

By August 1965, Palmer found himself in a war zone as part of the First Infantry Division. All these years later, he says he’ll never completely find his way out — nor will others who’ve been similarly exposed to the “many horrific things that happen in war,” he told me in a recent interview.

Anne Boyer

Kansas City poet and essayist Anne Boyer, who teaches writing at the Kansas City Art Institute, is among this year's winners of the Whiting Award, a prestigious honor that comes with $50,000.

The awards, presented to emerging writers, "are based on the criteria of early-career achievement and the promise of superior literary work to come," according to the Whiting Foundation. Boyer is one of ten winners announced Wednesday evening at a ceremony in New York City.

courtesy: Robert Stewart

Robert Stewart has nurtured a lot of up-and-coming writers over the decades he's spent as an editor at New Letters magazine and as a writing instructor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

In December, Stewart released a new book of his own poetry. He called it "Working Class" in recognition of his roots as well as the blue-collar ethos he brings to writing.  

Segment 1: Local poet writes collection based on his working class roots. 

For Robert Stewart, poetry isn't ethereal — it's a working class endeavor. He shares how his background as a plumber's apprentice, ditch-digger and truck driver shaped his worldview as a writer. 

Aaron Brown

Brian Daldorph, who teaches English at the University of Kansas, published his sixth book of poetry late last year. “Ice Age/Edad de Hielo” is both a celebration of his late father’s life and a glimpse into losing a parent to Alzheimer’s, which Daldorph did in 2012.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr-CC

Segment 1: Is The Cat in the Hat's design inspired by blackface? 

Have you ever revisited a favorite book from your childhood ... to find that it is actually racist? As our society's perspective on race evolves, we look at racial undertones within children literature.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

In recognition of Kansas Day, today's show is all about the Sunflower State. We start things out with a poem about the town of El Dorado (and the way we pronounce it.) Then, learn about the person Johnson County was named after, Reverend Thomas Johnson.

Also, the story of Tenskwatawa, a Shawnee prophet who dreamed of uniting the Native American tribes into a single government.

Guests:

Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

Sheri "Purpose" Hall is a spoken word poet, an author, an ordained minister and an activist. She's represented Kansas City in national poetry slams and recently, a video of her performing one of her poems, "Irregular Rape Poem," has gone viral. Hear her story.

Guest:

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Students at Central Academy of Excellence spent a semester composing short stories, plays and spoken word poetry about gun violence. The class was a collaboration between Kansas City Public Schools and KCUR's reporting project, The Argument

On this episode of Central Standard​, a few of those students and their teacher reflect on their work.

Guests:

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

When seven Kansas City poets read new work this weekend, it'll be inspired by colorful, layered collages — a pieced-together medium that holds deep meaning for one emerging area artist.

“I think about collage as a metaphor to describe black culture,” says Glyneisha Johnson, a recent graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute and Charlotte Street Foundation resident artist.

From a collaboration between a big-band trombonist and two local rappers to an opera about an ill-fated expedition on Mt. Everest, it's been a busy year in the local arts scene. Our panel of avid arts-goers share their favorite moments from 2017.

Guests:

Courtesy Elizabeth Schultz

Few people in their 80s are inclined, or able, to feed time and energy into a second career. Elizabeth Schultz is such an anomaly.

As an English professor at the University of Kansas, Schultz was an acclaimed scholar on Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.” However, just before her retirement in 2001, she felt a pull toward a more creative use of language.

Courtesy Tom Stroik

"One thing that a poet needs more than anything else — well, you need a sense of language — but you need people who love you. And I have that," the poet Michelle Boisseau told New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam earlier this year. "I have incredible colleagues, and of course my husband Tom [Stroik], and people who believe in your work. Just keep doing it."

Bonnie Bolling remembers when she first stepped on Middle Eastern soil. A writer, Bolling was in an airport in Dubai and the call to prayer came over the loudspeakers.

She’d never heard the call, and while she definitely felt reverence, she also panicked because she didn’t know what to expect or what her own response should be. Her heart beat hard as she stopped and awaited the reactions of her fellow travelers.

“I realized I was going to experience it in a way I was going to need to write about,” Bolling says of the Middle East.

Hear the stories behind this year's Day of the Dead altars at the Mattie Rhodes Gallery, then meet a local spoken word poet/minister.

Guests:

Have you ever revisited a favorite book from your childhood . . . to find that it is actually racist? As our society's thoughts on race continue to evolve, we'll consult the author of the new book Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books.

Jack Williams / NET News

In the middle of a cornfield in south-central Nebraska, an oasis of art is growing.

Art Farm, situated off a long dirt road outside the small town of Marquette, started back in 1993 as an artist residency program. Since then, it’s become a one-of-a-kind experience many artists can’t resist.

The similarities between Native American and Middle Eastern cultures, as told by poets in a new anthology that was published here. Then, two of the musicians from the local band Making Movies; their new album, I Am Another You, just made it onto the Billboard and Billboard Latin Charts.

Guests:

The poet Mbembe Milton Smith wrote some provocative words about a Kansas City suburb:

“There are uncharted places like Overland Park, Kansas or Greenwich Connecticut where they lock their back door if they heard black power was coming cause black folk wouldn’t dare come round the front.”

For a person of color, those words might articulate a vague feeling of uneasiness that accompanies a visit to Johnson County even today. But they come from the poem "Allegory of the Bebop Walk," written decades ago.

Jacob Yakob / Dogs of War LLC

If the father figure in your life has more than enough golf clubs, tools and those weird plaques adorned with plastic singing fish, why not consider giving him the gift of great cinema? Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics are here with a new batch of movie recommendations that any dad would enjoy.

Cynthia Haines

I, Daniel Blake, R

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