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Flickr, Kurt Bauschardt

An event this weekend celebrates the more than 100,000 sub-saharan Africans that live in Columbus. 

The Columbus African Festival will feature food, poetry, music, and more. The event is the first ever of its kind in the area. 

Today on All Sides Weekend with Clare Roth, we discuss the celebration and African culture. 

  Guests:

color photo of Scott Woods standing in front of Streelight Guild building
Jennifer Hambrick / WOSU Public Media

It’s one of those buildings whose walls you wish could talk – an old house with wide windows looking out over a brick facade sturdy as the hills and a new unpainted plywood railing around the porch and leading up a few concrete steps to the front door. The unpainted wood tips you off that something is happening here.

color photo of head shots of poets and composers in The Big SCORE
Johnstone Fund for New Music/publicity photo / used with permission

What would happen if you were to pair six poets with six composers and tell them to create new poems set to music?

Columbus will get the answer to that question May 22 at 7 p.m. in the Short North’s Garden Theater when six new texted musical works by Columbus poets and composers are given their world premieres in a free concert marking the culmination of the innovative poetry and music commissioning project, The Big SCORE.

Editor's note: This story contains poems with curse words.

To celebrate National Poetry Month — which wraps up today — All Things Considered spoke with three poets, Hanif Abdurraqib, Yanyi, and Franny Choi about what inspires them to write, and how they use poetry to express identity.

How Guide Dogs Impact Their Owners

May 31, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Poet and author Stephen Kuusisto has been legally blind since birth. He was raised to act sighted growing up. And that worked fine until he was 38 and nearly killed walking in front of a moving car. He couldn't go it alone anymore. That's when he met Corky, the guide dog that changed his life. Today we talk with Kuusisto about his new memoir.

Two poets and a composer walk into a radio studio. Nope, not the setup for a silly joke — but instead for an intriguing conversation among local artists about creating art.

Monday afternoon Columbus composer Jacob Reed and Thomas Worthington High School student poet Nat Hickman joined me in the Classical 101 studios for a conversation about writing poetry and music inspired by poetry.

How Guide Dogs Impact Their Owners

Mar 29, 2018
smerikal / Flickr

Poet and author Stephen Kuusisto has been legally blind since birth. He was raised to act sighted growing up. And that worked fine until he was 38 and nearly killed walking in front of a moving car. He couldn't go it alone anymore. That's when he met Corky, the guide dog that changed his life. Today we talk with Kuusisto about his new memoir.

Clevelander Dave Lucas was named the second Ohio Poet Laureate suceeding Dr. Amit Majmudar for a two year term.

Best known for his monthly Brews + Prose series at Market Garden Brewery, Lucas wants folks in the Buckeye state to change their reactions to reading poems.

"I grew up as I think a lot of people did, certainly many of my students feel this way, that poetry was what we encountered in the books that we had to read in school and that made us often feel stupid or inadequate," Lucas said.

How does someone become Ohio’s poet laureate?

“One is anointed by the gods,” quips Ohio’s newest poet laureate, Dave Lucas.

At the beginning of the year, Lucas succeeded fellow Clevelander Amit Majmudar to become the state’s second-ever poet laureate. Gov. John Kasich, who created the position in 2014, chose Lucas from three finalists culled by the Ohio Arts Council.

Tracy K. Smith knows many readers are intimidated by line breaks. She knows people don't like identifying consonance, assonance or alliteration.

But Smith — the newly announced 22nd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry of the United States — wants to help America push past that anxiety.

"What do you hear? What do you feel? What does this remind you of?" she asks NPR. "These are all real and valid reactions to a poem."

image of a portrait of Mozart in which he wears a bright red coat
Wikipedia

Oscar Wilde once said “all bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.” If true, then the poem Mozart wrote for his sister on her thirty-second birthday was steeped in brotherly love.

color photograph of Stephen Caracciolo and Lancaster Chorale members standing outdoors in front of a gazebo
Lancaster Chorale/Publicity Photo

It is a poignant reality that innocence once lost can never be regained. But the innocence of childhood can always be enjoyed vicariously in the laughter and tears of children themselves, and also in music and poetry inspired by childhood. Composer and Lancaster Chorale artistic director Stephen Caracciolo’s choral work Songs of Innocence brings the pure and distant world of childhood to life in word and song.

color head shot of compsoer Tom Vignieri sitting in front of a piano
publicity photo

Imagine a world devastated by war but renewed by the invincible power of nature. That’s what poet Sara Teasdale imagined in the immediate aftermath of World War I, when she wrote her poem “There Will Come Soft Rains.” And that’s what American composer Tom Vignieri imagined when, much more recently, he set Teasdale’s poem to music for two Columbus-based musical organizations.

artist's webpage / http://katherinehoover.com/KatherineHoover/Photos_files/Media/KH%20c1970-3/KH%20c1970-3.jpg?disposition=download

When the award-winning flutist and composer Katherine Hoover starts writing a new piece of music, she’s never sure where it’s going to go. And she’s okay with that.

“You never know where it’s going to take you,” Hoover said in a recent phone interview. “You just have to work and express it and let it be and let it take you there.”  

As Hoover launches a career as a poet, she says working with words is much the same way. And she's okay with that, too.

Poetry and Activism with Nikki Giovanni

Apr 13, 2010

A conversation with acclaimed poet, writer, educator, and activist Nikki Giovanni.

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