poetry

Donald Hall, a former poet laureate of the United States whose writing explored everything from nature to mortality to the toss of a baseball, has died at the age of 89.

Hall died on Saturday at his family farm, known as Eagle Pond, in the small town of Wilmot, N.H. His death was announced by his literary agent, Wendy Strothman.

Hall was a prolific author who began writing when he was just 12 years old. Over the course of a career that spanned more than seven decades, he wrote over 40 books, about half of which were works of poetry.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN News

South Florida is known for welcoming those fleeing economic and political strife in their homeland. Cubans, Venezuelans and Haitians arrive to an already established community with a shared language and culture.

 

But what about those refugees that come to South Florida from other parts of the world less represented in our area, like Syria?

 

Rowan Moore Gerety

Outside of his dreams, Juan Esquival hadn’t held his children since 1999. “Freedom,” said Elliot Ross, doing time for a string of robberies before his 22nd birthday, “is for my kids not to make the same mistake I did in life.” After 18 years in prisons across Florida, as he tuned up, guitarist Ronald “Bam” Threet said he knew exactly how much time he had left on the inside: eight months, four hours and 35 minutes. 

Gesi Schilling / O, Miami Poetry Festival

Food is such a part of how we relate to where we're from, where we live, our heritage and our discoveries along the way. Earlier this year, we asked you to send us your Edible Odes, poems about the food in your life, for our annual project with the O, Miami Poetry Festival.  (Portion size: 4o words or fewer.)

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

John Ashbery, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet known for his surrealist, confounding works, has died at age 90.

The poet died of natural causes in his Hudson, N.Y., home early Sunday, confirms Farrar, Straus & Giroux, the publicist for a new Ashbery biography.

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."

Associated Press

Florida poet laureate Peter Meinke wrote a poem marking one year since a gunman opened fire in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando killing 49 people and injuring more than 50 others.

His poem is called "One Year Later" and you can listen to it here:

What are you reading? WLRN wants to know — and we'll share what we, and other people in the South Florida community, are reading every week in this space.

Tell us what you're reading by replying in the comments, or tweet us @WLRN with the hashtag #FridayReads

Cynthia Chinelly, poet and associate director of the Florida International University writing program

Florida Inmates Write Poems For Their Mothers

May 8, 2017
Emily Michot / Miami Herald

In the family visitor’s lounge, under paintings of Disney cartoon characters, two-dozen incarcerated men at Dade Correctional Institution take turns walking up to a microphone to recite poems they wrote while in prison.

The Sunroom: A Place For Young Miami Poets

May 3, 2017
Priscila Serrano / WLRN

Elementary students from three Liberty City schools spent the last two months meeting once a week to write poetry, and some of it has ended up in some unusual places. Like gas stations. And buses. 

“Poetry asks kids to come up with innovative ideas. It encourages them to think outside the box instead of asking them to zero in on a definition or answer to a test question,” said Laurel Nakanishi, teacher and coordinator of the program that added poetry to the kids’ curriculum.

Sometimes, even professionally compassionate people get tired.

Kristin Laurel, a flight nurse from Waconia, Minn., has worked in trauma units for over two decades. The daily exposure to distressing situations can sometimes result in compassion fatigue.

"Some calls get to you, no matter who you are," she says.

So Much Love! South Florida Food Inspires Almost 600 Edible Odes

Apr 25, 2017

Who says this is not a town of foodies? Poets of all ages answered WLRN and O,Miami's call and submitted 595 Edible Odes to the foods that make South Florida home. 

Gesi Schilling / O, Miami

If you Google the phrase “Miami inmates,” you’ll likely find stories about criminals and statistics about prisoners.

But a project called View-Through is trying to trick the Google search algorithm and introduce poems written by incarcerated South Floridians to those results.

Creating some form of art is commonly believed to help older people stay mentally and physically healthy. Scientific research hasn't quite caught up with that belief.

But that hasn't deterred the dozen or so older adults in Janet Hoult's poetry workshop. She refers to them all as "my poets." They meet weekly at the Culver City Senior Center in Culver City, Calif. Hoult is 80. Her eldest pupil, Ruth Berman, is 91.

Students From Prison Share Powerful Words

Dec 19, 2016

It’s graduation time for some students, as classes wrap up for the holiday season. One such ceremony was held behind the razor wire and locked doors of Dade Correctional Institution in Homestead.

The graduation for the writing classes offered through Exchange for Change was held in the prison’s large recreation room, where murals of Disney characters look down on you. The gathering was a way to share and celebrate what the inmates accomplished over the past semester.

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