Chicago Youth Poetry Festival: LTAB

April 23, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Jones Franzel

After the events in Boston in last week, many of us are needing an injection of hope. And while the topics that the young poets in the Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival tackle are often painful, the way in which these young people use words will give you hope. Raw talent, passionate delivery, gifted insight. Louder Than A Bomb is exactly that: words more powerful than violence.

Enjoy the whole series from WBEZ on PRX.

Roses Are Red… Poetry Month on PRX

April 10, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Jones Franzel

April is Poetry Month, and what better way to enjoy the giant menu of poetry than by browsing PRX's smorgasbord of options? From Maya Angelou to Walt Whitman to the poets incarcerated at Northern California juvenile facilities. This is a playlist to be savored.

The Road Not Taken…

January 29, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Jones Franzel

Have there been moments in your life when you came to a fork in the road?

On the 50th anniversary of Robert Frost's death, Chicagoans recite Frost's most famous poem and discuss their own paths taken, and not. From the brilliant producers at Curie Youth Radio.

Photo Credit: Eric Vondy via Compfight cc

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by Emily

My Time in Greece, by Jacob Holley-Kline of Alaska Teen Media Institute

April 18, 2012 in Youthcast by Emily


Last month, Jacob Holley-Kline went on a school trip to Greece. He had worked all of the previous summer to pay travel expenses. When he got there, he was stunned by the beauty of the place. "The water looked like a melted gemstone or something. Like congealed tanzanite," Jacob told me. But something was bothering him. Why does he get to go to Greece, and other folks don't? Did he deserve to be there?

This is the question Jacob puzzles over in this beautifully written and delivered commentary, from the Alaska Teen Media Institute.



While Jacob was in Greece, he kept a diary — writing between 5 and 9 pages every day. "As it stands now," Jacob said, " the whole 8 or 9 days is a complete blur."

So how did he decide which details, from all those pages of writing, he should include in a three-minute commentary? "After living in Alaska for my whole life, there's a lot of beauty here, but it's a totally different kind of beauty than in Greece…. So I tried to find the aspects of it that seemed the most unreal. And this is what it came down to."

Jacob also wanted to shout out to Robert Stormo and Rosey Robards at the Alaska Teen Media Institute, "for making me write this — or not making me, but pushing me to write it — because it is one of the reasons I'm able to appreciate the trip as much as I did."

I'll Be Sittin' by Keith "Blu" Warfield from the Louder Than A Bomb 2010 Series

March 23, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

Performers at Louder Than A Bomb 2010 by Flickr user cvyn2010

The Louder Than A Bomb poetry slam in Chicago just wrapped up a few weeks ago. This gathering of literary young people is ostensibly a competition, but when you look it up in the news, its always hard to find out who the winners were. Why? Well, because LTAB is about anything but winning. Like most poetry slams, its an event for storytellers, people who have intensely funny, intensely scary, intensely romantic, and of course, intensely personal stories to tell. How are you supposed to really judge something like that?
From a series of recordings from last year's slam, I wanted to share a poem by Keith "Blu" Warfield. It's about the moment he and his girlfriend first looked at each other and were like, "Oh yeah. It's on." I'm a sucker for a good love story.
Listen to some of this year's contestant's over at WBEZ Chicago's website. WBEZ is a media sponsor for Louder Than A Bomb and they also give me a paycheck for hosting a show on Vocalo. Full disclosure and plug for me!
Intro music: Rage Against Death (Stouffi The Stouves) / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Outro music: Death Proof (Fancy Mike) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Both were found at the deliciously eclectic Free Music Archive.