Nearly one year ago, Michael Brown's death had a seismic impact on the way people in St. Louis think about race relations. Nicky Rainey invited several prominent local poets to KDHX's studios to record pieces that were written in the aftermath of the shooting and the protests that followed. Here she shares eight of those poems that speak to how the average local citizen was affected by the tragedy.
Jonathon Smith and I talk with poet and playwright Claudia Rankine about her powerful book, Citizen: An American Lyric; the collection combines poetry, prose and art in a masterful commentary on racism in America. Citizen has garnered many awards, the most recent, PEN American Center's Open Book Award. Citizen combines poetry, prose and art in a masterful commentary on racism in America. Written before the death of Michael Brown and published in the aftermath, Claudia Rankine's book addresses leaning on words and meanings, the horror of the ordinary, and the realities of what it is to be inside a community where young black men and women could die at any moment.
Nicky talks with poet and KDHX DJ Nathaniel Farrell about his new book “Newcomer”, a longform poem exploring war and the quieter moments experienced by those involved. Nicky and Nathaniel also discuss the prominent role that music plays in his writing, and how he explores the thoughts and psychology of characters with unfamiliar experiences.