[Logo courtesy of The Academy of American Poets]

This program originally aired April 24, 2011

The Academy of American Poets designated  the first National Poetry Month in April 1996. They were looking to mirror the success of campaigns such as Black History Month and Women’s History Month to find a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States.

In this program, we visit with a few Colorado poets who have found success practicing their craft throughout the state and the country. It's just a small sample of the talent in our state, but we hope that what you hear in this program will encourage you to seek out more of their writing as well as the works of other poets who reside in Colorado:

 

Chris Ransick


Chris Ransick served as Denver Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2010 and is the author of four books, including Never Summer, which won a Colorado Book Award for poetry, and A Return To Emptiness, a Colorado Book Award fiction finalist. His most recent collection of poems, Asleep Beneath the Hill of Dreams, was published in 2010. He teaches a poetry master class for Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop and has finished a new manuscript titled Language for the Living and the Dead that will be published in June.  [Photo courtesy of Chris Ransick]

Visit his website

He reads the following poems in our program:

  • Dream on a Hilltop: August in Iowa
  • Dream of the Headache
  • The Defensemen's Lament

 

Outtake: Ransick compares poetry to photography and reads his poem, "Sick Wife"

 

Pattiann Rogers


Pattiann Rogers has published twelve books, most recently Wayfare (Penguin Poets, 2008) and Firekeeper, Expanded and Revised Edition (Milkweed, 2008). Her poems appear in many anthologies and textbooks and she has received numerous awards and grants for her works. A new book, Holy Heathen Rhapsody, is expected this fall.

She has taught at the University of Texas, the University of Montana, Washington University of St. Louis, and Mercer University as the Ferrol Sams Distinguished Writer-in-Residence. She was associate professor and taught in the MFA Creative Writing Program during the spring semesters, 1993 to 1997, at the University of Arkansas. She is the mother of two sons and the grandmother of three grandsons and lives with her husband, a retired geophysicist, in Colorado. [Photo by John R. Rogers]

Visit her website

She reads the following poems in our program:

  • Servant / Birthright
  • The Family is All There Is
  • The Significance of Location

 

Outtake: Rogers talks about when she started to take poetry seriously, the work involved in writing poetry, and reads her poem, "Address: the Archaeans, One Cell Creatures."

 

Panama Soweto


Panama Soweto (John-Claude Futrell) has been involved in slam poetry since 2004. He was a member of the 2006 Denver Slam team that won the National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas. He tours with Ken Arkind as Poetry’s Dynamic Duo, one of the county’s top spoken word acts at colleges and universities. His poem, "I'm Taking My Ball and Going Home (Scott)" is currently being taught at a number of middle schools across the country.

Community development is extremely important to him and he has been a mentor, volunteer,  teacher, and activist with several non-profit organizations. His partnership with the Flobots non-profit organization has allowed him to facilitate writing workshops at their community center in Denver and share stages with the platinum recording artists. He is a self-published author (PhotoMagnetic Explosions and Stuff), graphic designer, and inventor--currently owning a clothing patent. [Photo courtesy of Panama Soweto]

He performs the following poems in our program:

  • Caterpillars and Tadpoles (Dedicated to MP Specialist Casandra-Faith Broadus, deployed to Iraq, Tuesday, October 13th, 2009)
  • Move
  • I Fell in Love with Tom Waits

 

Outtake: Soweto describes slam poetry and reads his poem, "G.N.U.C.K"

 

John Brehm and Susan Cable


John Brehm is the author of Sea of Faith, which won the 2004 Brittingham Prize from the University of Wisconsin Press, and the associate editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Boulevard, Gulf Coast, The New Ohio Review, The Best American Poetry 1999, and many other journals and anthologies. His latest book is called Help Is On the Way. [Photo courtesy of John Brehm]

Visit his website.

 

 

Pianist and composer, Susan Cable, is Emeritus Professor of Music at Metropolitan State College of Denver. She holds degrees in Piano Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the University of Illinois, and the University of Northern Colorado. She also studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals, and the French Piano Institute in Paris.

She has performed extensively as piano soloist and collaboratively with many instrumentalists and singers in the United States and Europe. She founded the Ariel Trio in 1991, performing concerts and lecture-recitals throughout Colorado for over a decade. She continues to perform and compose, and teaches piano in her studio in Denver, Colorado. [Photo courtesy of Susan Cable]

 

They perform the following poems in our program:

  • Things are Looking Up
  • Tough Town
  • Undoing
  • November

The entire series of poems is available on CD.

 

Liza Boggs' 2011 4th Grade Class at Sand Creek Elementary School in Highlands Ranch


[Photo by David Fender]

The students who shared their poems with us:

Tyler Ekback, Bronwen Cartwright, Campbell Lancaster, Kate Albi, Andrew Barich, Owen Soderholm, Michael Arnold, Ryan Klotz, Sarah Strickling, Tanner Sheptock, Brady Kopec, Zoey Kirsch, Evan Goodell, Katy Stopkoski .

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