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Word S5:E6 – Nat'l Poetry Month Part 3 — PPE — Pandemic Poetry Extravaganza

What do the Vietnamese diaspora, Beat/Wagner-inspired poetry, The Dine' Reader and Black Lives Matter have in common?

We explore those connections in this double-issue of Word as we close out National Poetry Month with PPE: a Pandemic Poetry Extravaganza!

Guest List

Susan Nguyen
Nguyen is Vietnamese American and a MFA graduate of ASU. Her forthcoming work, "Dear Diaspora," is the winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and will be available in September 2021.

Nguyen reads her poem, "The First Language."

PW Covington

Beat Generation enthusiast and Albuquerque, New Mexico, poet who just released the 2021 collection, “malepoet,” Covington is looking forward to getting back on the road to commit poetry now that he’s been fully vaccinated.

Covington reads a piece from the compilation titled, "The Tristan Chord."

Amber McCrary

McCrary is a Diné poet living in the East Valley whose 2020 compilation, “Electric Deserts” is described by Millissa Kingbird as "... this defiant othering, crisp lines written for Native eyes. Poems reaching off the page, accessible to relatives.”

We also reference The Diné Reader, an anthology of Navajo Literature, published this year by University of Arizona Press.

McCrary reads her love/nature poem, “Grass God."

Dr. Tamika Sanders

Poet, education consultant, professor and owner of Savvy Pen, Sanders schools us on the ABC's of finding one's voice through the power of poetry that can change for better the narrative of what it means to be part of the American story.

"Dr. T," as she is affectionately known, reads her poem, “Black Lives Matter.”

Additional Featured Poets 

Austin Davis

Davis is an ASU student, poet and a member of Arizona Jews For Justice, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering social justice — including ending homelessness. In the summer of 2020, we reported on his outreach providing water and supplies to the homeless community living in “The Zone” in downtown Phoenix.

The story was nominated for a Regional Murrow Award by KJZZ editors. Davis reads the poem, "Phoenix."

Hunter HazeltonHazelton was born and raised in Phoenix and holds a BSED from Northern Arizona University.  

"I Never Understood Religion Until I Learned Your Name," is Hazelton's debut collection of work and we get a snapshot of it with a poem titled, "Roadside Solioquy." 

Natalie Diaz

Diaz is Akimel-O’odham and the work, “Post Colonial Love Poem,” we feature was read June 26, 2019, on an afternoon celebrating LGBTQ+ pride, poetry and power in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.

Count Me In

Portions of this podcast have been nominated for an Edward R. Murrow Award and a Public Media Journalists Association award.

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Thanks so much for listening, and feel free to drop me an email with a suggestion for future guests and topics! 

Tom Maxedon is the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition on Saturday and Sunday from 6-10 a.m. and All Things Considered on Monday from 3-6 p.m.