poetry

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Zainab Adisa’s love for writing blossomed in high school, but it took her some time to get there. She spent several years in elementary school in English as a second language classes.

“I thought I was fine, but apparently (teachers) heard what I couldn’t,” she said.

Adisa was born in the United States, but her family immigrated from Nigeria. Her family spoke Yoruba at home, which made learning English challenging, she said. 

Exploring Race Through Poetry And Artistic Expression

Mar 18, 2016
Emily Stock / 90.5 WESA

While issues surrounding race and identity often are examined politically and socially through rhetoric and discussion, many argue the arts can provide fresh insights into seeing this complex issue more clearly.

As part of the University of Pittsburgh’s ‘Year of Humanities,’ six acclaimed African American poets of diverse backgrounds will participate in a poetry reading and panel discussion on how to explore issues of race through creative writing.

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco Speaks Friday at Carlow

Oct 2, 2015
U.S. Department of Agriculture

When Richard Blanco delivered the traditional poetry reading at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in 2013, he made history in several categories. 

Blanco is the youngest, and the first out gay man to hold that honor. Born into a family of Cuban exiles, he’s also the first Latino, and the first immigrant to serve as inaugural poet.


City of Asylum Pittsburgh will present its 11th annual Jazz Poetry Concert at 7:45 p.m. Saturday near the National Aviary in West Park.

The event will be free to the public, and critically acclaimed Pakistani poet and human rights activist Harris Khalique will read poetry to jazz music.

Khalique will read in the Urdu language, a language spoken in Pakistan, and English translations will be available.

Other artists will be reading their poetry during the concert as well.

Great Scott! Remembering Robert Burns in Pittsburgh

Jan 23, 2015
SummondByFellas / Flickr

When you hear someone exclaim, “Great Scott,” chances are they could be referring to Scotland’s favorite son, poet Robert Burns.

This weekend marks the 256th anniversary of his birth. We’ll preview dinners set to take place in his honor and discover why his legacy endures with Paul Thompson, president of the St. Andrews Society of Pittsburgh and Tim Wolfson, co-owner of Music Night on Jupiter, a grassroots local music event promotion company.

Paul and Tim tell us about Robert Burns and his importance to not only Scotland, but the world.

Take a look at the poems of Robert Burns below, more can be found at Robertburns.org

The Associated Press

The MacArthur Genius Grants were announced this week. University of Pittsburgh Writing Professor and Poet Terrance Hayes was among the twenty-one recipients. He speaks with WESA Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson.

Bob Studebaker / 90.5 WESA

Poet Jessica Server likes the sense of freedom she gets from writing and appreciates opportunities to present her work to audiences. She considers it “an act of engagement that’s a step of the creative process.”

“What I’ve always loved about writing is that it’s sort of a vehicle that can take you anywhere,” she said.  

Server, who lives in Friendship, said the most important qualities for a writer, especially a poet, are curiosity and awareness.

Exploring Sonic Sanctuaries On The North Side

Aug 5, 2014
Joseph A / Flickr

Perhaps you’re familiar with the North Side — maybe you’ve lived there, or maybe you just visited the Aviary. Is there any way for someone who’s visited the Pittsburgh neighborhood to see it in a different way?

Edward Everett Hale, 1904 (via Wikimedia Commons)

An online debate broke out earlier this week over two otherwise unremarkable lines in a 1648 poem by the English poet Robert Herrick:

Tumble me down, and I will sit / Upon my ruins, (smiling yet :)