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For National Poetry Month Detroit Poet Joel Greene Performs In-Studio

Ty Sawyer

To mark the end of National Poetry Month, Host Stephen Henderson speaks with Detroit Poet Joel Greene about poetry in the city. Greene also performs a couple live reads of his city-centric poetry from his new book WAXING/waning” which compiles his experiences living in the city.

Some key take-homes from their conversation:

Ty Sawyer
  • From hip-hop to poetry readings: Greene originally wanted to become a hip-hop artist but his experiences as a young man at Cafe Mahogany helped him express himself and explore poetry as a career. He notes his work is still influenced by the hip-hop and jazz music his father played when he was young.
  • Detroit is Greene’s biggest influence: He Greene says he sees a lot of change in Detroit and thinks that artists have a lot of opportunities in the city right now. He relates that many places in the city are exploring ways they can combine art and city, life such as Hopcat and the InsideOut poetry programs.
  • Greene’s Inspirations: Greene credits Saul Williams, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Jessica Care Moore as other poets he respects as influences. He also speaks about his residency at Harper Woods High School and how the youth poets he worked with inspired him with their own poetry and ideas.

Check out Greene’s debut poetry collection “WAXING/waning” and other poetry activity in the city here.

Hear the full conversation by clicking on the audio link above.

Image credit: Ty Sawyer

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