The Poetry Foundation editors write: “When major parts of our lives seem to change in a flash, we are reminded that poetry can help us to cope with new realities and to assess the unknowns ahead. When we are stepping out into uncharted terrain, alone or together, poetry can capture our emotions. It can share our vulnerabilities and scars, along with our strengths.”
Today. we are sharing the first program of our new podcast co-produced with Chris Brandt -- “Poetry. What is it good for?” For this first episode, we explored the 20-year social and emotional after-tremors of the attack by Saudi Arabian terrorists on the United States through the powerful tool of poetry with J. Chester Johnson and Cornelius Eady.
J. Chester Johnson is a poet and non-fiction writer. He visited Bar Crawl Radio a couple of months ago to talk about his book – “Damaged Heritage” -- on the history and his family’s connection with the 1919 Elaine, Arkansas Massacre, one of many human crimes against humanity in which U. S. White citizens killed over 100 U.S. Black citizens and then prosecuted the survivors for their act of murder.
Though Cornelius Eady, an American poet, focuses on issues of race and society, his verse accomplishes a lot more as indicated in his deeply felt reactions to the 9/11 attack on this country. Cornelius is also a musician whose verse is performed as song by The Cornelius Eady Trio. His poetry is simple and accessible, centering on jazz and blues, family life, violence, and society from a racial and class-based POV.
J. Chester Johnson Interviewed by Tavis Smiley
Cornelius Eady's Interview of J. Chester Johnson for Poets House/WBAI "Open House" Program
NPR Article on Elaine and Tulsa Race Massacres
History News Network Publishes Article by J. Chester Johnson on Lunches with Father of Black Liberation Theology
Favorable Review of "Damaged Heritage" in Current Issue of American Book Review
Damaged Heritage Placed On Selective Goodreads’ List of Best Nonfiction Books
Damaged Heritage Motivates Nationwide Talks on Social Justice and Racial Equity
J. Chester Johnson Writes in the ARKANSAS TIMES About Another Arkansas Race Massacre
Video of J. Chester Johnson’s presentation at Johnson House Historic Site (Underground Railroad).
Book Review from Green Mountains Review of "Damaged Heritage"
Flying Into the Unpredictable: Publishing During a Pandemic
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: Remembering the Elaine Massacre
Cornelius Eady and J. Chester Johnson Discuss Their 9/11 Poetry On BCR’s Inaugural Poetry Podcast
LitHub: J. Chester Johnson Interviewed for ‘Keen On’ Podcast About Damaged Heritage
Literary Hub Shares Excerpt From Damaged Heritage by J. Chester Johnson