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.