National Poetry Month 2022 offers an opportunity to celebrate the role of poetry in our lives. Here at StoryCorps, we believe that you can find wisdom and poetry in the voices of the people all around you. Discover beauty and poetry, including personal stories from poets and artists, by listening to the conversations below.
“I Want to Shock the World”
Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, specializing in novels and poetry for young adults and kids, as well as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. But before the awards, he was a StoryCorps facilitator. He shared how his mom encouraged his voice, his dreams for the future, and how the stories of everyday people inspire him.
Read the full transcript here.
Find Inspiration From These StoryCorps Conversations
Sundays at Rocco’s
For many years, Rocco Galasso proudly served as the owner and superintendent of an apartment building where much of his family lived. His grandson Nicholas remembers when everything changed.
For cousins James Ransom and Cherie Johnson, there was only one woman who scared them more than their grandmother: Miss Devine, the Sunday School teacher. The cousins came to StoryCorps to chat about their memories of her.
Leading the Way
John Washington, 95, was born blind and with a severe loss of hearing. He sat down with his eldest child to laugh over some of their childhood hijinks.
The Saint of Dry Creek
As a teenager, Patrick Haggerty began to understand he was gay — something he thought he was hiding well. One day, he learned that his father could see him more clearly than he realized.
From the Archive
These interviews reflect on the importance of poetry, the written word, and art in the lives of StoryCorps participants. From people who identify as artists or poets to people who exist with art entwined into their own stories of origin, we have selected a few conversations that show the importance of creativity in our lives.
To Capture and Elevate the Mundane
Poet and writer Gary Holthaus is interviewed by his daughter Stephanie about his life writing poetry and how he became a published poet.
Jazz Is a Cooperative Venture
Thomas Rushin, age 77, is interviewed by his two grandsons Jason Irr, age 19, and James Irr, age 25, about his life as a jazz percussionist and sculptor, and what the arts taught him about life.
A Picture and a Poem
Teresita Fernández and Matthew Zepruder talk about their respective mediums of practiced art, and their recent work together where Fernández created a visual piece, “Keyhole (Landscape),” in response to Zepruder’s poem, “Poem for a Coin.”
“They Call It the Po-Biz for a Reason”
Ed Hall has a conversation with friend, colleague, and fellow poet, Felton Eaddy, about Felton’s childhood in Fork, South Carolina. They chat about Felton’s education, his work with the Fulton County Arts Commission, and the Atlanta Poetry Kitchen, which Felton hosts on a monthly basis.
My Year of Saying Yes
Joel Showalter and his husband Anthony Baker talk about their marriage and the way creativity plays a role in their connection. They talk about the penny wall that was at their wedding and the way the theme of saying “yes” has been present in their relationship.
Nylda Dieppa and her friend Maritza Pratt explore Nylda’s collection of poems, “Alborada: A Poetic Memoir Across Cultures,” reading and examining how experiences of culture, motherhood, marriage, separation, heartbreak, and resilience have shaped Nylda’s life.
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