Thursday, November 05, 2009

In Verse: poets examine the economic edge

This weekend, NPR's Studio 360 will air a segment on Women of Troy, a collaboration between poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willett (QUIVER) and photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally. In poems, photographs, and essays, Somers-Willett and Kenneally document the effects effects of the economic crisis on the lives of working mothers in Troy, New York. (The podcast will shortly be available from Studio 360 online.)

The broadcast is part of In Verse, a project "in the spirit of the Federal Writer's Project" in which poets, photographers, and radio producers interview people living on the economic edge and to document their lives. In Verse is an initiative of Public Radio Makers Quest 2.0 (which is in turn an initiative of the Association of Independents in Radio) in collaboration with the Virginia Quarterly Review.

Congregation, a second project, paired Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey and Emmy-nominated photographer Joshua Cogan for a visit to Gulfport, Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; the radio segment stemming from this collaboration will air on Studio 360 next weekend, November 13-15. Next fall, The University of Georgia Press will publish BEYOND KATRINA: A MEDITATION ON THE MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST, an expanded account of Trethewey's journey.

There are approximately one million ways to explore these projects further, including:
- a discussion with Somers-Willett and Kenneally to follow this weekend's broadcast at, a Peabody Award-winning website dedicated to channeling innovative work in public radio

- Multimedia slideshows of both projects on Vimeo and You Tube

- In Verse on Twitter (@inversepoetry) and Facebook