The Pongo Teen Writing Project has been working with troubled teens in detention centers, mental health facilities and homeless centers for nearly two decades, taking their stories and turning them into poetry. In our ongoing series “Where Poetry Lives,” Jeffrey Brown and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey learn more about a program that empowers young people in crisis to express themselves. Continue reading
It took months of digging through documents and interviewing sources for journalists at the Center for Investigative Reporting to flesh out myriad troubles at the housing authority in Richmond, Calif. But this investigation had a twist: three young poets from Richmond teamed up as part of the Off/Page Project to help report the reality for residents living in decrepit conditions. Jeffrey Brown reports. Continue reading
Journalist and poet Eliza Griswold set out to document Afghan life through the prism of oral folk poems shared mostly among Pashtun women. Seamus Murphy, the London-based photographer and filmmaker who worked with Griswold on the landay project, has been covering events in Afghanistan for 20 years. He narrates a slideshow of some of his favorite images.
For centuries, Pashtun women have traded stories, feelings and life wisdom in the form of two-line oral poems called landays. Eliza Griswold, a journalist and poet herself, traveled to Afghanistan to learn more about daily life there through the modern exchange of poetry. Jeffrey Brown takes a closer look at Griswold’s project. Continue reading
Poet and writer Gretel Ehrlich shares her reflections on the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, where she traveled to document the physical and emotional aftermath. Best known for her nature and travel writing, Ehrlich has authored 13 books, including three of poetry. Continue reading