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You can see (and hear) on its Web site what good use The Poetry Foundation has been making of the giant endowment Ruth Lilly gave it in 2002... For National Poetry Month this year, the Poetry Foundation is offering daily poetry podcasts, “featuring high-quality audio recordings of poems, interviews with poets, and poetry documentaries” from their vast archive. The April 13 podcast, “Owed To Eminem,” was particularly interesting:
Is it Rap or is it Poetry?
“When we think of a poet we imagine her working alone, in her attic turret, writing on paper, possibly with a quill. It's a hard image to abandon. Last fall, at a celebration of the poet June Jordan, a former student of hers read Jordan’s poem ‘Owed to Eminem.’ It brought down the house, but it also raised the question, what exactly is poetry? Just how big a tent is the genre? Producer Wesley Weissberg played the reading for poets and critics [including Poetry Guide Bob Holman] and asked them to weigh in.”
The debate about defining & distinguishing poetry vs. spoken word vs. slam vs. rap is endless, and brings to mind our 2000 interview with one-name, teenage poet Eman in which we asked her to define these slippery ideas from the perspective of youth. That was more than five years ago, but her definitions remain a good place to start before you jump into the debate in our Poetry Forum.

Related articles:
Our reference page on June Jordan
Rap & hiphop -- Poetry? Forum discussion
Rap is Poetry, Poetry is Rap Forum discussion


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