Academic journal article English Journal

Poetry out Loud

Academic journal article English Journal

Poetry out Loud

Article excerpt

for Nicole Louw

2015 Poetry Out Loud Alabama Champion

A skinny Puerto Rican boy,

proud of his country (ashamed of his country),

confidently performs the naked buttocks of William

Carlos Williams's "Danse Russe,"

looks in his mirror, and finds

a skinny Puerto Rican poet.

An imaginative South African American girl from

Alabama agrees (but disagrees) with a first-generation

American immigrant who remarks-sharing

his corrupted vision of politicians, businessmen,

and lovers-that Alabama is the most racist

place on earth. She voices Tony Hoagland's

ageless speaker: "This is not a test / and everybody passes."

The Puerto Rican boy and South African Alabamian girl

redefine American, finding a shared language to teach each other

a new way to speak-to discover on stage the voices

of poems

and Puerto Rico

and Alabama-

and unfurl in the rhythms of

poetry out loud. …

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