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Weekend America Voices

Larissa Anderson

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  • New Langston Hughes Poems Discovered

    Langston Hughes

    It's Langston Hughes's birthday this weekend, and people across the country are celebrating one of America's most beloved poets with poetry performances and other events. Poetry magazine has given Langston Hughes fans even more reason to celebrate. This month's issue features three previously unpublished Langston Hughes poems, written in 1930.

  • Tuskegee Airmen

    Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. John Mulzac

    The Tuskegee Airmen made history during World War II as the country's first black military pilots. Their performance paved the way for the end of racial segregation in the military forces. Now they've been invited to the Inauguration to watch Barack Obama make history as the country's first black president. Poet Marilyn Nelson talks about the struggles and the legacy of these legendary pilots.

  • Our First Inaugural Poet

    Poet Linda Pastan

    A lot of people are going to watch Barack Obama being sworn in as the country's next president. They'll squeeze into D.C. by the millions for the ceremony, and more will be watching on TV, including poet Linda Pastan. She'll see the whole thing sitting on her couch, just like she did almost 50 years ago when she curled up to watch John F. Kennedy's Inauguration.

  • Poet and President-elect Obama

    Poet, playwright and Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott

    President-elect Barack Obama has a lot of writers excited about the next four years. He'll have a poet at his inauguration. He's said he's going to have more poetry readings at the White House. He's even quoted poetry on the campaign trail. In the speech he gave on Super Tuesday, Obama said, "We are the ones we've been waiting for." That line is from June Jordan's "Poem for South African Women." Nobel laureate Derek Walcott has been thinking about what it means to have a president who reads poetry.

  • Reflecting on Mumbai

    Reflecting on Mumbai

    London had the 7/7 bombings. Madrid had the 3/11 train bombings. America had September 11th. And while India has suffered bombings before, last week's terrorist attacks were something else altogether. Brooklyn-based Indian-American poet Vijay Seshadri lived through 9/11, and this weekend, he talks about what the events in Mumbai mean for him and the poem that helps him get as close as he can to understanding it all.

  • Bringing Poetry Home

    Terrance Hayes

    Home is a subject poets have been scribbling about in stanzas since the days of Homer's epic poem "The Odyssey." This year, some poets put their own spin on the topic at City of Asylum Pittsburgh's annual jazz and poetry reading. Two of those poets come from very different places: Liberian-born Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, and native South Carolinian Terrance Hayes.

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