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A Chat with the Acclaimed Poet Quraysh Ali Lansana

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, Oklahoma – On today's show, we hear from the award-winning, Chicago-based poet, editor, and educator Quraysh Ali Lansana. Born in 1964 in Enid, Oklahoma, Lansana earned an MFA in Creative Writing at New York University; he now teaches at Chicago State University. Thus far in his career, he's written or edited more than a dozen books --- from poetry collections and children's books to African-American Literature anthologies and socially-minded teaching guides. Lansana's recent titles include "They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems" and "Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy, and Social Justice in Classroom and Community" --- and he's also led writing workshops in prisons and schools in more than 30 states nationwide. Last night, at the Tulsa City-Country Library's Central Branch in downtown Tulsa, Lansana gave his first-ever Oklahoma poetry reading. Also on this edition of StudioTulsa, we hear from audio producer Abby Wendle --- she's a staffer at This Land Press, and today she shares with us a "Poetry to the People" exploration of one of Lansana's poems. (It's a clip that's based on a poem that appeared in This Land a few months ago.) And you can find more of Wendle's audio work at thislandpress.com.