More poetry from the fight for racial equality – Ed Madden’s “Confederates”

Ed Madden’s poem for the rally against the Confederate flag reminds us of his earlier poem “Confederates,” which appeared in Signals (2008).  The poem is set just months before the 2000 removal of the flag from the South Carolina statehouse dome.  “Confederates” offers a poet’s take on the historical and cultural context of the move of [...]

Arts and the Confederate Flag: Ed Madden’s Evocative Poem “When we’re told we’ll never understand”

Al Black reading Ed Madden's poem below. Photo by Leslie Gilroy

On Saturday, June 20th, 2015, thousands of impassioned South Carolinians gathered on their statehouse grounds to peacefully stand shoulder to shoulder and speak truth to power. Three days earlier, a disturbed young man, one of our own, walked into a place of solace in our sister city, shattered its peace, and stole the lives of nine [...]

Jasper Number 11 Reads poems for The Evening Light

Scratch Scratch (skrach) n-es.  1. The sign of a struggle: “. . . an ugly scratch, his jacket smutched, a button missing.” –B. Potter.  2. A harsh, grating sound in the pinestraw and pebbles that clung to the ground.  3. A test of character: The grim-faced farmer, chest heaving, shirt drenched, caught him on his [...]

Jasper Number 10 Reads Poem

After the Lost Baby My mother young, her deep husky voice fading from the high bed as she turns her face from mine, the house shifting with prayers — God forgive — with whispers – no, a miscarriage. A word that chills. I picture a small carriage, an infant, a sister rolling downhill on wheels [...]

Jasper Number 9 Reads Poem Wiersema

Snapshot Six barefoot children line the porch, sneakers scattered on the grass like dance steps.   Baby girl pulls a hank of her hair from its rubber band. Be still and look up! Daddy snaps, jerks the new camera off his eye. Mama leans against the plum tree, whistles a soft warning.   Mona grabs [...]

Jasper Number 11 Reads Poem Ancrom

Double Rainbow  George saw it too she said   sitting in lattice-work hose thick black shoes at the Riverfront drumming with her lithe lucent fingers tripleting the beat   driving home a pale orange moon bobbing above the lavish oaks the ball spoke:  tell all tell all   it invoked what came next, the days since then [...]

Jasper Number 7 Reads

Totem By Holly Schullo Already, we are memory. You sit on my shoulder, an eagle, and I ask this   question: Why do you come to me? We hood, unhood each other in solitude—   I am not a native, no one to care for, my people are voiceless as the day   I left. [...]

Coming of age, on stage and page

Jasper loves artistic collaboration and cross-pollination, artists working across genres and media to provoke, inspire, collaborate, and create. Last fall, Trustus Theatre hosted a poetry contest with Jasper and in conjunction with the Trustus production of the hit musical Spring Awakening. Because the play focuses on sexual awakening and coming of age, we invited writers [...]

Junk Car in Snow

By Ron Rash from Wakings No shade tree surgery could revive its engine, so rolled into the pasture, left stalled among cattle, soon rust-scabs breaking out on blue paint, tires sagging like leaky balloons, yet when snow came, magical, an Appalachian igloo I huddled inside, cracked glass my window as I watched snow smooth pasture [...]

Concerto no. 7: Condoleezza {working out} At the Watergate

Concerto no. 7: Condoleezza {working out} At the Watergate from Head Off & Split by Nikky Finney Condoleezza rises at four, stepping on the treadmill. Her long fingers brace the two slim handles of accommodating steel. She steadies her sleepy legs for the long day ahead. She doesn’t get very far. Her knees buckle wanting [...]