Poet-For-Hire Wants To Make Poetry Personal

Air Date:
Heard On The Morning Show
Brian Sonia-Wallace

One writer says poetry is not solely a high literary art; he says it’s a service. Our guest Brian Sonia-Wallace recently set up his typewriter at the nation’s largest mall to write poems for strangers. He wants people to consider poetry a currency, and he discusses his mission to make poetry accessible to all people.

Sonia-Wallace shared his experience as writer-in-residence at the Mall of America earlier this month in The Guardian. He details his path to the megamall and how he established his workspace. Sonia-Wallace tells the stories of people who came to a commercial center and left moved by poetry in place and how that represents the broader context of everyday life.

The poet wrote a poem live on air in seven minutes after getting the prompt “good conversation.” He talks with Wisconsin callers who have questions and suggestions about poetry as an art, a practice, and an experience.

How do you use poetry? Does it have a role in your daily life? How do you know whether poetry even matters anymore? Tweet us @wprmornings, post on the Ideas Network Facebook page, email us Emil ideas@wpr.org.

Episode Credits

  • Kate Archer Kent Host
  • Kealey Bultena Producer
  • Brian Sonia-Wallace Guest