Words for the People Free the stories that matter. Hosted by Crystal Wilkinson, Kentucky's Poet Laureate. Each episode features an established writer and an emerging writer, sharing their wisdom to help you free your own story.
Words for the People

Words for the People

From 89.3 WFPL News Louisville

Free the stories that matter. Hosted by Crystal Wilkinson, Kentucky's Poet Laureate. Each episode features an established writer and an emerging writer, sharing their wisdom to help you free your own story.

Most Recent Episodes

Where do you call home?

Where do you call home? In this episode Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson explores the many sides of home and invites us to listen for the deeper stories that make us who we are. George Ella Lyon, former Kentucky Poet Laureate and author of the acclaimed poem "Where I'm From," recalls the shame she experienced being from the hills of Kentucky. "As a young writer, I tried very hard not to sound like where I was from." George Ella eventually found pride in the place where she's from, and her writing encourages others to do the same. From kindergarteners to senior citizens, her "Where I'm From" poem has resonated with people all over the world because it captures a sense of place, of home. "Place is sort of a head word, but home and the idea of where you're from involves the gut and the heart," Crystal concludes during their conversation. George Ella explains that our sense of place is always changing as we move through life. During the increased division in our country in 2018, she created the I Am From project that encouraged people to write their own I Am From poem to advocate for unity and equality. While discussing writing advice, George Ella shared a seminal quote by Grace Paley: "Every time you speak the truth you're making justice in this world." George Ella was just recently inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame. You can learn more about her here. The emerging writer featured in this episode is NitaJade. As she does with each guest, Crystal asks NitaJade how being a Kentuckian has informed their writing: "I know that I didn't realize I was Appalachian before I got to Kentucky. So without being a Kentuckian and moving here, I wouldn't recognize a whole part of my identity that now I claim proudly: Affrilachian." NitaJade, currently a second-year MFA Poetry candidate at the University of Kentucky, lived in many different places growing up. They write poems that transcend the physicality of place, and speak powerfully to our connection to family. "Wherever my Mama goes, that's where I'm calling home." NitaJade has written for the stage and the page. You can find more here. On this episode we hear writing submissions from Lubrina Burton and Sarah Disney, on the theme of where we're from. This month's prompt is about food. Listen for details at the end of the episode and submit your writing here! "Words for the People" is made possible by the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Snowy Owl Foundation and people just like you.

Lost and Found

"How does being a Kentuckian inform your writing?" That's the first question Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson asks former Poet Laureate Frank X Walker, and he counters with, "how does it not?" His grandparents were farmers, but Walker describes growing up feeling removed from the land itself. "I was raised in a housing project," he says, "but we coveted other people's land, and we got a kind of way about us when we had a chance to be outdoors and in the wild, or on a farm, like my grandparents' space." Walker says every word he writes deals with family, place and identity. "I don't know how to take that out." This is the inaugural episode of "Words for the People," a new monthly podcast created by Crystal Wilkinson. Each episode will feature an established writer and an emerging writer, both Kentuckians, sharing wisdom with each other, and with you. Wilkinson conceived of the show to elevate Kentucky writers, and give a platform to aspiring writers throughout the commonwealth. Every month, she'll give a writing prompt to inspire you to create your own work, and share it. "Everyone has meaningful stories inside them, but we don't always know how to set them loose into the world," she says. This month's writing prompt is: "Where I'm from." Visit wordsforthepeople.org for details and how to share your own story.

Free the stories that matter

Everyone has meaningful stories inside them. Sometimes you just need a little help shaking them loose. On "Words for the People," Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson speaks with established and emerging writers about how to free the stories that matter. "Words for the People" is made possible by support from the Snowy Owl Foundation and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.