© 2024 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Flint, Michigan poet will share his experiences with an Illinois audience

Jonah Mixon-Webster
Aslan Chalom
Jonah Mixon-Webster

It’s National Poetry Month. One award-winning poet is coming to Oglesby, Illinois to perform and discuss his poetry this Wednesday, April 5.

Jonah Mixon-Webster will facilitate this discussion at Illinois Valley Community College. He said he almost gave up on poetry. His classmates laughed when he recited his first poem at the age of 16.

“With that, that kind of pain,” he said, it kind of like never leaves you. Maybe in some ways, I'm still haunted by that memory, even when I write now today.”

The Flint, Michigan native went on to win the PEN America/Joyce Osterweil Award for his debut poetry collection Stereo(TYPE).

Mixon-Webster sees the upcoming event as an opportunity.

“This is going be a chance for us to really share space, and be humans together,” he said, “and allow ourselves to acknowledge right -- everything that comes with that. In an atmosphere that I want to make as dynamic as possible.”

He will go over his works and speak on how it felt to be in Flint during the water crisis. He will also speak on how it feels to try to navigate in this world as a Black queer person.

The event takes place from noon to 1 p.m. at Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre at Illinois Valley Community College.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.