Aaron Williams

When St. Louis attorney recruiter Aaron Williams became interested in croquet 30 years ago, it was about partying, not poetry. Getting some friends together to play croquet in Forest Park was just “something to do.”

“It was an opportunity for everyone to wear white and bring a bottle of champagne,” Williams quipped.

Kalise Harris
Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio Intern

A South City Prep student who wrote about her best friend’s death set a high bar in the 7th Grade Poetry Foundation contest, created by St. Louis attorney Aaron Williams. But this year’s school winner seems ready to carry the mantle.

On Wednesday, 83 seventh-graders will perform an exercise in courage: reading their original poems at the Missouri History Museum in front of an audience. It’s the final event of the 7th Grade Poetry Foundation, called “Poetry on Their Own Terms.”


This month’s poem seemed like a perfect choice for the ilk that reads the “Free Verse” column and the ilk that reads “St. Louis Public Radio.”

Thomas Lux

You and Your Ilk

I have thought much upon

who might be my ilk,

and that I am ilk myself if I have ilk.

Is one of my ilk, or me, the barber

who cuts the hair of the blind?

And the man crushed by cruelties

for which we can't imagine sorrow,

who would be his ilk?

And whose ilk was it

standing around, hands in pockets, May 1933,

River Styx

Richard Newman of River Styx brings his poetic touch to St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon. He regularly selects a poem to appear on this site. It's a free glimpse into the vibrant poetry life in this area. Today: Gary Fincke | “The Drive-Thru Strip Club”

Here’s a slice of contemporary American life. Would you like fries with that?

The Drive-Thru Strip Club

Courtesy of Poetry Scores

Poetry Scores, an organization translating poems into different media, is asking St. Louisans to picture themselves through the lines of a Greek psychoanalyst.

On the Metrolink, in bars and even at funerals, cell-phone photographers are capturing selfies -- self-portraits -- usually bound for Facebook, Instagram and other social media. But now, they now have a more poetic destination.

Update: Snow Didn't Stop Poetree Project In Forest Park

Dec 12, 2013
Tom Nagel

Update Dec. 15: New snow did affect Poetree. It brought in some people who might otherwise have not visited the installation. About 400 poems were submitted and another 600 were installed in a grove between the Art Museum and Zoo, including original works submitted to the project. 

At photographer Tom Nagel’s suggestion, historic preservationist Michael Allen mailed "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden to the mayor.

(Courtesy of Arthur Schwartz)

When Arthur Schwartz was 10 years old his parents gave him a newspaper clipping – a poem about the 1946 World Series in which the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox.

After hearing our recent program on a new book about the 1946 World Series, Schwartz contacted us about the poem he memorized as kid, 67 years ago. 

Erin Williams

  Henry Goldkamp has established himself as a bit of a writing fixture in the arts world of St. Louis. He spends his weekdays working in his family’s construction business, but on the weekends you can find him around town at his mobile office, banging out short vignettes of happiness, fear, love and passion on his manual typewriter as sole proprietor of Fresh Poetry, Ink.

Erin Williams

The intimate crowd was invited to share their thoughts on race and personal identity through spoken word. Guests wrote their six-word stories on the subject using cards from Michele Norris’ The Race Card Project

(via Wikimedia Commons)

April is national poetry month and as part of the commemoration, the St. Louis Poetry Center holds “The Belle of Blueberry Hill: Emily Dickinson at the Duck Room.”

While the St. Louis Poetry Center features the work of many poets and writers over the course of a year, the influential work of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) is on focus at the organization’s upcoming event.

In 1862, Dickinson sent a letter containing four poems to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who would later write of her, a “wholly new and original poetic genius.”

Eric Woods is Owner and Founder of The Firecracker Press at 2838 Cherokee Street.  He's a visual artist, not a poet.  But he's been teaming up with poets for most of the nine years he's been open, mostly, he says "out of necessity."