Audio/Video Poetry

"Sputnik Summer" by Kevin Stein.

"Knox Writers House Pick of the Week." "Sufficiency of the Actual" by Kevin Stein.

I love jazz for the beauty of its improvisation. I love how it builds a whole from wandering parts. I love how its movements - while wonderfully non-linear - can seem at once inevitable and complete. And blue is my mother's favorite color. Sometimes mine, too.

The morning after graduating from Anderson High School in Anderson, IN - and staying up all night, as graduates are wont to do - I reported for the requisite physical and began my work that afternoon on the 3-11 PM shift. Coupled with my scholarship, this factory job paid for my college schooling. What I learned there supplemented in manifest ways what I learned in books.

At one time or another, each of us has experienced a flurry of competing voices within the self. This poem owes to that intellectual, emotional, and philosophical dialogue. In that way the poem may be fairly described as meditative.

During my junior high school years, I was in a garage band with some friends. Like most teenage bands, we weren't any good. But we were part of the scene in the late 60s, a scene that lingers with me still.

If given the chance, have you ever thought of what you might say to your fellow citizens one hundred years from now? When Bradley University buried a time capsule to celebrate its centennial, I had that challenge and that opportunity. I typed this poem on an old IBM typewriter and placed a copy of it, secretly, in my chapbook A Field of Wings, a volume to be buried within the capsule. Until now, no one else knew I'd done so.

In the News

Knox Writers House / Kevin Stein's Poems in Audio and Text - Click for Feature

When Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein was asked by Gov. Pat Quinn to read an appropriate poem at the Gold Star Mother's Day ceremony on September 27, the Bradley English professor gave himself an assignment: create an original poem for the solemn event. For more on this story, click HERE.

"To Illinois's Gold Star Mothers, Who Lost a Child in Service of Country"


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