Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Crown for King

I began this project with two important things: first, a strong interest in exposing folks to new poetry that focuses on African American ideas and historical figures, and second, this title: A Crown for King.

So over the last few months, I worked with a group of dedicated colleagues and talented poets to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and black history month with a crown of sonnets--an interconnected series of poems linked by common lines.

First, I asked Adrian Matejka to compose a sonnet based on King and pass along what he wrote to Stacey L. Brown, who took the last line of Adrian's poem as the first line of her sonnet on King. Allison Funk took the last of Stacey’s sonnet as the opening line of her sonnet, and in turn, Jeffrey Skoblow took the last line of Allison’s sonnet and made it the first line of his sonnet. Joey Nicoletti made Jeffrey’s last line the first line of his sonnet, and Margo Dean took Joey’s last line as her opening line. Finally, Adrian took two lines from each of the previous sonnets and developed them into a single sonnet, closing with words from the first line of his opening sonnet.

“A Crown for King” has taken on print and mixed media formats. The printed versions of the sonnets appear in a small brochure format and are being distributed to the high school, community college, and university students associated with our correspondence programs. The mixed media versions include audio recordings of the poets reading their sonnets along with images of King and Civil Rights activists of the 1960s.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading, listening, and viewing.

A Crown for King #1 by Adrian Matejka
A Crown for King #2 by Stacey L. Brown
A Crown for King #3 by Allison Funk
A Crown for King #4 by Jeffrey Skoblow
A Crown for King #5 by Joey Nicoletti
A Crown for King #6 by Margo Dean
A Crown for King #7 by Adrian Matejka

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