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Better Living Through Poetry, And A Band Of Bloomington Brothers

Having taught poetry in rough-and-tumble places to great effect, Adam Henze is using it to help students learn to read the modern world. Plus, Busman's Holiday.

Literacy in the 20th century often began with the Dick And Jane books. Adam Henze believes that slam poetry can be the springboard for the sort of literacies required in the 21st century.

Adam Henze is a poet, who never thought he’d be a teacher.

“I thought education was stupid. I hated school when I was a high schooler. I hated it, I hated it, I hated it.”

But then, in college, Henze discovered slam poetry. And it got him thinking about how poetry could enliven education and promote a new literacy.

“If we’re going to help students better read the world around them, we’d better start analyzing more than just the Epic of Gilgamesh!”

On this episode, producer Shayne Laughter shares Henze’s path from poetry to the classroom. The once reluctant teacher has sought to reinvent poetry as a more relevant art form, one that speaks to a new generation.

And we go into the studio with a beloved set of musical brothers who have parlayed their act from the Bloomington Farmers Market to the national circuit. The last time brothers Lewis and Addison Rogers visited WFIU, they had just released their first full-length album A Long Goodbye. In the two years since, they have gone on a few national tours, made music videos, organized a parade float, continued to busk at the market, and recorded a brand new album, which they’re celebrating with a release party this weekend.  During a visit to the brothers’ home studio this week, WFIU’s Mark Chilla got caught up on Busman’s Holiday developments and was serenaded with a song for the season.

Stories On This Episode

From Page To Mouth: Teaching The New Literacy

Slam Poet Adam Henze's PhD in Education brings slam poetry into the classroom - as an educational tool that builds literacy, confidence and character.

At Home With Busman’s Holiday

The newest album from Bloomington band Busman's Holiday was two years in the making

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