Tag Archives: poetry

Homeless Youth Advocacy Group Finds Its Own Voice – In Poetry

Slamming On Concrete is a book of poetry by homeless youth in Chicago

Slamming on Concrete is a moving collection of poems written by homeless youth in Chicago which gives voice to their struggles, hopes, dreams and experiences. Youth from H.E.L.L.O. (which stands for Homeless Experts Living Life’s Obstacles) performed with poetry and and African drum-circle at the 2011 Congress.

Since 2005, H.E.L.L.O. has been a place in Chicago for homeless youth to find their voice.  The group gathers weekly at the Broadway Youth Center to write letters to legislators, to create art and poetry, and to share their experiences in a safe space.

The youth and young adults from H.E.L.L.O. work to educate the public, policymakers, and the media about issues affecting homeless and unaccompanied youth. They participate in a variety of activities, including poetry readings, press conferences, rallies, as well as staging an annual arts showcase.

This collection of poems is the first for the youth advocacy group and SCUPE’s very own Cynthia Milsap served as co-editor of the collection along with Rev. Tom Behrens, founder of the Night Ministry.

H.E.L.L.O. was founded by two formerly homeless young people who are now professionals and continue to work with the group.  It is co-sponsored by the Night Ministry, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and the Lakeview Action Coalition.

The book is available through Blurb.com and all proceeds go to the group.


Speak Life Spoken Word

Another local opportunity has come to my attention for those of you in the Chicago-land area.  Speak Life will use poetry and prayer to lift up the epidemic of violence in our city.

Speak Life spoken word event


Congress Podcast

Episode two of the SCUPE Congress podcast is up for your listening pleasure!

SCUPE Congress Podcast – Jim Perkinson – Art & Faith in a Culture of Violence

We’re extremely excited about this audio exploration as it is as specific as it is far-reaching.  Listen in as we grab the intellectual coat-tails of poet-theologian Jim Perkinson and hang on for dear life.  Ah, the places we’ll go!  The result is a illuminating romp through the often unmapped, but intricately woven, terrain of art and faith… of culture and religion… of spirituality and materiality.

Jim Perkinson

Art & Faith in a Culture of Violence.

In this episode we celebrate the potency of art in a culture of violence and the peacemaking possibilities of faith as we talk with poet-theologian and author of White Theology: Outing Supremacy in Modernity, Jim Perkinson.  We hear spoken word poetry from Jim and a number of other contemporary luminaries including Saul Williams, Billy Collins, and Quincy Troupe.

You can visit the SCUPE podcast library for descriptions and downloadable audio of past podcasts.

Next month we’ll hear from SCUPE President and founding director Dave Frenchak on imagination, prophetic preaching, and the role of hope in theology and the life of the community.