Healing words: poets and the pandemic

We talk with poets Richard Blanco and Nikky Finney about writing and reading poetry during the pandemic and we hear how nurses are coping at Temple University Hospital.

Listen 49:12
Poets Richard Blanco and Nikky Finney

Poets Richard Blanco (photo by Sarah Beard Buckley) and Nikky Finney (photo by Forrest Clonts)

Guests: Francine Frezghi, Nikky Finney, Richard Blanco

April is poetry month and thank goodness. It’s a welcome reminder of the power of words to give comfort and hope, voice fear and anger, highlight injustice and inequities, and show beauty and love as we all try to cope with our radically changing world. This hour, we ask two of our favorite poets to share their thoughts about writing and reading poetry during the pandemic. NIKKY FINNEY and RICHARD BLANCO join to read poems and offer suggestions for beginner poets. But first, we talk about the strain at Temple University Hospital, which has more COVID-19 patients than any other Philadelphia hospital and whose severe staff shortages make it even more difficult to care for an already vulnerable population. FRANCINE FREZGHI, the president of the Temple University Hospital Nurses Association, joins to share what she’s hearing from Temple’s nurses.

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