Teaching Writing

Write Time with Peter Kahn, Natalie Richardson, Christian “Rich Robbins” Robinson, and Poet t.l. sanders

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For over twenty years, Peter Kahn has been fortunate to employ the power of poetry to help give voice to those previously unheard. He has been a high school teacher at Oak Park/River Forest High School in Chicago since 1994 and has recently also taught at Roosevelt University. Peter was commended in the National Poetry Competition 2009 and 2017. He is a founding member of Malika’s Kitchen and co-founder of the London Teenage Poetry Slam. Peter holds an MA in English Education from The Ohio State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University. His 2020 book, Little Kings, is a book with interconnected poems and recurring characters that feels more like a book of poetic short stories that speak to one another. His new book, Respect The Mic, is an expansive, moving poetry anthology representing 20 years of poetry from students and alumni of Chicago’s Oak Park River Forest High School Spoken Word Club.

Natalie Rose Richardson was born in New York City to a long line of border-crossers and proud people of blended heritage. Natalie is a graduate of the University of Chicago (BA), and the Litowitz Creative Writing Program (in poetry) at Northwestern University. She is a current non-fiction MFA candidate at NYU. Her poetry and prose has appeared, or is forthcoming in: Poetry Magazine, Narrative, Orion Magazine, North American Review, The Adroit Journal, Brevity, The Cincinnati Review, Arts & Letters, Emergence Magazine, Chicago Magazine, and others, along with numerous anthologies, including The Golden Shovel Anthology. She has received awards, residencies or fellowships from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Foundation, Tin House, The Newberry Library, The Luminarts Foundation, Crab Orchard Review, Davis Projects for Peace, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and the National Student Poets Program. Natalie’s work has featured at BBC Radio London, Tedx, WBEZ Chicago, The British Royal Library, The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Poetry Foundation. She is a 2020 Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets nominee.

Rich Robbins is a rapper, songwriter, producer, and educator. But more than anything, the Oak Park-born, Chicago-based artist is a world-builder. Rich’s early years as a college student in Madison, Wisconsin’s First Wave hip-hop scholarship program jumpstarted his artistry. He recorded wide-reaching tracks like “Dreams” feat. Mick Jenkins, along with records with Saba, Mother Nature, and more. He has performed at historic venues like the Apollo Theater in New York, and has done everything from music festivals, to working at Hot 97 as an intern, to teaching classrooms of high school students how to read and write poetry/songs. His work is an inward look at society’s ills and creates spaces for listeners to explore. In short, Rich’s work critiques the old while envisioning and manifesting the new. His latest releases are available on all streaming platforms.

Poet t.l. sanders is a modern-day renaissance man who lives to build minds and loves to body build. He speaks French. He plays bass. He is a cage-fighting martial artist. He educates. Give him a stage, he articulates. Lend him an ear, he motivates. As a performance professional based in Kansas City, MO, Poet has performed at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (in the 2019 Lyric Opera of Kansas City production of Bizet’s Pearl Fishers), at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, and—serendipitously—he has performed at several venues located in Kansas City’s Historic Jazz District, 18th and Vine: the American Jazz Museum, at the Gem Theater, and in the Blue Room (which is the setting of his book, kNew: The POETICscreenPLAY). As Paper Birch Landing Art Gallery’s 2019 Poet in Residence Recipient, the Winner of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts’ 2021 Artful Poetry contest, a 2021 Missouri Arts Council Featured Artist, Prairie Lands Writing Project Teacher-Consultant, a Missouri Writing Project Network Teacher-Consultant, a current curriculum director, and former elementary, middle, and high school English teacher turned filmmaker, Poet embraces the value of our shared stories. In 2021, Poet delivered The kNew-Born, an art house film that explores the human side of drug addiction.

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This post is part of the NWP Radio collection.