Episode 32: Kevin Coval and Jamila Woods

Kevin Coval and Jamila Woods with Eric Gurna on the Please Speak Freely Podcast

Just in time for this week’s 16th Annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival (held in Chicago this year), I spoke with the founder of Louder Than a Bomb: the Chicago Youth Poetry FestivalKevin Coval, Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, as well as Jamila Woods, a poet, singer, playwright and founding member of YCA’s teaching artist corps. We talked about the power of poetry to transform lives and communities, the importance of creating spaces for young people to write and perform, and the complex realities of growing the scale of this kind of work. We also talked about Kevin’s recent book, and I got the treat of recording both Kevin and Jamila performing some of their own work.

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Please Speak Freely

On Please Speak Freely, Eric Gurna, founder of Development Without Limits interviews leading thinkers, artists and others to shed light on key issues and explore different perspectives about youth development and education. The idea is to get past the platitudes and institutional positions, and have honest, nuanced conversations about things that really matter to young people and communities. Please Speak Freely guests include:

  • Raffi, Children’s Troubadour and Founder of the Centre for Child Honouring
  • Alfie Kohn, Author of several books including Punished By Rewards and The Schools Our Children Deserve
  • Dr. Pedro Noguera, Professor of Education at New York University
  • Karen Pittman, President & CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment
  • Tony Smith, Former Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District
  • Lenore Skenazy, “America’s Worst Mom” and Author of Free-Range Kids

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