Poets show their passion in St. Louis

St Louis Poetry
  • September 30, 2012
  • John Blair


John Blair reads for 100,000 Poets for Change
John Blair reads for 100,000 Poets for Change

Yesterday poets and musicians from around the St. Louis area gathered at the Regional Arts Commission in the Loop to create a diverse stream of social consciousness. As part of the second annual 100 Thousand Poets and Musicians for Change, the event was just one of at least 800 held worldwide. Performers brought various issues to the spotlight in a “demonstration/celebration” to promote social, environmental and political change. Stanford University archives videos, photos and other documentation produced by the events.




  in Sharp, Amanda Wells and Susan Spitfire Lively organized a day-long extravaganza that included area poetry and writing groups and a number of musicians. War was a popular topic, covered by Brad Cook, president of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, with a memorial to those who fought and died in the Vietnam War and by Amanda Wells who gave elegies for friends who did not survive Iraq and Afghanistan. Dwight Bitikofer gave an animated reading of “Bug Splats,” on the ease of conducting an impersonal war of drones and push-button controls.




Other topics included poverty and homelessness, ravaging of the environment and a prayer for objective discussion, tolerance and compromise, a particularly pertinent wish as the election nears. Billy Foster spoke of time – “Give us time… where has all the time gone?” Leigh Savage highlighted post-partum depression and suicide in two separate poems. John Blair spoke eloquently about changing times, and not for the better. Kevin Renick, of “Up in the Air” fame, strummed guitar and sang “Valley of the American Farmer.” Aireez DaRychuss and Susan Spitfire Lively were representative of some of the “spoken word artists” that combined creative delivery with their words, often adding sing-song to their readings.

These are only a small handful of participants of the day, too many to list, but suffice it to say, St. Louis is full of talented word and music people.