Episode 150

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Published on:

31st Mar 2021

P. Scott Cunningham and Kathie Klarreich

This show's guests are poets, teachers, and community leaders Kathie Klarreich, founder of Exchange for Change - a nonprofit teaching writing in prisons - and P. Scott Cunningham, founder and executive director of the O, Miami Poetry Festival, which celebrates Miami, FL through the lens of poetry. Together they host the Florida Prison Poet Laureate initiative. They talk about the importance and impact of writing, both in their own lives and in the context of those incarcerated in the correction facility system, as well as the activities and discoveries created by poetry in the O, Miami Poetry Festival.

Kathie Klarreich is the author of “Madame Dread: A Tale of Love, Vodou, and Civil Strife in Haiti” and a contributor to two anthologies: “So Spoke the Earth” and “Women, Writing, and Prison.” In 2010 she received a Knight International Journalism Fellowship to train journalists in investigative reporting in Haiti, where she spent half of the last 24 years reporting for print, radio and television, including Time, The New York Times, ABC, and NPR. Kathie started facilitating writing workshops in the correctional system in 2009 and began the writing exchanges with academic institutions in 2013. She founded Exchange for Change, a nonprofit that teaches writing in prisons and youth residential centers in 2014. 

P. Scott Cunningham is a poet and essayist and the author of Ya Te Veo selected by Billy Collins for the Miller Williams Poetry Series. His writing has appeared in numerous journals and reviews as have his translations of Alejandra Pizarnik, César Vallejo, and Frank Báez. Scott is the founder and director of O, Miami, a non-profit organization that celebrates Miami, FL through the lens of poetry, and the co-founder & executive editor of Jai-Alai Books, a regional publishing imprint. A featured speaker at forums including The Aspen Institute, TedX, and more, Scott has been named one of "20 Under 40 Emerging South Florida Leaders" by The Miami Herald and one of 51 “brilliant urbanites who are helping to build the cities of America's future" by Fast Company.

Together, Scott and Kathie host the Florida Prison Poet Laureate initiative. The current laureate is Christopher Malec and the prior poet laureate was Eduardo Martinez.

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About the Podcast

Lives Radio Show & Podcast with Stuart Chittenden
Coming July 3 and then every Sunday at KIOS 91.5FM on Omaha's NPR affiliate, Season Three of Lives will tackle the big questions: What is a good life? Why are we here? How might we feel more connected? These and other big questions about how we live will be explored each week. Through intimate conversations, fascinating guests will share their spiritual, philosophical, artistic, and cultural approaches to exploring the wonders of our human experience. Join me as we delve into the practical and profound possibilities of living well.

While you wait for this new chapter of Lives to air, listen back to Seasons One and Two, featuring fresh voices and diverse perspectives on culture, community, business, and more. From the Midwest and beyond, fascinating guests share compelling stories spanning the fields of politics, business, media, community activism, arts and humanities, philanthropy, and more.

On air since January 2017, Lives Radio Show & Podcast initially broadcast on the community radio station Mind & Soul 101.3FM in north Omaha, housed at the Malcolm X Center, and more recently broadcast with 1st Sky Omaha.

About your host

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stuart chittenden

I believe that conversation enables us to live better and work well by building strong relationships as individuals, teams, and communities.

Driven by that belief, I founded Squishtalks to design and deliver conversation experiences and programs for small to Fortune 500 corporate clients and for a variety of non-profit organizations. I regularly speak and facilitate workshops on the principles of conversation and how their practice enlivens our potential. My belief in the profound power of conversation to awaken our humanity has led to me being selected to speak at three different TEDx events.

I am a British expatriate calling Omaha, Nebraska home since 2004. Before moving to America, I was a London-based lawyer working on major international transactions. In Omaha, as well as founding Squishtalks, I co-founded Gilbert+Chittenden with creativity expert Dan Gilbert, which is a creativity consultancy that helps individuals and organizations realize their best futures and apply design thinking processes to achieve innovative breakthroughs.

Among my community endeavors was the project: a couple of 830 mile long conversations. Inspired by John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, in an RV I adventured for four weeks along side roads and among small towns to talk with Nebraskans. Traveling through conversations, discovering the lives, cultures and stories of people I met, the project was a long hello to Nebraska.