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Black Water

Black Tide Rising: Poetry in Pursuit of Social Justice

Note: This performance contains mature themes & strong language.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts joins forces with Mid-America Arts Alliance plus Kansas City, Missouri's Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center and State Museum & One Kansas City Radio for 𝑩𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝑻𝒊𝒅𝒆 𝑹𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈: 𝑷𝒐𝒆𝒕𝒓𝒚 𝒊𝒏 𝑷𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒖𝒊𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝑺𝒐𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝑱𝒖𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒆 with Kansas City's poet laureate Glenn North & pianist/bandleader Eddie Moore. Arts Across America is brought to you by Facebook.

Black Cultural
Black Tide
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Black Cultural Institutions as Spaces for Community Healing

Glenn North, the designated poet laureate of the famous 18th and Vine Jazz District in Kansas City, shares his powerful stories and poetry in this TEDx talk. Glenn North proudly serves as the Director of Education and Public Programs at The Black Archives of Mid-America. He is also the author of City of Song, a collection of poems inspired by Kansas City’s rich jazz tradition and the triumphs and tragedies of the African American experience. He is a Cave Canem fellow, a Callaloo creative writing fellow and a recipient of the Charlotte Street Generative Performing Artist Award and the Crystal Field Poetry Award. His work has appeared in Kansas City Voices, One Shot Deal, The Sixth Surface, Caper Literary Journal, Platte Valley Review, Kansas City Voices, KC Studio, Cave Canem Anthology XII, The African American Review, and American Studies Journal. He collaborated with legendary jazz musician, Bobby Watson, on the critically acclaimed recording project, Check Cashing Day and is currently filling his appointment as the Poet Laureate of the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District.


This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Lynch Family
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Lynch Family Blues

Poet and spoken word artist Glenn North reading his poem “Lynch Family Blues”, inspired by Joseph Hirsch’s Lynch Family.

The Lynch Family painting is a permanent exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Click here to view and learn more.

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Prodigal Poem

Jazz Poetry Jams@ Blue Room

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CSF Generative Performing Awards Fellow 2009 - Glenn North

Launched in 2008, the Charlotte Street Generative Performing Artist Awards support and recognize artists creating outstanding, innovative, original work in the fields of dance, theater, music, experimental music performance, theater/performance art, and hybrid/interdisciplinary versions thereof. The awards seek to foster the continued creative and professional development of the selected artists, provide the means for them to further focus on and develop their work, and increase exposure for their accomplishments, as the CSF Visual Artist Awards have done since 1997. Through its Awards programs, CSF seeks to contribute to the vitality of Kansas City's art community and to enhance Kansas City's desirability as a place for artists to work and live.


The recipients were selected based on the quality of their work and accomplishments to date, as well as promise for continued development as generative artists; relevance of their work in relation to local, regional and national contemporary art discourses and to the contemporary moment and culture in which we are living; and the potential of their work stand up nationally, influence the field, and have lasting value.

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Glenn North at CreativeMornings Kansas City, September 2015. 

We Got This
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We Got This KC

A poem for KC. Words by Glenn North. Music by The Sextet. Video by Scott Jolley Production Services and Thill Media

Standing Strong
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Standing Strong: Art in the Loop 2020

The Art in the Loop Foundation works to create new opportunities for artistic development and engage artists in the revitalization of Downton Kansas City, Missouri. “Standing Strong" features several mediums of art, including a new KC Streetcar wrapping focused on this year’s theme “Hope and Gratitude”. Artwork by Ada Koch. Poetry by Glenn North.


Video created by the City Communications Office, part of the City Manager’s Office, for the City of KCMO.

Poetry Scene
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The Poetry Scene on Praise 95.3FM

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A Psalm for the Word Warriors

Johnson County Library (KS) had this poem commissioned for the opening of the Monticello Branch.

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Whats Up KC
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Interview with What's Up KC?

Interview with poet Glenn North as he discusses his start with poetry, being a Cave Canem fellow, his affiliation with Louder than a Bomb, and being the Director of Education & Public Programs at the Black Archives. He also discusses his first book entitled City of Song.

I Sing Their Names
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I Sing Their Names

“I sing their names . . .,” writes Kansas City poet Glenn North.

His words are one of several contemporary voices joined in a new, 44-page book that collects the more than 70 biographies that the Kansas City Black History Project team has researched and shared with the Kansas City community since 2010.

“I sing of… Langston and Parker, Ms. Bluford and Mary Lou, Old Buck, Leon Jordan, Horace and Bruce . . .”

Every year, the project told the stories behind seven or eight of the so many names hidden by time. It gathered them in booklets and posters that were given to schools, libraries and other public spaces — used by teachers, librarians, mentors and parents to raise up a neglected history.

The audience grew by the thousands, spreading deep into the Kansas City area and nationwide into multiple states — and even internationally to Nova Scotia, Canada.

Now this joint effort by the Kansas City Public Library, the Black Archives of Mid-America and the Local Investment Commission has produced a book, is planning special events and is building a website that will be offering curriculum to educators over the next year. Click here to continue reading.

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