Episode 3: #GiftOfWords with Jason Vasser Elong

Nov 20, 2020, 10:00 PM
Poetry is a necessary force in today's chaotic world. Let Jason Vasser-Elong enchant you with his original work as well as convince you why the art of poetry is important for everyone, especially young people. This conversation also includes Mr. Vasser-Elong's enlightening reflections on identity, heritage, and the African diaspora.

Building bridges over society's fault lines starts with hearing each other's stories. Artists, teachers, students, and activists wield their words in interviews with Michelle Haberberger of YourWords STL. Gather wisdom from those working toward equity in one of the nation's most divided cities.

YourWords STL is a non-profit organization that uses tutoring, creative writing workshops, and collaborative projects to help amplify the voices of St. Louis youth. Learn more at http://www.yourwordsstl.org.

Our intro sounds are provided by Joey Ferber. Our outro sounds are from the song "For Me" on Aysia Berlynn's new album, Synth & Soul.

Guest Biography

Rhyme and Reason: Poetics as Societal Dialogue was the ethnographic capstone for an anthropology student that searched for meaning in the poetry of spoken word poets in St. Louis, Missouri. After earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, Jason Vasser-Elong published his debut collection of poetry Shrimp (2Leaf Press), which analyzes identity in a post-colonial context, in April of 2018, distributed by the University of Chicago Press. While using an anthropological lens, Jason continues to research identity.  

In addition to his peer-reviewed “Treading the Atlantic” published in the special edition of the Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies – Netherlandic Migrations: Narratives from North America, Jason has also been featured in and has essays in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch "From kente cloth to shrimp: Symbols tell powerful stories", "Where the 'Shrimp' story begins" in The St. Louis American. His most recent poetry appears in  Red Fez Magazine (Issue 140, 2020), The St. Louis Anthology (Belt Publishing, 2019), the latest in their City Anthology Series. Find out more about Jason and his work at www.jvasserelong.com