WIUM Tristates Public Radio

WIU Professor Seeking Obama Poetry

Jan 20, 2009

Macomb, IL – A Western Illinois University professor is asking people to put into their own words what the election of Barack Obama as president means to them.

African American Studies Chair Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah is seeking poetry with emotion and feeling. Na'Allah is looking for poems that express the idea of transformation. He wants the poems to be vivid and alive.

Na'Allah says some of the entries will be published in the book "Obama-Mentum: An Anthology of Transformation of Poetry." Na'Allah says a group of poets will come together to pick poems to be included in the book.

Na'Allah feels the collection will be a powerful way to document history. He says the poems must be cross-cultural. Na'Allah says he wants the entries to represent all types of poetry.

Na'Allah hopes he will receive thousands of entries. He does not know how many poems will be selected to be put into the book. Na'Allah says he will also accept short essays.

They should be sent to Na'Allah at the Department of African American Studies by the end of next month. Writers can submit up to three poems. Entries can also be sent via e-mail at a-naallah@wiu.edu.