Carolyn Rodgers Reads “Prodigal Objects”

Carolyn RodgersWhat a treat for Carolyn Rodgers fans. Below hear the great poet read her poem “Prodigal Objects,” September 1999, in a show at North Central College, Naperville, Illinois.  It was held to celebrate the release a few months earlier of a book David Starkey and I had edited.  Smokestacks & Skyscrapers was the first anthology of Chicago writing in over 50 years, and by far the most complete and wide-ranging.

I had included two of Carolyn’s poems—“how i got ovah” and “how i got ovah II/It Is Deep II”—but when I heard heard her read “Prodigal Objects” that September evening it instantly became one of my favorites.  A few years later I got a chance to do another Chicago anthology, Black Writing from Chicago, and “Prodigal Objects” was the first piece I decided to include.

As of this date Carolyn Rodgers appears on this website probably more than any other writer.  In 2012 she was inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, an organization I helped start, and the post on her induction contains links to the other places she appears on this website.  Read that post HERE, and enjoy her reading “Prodigal Objects” below.

 Go to a list of Black Writers on this site, most of whom are in Black Writing from Chicago.

 Go to a list of Chicago Writers included in Smokestacks & Skyscrapers, and listen to another writer from that book, Marc Smith, who also performed that night with Carolyn Rodgers.

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One Response to Carolyn Rodgers Reads “Prodigal Objects”

  1. Marian Hayes says:

    I loved this book and I have been in the company of many of the writers. I have been dragging my feet when it comes to returning to school, but after reading this book, I feel I have a responsibility to share what it has been like living in the culturally rich environments in Chicago.


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