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Poetry

From: Radio Rookies
Length: 06:48

Bronx teen Judith Rudge turns to poetry to express her experience as an outsider. Read the full description.
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Poetry
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Radio Rookies

Judithmural_small Since she moved to the Bronx from Suriname at age 12, Judith hasn't felt she fits in with any group. Dutch is her first language. She wants to be an opera singer. She's black. In Junior High, her peers wondered why she couldn't sing like 'Monica.' In High School, she remembers a girl from an African-American club telling her, "Dutch is not a Black language." She did not take up arms, as some outsiders have -- instead she took up poetry.

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Piece Description

Since she moved to the Bronx from Suriname at age 12, Judith hasn't felt she fits in with any group. Dutch is her first language. She wants to be an opera singer. She's black. In Junior High, her peers wondered why she couldn't sing like 'Monica.' In High School, she remembers a girl from an African-American club telling her, "Dutch is not a Black language." She did not take up arms, as some outsiders have -- instead she took up poetry.

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Review of Poetry

"Poetry" is a concise and touching retelling of a young Bronx immigrant's struggle to carve out a satisfying identity amidst a tableau of highschool cruelty and urban alienation. Quickly paced and energetic, the piece excellently portrays the chaos of young adulthood for a girl who was always more interested in singing opera than popular R&B. It also avoids falling into the genre's common pitfalls of egotism and self-pity and this helps the listener take the narrative more seriously. Our reporter has a very mature tone but almost never gets self-serious (even exuberantly singing along with Inspectah Deck). The piece, as a whole, could be unified a bit more by either dropping or developing certain tired concepts like "pens instead of guns." However, the efficient, intimate tone, and the compelling narrative are what stand out to the listener.

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Review of Poetry

Judith grabs the listener immediately with her poetry. it's a great way to open the story. This story weaves between first person reflection and interviews, letting us know what it is like to be an outsider - in more ways than one.

Judith is a talented writer and speaker. A few parts of the story could be voiced a bit slower to compensate for the ways people hear the radio when they are in the car or the kitchen.

This is a compelling piece, especially since it lets us know the power of the written word for Judith and tells us about her struggles growing up. I like hearing her thoughts in poetry and not just in reflection.

This piece would make a great drop-in to a local or national magazine. It would also pair nicely with other youth pieces for a half-hour or hour segment.

Broadcast History

This piece aired on WNYC in 2001.

Timing and Cues

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please use the suggested host intro and outro. If you would like to re-write the intro, please email radiorookies@wnyc.org.

HOST INTRO: Since she moved to the Bronx from Suriname at age 12, Judith hasn't felt she fits in with any group. Dutch is her first language. She wants to be an opera singer. She's black. In Junior High, her peers wondered why she couldn't sing like 'Monica.' In High School, she remembers a girl from an African-American club telling her, "Dutch is not a Black language." She did not take up arms, as some outsiders have -- instead she took up poetry.

HOST OUTRO:
This story was produced by Marianne McCune and Czerina Patel of WNYC's Radio Rookies. To learn more, go to WNYC.ORG.

Related Website

http://www.wnyc.org/radiorookies