Anthropology Magazine
Video / Expressions

Rhyme & Reason: Poetry as a Cultural and Communal Bridge

In this Q&A, SAPIENS 2022 Poet-in-Residence Jason Vasser-Elong celebrated the end of his residency with a discussion of poetry as a dialogue across the ages.

View the video to enjoy a conversation with Jason Vasser-Elong, poet, cultural anthropologist, and interdisciplinary scholar in African American Studies and Education. Jason was the 2022 SAPIENS poet-in-residence and is earning his Ed.D. in educational practice from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, with a focus on how art influences student retention and persistence.

In this Q&A, Jason discussed how anthropology informs his craft and how his poetics shape dialogue across the ages with past and present writers such as Frantz Fanon, Zora Neale Hurston, Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Baldwin, and others. These writers and so many more speak to identity and social and cultural issues that impact people of African descent around the globe. As part of the discussion, Jason shared excerpts from his poetic contributions to SAPIENS and responded to audience questions.

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