Watch Philly Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher read a poem for Poetry Month

To welcome April, Poetry Month, we asked Yolanda Wisher, poet laureate of the city of Philadelphia, to come up and record a video of herself reciting a poem of hers. It’s one of hundreds of readings, workshops, author events, panels, and poetry get-togethers all month in this poetry town.

Here’s a great example: Wisher is curating the Outbound Poetry Festival at 30th Street Station, a festival of April poetry readings presented by Philadelphia Contemporary. She’ll kick off the festival with a reading and book signing at Ulises bookstore, 31 E. Columbia Avenue, next Sunday at 4:07 p.m. (Notice the very specific times; be on time and don’t be late.) Readings happen each weekday afternoon April 10-21 at exactly 4:52 p.m. On Saturday, April 15, at 2:35 p.m., there will be a special jam of poetry and acoustic music.

For her video reading, Wisher chose her poem “sonnet w/cooking lexicon.” Hard not to read without a smile, it’s delicious, passionate, full of good feelings and good things to eat. 

sonnet w/cooking lexicon

By Yolanda Wisher

we met at a fish fry poetry reading inside the food truck of life.
i was picklin poems & poachin poets as the host. you walked in
on a rotisserie spit carried by a pig-roasted friend. i wanted to
flash pasteurize you, peel back your pellicle, egg-wash your livers.
marinate you with kahlua & miso, stick you in my earth oven for
all eternity. that was a friday & there were some leftovers of you
to baste & braise on saturday, your belikin barbecue roastin &
boastin in a casserole of adoration, the coddled kimchi of your
affections down in my gut where family cycles were deglazed &
dredged & curdled to a funky cheese that you gladly dipped your
cracker in. & this creamin & curin was what i signed up for. this
runny sun & moon atop hash love, this wedding cabbage stinkin
up my ribcage like a sink full of chitlins. boy, i’m in a huff paste
‘bout you day in, day out, mincin no magic, reducin no reverence.