Buoyed by City Manager Ed Augustus Jr.’s announcement that he will ask councilors later this month to create a poet laureate position, a number of area poets did their thing inside City Hall Wednesday night, April 8. Some spoke softly, others rose their voices to the rooftops, and still others broke into song as they performed original poems or read from poets of Worcester past.
While some kept it light, others, such as Robert “Bobby” Blackwell Gibbs and Ashley Wonder, dug deep into their frustration over recent incidents centered around racial protests in Worcester – and over race relations in general. Wonder drew applause and shouts of encouragement with a fiercely passionate expression over the shooting of black men by police and the sting of racism. Gibbs, meanwhile, unleashed a poem in the form of an open letter to the city, singling out Police Chief Gary Gemme and Augustus, who he referred to as “Eddy.”