June 20, 2017
Produced by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”
When William Wordsworth said that, he was talking about the art created by poets like Kavon Cortez-Jones.
At age 19, Kavon was deeply affected by the death of Dontre Hamilton, the African-American man killed by police in Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee. Kavon channeled these feelings into his poetry, lending his talents to Precious Lives Live Shows, a partnership effort between Precious Lives and United Way to help give voice to the issue of gun violence and amplify efforts to solve it.
Kavon is proud to say that his poetry is for everyone. He writes about tough issues but also about the sights and sounds of his city, seamlessly melting together a light, observational style with more difficult topics.
A Milwaukee native, Kavon began writing poetry at age 13 after local poets Kwabena Nixon and Muhibb Dyer performed at his elementary school. Last year, Kavon published his first book of poems, Club Noir, which he describes as a “grandiose illustration of how I generally see Milwaukee, its coffee shops, the neighbors and its people – MY PEOPLE.”
Club Noir is available for purchase at relevantmilwaukee.com/Kavon or by visiting with Kavon when he is writing at local coffee shops. Connect with Kavon Cortez-Jones on Facebook to learn more.
Precious Lives is a two-year, 100-part radio series about gun violence in Milwaukee. Listen to all 100 episodes in the series here and stay connected to United Way to find out about upcoming live shows.