Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Election 2020: Live Results | Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice

The Poet’s Tree Serves Up Weekly Interviews, Performance, Activities

San Diego spoken word poet Gill Sotu hosts

Photo credit: The Old Globe Theatre

The Poet’s Tree is an online weekly event hosted by Old Globe Teaching Artist and spoken word poet Gill Sotu.

Companion viewing

"The Belle of Amherst" (1976)

"Poetic Justice" (1993)

"Henry Fool" (1997)

"Slam" (1998)

"Patterson" (2016)

KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

The Poet’s Tree is an online weekly event hosted by Old Globe Teaching Artist and spoken word poet Gill Sotu. It takes a deep dive into the world of modern poetry and offers interviews as well as interactive prompts with the audience.

Aired: November 10, 2020 | Transcript

The Poet’s Tree is an online weekly event hosted by Old Globe Teaching Artist and spoken word poet Gill Sotu. It takes a deep dive into the world of modern poetry and offers interviews as well as interactive prompts with the audience.

The Poet's Tree

Reported by Beth Accomando

The Poet's Tree is both performance and workshop.

"It's an interactive interview series where I get to interview some of my poetic heroes and also use them to help inspire other people to write," said host Gill Sotu. "So it's not just something that when you listen to it or watch it, that you're going to do nothing. We have interactive games with our audience. We have challenges at the end of each episode where writers write in their poetic responses to whatever the challenge from the artist is. And the artist for the following week helps me read some of those responses so they get their poems read out loud by some of the top poets in the country."

Listen to this story by Beth Accomando.

Sotu got hooked on poetry while in the Navy and then got inspired to make a career of it after watching the film "Slam."

"When I heard that for the first time, I was like, 'oh my God,' I didn't know [poetry could be like that] because this is not the stuff that they teach in school," Sotu recalled. "That's why I'm always so happy when I'm able to go to high schools and bring my super friends to perform because it really opens kids' eyes to like, 'oh, it doesn't have to be like this,' and it just it opens up a whole new world of 'I could just say this and I can swear and I can do that.' It's all good and try to craft it in a way that makes it feel beautiful to you,"

Photo credit: The Old Globe Theatre

Jessica Care Moore is tonight's guest on The Poet's Tree.

Tuesday night's guest is Jessica Care Moore.

"Jessica Care Moore has performed everywhere from the White House to she was, I think, the first poet to win Showtime at the Apollo and win it multiple times," Sotu said. "She is the founder of Black Women Rock, this huge concert in Detroit. She's just done amazing things with poetry throughout her career. So I'm excited to really interview her. Last week we interviewed Reg E Gaines, whose show was on Broadway, 'Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk.' And the reason why I'm mentioning previous episodes is all my episodes, all our episodes, I should say, because this could not have been done without the Old Globe are available to be viewed and you can follow along with it on our Facebook page or our YouTube page."

The series was originally listed online as ending Tuesday, but Sotu said the Globe wants it to continue, although there will be a holiday break scheduled in December.

Tune in Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. for the live, hour-long show and see if you can write a poem in two minutes. Then you can search back through the archive for more episodes and poetry prompts to do at home.

Sotu is also involved in the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation’s 2nd Annual “Be About It” free Facebook Live

Concert of Song, Dance, Poetry, Rap and Comedy to Highlight Southeastern San Diego Nonprofits this Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

"The gist of it is that I paired seven amazing artists with seven non-profits in Southeastern San Diego to highlight all the good work these non-profits are doing. A concert for a cause," Sotu said.

  • Your curated weekly guide to local arts and culture in San Diego, from Arts Calendar Editor Julia Dixon Evans, delivered to your inbox every Thursday afternoon.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Beth Accomando

Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.