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Poet seeks to help others with hotline
May 20, 2024

By James Logan Healthy Eagle reporters | Trapeta B. Mayson created Philadelphia’s poetry hotline. People who call the Healing Verse Poetry Line can hear a free recording of a poem by a writer from the area.

Healthy Eagle reporters spoke with Ms. Mayson about the hotline. Ms. Mayson says she created it during the pandemic. She had just become Philadelphia’s 2020–21 poet laureate. “Covid started and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, what am I going to do? How am I going to reach people? How am I going to talk to people about poetry when … nobody can go outside and be with one another?’”

People were frightened about the disease, she says, and she “was hoping that the poems would help them not be so scared and not be so worried.”

A new poem is added weekly. In addition, the hotline provides a phone number that people can call for help when they’re feeling sad or depressed.

To learn more about the poetry hotline, visit tinyurl.com/poetryhotline.

Illustration by Amber, fourth grade, James Logan E.S.

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