From Our Soundbooth | March 17, 2010

In this episode of our podcast, we present our second place winner for 2009, “Women of Troy,” a work which was produced as part of the “In Verse” recording project, created by Ted Genoways and Lu Olkowski. In its full, multimedia incarnation, “Women of Troy” features poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally, and producer Lu Olkowski as they document the lives of working mothers in Troy, New York. This version consists of two poems that Somers-Willett wrote for the project, paired with field recordings and audio from recorded interviews.


Lu Olkowski is a contributing producer to Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson. Her work has also been heard on All Things Considered, Day to Day, Radio Lab, This American Life, and Weekend America. She has been honored by the American Women in Radio & Television; The Missouri Review; and the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Prior to a career in public radio, Lu was a creative director at Nickelodeon where she led a team of producers in exploring new ways of storytelling by using emerging technologies. [2010]

Susan B.A. Somers-Willett is the author of two books of poetry, Quiver and Roam, and a book of criticism, The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry: Race, Identity, and the Performance of Popular Verse in America.Her honors include the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize and the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award. Raised in New Orleans, she teaches English and Creative Writing at Montclair State University in New Jersey. [2010]

Brenda Ann Kenneally is an independent photojournalist whose photos of Troy, New York, appeared in the 2009 World Press Photo exhibition. A chronicler of coming-of-age in post-industrial America, her project, “Upstate Girls: What Became of Collar City” was awarded first place at the World Press Awards for Daily Life Stories in 2009, and an honorable mention at UNICEF Photo of the Year. [2010]