901 Now: Poets, cancer survivors come together for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 6:50 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Poetry with a purpose: For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, some local poets dedicated their weekend poems to breast cancer survivors. “Think Pink” poetry slam was a way to highlight warriors in the 901 Now.

“Poetry itself. I’m excited about it. I love poetry, and for them to be focusing on breast cancer, that’s near and dear to my heart,” Juwanna Morrow said.

It’s always been the power of words that has helped both Juwanna Morrow and Margarette Norris Williams through tough times.

“My daughter, when I was going through breast cancer, she actually wrote me a poem,” Williams said. “She just showed the love in words for all the breast cancer survivors in our group.”

Twelve and nine years cancer-free, Morrow and Williams have gone from patients to survivors.

Most recently they served as judges for the “Think Pink” poetry slam, that focused on the cancer they beat.

“Anytime I’m asked to do anything for breast cancer, I’m all in,” Morrow said.

“Just being able to hear people express the way they feel about breast cancer is exciting to me,” Williams added.

Morrow and Williams were one of three judges participating in the poetry slam.

“We wanted to be strategic about our events,” Writeous Soul said. “Even have three cancer survivors as judges was very strategic because we could have gotten anyone to judge but who better to judge that cause than the survivors?”

Writeous Soul spearheaded the poetry slam.

Heavily involved in the poetry scene in Memphis, she knew hosting a poetry slam event in October would be a unique way to spread awareness.

“Poetry always serves a greater purpose,” Karen Marable said. “It’s a way to get your emotions out. Their trauma, new love interest. That’s how they are expressing themselves.”

Marable also helped spearhead the event.

Four poets used their words as gifts. With one mission in mind — in good times and bad times, always turn to poetry.

“There are breast cancer survivors who have stories, but they never tell them,” Writeous Soul said. “By collaborating with some of the poets and being able to share their stories with them, and them being able to tell their stories for them, it keeps them from being too shy to get up and tell their story, but it also allows them to share their story in another element.”

This was the first “Think Pink” poetry slam event for Writeous Soul in partnership with Manhattan Sports Bar and Lounge.

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