Saturday, September 11, 2010

Podcast 19: This Side Up

Nine years ago today I was just two weeks into my freshman year of college. I was trying to figure everything out and was focusing on my new beginning. I woke up that Tuesday morning to go to French class and when I went into the restroom the janitor told me a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. When I got back to my room, I flipped on the TV and saw the chaos unfolding.

September 11th happened right as I was growing into an adult. That event profoundly changed me and my world views. I didn't have my family or old friends to influence my thinking on the subject, but I did have my new college roommate. He was a Muslim from Pakistan and really helped me see the events of 9/11 from a worldly perspective. For that, I am forever thankful to him.

The podcast that I'm posting today, nine years after 9/11, is a reading of my poem "This Side Up." This poem is important to me on many levels. It was a breakthrough. It is longer than any poem I had written at the time and the style is a bit different as well. The poem is about those first few months after 9/11 living with my roommate at a small college in Southern Indiana. This poem was hard to write and I didn't write it until grad school, which was well after the events in the poem.

This title is also the title of my first book manuscript that I'm sending out to publishers and contests. The title "This Side Up" feels fitting for the book because there are so many pieces about trying to figure something out or forging a new path and my "up" may not be your "up."

I felt today was a good day to share this poem on my blog, and I hope you will enjoy hearing it.

-Stephen (Upside Down)


  1. I like your poems, and the podcasts I've heard. What you do is important.

  2. Philip,

    Thank you so much for the comment. It means a lot to me. Thanks for reading and listening.