Plain Poetry 

In "We So Cool," Gwendolyn Brooks chided a group of young men to look beyond their empty swagger for a life more significant. In her "Inaugural Poem," Maya Angelou challenged a nation to understand its foundation and fling open the curtains to a more vibrant future. In "Still Here," Lang­ston Hughes threw joy in the face of circumstances trying to bring him down. Though diverse in expression, these poets all started in the same place — the heartland. Tonight, nine actors will read works by the Midwest's most notable poets at the YWCA in Kansas City, Kansas (1017 North Sixth Street, 913-371-1105). The second collaboration between the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre and the YWCA, Poets of the Plains will feature a collage of regional lyricism, ranging from the fantastical Shel Silverstein to songwriter Woody Guthrie. The free performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Get there at 7 to check out the YWCA's art gallery and mingle at the preshow reception.>
Fri., Jan. 23, 7 p.m., 2009

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