Mike Stephen learns about the power of the art of spoken word poetry with the Oak Park & River Forest High School spoken word team. We hear from teacher and coach Peter Kahn as well as some students and alumni. Their upcoming anthology of writing is called Respect the Mic: Celebrating 20 Years of Poetry from a Chicagoland High School. Then, Mike discovers the Secret History of blues pianist and guitarist Lazy Bill Lucas. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our Apple Podcasts Page, Spotify, or our RSS feed.

Mike Stephen talks to Greg Jacobs, co-director of a documentary called The Road Up, that tells the story of overcoming obstacles to employment, learns about the issues surrounding Chicago’s last Black-owned bank with ProPublica journalist Mick Dumke, and talks to Kate Fagan about her new Holiday album. Happy new year from Outside the Loop! To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our Apple Podcasts Page, Spotify, or our RSS feed.

Mike Stephen ponders recycling in Chicago while standing in a blue recycling bin. That's dedication.

Mike Stephen talks to a former local trolley driver who did the job for over 20 years and has a new book about his experiences called Twenty Years Without a Weekend, gets an update on Chicago’s recycling efforts from the Chicago Recycling Coalition, and learns about a new TV show that helps novice female politicians run for office called RUN.  The local music this week is brought to us by Blood Red Boots. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.