The Poetry Project!
poetry project

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.
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April 4, 2016

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Announcing The Poetry Project

I speak here of poetry as a revelatory distillation of experience, not the sterile word play that, too often, the white fathers distorted the word poetry to mean–in order to cover a desperate wish for imagination without insight.

from “Poetry is Not a Luxury” by Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider)

April is National Poetry Month here in the US. On my old blog, a decade ago, I’d post a poem a day every day in April.  Instead of doing that, I thought it would be fun to feature a different poet three times a week. You won’t see any dead white European men being featured because poetry is a living thing and the poets who speak to me now are those who are working now.

This is a dramatic shift in my thinking. When I was in college, I didn’t want to read living poets–not because I didn’t think they were doing good work, but because I had some really strange ideas in my head. I suspect it was a kind of patriarchal bargain on my part–that if I devoted myself to learning about the white men who came before that perhaps, someday, I would be worthy of joining them.  That’s a sucker’s game and I wish I hadn’t played it. But 20 year olds aren’t exactly known for making the best life choices, so. Nonetheless, poetry has always remained important to me.

As I was compiling the list of poets I wanted to feature, I was struck by just how many of them are people I know and respect. I find their combined body of work really inspiring and I hope you do as well.

As the month progresses, I’ll be keeping this post up to date with an index (something I wish I’d done for Bad Life Decisions last year).

 

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