Well! It’s been a while. Some things have happened in the world. I’ve been (making calls and protesting and writing and drawing and working and reading and) trying to figure out what I can do here that’s useful to the things I care about right now. My friend Joannie Stangeland texted, on election night, “We’re gonna need more than poetry and we’re gonna need poetry more than ever.” And Matthew Zapruder put it this way:
“Poets, if you find yourselves worrying that your poems are not “about” political matters, here is my suggestion: every single time you feel that worry, finish your poem, make it as beautiful as you can, and then do some kind of concrete action. Support threatened communities, or the environment. Pledge yourself to participating in a voter registration drive. Give money to a political organization working tirelessly for change. If you do this, the world will benefit in two ways: from your activism, and from the beautiful poem you have made.”
A mix, in other words.
So here’s a mix.
First, for fans of Hamilton and insights, Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum’s essay “Fascination and the Creative Mind.”
Second, for fans of the beautiful and sad, “Cri de Couer” by Liz Robbins
Third, for those looking for what to read next, Phinney Books’ Resist List.
Fourth, the first 50 issues of FIELD poetry journal, online, free to read…my god the amazing poetry in these. Not to mention their symposia. If the world gets dark on you, go here. Lots of people have already made things that are beautiful.
Fifth one of the things I’ve done in response to what’s happening out there. Here’s something I drew after reading “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” by Walt Whitman on February 5th.
And I’ll close tonight with these sections of poems tweeted via Open Books:
-Warsan Shire, Somalia pic.twitter.com/V1d2V4W7sH
-Safia Elhillo, Sudan pic.twitter.com/vs0QCTcZAm
-Simin Behbehani, Iran pic.twitter.com/Uy1gj89BUW