Crisis Poetry: The Poetry of Witness
It goes without saying, we live in a truly extraordinary time. One could say an unprecedented time except that we have been here before. We have seen epidemics and uprisings, regime changes and empires fall, countless genocides of countless peoples, two whole world wars in just a little over 100 years, and the continued subjugation of three entire continents. And on top of this, an accelerating climate crisis which threatens to overwhelm us all.
And all of this facilitated by a patriarchal worldview of power-over vs power-from-within, a crisis which itself begs witnessing.
How do we, as poets, respond to this -- respond to intense socio-political economic crisis, the rising of white fascism, the persistent exercise of institutional racism, the perpetuation of sexism, homophobia, & transphobia, and the twin catastrophes of climate change & zoonotic pandemic that we have, in our hubris, let loose upon us??
The great Irish poet W.B. Yeats wrote The Second Coming (And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born) in response to the twin onslaughts of WWI and the Influenza epidemic of 1918, along with the Ulster uprising of 1921. We face at least as many crises now. How do we respond? How should we respond?
On Oct 4, Michael Kleber-Diggs will moderate a conversation with Lisa Marie Brimmer, Roy Guzmán, Rosetta Peters, and Keno Evol about Crisis Poetry, or what Carolyn Forché calls "The Poetry of Witness" - both theirs and others. The poets will read briefly from the work and then talk about the role of poets and artists in times of crisis. And how we, as a community of writers and creators, can take care of ourselves and each other.
Suggested cost is $20, but pay what you are able. And in keeping with Gris Literatura's mission to support both poetry & poets, 100% of ticket sales will go to the participants & the moderator. We, as an organization, are dedicated to paying poets for their time & their labor.
Online Access Information
We will email you the zoom link and password on the day of the event.