In 1985, Audre Lorde published her well-known essay on poetry, “Poetry is Not a Luxury.” Short but powerful, the essay speaks on the act of writing poetry as a challenge to traditional narratives and a means of amplifying new and alternative perspectives, particularly of those that have been historically silenced.
Among her many words of wisdom, Lorde wrote, “The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us – the poet – whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free.”
This year, our poets are in conversation with Lorde’s essay by considering the question: how can poetry set you free? We will be sharing their responses throughout each week, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, here is another quote from Lorde’s essay for you to become absolutely obsessed with: “For there are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt, of examining what our ideas really mean (feel like) on Sunday morning at 7 AM, after brunch, during wild love, making war, giving birth; while we suffer the old longings, battle the old warnings and fears of being silent and impotent and alone, while tasting our new possibilities and strengths.”