Example poetry

Poetry is experiencing a new golden age, with young writers of color in mind.

Not so long ago there was a time when many could name only one, maybe two poets. Often times these are long-lived white men named William Shakespeare, Robert Frost, and Walt Whitman.

However, changes have taken place in recent years. Amanda Gorman signed a modeling contract and was invited to the Met Gala after reading her impressive poems during President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January. Rupikaul, whose poetry first took hold on social media, starred in the celebrity-dominated “Tonight’s Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and hosts a special on Amazon Prime. And for the first time since 1998, the MacArthur Foundation awarded this year to three poets, Hanif Abdulakib, Don Mechoi and Reginald Dwaynebets, a prestigious “genius” scholarship.

Meanwhile, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, home to leading arts institutions such as the Juilliard School and the New York Philharmonic, named Mahogany L. Brown the first poet of the year.

Poetry has always been present and has seen a wave of acclaim, but the genre is gaining new attention in today’s mainstream collective imagination, removing the previous demotion to sleepy English lessons in high school. I have. And most of the time, the poet of colors is in control.

In the past, the poet Moff Color was not always supportedOf course, from Phillis Wheatley to Sonia Sanchez to Joy Harjo, poets of color have long lived and worked in the United States. However, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author of “Leadbelly” and “Olio” Tyehimba Jess graduated with a master’s degree in poetry or was an active artist and published in a literary magazine in the early 1990s. I remembered of the idea. It was completely foreign to him.

Then, in 1997, Jess came across a flyer for Cave Canem, a foundation that supports black American poets. At that time, he said, the Foundation was still in its infancy, with few books by black poets, and in the meantime. But being in this community was the first motivation for him to follow poetry in a professional manner.

“What has happened over the past 25 to 30 years is that there has been a revival of black poetry, in large part thanks to organizations like Cave Canem and the kind of fellowship work “Jess said. I did. He also names organizations such as Obsidian, a literary magazine specializing in works of the African diaspora, and Watering Hole, a writing retreat for poets of color from the South.

“All of these organizations have been going through some really tough times, mainly because of their ideas of hope, their urgent belief in the power of words and the urgency of the poet… I was ignored. We are moving forward a part of our story that has been ignored for a very long time, ”Jess said.

According to Jess, this kind of fellowship and organizational activity led to the resurrection moment that we are seeing now.

Writers of color are supported in their work, and they become teachers, educators, editors or published writers, paving the way for the publication of other poets from a group that has reached its limits. It is a reification of “rising when you climb” and this is one of the reasons why one can have the impression that there are so many poets from a marginalized background who are very successful. public.

More people, mostly people of color, are reading poetryHowever, poetry as an art form may appeal to writers from a more alienated background than other media. Poet Ada Limon said her latest book, The Carrying, won the National Critics Circle Award, claiming that essentially rejecting the notion of the right answer creates room for the mess of human experience. Space may appeal to a particular writer more than any other writer.

“For those of us in between the spaces… for those who aren’t easy to tick, if your identity is a bit slippery, poetry is where you can go to explore it, and that would be a Thorough cross-examination of who we are as humans, “Rimon said.” It’s not just one or the other. No one is trying to be right … Instead, the poem says ” yes, me too “and” yes, that too. “” “

And in Limon’s experience, writers of color and writers from other marginalized groups had to resist the oversimplification of themselves and their identities. Liquidity, for example, translates into poetry more naturally than plot novels. Limon said that poetry as a medium resists summaries and single responses, so these writers may be more drawn to it as a form of expression.

Rimon’s claim is also reflected in the reader’s data. Black Americans, Asian Americans, and other non-white, non-Hispanic groups read poetry at the highest rate, according to data released by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2018.

Yet overall, more people are reading poetry than ever before. In the United States, 28 million adults read poetry in 2017, and the NEA found the highest number of readers on record since 2002. Young people between the ages of 18 and 24 led the prosecutions, with a readership of 2012 .

Rupi Cowl, whose second collection of poems, The Sun and Her Flowers, was released in 2017 when the NEA collected the latest data, was undoubtedly among many young people’s internal poetry repositories. With his short poems and images signed by Tumblr and other quickly shared social media sites, Kaur now has 4.4 million Instagram followers, a career that began almost with word-of-mouth in the early years. 2010s. I have three books in his name.

When asked why she thinks her work resonates, Cowl’s writing is so personal that her audiences can come together and find her story in her words. Noted.

“I dive into my life. I talk about how the loss, sadness and trauma have affected me. I try to accept this sadness by writing poetry. My book is that it’s just a byproduct of the self-care process, ”Cowl said in a statement to CNN. “And when someone is very honest with themselves, I think honesty can be universally relevant.”

Poetry has become more visible in the mainstreamPart of the growth of poetry is due to an increased awareness of the general public, not the elite literary world.

There are many contributions to this visibility. The Poetry Foundation’s current Poetry Foundation podcasts “VS” and “The Slowdown” are helping, and oral poetry and slam are becoming increasingly popular. The rise of popular young poets such as Ocean Vuong and Morgan Parker has also played a role in increasing efforts to teach the work of living poets in elementary and middle school.

But there is probably one of the most useful. It’s social networks.

“I think social media has actually done a great thing for poetry because of all its shortcomings. It provides access and, in many ways, makes poetry fully accessible to all. That is to say. “

She explained that it was very different from what it was just 15 years ago. From Instagram accounts like PoetryIsNotA Luxury, which posts several poems from a wide range of writers on a daily basis, to living (Kaur-style) poets who use social media as a medium to disseminate their work, social media has changed the way la poetry reaches people. ..

“It gives us hands-on experience with Audre Lorde’s poems and Lucille Clifton’s poems when using Instagram over a cup of coffee,” says Limon. “In such an individual, modern, momentary relationship with ancestral poetry, it’s just huge, and I don’t think we had it before.”

Another change, according to Limon, was the approval of the poet’s readers. When Limon was in college, he felt he had to write poetry for other poets. She said it changed the poem and made it more abstract or clever. There is now a growing awareness of readers who may not be very familiar with poetry, which has shifted the work’s involvement to a larger community.

“There is a certain perception that poetry is not only academic, but also addressed to a real human being living on the other side,” she said. “It was a big deal.”

She gave an example: she said that most readers don’t need to know Shakespeare’s sonnet benchmarks to appreciate Terence Hayes’ modern sonnets. But in the past, Limon has said that there may be literary references and languages ​​in poems that contain “Our poetry for poets”.

Poets.orgPublishing Daily Poetry as part of the Poem-a-Day series, the executive director of the Academy of American Poets said that the number of readers of the website and of the daily poetry has grown every year since 2013. A Jennifer Benka said. Poets.org And Poem-a-day.

“American poetry is perfect for sharing on social media and is more popular than ever thanks to the activities of national poetry organizations that offer free publications and events and their diverse voices. »Said Benka. “Especially during the pandemic, we have seen thousands of readers turn to poetry for comfort and to help them understand the meaning of this moment. “

So far, just in 2021, Poets.org With over a million additional pageviews, we’ve seen a historic increase in traffic. The increase in website traffic is in part due to Amanda Gorman’s success during the presidential inauguration in January and her interest in art forms, an academy spokesperson said.

As you can see, accessibility and visibility of poetry are closely related, resulting in increased sales and, of course, increased interest.

Chants Erolin, an independent Minneapolis publisher and publisher of Gray Wolf Press, whose repertoire includes works by poets such as Jane Kenyon, Tracy K. Smith and Danez Smith, also said, “The present of contemporary poetry. “Excitement” is called “exciting”.

“The poetry landscape is vast and diverse, and the increasing frequency (and visibility) of breakout collections means not only increased sales, but also a stronger opportunity to engage with poets and hurry. “He said.

The number of poetry books published by Gray Wolf is fairly stable, but the press received over 4,000 manuscripts when it last accepted the submission a month in 2016, Elorin said.

“This is the perfect time to live in the world of poetry,” said Limon. “I really feel like this.”

Some scholars may argue that the true golden age of poetry was an ancient time, but Limon takes a different point of view. She said the golden age of poetry is now right now.

Poetry is experiencing a new golden age, with young writers of color in mind.

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