It is April, National Poetry Month, and I was so pleased to have the radio flood my car with poetry this morning & remind me to celebrate. Here's some good reading & listening--starting with poetry & moving into other literary forms calling to me lately.
- On my drive to work this morning, I listened to Democracy Now's conversation with Rev. Lawson. He discussed his work in the civil rights movement, justice as the other side of Christian love, and his relationship with MLK Jr. in the moments leading up to his assassination. When their coverage moved on, I flipped over to our student radio. I got there just in time June Jordan's "Poem about my Rights," which continues to have arresting power.
- June Jordan's work reminded me to go back to Warsan Shire, who shot to even more acclaim when her poetry became a feature (unbeknownst to many listeners) in Beyoncé's Lemonade. Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth will likely be the book I grab this Poetry Month.
- It's the spring of Roxane Gay. This April, she's editing a month-long pop-up magazine over at Medium with new work on Unruly Bodies released each Tuesday. Then May brings Not that Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, a collection of essays edited by Gay. I'm eagerly awaiting this one, as it will feature Jill Christman, whom I had as a creative nonfiction professor while in undergrad.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education also recently released this collection of pieces, The Awakening: Women & Power in the Academy. It is a lot, & it is necessary reading for all of us trying to build new paths in the academy. And this as much as the literary works listed before it remind me that this is a moment for inspiring change in form, potential for new use of & engagement with narrative, and a critical re-evaluation of citing & publishing practices in the academy.
We have a lot to write. There is so much story. We have the capacity to write it.