A POET IN THE FACE OF VIOLENCE


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A POET IN THE FACE OF VIOLENCE? on Literary Hub

Essay originally written as part of “Black Bodies Matter” panel at AWP 2016 in Los Angeles, CA. Edited and published at Literary Hub on August 30, 2016.

[Lit Hub] [pdf]


From Lit Hub:

What roles does poetry play in response to violence?
Can poets write about racialized violence without reinscribing it on others?
Susan B. A. Somers-Willett

There is a body discussed on the news today, I’m sure of it. A black body—one killed over history and skin. A body that bore the weight of immigration, colonialism, and fear. Simple fear. A body, whose life ended because another hand felt the tremble of the other side of that fear, of the unknown, of its own history and skin. Isn’t that what we all are, history born out on skin?