POWER OF POETRY #34: “Some Slightly Connected Thoughts on Crafted Vulnerability, Stage Fright, Beauty, and Gratitude” – STEVIE EDWARDS

I am trying to write poems that stand inside of uncertainty and still find things to praise. And I don’t think it matters if I praise my sore legs that keep walking me home from work each night, or if I praise the relief of night rain in my first Carolinian July, or if I praise an idea of a home I miss, or if I praise the mild infection in my right nipple for not being cancer, or if I praise my friend who has stomach cancer but keeps living beyond the rational limits doctors have suggested—it is all praising living. It is all beholding the terrible beautiful uncertainty of being human and saying thank you. I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful than gratitude, and poetry helps me to access it.

THE POWER OF POETRY #32: LEE ANN RORIPAUGH – SOUTH DAKOTA’S POET LAUREATE

LEE ANN RORIPAUGH – SOUTH DAKOTA’S POET LAUREATE Poetry is the shape-shifting ouroboros of language, image, sound, form, and content held in infinite tension. It is the muscular pulse of sheened coil, forked tongue tasting the air. It is a voraciousness of language, hungry to apprehend and take in the world and through that desire,…

THE POWER OF POETRY #28: “Warrendale, a Chance Medley with Lines from “Brother of Leaving”” – Cal Freeman

Warrendale, a Chance Medley with Lines from “Brother of Leaving” The Warrendale neighborhood sits on the far west side of the city of Detroit. I describe my childhood home and the neighborhood in which it rests in my first collection of poems, Brother of Leaving. Historically it was a Polish Catholic neighborhood with St. Peter…

POETS ON POETS #1: “Muriel Rukeyser’s “Calling” and the Power of Poetry” – JOANNA PENN COOPER

  Faith is found here, not in a destiny raiding and parceling out knowledge and the earth, but in a people who, person by person, believes itself. Do you accept your own gestures and symbols? Do you believe what you yourself say? When you act, do you believe what you are doing? ​​​​​​–Muriel Rukeyser, The…

THE POWER OF POETRY #3: JENNY DRAI

  “The Power of Poetry” by JENNY DRAI 1. I remember the poem that made me want to be a poet—it was Paul Celan’s “Night Ray” (“Nachtstrahl”) from Poppy and Memory. (I first encountered Celan as an undergraduate German major. Up to that point, I had written almost exclusively fiction and my grand plan in…