Poetry/Protest [Lily Luo] by EMW Bookstore

Poetry as protest is a different means of communication. It is not about inviting the audience in to try and rationalize away your lived experiences; rather it is meant to draw others in to feel the emotional truths being expressed. As Claudia Rankine puts it, “how you feel is how you feel is how you feel even if what you perceive isn’t tied to what is” because at the end of the day, “what is?”  Poetry brings value to the deeply personal and emotional truths that are so often obscured, devalued, or twisted into something ugly. Poetry, unlike other ways of describing institutional racism, tends to the lived experiences and emotions of the oppressed. As protest, it articulates, as Audre Lorde puts it,  “the farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears…cobbled [together] by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.” Poetry is a way to speak when one’s experiences cannot be expressed within the confines of statistical analysis and racialized and gendered norms of conversational discourse.

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