Poetry Coalition: Organizing around Themes of Social Importance

In March 2017, the National Poetry Coalition launched its first annual programming initiative focused on a theme of social importance. Each organization in the Poetry Coalition presented programs and projects on the theme of migration, under the title Because We Come from Everything: Poetry & Migration. As part of this initiative, the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Program hosted a special event that featured documentary film, visual art and poetry speaking to the theme of migration in the natural world.

In March 2018, the National Poetry Coalition launched its latest initiative, Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry & the Body, taken from a line in the Tracy K. Smith poem "Flores Woman." 

“Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live”

The rich, overarching theme of Poetry & the Body lends itself to a multitude of questions, conversations and explorations of what it means to inhabit this earth embodied. Throughout the month of March, poetry organizations around the country organized unique events, programs and publications that addressed many different issues related to the body, and used the hashtags #PoetryCoalition and #MyDreamingMyLoving to share their projects.

As part of this celebration, the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Program launched the month-long Whose Body? Project.

The question Whose Body? is one that arises again and again as we consider the various issues that can be addressed when we consider Poetry & the Body, including body image, body trauma, environment & the body, the marginalized body, the incarcerated body, body politics, healing & the body, the gendered body, the non-gendered body, senses & the body, and many others. 

Whose Body? Video Project

Dodge Poetry featured eight video posts (two per week), of poets using poetry to approach the question “Whose Body?” from any perspective they chose. The poets who participated in this project are:

Week 1: Ada Limón and Jericho Brown

Week Two: Aimee Nezhukumatathil and C. Bain

Week Three: Rachel Wiley and Rigoberto González

Week Four: Priscilla Orr and Joseph Millar

The videos can be found on our Tumblr page.

#WhoseBody

On March 15th, Dodge Poetry social media accounts were taken over by the #WhoseBody hashtag, filling our feeds with images and words that spoke back to the stream of stylized, filtered and edited bodies that we see on our screens every day.

The Dodge Poetry Staff and friends shared posts that celebrated and praised our bodies, exactly as they are, using #WhoseBody.

Celebration and Reclamation: March 24th Event

To culminate this month of Poetry & the Body, we hosted the Whose Body? Celebration and Reclamation event in Princeton, New Jersey, featuring a diverse group of poets in a day of performances, readings, conversations and writing activities approaching the question from many points of view.

Featured performers included: C. BainKay Ulanday Barrett  • Mahogany L. BrowneRobert CarnevaleCortney CharlestonOna GritzNicole HomerPriscilla OrrJC ToddMargaret WaldockRachel Wiley

 

 

#MyDreamingMyLoving      #PoetryCoalition      #WhoseBody