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Matthew Dickman Wants You to Help Him Advocate for Poetry

By Harriet Staff

Matthew Dickman wrote this piece for Tin House. In it, he states:

poetry has always advocated for us. Beyond the more secular creation of publishing houses and prize money, poetry has only ever wanted us to live, to feel, to be together, to love and grieve, to engage with the dark, to walk through the light. Poetry has lifted us up out of the worst sort of sorrow, as well as illuminating moments of happiness we thought couldn’t get brighter.

Then, a call to action:

I want to ask if you will join me in a small, inexpensive, but possibly life-altering experiment. Over the next thirty days, let’s all buy a favorite book of poems and send it to someone who doesn’t usually read poems. This could be a family member, friend, your local representative, whomever! I believe poetry enriches our lives and our hearts. I believe that by sharing poetry with others we are taking part in humanizing our culture.

So that we may all share in the experience, you can tweet the book title you mail and whom you are sending it to with the #shareapoem hashtag.

For my part, I have picked up two copies of Lucille Clifton’s The Book of Light and am sending them to Portland’s mayoral candidates. Whoever becomes my mayor, I want them to do so with a book of poems on their shelf.

You go!, Matthew Dickman!

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Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.