Brattleboro Literary Festival Brattleboro Literary Festival

Thursday, October 14, 2021

- EDT
Poetry, Identity, and Coming of Age
Diana Whitney
Diana Whitney
You Don’t Have to be Everything
Joy Ladin
Joy Ladin
Book of Anna
Lynn Melnick
Lynn Melnick
Landscape with Sex and Violence

Diana Whitney’s inclusive anthology for teen girls, You Don’t Have to Be Everything: Poems for Girls Becoming Themselves, was released by Workman Publishing to critical acclaim and became a YA bestseller.The poems in this collection speak candidly about rage, shame, desire, depression, sexual violence, body image, self-love, gender identity, and much more.

In this virtual event, four poets from the anthology—Leslie Marie Aguilar, Joy Ladin, Lynn Melnick and editor Diana Whitney— read their own poems and talk about the project. They’ll discuss how poetry has been a path for self-discovery and self-acceptance of their younger, and now adult, selves; how poems can facilitate empathy for self and others; and the important role poetry plays in allowing us to re-imagine and re-write our identities and stories.

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Sunday, October 17, 2021

- EDT
Are We Having a Moment? Writing poetry in the time of the pandemic and poetry’s resurgence in the culture
Vijay Seshadri
Vijay Seshadri
That Was Now, This Is Then
Shanta Lee Gander
Shanta Lee Gander
GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA
Diana Whitney
Diana Whitney
You Don’t Have to be Everything
Chard deNiord
Chard deNiord
In My Unknowing

Poetry has famously flourished in times of crisis—including pandemics past—thanks to poets and writers galvanized by suffering and confusion, from Boccacio’s Decameron in the 14th century to Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague in 1912 to Camus’ 1947 The Plague to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera in 1985. And certainly the electrifying effect of Amanda Gorman’s reading at the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20. Within hours of delivering her poem, the young poet went viral, and in a single day Gorman attracted more than two million Instagram followers. 

Poetry has enjoyed phenomenal success the last few years…from the rise of youth poets to online audiences. Poets Shanta Lee Gander, Jane Hirshfield, Vijay Seshadri, and Diana Whitney will discuss resurgence and how the pandemic has affected their writing. Moderated by Chard deNiord, this panel promises to be lively and illuminating.

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