For the last five years Yrsa Daley-Ward has been posting her poetry to Instragram. Currently she is a published poet, actress, model, and she recently released her first memoir, "Terrible." The debate about the relevancy of poetry today can best be answered by tech savvy poets like Daley-Ward who use social media to shed light on myriad subjects with brutal truth and painful beauty. Her mother, Jamaican, her father, Nigerian, and raised in England by her grandparents, her landscape of knowledge and emotions are vast, and vastly different. In each poem, you can find yourself regardless of your age, your race, your morals, as long as you are honest with yourself. Excerpt from "Scent" I’m undone. Perhaps it is the air in my head. Three years. And I did too much work on our love. Three years and I can't undo the problem of your scent.
Porochrisa Khakpour, I first read, as I began Sadegh Hedayat's novel The Blind Owl. To be honest, I fell in love with her writer's voice immediately, and by the time I got to the end of her introduction, I wanted to stay with her, in her words, even as enticing and provocative she made the story I was intrigued to read. When I finished the novel, I began to research Khakpour and her writing. She is everywhere! Novels, essays, non-fiction, teaching writing and about to publish a memoir. Contained within this particular essay is her journey to writing, overcoming her fears and doubts that her words matter. In this essay, I see direct worries many students face, and in her words find, identity, struggle, and the fortitude to fight. Excerpt from "How to Write Iranian-America, or The Last Essay" "And watch it come out, more and more in every draft: anger with your parents, frustration with your blood, anxieties surrounding the somehow still-new land—all that is Iranian-America. Let your truth come out hard and fast and untranslatable because no one else will see it anyway."
Those of us who read a lot of science fiction know that there is one unique voice in the realm of writers who dedicate their imagination to the unknown: Octavia E. Butler. As the only African-American female sci-fi writer, she has created for herself a nest of adoration and praise writing in this minute niche. Butler's writing is utterly unique - from the way she approaches craft blending questions that dominate her thinking, reading and philosophy to an eloquent simplicity of finite detail. You NEVER know where her writing is gong or how it will end. Every story a wholly singular. If you are bored with traditional sci-fi cannon, ready to move on from your love affair with Neil Gaimon, want someone a bit like Le Guinn or Atwood but more peculiar, then venture to Butler. Excerpt from "Blood Child" "I had been told all my life that this was a good and necessary thing humans andTerran did together—a kind of birth. I had believed it until now. I knew birth was painful and bloody, no matter what. But this was something else, something worse. And I wasn’t ready to see it. Maybe I never would be. Yet I couldn’t not see it. Closing my eyes didn’t help."
The Universe in Verse is a celebration of science through poetry. For the 2017 event, Sarah Jones performed McGrath's poem celebrating the work of Jane Goodall. Through numerous characters all portrayed by Jones, she symbolizes how connected humanity is not only to each other, but to the loud and quiet work of scientists. Listening to how others contemplate the same poem is captivating. Each persona displays a different reading of the text until the end when they are united in a chorus of human experience. From the link, scroll down to view the video, and below that to read an excerpt from the poem.