Art Works Blog

#WisdomWednesday: National Poetry Month Edition

In honor of tonight's Poetry Out Loud National Finals and National Poetry Month, we've rounded up some #WednesdayWisdom from poets we've interviewed for the Art Works blog over the years. (Click on each poet's name to read their interview.) And don't forget to watch the live #POL18 National Finals webcast tonight on arts.gov--starting at 7pm ET--as students from Arizona, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Vermont vie for the top spot of 2018 Poetry Out Loud National Champion! Tune in here

photo of string of bunting flags in a mountain setting with quote by Maria Jose Gimenez

"I feel compelled to investigate further and how I write poetry is basically an investigation of the world. I am trying to understand my world and the world around me." -- María José Giménez

photo of the backs of two young girls as they walk together with quote by Barbara Jane Reyes

"For me, it was always about how do I come into proximity with that other person?" -- Barbara Jane Reyes

photo of an hourglass and piece of fabric on a stool with quote by Joy Ladin

"So one of the big storylines in my work was how do you write poems that are true when you can't tell the truth about yourself?" -- Joy Ladin

photo of neon sign that says Work Harder with quote by David Tomas Martinez

"...Through perseverance, through going to the page, through looking at myself and bringing some candle--which for me is books, friendship, love, relationships--to the darker recesses of myself, I can hopefully find some better version of myself." -- David Tomas Martinez

Doorway with Hello This Way painted on it with quote from Camille Rankine

"I'm drawn to certain things and ideas and words, and then it's a mtter of me taking a moment wiht myself and figuring out where this is come from and where it's going." -- Camille Rankine 

a zen grouping of stones with quote by Tanaya Winder

"Even in the practice of it, the patience it takes in crafting a line, in crafting a poem and giving yourself the emotional distance from it, to return to it again then critically, that to me is healing." -- Tanaya Winder

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