These days my head has been teeming with images of the many faces of Resistance – mostly the ways in which people of good will have gathered to blend their skills and societal commitment to share truth, experiences and opinions — eventually, to take arms (or voice, or knitting needles, laptop, paint brush, cello, chisel or camera) to oppose – and end – the “sea of troubles” in which the nation is floundering.
The splash this weekend has been news of Amanda Gorman, a young woman whose powerful presence and poetry have taken the nation by storm. As the first National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda was omnipresent in the media as she spoke out at last weekend’s Social Good Summit.
Learn more about this powerful young woman of words — and listen to her message — here: http://mashable.com/2017/09/17/amanda-gorman-us-youth-poet-laureate-social-good/#ydD41XQL_iqg. Or read this piece about Amanda and the National Youth Poet Laureate title here: https://www.pw.org/content/amanda_gorman_named_national_youth_poet_laureate
Because Amanda is the first to wear the laurel wreath as National Youth Poet Laureate it’s important to know more about the backstory of the initiative. The project itself reflects the vision of Urban Word, a “youth literary arts and youth development organization” whose mission is “to elevate the voices of teens while promoting civic engagement and social justice.” (http://urbanwordnyc.org) The project places youth in “spaces of power” where they can “creatively respond to the litany of social and political factors that impact their cities and their lives.” https://www.pw.org/content/amanda_gorman_named_national_youth_poet_laureate
Last month, the youthful Poet Laureate met with the Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and staff of the Poetry and Literature Staff of the Library of Congress. The description of that informal gathering, prepared by LC staffer Anne Holmes, offers a thoughtful overview of the Youth Poet Laureate initiative and insights about Amanda’s experience. You’ll feel the flicker of hope springing eternal: https://blogs.loc.gov/catbird/2017/07/amanda-gorman-inaugural-national-youth-poet-laureate/
Reflecting on her experience as a participant in the Social Good Summit, Amanda shared these elegant words with Summit attendees:
With one microphone, we streak/ across the globe like an eclipse. We strike our plans into stone/ and from this we build a summit worth climbing, / a goal worth reaching, / a world worth building.”