Sometimes when I meet new people and tell them I’m a poet they get scared or roll their eyes — “a poet, what even is that?” They think. “Do you wear a powdered wig and write with a quill and look out the window a lot?” I grew up half in Upstate New York and half on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida; half in the hills and half on the beach (if my story were a creature that creature might be a mermaid, maybe with deer and sweetcorn in her hair). At the time I thought both places were pretty boring and I didn’t have a lot of friends which left me with a lot of time on my hands and a lot of space in my head to fill.
Enter POETRY! Poetry is important because it belongs to everyone and is all around us, like air. Poetry unlocks the door we find between our self and the selves of others and the world beyond that we don’t know yet but would maybe like to. Poetry is important because it is a place to play and surprise ourselves. And in addition to teaching us that we are people, poetry also teaches us that we’re icebergs! Huge and powerful and mysterious below the surface.