Poetry is Not a Luxury: Writing as Essential Act

Poetry is Not a Luxury: Writing as Essential Act


In her essay, “Poetry is Not a Luxury,” Audre Lorde tells us that poetry “is a vital necessity of our existence.” Still, many of us struggle to get to our writing with regularity. Our list of reasons is long, variable, and real: day jobs, babies, finals, illness, family obligations, fear of failure—sheer exhaustion.

In this four-week workshop, we’re going to write anyway. We’ll apply the tenets of Lorde’s essay to our own writing lives and, in her sage words, “pursue our magic and make it real.”

We’ll drink deeply from the well of inspiration by reading and listening to poems by a wide range of contemporary poets including Yusef Komunyakaa, Ada Limón, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Maggie Smith, Ted Kooser, Jim Harrison, Chloe Honum, and Lucille Clifton, to name a few.

Each lesson will offer a generative writing prompt and a revision based prompt for those not-quite-there-yet-poems gathering dust in your bottom desk drawer. We’ll read and respond to each other’s work, drawing support from the community of poets we create. We’ll write the poems that only we can write.

Four weeks online, April 8-May 5

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Teaching Artist


Kim Noriega

Kim Noriega is the author of the poetry collection, Name Me published by Fortunate Daughter Press. Her poems have appeared in textbooks, journals, and anthologies including: American Life in Poetry, Paris-Atlantic, Split Lip, and The Tishman Review. She was the winner of San Miguel Literary Sala’s 2017 Flash Nonfiction Prize, a finalist for the 2017 Edna St. Vincent Millay Poetry Prize, and one of 30 poets selected to collaborate with 30 film artists as a part of the 2018 Visible Poetry Project.

Ms. Noriega teaches children, teens, and adults in public libraries and recovery homes and was a finalist for the 2017 Toyota National Family Teacher of the Year Award. She lives in San Diego where she heads San Diego Public Library’s family literacy program. More at kimnoriega.com.