You & Yours: Poems of Witness, Social Justice, Activism, and Peace

You & Yours: Poems of Witness, Social Justice, Activism, and Peace


For time immemorial, poets have been posing, contemplating, and answering the questions of social justice—often at great risk to themselves. Think Lorca. Think Hashem Shaabani.

In “Requiem,” an elegy written over three decades by Anna Akhmatova about those suffering through the Great Purge, she asks and answers: “Can you describe this? Yes.” And in her poem, “During A War,” Naomi Shihab Nye wonders: where does “yours” end?/Dark eyes pleading/what could we have done/differently?

In this four-week generative workshop, we’ll read and write poems that bear witness like Akhmatova’s, poems that scream for change like Gil Scott Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” poems of peace and justice like “Pray for Peace” by Ellen Bass—so we never lose sight of the importance of those qualities in our world.

February 4-March 3, Online

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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