Championing Poetry for the Public


I believe in the power of language to
name, define, identify and create new visions. And also to respond to what can be difficult in our society. A library contains our knowledge of the
world, and this library in particular is a special place for me. I love it. I’ve spent
many many hours here writing, thinking, dreaming. Poetry is important and I think art is important because it allows us access to other minds, other experiences. It
allows for empathy. It carries knowledge, and it’s a space in
which one can make the self, articulate the self. I am an immigrant from Haiti.
I moved with my family as a child so identity was a big theme for me,
migration, immigration, how we know what we know, negotiations of language,
code-switching or jumping from language to the language, and also the idea that
some things cannot be translated. We are city of immigrants. The country
is a nation of immigrants. We all engage in small and large acts of
translation every day. Only. Nature hides
the most beautiful design: the norm,
the anomaly, the rare, the rarest,
which is to say, the only, and aren’t we
each, twins even, only?

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