SXSW 2019

The Poets Tried to Tell You: Warning Signs in Lit


In the current social and political climate, some are scratching their heads and asking, “How did we get here?” Poets have long been tasked with writing the times as they are and all that wades below the surface. From sexual harassment and misogyny in the #metoo movement to race and the social political impact of government, poetry has allowed readers to consider the many entry points of personal wounds and community outrage. Perhaps the poet’s interwoven link of the mind’s eye and the pulse of our collective being left clues to our current state of affairs. Panelists will examine poetry that turns our heads in the direction of truth, calling us to look at our chaotic present and uncertain future.

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  1. The artist’s responsibility as public figure.
  2. The importance of literature as witness of social consciousness.
  3. How artists can help create a more inclusive and empathetic future.



Amanda Johnston, Creative Writing Instructor: Poetry , Stonecoast MFA, University of Southern Maine

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Experiential Storytelling
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced

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