Sunday, April 6, 2008

National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month I'm going to try and post a bunch of poetry stuff for your reading pleasure. The first things come from two friends of mine: First an essay from Mary Tinucci about the power of poetry (Mary does amazing work with the youth of St. Paul through The Lab), and second, some poems from Erica Wright (Who we also published at InDigest).


April: National Poetry Month

Is it trite to say that poetry has saved my life? Or maybe, it is completely grandiose. Either way, it is true for me. It was 12 years ago, at the age of 30, when I first dipped my toe into the waters of poetry. Immediately, my heart was soothed, my emotional internal world felt at ease, understood.

Among the first poets I learned of were Mary Oliver and Sekou Sundiata. Markedly different poets, markedly different lives. I have had the great pleasure of seeing and hearing both Sekou Sundiata and Mary Oliver speak and read their poetry live, in person. Before he died, I saw Sekou’s performance called “Blessing The Boats”. It was an amazing solo performance that recounted his experience with the life-threatening illness of kidney failure and recovery. Sekou affirmed for me the value of using poetry as self-reflection, healing, growth.

Mary Oliver, on the other hand, is most known for her ability to observe the natural world, outside of herself. I had the great pleasure of seeing her speak/read at the State Theater last Sunday night. Such an amazing poet, person. She and her poetry, honor and offer witness to all life in the natural landscapes. She notices and writes beautifully about trees, dogs, flowers, birds, insects and moose, all creatures, large and small, capturing their immense ability to teach us, if we will only slow down enough to truly see.

Although, of course, I never met them, these two ‘first poets’, were mentors to me, as were their poems. This “mentorship” through life is what we hope to offer through The Lab. April is National Poetry Month. I encourage you to reach for poetry this month, for inspiration, for solace, for your own private mentor. Consider, too, sharing a poem you love with someone you care about. It might just save a life. ~ In poetry & Peace. Mary T.

Erica at From the Fishouse

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About Me

David Luke Doody is a freelance writer and editor. He is a founding editor of InDigest Magazine (, an online literary magazine and the blog editor for Guernica Magazine ( His writing and interviews have appeared in those magazines as well as in The Huffington Post,, The Minnesota Twins Yearbook, and Intentionally Urban Magazine, among others.

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