If your mother tells you stories, she is a poetry maker.
If your father says stories, he is a poetry maker.
If your grandma tells you stories, she is a poetry maker.
And that’s who forms our poetics.
—Juan Felipe Herrera
On January 12th we welcome Juan Felipe Herrera, the U.S. Poet Laureate, to our Winter Words stage. His most recent poetry collection is a call to action, challenging readers to notice not the gulfs of difference separating us but instead those things that make us human. He asks us what it is to look at clouds, fall in love, to breathe deeply. “Here and there cannot be overcome/it is the first drop of ink,” he writes, insisting that reading and writing stories can tear down the wall between here, and there; him, and her; us, and them.
The world’s recent violent events can invade the joys of the season, wrapping our hearts with the darkness of fear. We at Aspen Words passionately believe that stories have never been more important than in this moment. Your support is critical in helping us bring stories to the forefront of our consciousness.
All of us have stories to share. All of these stories matter. When our news channels are emanating catastrophic human events in numbers and figures, we look to these stories to empower and to humanize. To find empathy and understanding amidst the darkness. To direct our gaze to those things that we all share, not those things that separate us.
We ask you to continue to support us in our mission to open channels of communication, by sharing stories, listening to one another, and inspiring the next generation of storytellers.
With our best wishes for the holiday season,
Aspen Words is a program of the Aspen Institute, a 501(c)(3) organization, and your gift is fully tax deductible.
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This post was written by Caroline Tory