Reads for the Weekend: Creative writing as therapy, Sinead O’Connor & Teju Cole on White Saviors

The phenomenal poet, Adrienne Rich, who died this week at age 82. I’m glad she was with us for as long as she was. I found her work to be tremendously beautiful and profound. I found this interview from 1994 on Tumblr:

Q: June Jordan has this great remark in one of her poems, “I lust for justice.” You have that, too. Where does it come from?

Rich: Sometimes I think it’s in all of us. It gets repressed. It gets squashed. Very often by fear. For me, I know it’s been pushed down by fear at various times.

Q: Fear of what?

Rich: Fear of punishment. Fear of reprisal. Fear of not being taken seriously. Fear of being marginalized. And that’s why I think it’s so difficult for people on their own and in isolated situations to be as brave as they can be because it’s by others’ example that we learn how to do this. I really believe that justice and creativity have something intrinsically in common. The effort to make justice and the creative impulse are deeply aligned, and when you feel the necessity of a creative life, of coming to use your own creativity, I think you also become aware of what’s lacking, that not everyone has this potentiality available to them, that it is being withheld from so many.

A great article in the New York Times last week about creative writing as therapy: “What matters is that she and her comrades have found a way to face the toughest truths within themselves, to begin to make sense of them, and maybe even beauty. In a world that feels increasingly impersonal and atomized, I can’t think of a more thrilling mission.”

Sinead O’Connor on Trayvon Martin, Racism & Popular Culture, (h/t Davey D.)

My heart goes out to the family of Rekia Boyd, a 22-year-old who was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer in Chicago.

I’m didn’t have a chance to read this lovely, important essay by Teju Cole when it was first published, but I urge you to read it. One of my favorite sentences: “Marginalized voices in America have fewer and fewer avenues to speak plainly about what they suffer; the effect of this enforced civility is that those voices are falsified or blocked entirely from the discourse.”

Lots to think about. Kind of a heavy week. Maybe this will lighten the mood: Gentlemen, a cocktail may inspire your creativity.

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