The Poetry of Democracy

Offered by: Yolanda Wisher, Chief Rhapsodist of Wherewithal

At-a-glance: Harness the power of poetry to wordsmith your group’s or organization’s mission and/or statement of values.

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Description: Poetry can be the voice of one or many, a vessel for personal and collective hue and cry. In this workshop—perfect for leaders at the beginning of a planning or collaborative process—we’ll read, write, and recite poetry to enact a democratic process of visioning and planning. Rhapsodist of Wherewithal Yolanda Wisher will first guide you on an interactive, time-traveling expedition aboard the poetic vessels that June Jordan, Walt Whitman, and Bob Kaufman built for us not so long ago. Then we’ll go in search of our own people’s poetry through playful group writing activities, revisiting ancient poetic forms like tanka, sonnet, and renga to create an ensemble of voices. We’ll use the USDAC’s Statement of Values to help each other craft powerful visions of social change through poetic language, and we’ll perform our own version of the USDAC’s 2015 Poetic Address to the Nation, a collaborative poem created by twenty poets and inspired by individual stories shared at more than 150 People’s State of the Union events across the country.

Learn more about Yolanda.