The one where two young women of colour rescue poetry from itself

Say what you want about Rupi Kaur, and I tend to say things, her facile musings and doodles have paved the way for inaugural-poet-and-subsequent-superstar Amanda Gorman who has basically turned this mid-point in the pandemic into a giant poetry party. I know a lot of us grit our teeth seeing dumptrucks of money being driven up to the doors of instagram models who pen statements that don’t even reach the level of pseudo-profundity and lay them down in craftless lines accompanied by twee sketches of suns and flowers, but … but … Everyone is reading it. And that’s a good thing. Unlike Kaur, Gorman, I feel, will grow in ways we can’t even expect, and will hopefully be drawing young people to the art for many years to come. Even USA Today is covering poetry’s sudden surge. Seriously. That’s like when your quietly-racist, dumb NFL-superfan uncle calls you to tell you he saw the superbowl poem and asks why you can’t write something understandable like that. You’re both offended and so happy that anything poetic entered his sphere at all. Brown girl power for the win.

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