305 The Anthem of Poetry
The arts have always been impactful and meaningful to humanity, however one stands above all the rest in this episode and that is poetry. Poetry conveys emotions and thoughts that are often difficult to put into words, making it one of the most important avenues for both emotional understanding and human connection.
In this episode Sarah Elkins and Maya Williams discuss the importance of poetry and how Maya’s experiences and life paths shaped them into the artist they are.
You’ll never know who you can teach or inspire.
Find the communities that welcome and love you.
Give yourself permission and encouragement to seek what you need and will work for you.
Do the work, especially when it’s hard.
We are all full of contradictions, meaning it is even more important to hold true to our values.
Spite can be a great motivator, especially in succeeding and surviving.
“I remember telling my therapist, “Oh well, I know that not every space is perfect, right? So I just need to find the first thing that’s available to me.” And then my therapist tells me, “You do not have to go to a house of worship that does not love you.””
“It makes me feel upset when someone says something like, “Oh I tried going to a therapist but I just felt worse afterwards so I stopped going.” and it’s like that’s part of the work! That’s part of the work! I can understand not wanting to continue with a therapist if they said something bigoted or they didn’t do their jobs, right? But they’re doing their job and you feel worse afterwards, you need to give it more time.”
“The most impactful friends in my life are the ones who tell me like it is.”
Dear Listeners it is now your turn,
I’m curious to know if you have been interested in poetry. Have you ever found it interesting or intriguing or inspiring? And if you haven't, why did you stop looking for poetry that might actually inspire you? I challenge you to find a poem in the next two days that really resonates, a poem you can get into, dive into, maybe find some of your own healing in it. It could be from one of Maya Williams’ books, it could be searching “Poems about,” and then putting your keyword in. Find your poem that can be your anthem for a little while, and when that gets tired find another to be your anthem for a little while, just as you would with song lyrics or a song. Don’t forget to purchase a book of poetry from your local bookstore to support your local poets.
And, as always, thank you for listening.
About Maya (From her website)
Maya Williams (ey/em, they/them, and she/her) is a religious Black multiracial nonbinary suicide survivor who is currently an Ashley Bryan Fellow and the seventh Poet Laureate of Portland, Maine .
Maya's debut poetry collection, Judas & Suicide, is available through Game Over Books . And Maya's second poetry collection, Refused a Second Date, is available now through Harbor Editions.
See the contact section on how to invite them to your next event as a workshop facilitator, performance feature, speaker, panelist, and/or honorary consensual virtual or air hugger. Maya's content covers suicide awareness, mental health, faith, entertainment media, grief, interpersonal relationships, intimate partner violence, and healing.
She graduated with a Bachelors in Social Work and a Bachelors of Art in English in May 2017. She graduated with a community practice-focused Masters in Social Work and Certificate in Applied Arts and Social Justice at the University of New England in May 2018. She graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts for Creative Writing with a Focus in Poetry at Randolph College in June 2022.
They have featured as a guest artist, panelist, and speaker in spaces such as The Mixed Remixed Festival in Los Angeles, California, The Interfaith Leadership Institute in Chicago, Illinois, Black Table Art