“Poetry is and has always been at the very heart of society. It gives voice to our emotions and imaginations, and to our humanity. Through it, we share our stories across the planet and across generations. Poetry helps me see the world around me; it helps me make sense of our world and reflect on who we are now and who we can become.
“I’m grateful that poetry is now more popular than ever, thanks to the essential truth-telling of poets like Joy Harjo, U.S. poet laureate; the inspirational work of this year’s inauguration poet, Amanda Gorman; and so many more. I’m pleased to share a poem from this year’s Poetry Out Loud champion – Rahele Megosha of South Dakota. Enjoy her recitation!”
About the Contributor and Organization
Pam Breaux, a member of the Commission on the Arts, is President and CEO of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA).
NASAA is a national, not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that champions public support for the arts in America. Together, NASAA and the state arts agencies advance the arts as an essential ingredient in the well-being and prosperity of our nation’s individuals, communities, and families. Learn more here.
About the Artist
Rahele Megosha is a first-year student at Columbia University. Reflecting on her experience with Poetry Out Loud, Megosha said “it really helps me understand the multitude of perspectives that exist in this world, and I think that’s a really beautiful thing.” See more here.
The poem was written by Jehanne Dubrow, the author of nine books of poems, including most recently, Wild Kingdom (LSU Press, 2021), and a book of creative nonfiction, throughsmoke: an essay in notes (New Rivers Press, 2019).
The National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the United States’ state and jurisdictional arts agencies organize this poetry recitation program each year, and over four million high school students have participated in it since its inception.
Commission on the Arts
The Commission - drawing on the expertise of its members who are artists, scholars, activists, and leaders, as well as the input of people across the country who participated in listening sessions - dedicated itself to recognizing and supporting the essential role of the arts and artists in American life.