2021 Poetry Wrap: Year in Review

2021’s poetry landscape was full of intensity, from: exciting moments (inauguration poetry and Grammy noms); devastating events (see: Poets in Myanmar); serious loss (see: Binta and Levine); and a few major changes.

Yes, this year-in-poetry has been complex, experiencing a constant flux of highs and lows.

We realize that you may have experienced this in your personal life, as well. So, before we recap some of 2021’s highlights, we would like to thank you for your loyal readership.

We hope that we’ve kept you entertained, informed and comforted. For our longtime readers, we hope that we’ve provided some semblance of normalcy amid these unpredictable times.

We have one mission here: Making the poet popular again. Our contribution to this cause includes the gathering and sharing of the goings-on within the wonderful world of poetry. Walking into 2022, we encourage you to lift up those poets who are in need and to celebrate the momentum of the poets who are helping to break barriers.

To all the poets and poetry-lovers… we love you and we are wishing you a very happy New Year!

-The Poet’s List

2021 POETRY WRAP

The Poet's List - Poet - Poetry News Spokenword Video - Variety - Amanda Gorman


Amanda Gorman impressed poetry-lovers and the nation-at-large when she recited her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” during January’s inauguration. Gorman (then, 22) became the youngest poet to recite at a presidential inauguration; and her poise and intellect proved captivating (and catapulting).

Fun fact: In 2017, Gorman became the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate.

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The Poet's List - Poet - Poetry News Spokenword Video - New York Times - NYT - Michelle T. Boone - Poetry Foundation

Due to mounting pressure and backlash, the Poetry Foundation said farewell to their former leadership, paving the way for new president, Michelle T. Boone.

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The Poet's List - Poet - Poetry News Spokenword Video - People - Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur forged her own path back in April when she self-released her own poetry special, Rupi Kaur Live, to a global audience.

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In 2019, The Poet’s List hosted our video interview series, Journey. In 2021, we unveiled TPL TV, giving you the opportunity to relive some of those interviews at your leisure.

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The Saint Louis Poetry Center celebrated 75 years!

The Poet's List - Poet - Poetry News Spokenword Video - Ladue News - Saint Louis Poetry Center - New Orleans

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Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, penned the book Poetry Rx. Here is an excerpt from his interview with Psychiatric Times (“Poetry for PTSD and Preventing Suicide“):

The Poet's List - Poet - Poetry News Spokenword Video - Norman E. Rosenthal - David Lynch Foundation - Poetry Rx - Psychiatric Times - Veterans - PTSD

Psychiatric Times (PT): Tell us about your book Poetry Rx and what inspired you to address PTSD in veterans in this way.

Rosenthal: Over my years as a psychiatrist and long-time poetry lover, it has become increasingly clear to me that poems can heal, inspire, and bring joy to our lives. Some time ago it occurred to me that this is our goal as psychotherapists, doctors, and healers. Over time I accumulated many poems that have this potential. Finally, I felt I had a way of organizing these poems so that they could deliver on the therapeutic promise of poetry.

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The Poet's List - Poet - Poetry News Spokenword Video - Flowers On Mars - Curtis Nathan Curry - Dave Gajda

The Poet’s List interviewed poet, Curtis Nathan Curry, and musician, Dave Gajda following the release of their spoken word album, Flowers on Mars.

Nathan and Dave embody The Poet’s List’s mission to the fullest. They are two unique individuals who are boldly convicted to their truths. And yet, they share: a deep friendship; a passion for the arts and a desire to help those who need it most. 

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Mahogany L. Browne became Lincoln Center’s first Poet in Residence. The renowned poet and author’s residency was titled, “We are the Work,” and ran from July through September.

“Teachers, abolitionists, writers, filmmakers — anyone widening the lens to reveal the full beautiful-bodied picture, anyone who is assuring we all have the liberties this country promised — that is the work,” Browne said.

-New York Times

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The Poet’s List released its first official card game, WordPit. The deck is more than just an exciting venture. It is an innovative and fresh approach to a beloved literary concept: prompt writing.

Each box is comprised of two decks of cards containing thirty (30) poem types and sixty (60) word prompts. When paired together, the cards create a unique poetry prompt; with the deck offering up to 1800 possible combinations. WordPit can be enjoyed as a solo game or in a multi-player setting. Purchase HERE.

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The Poet's List - Poet - Poetry News Spoken word Video - J. Ivy - Matt Brown

Spoken word powerhouse, J. Ivy, was nominated for Best Spoken Word Album at the 64th Grammy Awards (taking place in 2022). His album, Catching Dreams: Live at Fort Knox Chicago, is up for consideration.

Because this category also includes audio books and storytelling, it often does not nominate actual spoken word artists.

Interesting fact: 2020’s nomination of Sekou Andrews marked the first nom for a contemporary spoken word poet in over a decade.

LET’S SEE WHAT THE NEW YEAR BRINGS…

SEE YOU IN 2022!

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