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An poet and artist on a poet and artist

2 May

National Poetry Month might be over, but there’s still so much poetry to read. I just (finally) read Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet by Andrea Cheng.

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I love that Andrea Cheng, uses poetry and her own woodcuts to share with us the live of another creative artist who etched poetry into the clay pots he made. It’s an effective technique, given that so little is known about the life of Dave the Potter. Cheng’s poetry builds the time & place in which Dave lived & worked by speaking in dave’s voice and in the voices of those around him. Dave’s stoicism in the face of being separated from loved ones who are sold, as well as the other brutalities of slaveholding is a testament to his spirit. This is an inspiring and beautiful book.  I read this just after finishing October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman (of which I will write more on Saturday). I am deeply moved at how wonderful and horrible this world can be. But I am left with the feeling that, despite the horror, the beauty & wonder always seem to win out in the end, even though it might take a very long time.

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