Presentation Title

Where Poetry Comes From: Queerness and Mental Illness

Faculty Mentor

Anne Richards

Start Date

18-11-2017 11:15 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:30 AM

Location

15-1802

Session

Interdisciplinary 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

creative_arts_design

Abstract

Instead of asking about poetry, “What does it mean?” we asked, “Where does it come from?” We explored this question through both personal and social, academic and creative perspectives. Studying poets such as Audre Lorde, Sylvia Plath, and Adrienne Rich as the starting points for our research, we then branched into individual areas of inquiry: queer identity (Ava Rutter) and mental illness (Atziri Peña). In the exploration of queer identity, Lorde’s essays on creativity and slam poems by contemporary queer artists highlight the value of poetry as a queer medium. Poetry gives language to the unnamed and provide a platform for the unheard, problems experienced by the LGTBQ+ community as new identities and forgotten histories are continually unearthed, personally and politically. For poets like Sylvia Plath and Neil Hilborn, people with mental illnesses were given a voice that allowed the dismantlement of their stigma. These poets defy the idea that art needs to be universal by writing about the personal and exploring their individual identities through the intersection of creativity and mental illness. We will begin our presentation with a collaborative poem written after Rich’s “Song,” and then we will discuss its relation to the origins and significance of poetry for the LGBTQ+ community and those with mental illness.

Summary of research results to be presented

Studying poets such as Audre Lorde, Sylvia Plath, and Adrienne Rich as the starting points for our research, we then branched into individual areas of inquiry: queer identity (Ava Rutter) and mental illness (Atziri Peña). In the exploration of queer identity, Lorde’s essays on creativity and slam poems by contemporary queer artists highlight the value of poetry as a queer medium. Poetry gives language to the unnamed and provide a platform for the unheard, problems experienced by the LGTBQ+ community as new identities and forgotten histories are continually unearthed, personally and politically. For poets like Sylvia Plath and Neil Hilborn, people with mental illnesses were given a voice that allowed the dismantlement of their stigma. These poets defy the idea that art needs to be universal by writing about the personal and exploring their individual identities through the intersection of creativity and mental illness.

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Nov 18th, 11:15 AM Nov 18th, 11:30 AM

Where Poetry Comes From: Queerness and Mental Illness

15-1802

Instead of asking about poetry, “What does it mean?” we asked, “Where does it come from?” We explored this question through both personal and social, academic and creative perspectives. Studying poets such as Audre Lorde, Sylvia Plath, and Adrienne Rich as the starting points for our research, we then branched into individual areas of inquiry: queer identity (Ava Rutter) and mental illness (Atziri Peña). In the exploration of queer identity, Lorde’s essays on creativity and slam poems by contemporary queer artists highlight the value of poetry as a queer medium. Poetry gives language to the unnamed and provide a platform for the unheard, problems experienced by the LGTBQ+ community as new identities and forgotten histories are continually unearthed, personally and politically. For poets like Sylvia Plath and Neil Hilborn, people with mental illnesses were given a voice that allowed the dismantlement of their stigma. These poets defy the idea that art needs to be universal by writing about the personal and exploring their individual identities through the intersection of creativity and mental illness. We will begin our presentation with a collaborative poem written after Rich’s “Song,” and then we will discuss its relation to the origins and significance of poetry for the LGBTQ+ community and those with mental illness.