In this episode, we rely on poetry to resist how we are framed. A HardTruth of the same name was written for my online primmer on digital media literacy by the writer Hugh Ryan. In 2017 he offered up words of our queer heritage as one response to the dishonorable and controlling vernaculars of the internet.
Hugh believes that we are “hampered because we fight using language that is stacked against us.”
So, he provides something else, the poetry and wisdom of our elders. Adrienne Rich, David Wojnarowicz, and Audre Lorde. Three young people in my family read selections of their writing, learning and reading with us and from our elders. The episode ends with Hugh’s reading of Lenin D’s poem written at a Fake News Poetry workshop with the disabled writer’s troupe, Poets of Course: one more voice, or is that two, in a noble legacy of frame-breakers we have listened to and learned from here:
I felt I was in the moment of silence because I was shy, a little bit social
and my identity has been changing for the better and worst of me.
I was never rejected not because I have a disability,
I just didn't want to talk to people in high school.
Poems teach, and in so doing prove that art-making, connected to our experiences of identity, community, family, disability, and truth, can be one small part of a shared way out of, or perhaps through, our terrible troubles. So, change the internet with us! Engage in art answers to phony questions by volunteering to read a poem, a HardTruth, or your own response. Organize your own Fake News Poetry Workshop.
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YouTube: 100 Hard Truths