Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Maria Isabelle Carlos

Guiding Us Through Grief

With gratitude for Edward Hirsch and his expansive body of work

With over 2.7 million lives lost worldwide in just one year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic — nearly 550,000 in the United States alone — there are few poets whose work is more suited to guide us through this overwhelming grief than Edward Hirsch, who has said, “We need poetry to help us transform the oceanic depths of feeling into art.” Hirsch will appear at a virtual event hosted by Vanderbilt University on April 8.

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Reaching for Joy

Poet Toi Derricotte discusses isolation, community, and taking risks

Toi Derricotte’s “I”: New and Selected Poems spans over four decades of work by a poet unparalleled in the tenderness and honesty with which she writes about the self, trauma, and memory. She unpacks race, gender, sexuality, class, violence, motherhood, and more, with rich detail and incantatory music.

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