The Places Poetry Will Take You
By Spoken Word Artist, Elizabeth Acevedo
One of the things I feel most blessed about, is how poetry takes me to the most unexpected places.
I began writing out of a need to understand the world around me. To understand my neighborhood. I won’t say I grew up in the roughest of places, but it was a hood like so many hoods: fire hydrants acting as sprinklers, drug dealers on the stoop playing spades, viejos blasting bachata and holding domino tournaments, beef with the next block, petty gangs, star-struck cross town romances. I wrote through those experiences in an attempt to make sense of how my reality fit into the larger fabric of New York, the Northeast, the US, the world.
Which is why I think my mind is blown when I consider how I wrote about home to understand the world, and now I’m traveling the world telling them about home.
I’ve been to small valley towns in Pennsylvania, State Theaters from the capital of South Africa to the capital of Belgium; from the largest stage in Washington DC, to tiny corner stores and bookstores in forgotten industrial US towns. From the countryside of Kentucky to the hills of Idaho, I step onto stages (or milk crates) and I tell an audience of two people or two thousand my story.
These poems be windows out, and mirrors in. And how flipping amazing is that?