Tina Parker

The Power of Paired Readings

Date of Post: 
Friday, June 3, 2016

On the homegrown book tour, some of my most memorable moments came from doing back-and-forth readings with other poets. We each read 2-3 poems on a theme and then faciliated a conversation with our audience. I saw firsthand the impact that writing has--the way it brings us together in an exploration of what's most important. Three separate, distinct audiences in three different places shared the same questions:

What is your process? When and where do you write?

Do you worry you'll never create again?

What if your writing has the potential to hurt someone you love?

These questions show how fragile we all are. We all want to be affirmed that it's okay to do our art, no matter how messy that process looks. We want to know it's normal to hear those ugly, negative voices telling us mean things. We want permission to write our truth. A gathering around poetry connects us and shines a light on how imperative it is to make a space for our art.