The Good Men Project is currently featuring a weeklong series of posts around the theme of men and poetry. The series kicked off earlier this week with a couple of short essays: “The Good Life Includes Poetry” by series organizer Justin Cascio and a piece I wrote called “‘Poetry for Men’ and Other Problematic Labels”. I was pleasantly surprised to see some references to my own work in Justin’s essay. Here’s an excerpt:
Even men who identify themselves as writers struggle with words: for themselves and to describe the work they do. Rick Belden’s essay on poetry, “‘Poetry for Men’ and Other Problematic Labels,” points to both the necessity and limits of labels.
If “poetry” seems too creaky a label to be relevant in the 21st century, consider instead the rising popular interest in and critical regard for rap, slams, jams, and other revivals of poetry as it was originally composed and presented: aloud, by the author. Rick Belden, who joins us again for this theme on poetry, has shared his work here before, not only as the written word, but in videos of the author reading his work.
Justin is adding more posts to the series as the week goes on, including my poem “arrow” (a personal favorite) as well as a really great little essay from Austin therapist Steve Milan called “Men, Poetry, and Therapy” which, as it happens, also references some of my work.
Poetry is both undervalued and underutilized as a means to move into the heart of our experience, especially for men. I’d like to thank Justin for initiating, organizing, and posting this week’s series on men and poetry. I know (all too well) from my own experience what a hard sell poetry can be and I appreciate his efforts to establish a platform for it on the Good Men Project website.
The Men’s poetry week at the Good Men Project by Rick Belden, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.