In Poetry Is Not a Luxury we use the best contemporary poets to explore the most urgent social issues. Each month we focus on a different book and discuss poetry as poets do. We read our favorite poems out loud, listen for sound and rhythm, consider how the poet plays with language, and consider the joys and sorrows in the poems.
Our 2017-2018 season focuses on Voices of the Silenced/Voices of the Resistance.
The February selection for Poetry Is Not a Luxury is Split by Cathy Linh Che. "Split crosses borders, exposing truths and dreams, violations of body and mind, aligning them until the deep push-pull of silence and song become a bridge. And here we cross over into a landscape where beauty interrogates, and we encounter a voice that refuses to let us off the hook."—Yusef Komunyakaa
Cathy Linh Che is the author of Split (Alice James Books), winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America and of the Kundiman Poetry Prize. It was also an Academy of American Poets' Standout Book of 2014, a Publisher's Weekly Pick of the Week, and a Library Journal Amazing Title for Spring 2014. A Vietnamese American poet from Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA, she received her BA from Reed College and her MFA from New York University. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from Poets & Writers, The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, Kundiman, Hedgebrook, Poets House, The Asian American Literary Review, The Center for Book Arts, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace Residency, and a Jerome Foundation Travel Grant. She was also a Writer in Residence at Sierra Nevada College's MFA Program. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.