Portrait of the Artist as a Young Male White Poet

Electric Literature published an advice column in early June where a white male poet addressed his privilege head-on and asked if the time for white writers has come to an end.

“I am a white, male poet—a white, male poet who is aware of his privilege and sensitive to inequalities facing women, POC, and LGBTQ individuals. But despite this awareness and sensitivity, I am still white and still male. Sometimes I feel like the time to write from my experience has passed, that the need for poems from a white, male perspective just isn’t there anymore…”

“Sometimes I write from other perspectives via persona poems in order to understand and empathize with the so-called ‘other’; but I fear that this could be construed as yet another example of my privilege—that I am appropriating another person’s experience. Write what you know and risk denying voices whose stories are more urgent; write to learn what you don’t know and risk colonizing someone else’s story. I genuinely am troubled by this.”

The column received lots of response from the literary community, including a lengthy article in The Atlantic.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s