What Do Poetry and Police Brutality Have In Common?

Today, these words opened Nicole Brodeur’s column in The Seattle Times:

Seattle City Councilman Nick Licata starts every meeting of the Public Safety, Civil Rights & Arts Committee with a poetry reading.

It’s his attempt to get people to think beyond agendas both paper and personal — and to remember the art of civil communication.

Especially when the topic is as volatile as public safety.

Today’s poem better be a doozy. The Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) is to present its annual findings on how Seattle police are doing their jobs.

Someone handed this article to my wife this afternoon… right before she walked into the City Council chambers to read one of her poems to the committee and the assembly.

The person introducing her addressed the crowd of irritable Seattle citizens and said, “I don’t know if you’ve seen today’s paper or not. If you have, let me assure you… this poem IS a doozy.”

Anne made it through the reading with flying colors, and received a warm ovation.

I’m so proud of her.

 

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Laura

    What, pray tell, was that doozy of a poem?

    • Jeffrey Overstreet

      Let me see if I can coax Anne into sharing it with us. Or perhaps it’s one that’s published in her book… I’ll let you know.

      • Jeffrey Overstreet

        Aha… it was a poem called “Shade Half Drawn,” and it’s included in Anne’s first published collection: Delicate Machinery Suspended.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Nice to know you’re here! Didn’t know they HAD Internet up there in the frozen wastes of Alaska!

  • Anonymous

    Hey Jeff, We’re proud of her too. Geoff and Melody.


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