DISTURB THE PEACE
“Now, it is true that the nature of society is to create, among its citizens, an illusion of safety; but it is also absolutely true that the safety is always necessarily an illusion. Artists are here to disturb the peace. They have to disturb the peace. Otherwise, chaos.” — James Baldwin (excerpt from a 1961 interview with Baldwin)
Read this timely quote. Then read some favorite poets or writers of yours that you believe “disturb the peace” “speak truth, even when it is a difficult or painful truth” and then write a poem or prose piece that “disturbs the peace.” This prompt is a great opportunity to use outside sources such as newspaper articles, excerpts of speeches by politicians, your own journal entries and/or historical texts that are in dire need of response. This work should disturb the peace, agitate, respond to either world or local events that are weighing on you. This work should speak your truth!
JP HOWARD’s debut poetry collection, SAY/MIRROR (The Operating System), was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. She is the author of bury your love poems here (Belladonna*), Praise This Complicated Herstory: Legacy, Healing & Revolutionary Poems (Harlequin Creature) and co-edited Sinister Wisdom’s Black Lesbians–We Are the Revolution! JP was a featured author in Lambda Literary’s LGBTQ Writers in Schools and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, VONA, and Lambda. She curates Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon. JP is a general Poetry Editor for Women’s Studies Quarterly and Editor-At-Large of Mom Egg Review VOX online. http://www.jp-howard.com