The World We Live(d) In

How have our views on issues like race, inequality, climate change, gender, and immigration changed through the course of history? How have past poets and contemporary poets interpreted these views? The Indiana Writers Center Partnered with Dance Kaleidoscope, Indianapolis Art Center, Jewish Community Relations Council and JCC for an artistic exploration of our community’s ideas, values, and revolutionary thoughts as part of the 2019 Spirit and Place Festival.

Indiana poets were invited to submit work about issues of social justice to The World We Live(d) In, and members of Dance Kaleidoscope chose seventeen of those submitted to interpret in dance, including the work of three Indiana Poets Laureate. On Sunday, November 10, 2019, poets read their work, followed by the dancers’ interpretations of them. The program also included poems by Maya Angelou, Countee Cullen, and Etheridge Knight to highlight how, sadly, some of these issues have not changed as much as we might like.



The poems featured in the Spirit and Place program, along with the other poems in The World We Live(d) In address many of the issues that concern those of us deeply troubled by our world.

They’re not pretty.

But the picture they paint of how too many people in America live now is honest and necessary. You can argue about policy forever, but what matters is the impact of policy on people’s lives—and there’s nothing better than a poem to make you see the repercussions of policy in people’s daily lives and how it affects their efforts to provide for themselves and their families.

I hope these poems will offer you new ways to talk with friends, colleagues, and family about the issues they address—and perhaps even write poems of your own.

Barbara Shoup
Indiana Writers Center

You can find the anthology online by following this link.



Written by Barbara Shoup — December 02, 2019

© Indiana Writers Center 2012