Does poetry matter? Ask Haiti

It was announced last week that the annual “think-off” in New York Mills this year is “Does poetry matter?”.

This shouldn’t take long.

Kwame Dawes has been traveling to Haiti since the earthquake one year ago next Wednesday. He’s turned his findings into poetry. Who wants to argue against its impact?

In Haiti, meanwhile, reporters who flocked to the island when the earthquake hit, are flocking there again to tell you what’s changed. Jeb Sharp of PRI’s The World today writes:

But even with all the anger and frustration and grief, life goes on, and it’s not as if nothing is being accomplished. You can hear the sounds of building around the city, non-governmental organizations are working hard to tackle the cholera crisis, parts of the economy are humming with dollars from outside that accompany the huge influx of aid workers and others who are here to help Haiti recover. And there are people who see a silver lining or two. In the days after the earthquake there was a sense of Haitians coming together, even across the stark divisions of class that mark this society. People slept in the open without fear of strangers because everyone was facing what felt like an apocalyptic moment together. Several people have described the earthquake as a moment when the world seemed to be coming to an end. That togetherness has receded, but having glimpsed it, some Haitians want to reach for it again, to try to harness it for a greater good.

“That togetherness has receded.” It usually does.

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