ACE Festival Keynote: Luisa A. Igloria

What Poetry Offers: More than Feeling

ACE Festival 2023 welcomes Luisa A. Igloria as our keynote speaker.

Especially in these last few years of the pandemic and other experiences of global upheaval, there has been a rededicated interest in the public role of poetry and its relationship to social change. And while it’s true that literature and the arts could be said to have empathy as their cornerstone, what they give us, really, is more than a capacity to feel deeply or to empathize with others. Writer Jenny Boully says: “Can you give to someone else what has been? That’s the task of the poet.” It seems that “giving to someone else what has been” has to do with a generosity that exceeds any moment filled with feeling, no matter how lavish the catharsis it might deliver. Besides feeling, there is also work: ways in which we can use language, technique, practice, and revision. This work enables us to nudge the poem toward what comes beyond the moment of its outburst, articulation, and perception. The poem must also ask: what remains of our attention and witnessing? How will our conversations and creations change, after the poem?