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Poetry and Beauty with Professor Tracie Morris

September 01, 2022

Poetry and Beauty with Professor Tracie Morris
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This is Beauty Podcast

Thurs., Sept, 1, 2022

Episode 2: Poetry and Beauty with Professor Tracie Morris

Lots of people think of poetry as an inconsequential art form. Sure, it's pretty sometimes, but where's the utility? What's the point? Why do people always seem to speak of poetry and Beauty in the same breath, and why should we bother reading or listening to poetry it in the first place? In this episode of This is Beauty Podcast, host Nina Kins speaks with poet and professor Tracie Morris about the role of poetry in society, poetry's link to beauty, and about how we frequently use poetry as a tool to help us process complex, and sometimes overwhelming, experiences like pain, Beauty, love, loss, death, and even life itself.

Tracie is a professor of poetry at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and the author of “Who Do With Words” and “Rhyme Scheme.” She is widely recognized as one of the most innovative and consequential performance poets of the last half century, and her installations and performances have been presented in multiple venues, both here in the U.S. and around the world, including the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A former Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Fellow at Harvard University, she also served as the Inaugural Distinguished Visiting Professor of Poetry at The Iowa Writers Workshop where she now teaches some of the most gifted and promising young poets and writers of tomorrow. 

In this interview, we talk about poetry as an art form and the inextricable links between Beauty, poetry and life. Key highlights of this episode also include:

  • [00:09:23] Why poetry is important now
  • [00:12:59] Poetry's connection to music
  • [00:14:43] Meaning of the word, "poetic"
  • [00:16:30] Links between poetry and Beauty across cultures
  • [00:23:22] Poetry readings Akilah Oliver and William Shakespeare
  • [00:26:30] Shakespeare Sonnet 24 on Beauty
  • [00:35:48] What makes a poem "Beautiful"?
  • [00:40:51] Poetry in Popular Culture/Poetry in Hip-Hop
  • [00:52:36] Recommended readings for people new to poetry
  • [01:00:02] Poetry of everyday life.
  • [01:03:17] Poet's role in society.



Tracie Morris:

  1. Who Do With Words
  2. Rhyme Scheme
  3. https://traciemorris.com


About the Iowa Writer's Workshop


Recommended Reading:



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Poet Tracie Morris


Poet and scholar, Tracie Morris, is widely recognized as one of the most important performance poets of the last century. The author and editor of numerous poetry books, she has performed, researched, and presented in over 30 countries and in multiple venues throughout the United States and abroad. Her installations have been featured at both national and international museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney, in New York City. She has also presented and performed her work at colleges and universities throughout the world, including The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, MIT and Columbia.

Trace received her MFA from Hunter college and her Ph.D. in performance studies from NYU. In 2018 she was designated a Master Artist by the Atlantic Center for the Arts and WPR Fellow at Harvard University. Formerly the first Distinguished Visiting Professor of Poetry at the Iowa Writers Workshop, she joined the permanent faculty in 2020. In 2021 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for poetry. 

Visit TracieMorris.com to learn more about Tracie’s work and publications.