Masks and Masculinity (Conversation + Q&A)

Cliché notions about the “poetic” personality and the “masculine” one may seem completely at odds, yet many poems have been written that celebrate the rituals, rites of passage and behaviors that society overtly or tacitly accepts as validating masculinity. Some of these poems, although once part of the “official” canon, are now viewed as misogynistic or celebrating self-defeating, even self-destructive, behaviors. Richard Blanco, Tyehimba Jess, Edgar Kunz, and John Murillo discuss how poetry helps us navigate societal demands regarding masculinity. What masks does it offer to hide behind? What opportunities to peer behind them? After the pre-recorded conversation, the poets engage in live Q&A with the Festival audience. Moderated by Collin Kelley.