National Poetry Month – Olivia Gatwood

I honestly don’t even remember where I first encountered Gatwood’s poetry – but I’m thankful for that moment. Like the other poets I’ve shared this month, it is ridiculously easy for me to fall down a YouTube-shaped rabbit hole of Gatwood’s work. I also really love sharing her poems with my own students. I’ve even shaped a specific assignment around her.

You see, Gatwood has a series of Ode poems that she has written about things that society has told her to be ashamed of – everything from the color pink to her RBF to, yes, her period underwear. One of my favorites, though, is the Ode she wrote to the women on Long Island. So I ask my students to do the same – to write an ode in favor of something they are told they shouldn’t celebrate. It’s one of my favorite prompts.

You can find links to her books (New American Best Friend and life of the party) on her website, as well as fall down a rabbit hole of her poetry performances on YouTube. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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