I painted (in Spanish) “Poetry is like bread, for everyone” on my wall above my desk. It’s a quote from Dalton – and its something I passionately believe in. Poetry, literature, art, stories, journalism, should be by everyone, for everyone.
But what if you just can’t get into poetry, either reading it or writing it?
When we say that healthcare, education, decent housing, and culture should be for everyone, what we mean by that is that these things should be available and accessible for all- not of course, that all people should be pressured to use them every day.
The point is that poetry and writing should not be reserved for an elite few – reserved through social pressures, judgement, economic pressures, time inequality (lack of time to write), or the notion that only certain types of people write.
No. Writing is for everyone. It’s for those who haven’t been able to go to university, its for those who don’t have nice clothes, its for those without Internet access, its for those with unpopular ideas, its for people who have been abused into silence, for those who don’t speak a common (read dominant) language, its for those who don’t necessarily ever feature on the mainstream media news as experts because the media is boring as fuck when it comes to its idea of experts (corporate old white men who had few economic obstacles to overcome and got a degree or three), its for awkward people and struggling people and all those billions of people deprived of dignity.
We’re ingrained with this idea that we have to have dignity to write, be published, and be public. But in this world, social and economic dignity are reserved privileges for a few. And I’m sick of hearing from just them.