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Metaphor in Poetry: A Life Vest in the Silence of Trauma

  • Mass Poetry Festival Hawthorne Hotel Library Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square W Salem, MA 01970 USA (map)

Jan Freeman, Kathi Aguaro, Jullia Lisella, and Jennifer Jean. Poets recovering from trauma and/or PTSD can use metaphor to express the "unspeakable," translating experience and emotion into objects, images, scenes that free writers and liberate readers of poetry as well. Bypassing literal details of traumatic experience, which often cannot be expressed by individuals experiencing trauma, metaphor can help poets articulate these life-changing emotions and experiences. Each poet on the panel will reflect on poems that use metaphor to express different types of trauma, and discuss how she pushed beyond the unspeakable to break through silence imposed by trauma. Panel members will then read two of their own poems and invite audience members to discuss the liberating qualities of metaphor.