Lifelines 2015: The Poetry of Human Rights (video)

Lifelines 2015: The Poetry of Human Rights (video)

Resource Type
Event Recording
Publication Year
English (US)




Lifelines: The Poetry of Human Rights, 2015 features readings by leading women poets during WLP's The World We Seek Conference, September 14, 2015. Since 2003, WLP’s Lifelines series has linked poetry and prose to the struggle of realizing women’s human rights. Featuring readings by leading women poets, the event connects the listener to testimonies that inspire and build solidarity among feminist activists everywhere.

[00:00:00]  Abena Busia opens the poetry session of The World We Seek Conference.

[00:00:26]   Lissa Piercy gives a history of significant points in the women’s rights movement in poem.

[00:03:30]  Abena thanks Lissa and introduces the session of poetry and its format. Article 3 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights is the general theme for the first round of poems.

[00:06:48] Gowri Koneswaran reads America, the Beautiful.

[00:10:10]  Elizabeth Acevedo reads a poem for Jordan Davis. 

[00:13:35]  Jamila Reddy reads a poem on hoping for great meaning from the love of another.

[00:16:50]  Gowri Koneswaran reads a poem composed after the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka.

[00:21:20]  Abena Busia reads poetry that comes out of moments where one feels as if there is a war between your intelligence and your spirituality. Both poems were inspired by Methodist hymns: Demonic Arithmetic subtitled, George W.’s Calculations For the Sins of Al-Queda For Those Of Us Who Fail to Grasp the Logic.<

<[00:26:34]  Abena leads a discussion on why each panelist is an activist poet and how they became such. She then provides the theme for the next round of poetry: UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 6.

[00:39:30]  Jamila Reddy reads a poem about a human right to live a long, full, life.

[00:41:54]  Elizabeth Acevedo reads Juan Dolio Beach about a sex worker on the beach in the Dominican Republic (her native country).

[00:44:40]  Abena Busia reads a poem written on 6 Dec 1955. The poem is in commemoration of the 14 Montreal martyrs --  women at a technical college who were feminists who were ruining the murderer’s life.  Let’s Light a Candle.

[00:47:05] Q&A