Lifelines 2016: The Poetry of Human Rights (video)

Lifelines 2016: The Poetry of Human Rights (video)

Resource Type
Event Recording
Publication Year
English (US)




Lifelines: The Poetry of Human Rights, 2016 features readings by leading women poets during the 60th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York City, March 19, 2016. 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 gives opening remarks and introduces Mahnaz Afkhami

[00:01:30]  Mahnaz Afkhami introduces the WLP organization, and the collaborating Black Lives Matter movement within the United States

[00:05:35]  Abena Busia introduces each poet and format of the event

Poetry Theme One: Freedom

[00:15:30]  Evie Shockley reads her poem, Dubois in Ghana.

[00:19:57]  Darrel Holnes reads his poem, Rhianna and Child.

[00:24:18]  Sara Goudarzi reads her poem, The Darkest Shadow.

[00:26:02]  Robert Gibbons reads his poem, Throw Me Overboard, prefaced by an Epigraph of Langston Hughes.

[00:30:30]  Elizabeth Lara reads her poem, Crossing (subject of migration).

[00:33:18]  Abena Busia reads Let’s Light a Candle.

[00:38:03]  Sara Goudarzi reads her poem about growing up in the Iran-Iraq War, Tracers in the Sky. She also presents I Never Like Red Tulips.   

[00:42:16]  Abena Busia speaks of a coup-d’etat in Ghana, where the government of her father was being attacked, as background for her next poems: Countercoup, and The Mill.

[00:45:40]  Evie Shockley reads A Dark Sprawl (a poem using only one vowel).

[00:47:50]  Darrel Holnes reads his poem, Lady Sings the Blues, on women who lost loved ones during the U.S. pursuit of a Panamanian dictator. The poem is based on feelings evoked by a painting showing despair, Woman with Nets and Fishes.

[00:51:24]  Elizabeth Lara reads two poems about the Iraq War (2nd), Republic, and Garissa University.

[00:54:57]  Robert Gibbons reads Bury Me In a Free Land, and Scrum Like a Drop of Water in a Hot Frying Pan.

[00:58:15]  Abena introduces a section of the presentation on the craft of writing.

[01:00:40] Sara Goudarzi reads Introduction.

[01:03:10]  Darrel Holnes reads a poem on South American mothers who send their children North, hoping they might make a better life for themselves.

[01:06:55]  Robert Gibbons reads a poem for the lady on the G train, Would Anyone Care to Help?

[01:08:00]  Abena Busia reads a poem in honor of Ama Ata Aidoo, For the Eagle Who Taught the Chickens the Meaning of Flight.

[01:10:35]  Evie Shockley reads an Elegie for a poet, How Long Has This Jane Been Gone.

[01:14:55]  Elizabeth Lara reads Siblings.

[01:16:00]  Sara Goudarzi reads These Feet of Mine.

[01:16:50]  Darrel Holnes reads Bread Pudding, Grandmama

[01:20:02]  Robert Gibbons reads a poem dedicated to his sister who passed on from breast cancer called, Alone.