Six Poets I Love Beyond Their Poetry

Yi Shun Lai
4 min readApr 9, 2020

It’s National Poetry Month. Celebrate these poets for more than their work.

Writers are easily more than their printed work. Here are five poets I’ve met in person whose work goes beyond the written word, in alphabetic order by last name.

Kelly Davio (Burn This House; It’s Just Nerves)

Let me tell you about Kelly Davio, this remarkable human. Her poetry collection is just the beginning of her works; I teach her book of essays, It’s Just Nerves, in my MFA class. Davio’s was the first poetry collection I ever read in full; I am lucky we graduated from the same MFA program. Davio has also written fiction. I think knowing her allows me to understand the breadth of both the human experience and writerly capacity. And, she’s one of the very first people who ever let really let me ask her stupid questions about the literary world, and from whom I always could expect generous answers. Pick up either Burn This House or It’s Just Nerves; you won’t be sorry you met Davio this way.

Erika Dreifus, Birthright

Dreifus runs The Practical Writer, an extraordinary, unique newsletter geared towards helping writers to make money. She’s done so since 2004. She tirelessly combs through publishing opportunities for writers and aggregates them into her newsletter every week; she does it because it’s the right thing to do, and because she believes writers should earn a living. Pick up Dreifus’ lovely collection of poetry here, and sign on to her newsletter. You’ll learn so much, and you’ll gain new hope over the paying opportunities out there for writers.

Faylita Hicks, Hoodwitch

I don’t know Hicks well, but they are a compassionate, fierce advocate for their community and their art. I am lucky to have crossed paths with them and hope to learn more about their work with Mano Amiga. In the…

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Yi Shun Lai

Author: A SUFFRAGISTS’S GUIDE TO THE ANTARCTIC (2024), Pin Ups (2020). Columnist, The Writer. theGooddirt.org; @gooddirt. Psst: Say “yeeshun.” You can do it!