Second Trimester by Dr. Judith Kusi

Ancestral Voices: Lyn Patterson on Poetry, Reflection, and Creating Bravely - Featuring Art by Dr. Judith Kusi

When Lyn Patterson writes poetry, her words are succinct. For me, they hit like the beats of a drum, each syllable the snap of a snare. Where the feeling calls for it, her words grow like the deep, belly rumble of a tempany. When those notes interact, they ring with a cadence all her own.

As a child writing poetry to express feelings in a safe space, Patterson didn’t know that she was embarking on a process that would lead her to a better understanding of her roots in society and her family history. Through the beats of her words, she found a greater knowledge of self as well as a connection to the mysteries of the past.

How did you get started writing poetry?

I started writing poetry as a coping mechanism for processing my feelings. I grew up in a household where it wasn’t really safe to talk about your feelings, so I found in poetry that I was able to express myself without fear of judgment or even punishment. When I began writing, I really wanted to be a songwriter but in high school I discovered Tupac’s “The Rose that Grew from Concrete.” That book showed me that I could do a lot of things with words and experiment even further beyond the form of a song. But I would say that regardless of form, my writing always feels deeply personal to me because I still use poetry as a way of processing life and my feelings.

What do you wish people knew about poetry?

I wish people knew that poetry is an important component of understanding life. I think as a teacher, I see a lot of what we teach children about history and experience depending on research or non-fiction text but I think poetry is just as important! It’s writing that helps us to unpack the more ambiguous concepts that we all feel but have trouble putting into words.

Read on in I, Enheduanna: Issue 3: In Our Hands, available here.

This article can be found in I, Enheduanna "Issue 3: In Our Hands"

In Our Hands features thirteen articles with work by seventeen feminine and non-binary creatives ranging in medium from prose to photography, poetry to pottery. In Our Hands centers around the way we create and share our creations through the sensation of touch, exploring the creative practices of each artist through in-depth interviews. Issue 3 is […]

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