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Poetry Challenge: Create A List Poem That Grapples With Rise Of Anti-Asian Racism

Katherine Du

Over the years, NPR's poetry community has turned both painful and joyful experiences into magnificent work.

As the world still endures the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. also grieves over increased violence against Asian Americans and a mass shooting in Georgia that left six women of Asian descent dead.

"Let's be clear: Anti-Asian violence and discrimination are not new. But, this racism seems to be heightened," says Kwame Alexander, NPR's resident poet. "And the onus is not on Asian Americans to figure this out. Frankly, it's on white people, it's on the rest of us — individually, systemically, to talk about it, to pay attention to, advocate against it."

"Between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice, Today," by Emily Jungmin Yoon, is a list poem that reflects the coldness of the world and how it wears on us. Yoon is a South Korean-born poet pursuing her Ph.D. in Korean literature at the University of Chicago.

Alexander and Morning Edition's Rachel Martin ask listeners: How do you cope with recent anti-Asian violence and discrimination? Tell us in a list poem.

Your poem doesn't have to rhyme. It just needs to have an ordered list with details that show your state of mind — and must begin with the word "today."

Share your poem through the form below. Then Alexander will take lines from some of your pieces and create a community crowdsourced poem. Alexander and Martin will read it on air, and NPR will publish it online, where contributors will be credited.

This callout closed Monday, April 5.

Here are the terms of the callout:

By providing your Submission to us, you agree that you have read, understand and accept the following terms in relation to the content and information (your "Submission") you are providing to National Public Radio ("NPR," "us" or "our"):

You are submitting content pursuant to a callout by Morning Edition related to a segment with Kwame Alexander wherein he creates unique poetry based on listener submissions. You understand that you are submitting content for the purpose of having Kwame use that content to create a new poem or poems ("Poem") with the material you submit. You must be over the age of 18 to submit material.

You will retain copyright in your Submission, but agree that NPR and/or Kwame Alexander may edit, modify, use, excerpt, publish, adapt or otherwise make derivative works from your Submission and use your Submission or derivative works in whole or in part in any media or format and/or use the Submission or Poem for journalistic and/or promotional purposes generally, and may allow others to do so. You understand that the Poem created by Kwame Alexander will be a new creative work and may be distributed through NPR's programs (or other media), and the Poem and programs can be separately subject to copyright protection. Your Submission does not plagiarize or otherwise infringe any third-party copyright, moral rights or any other intellectual property rights or similar rights. You have not copied any part of your Submission from another source. If your Submission is selected for inclusion in the Poem, you will be acknowledged in a list of contributors on NPR's website or otherwise receive appropriate credit, but failure to do so shall not be deemed a breach of your rights.

Your submission will be governed by our general Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. As the Privacy Policy says, we want you to be aware that there may be circumstances in which the exemptions provided under law for journalistic activities or freedom of expression may override privacy rights you might otherwise have.

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