Do The Work, Then Write A Poem About It: An NC Poet’s Take On Poetry And Activism

Jun 5, 2020

Hausson Byrd uses his poetry to advance racial justice.
Credit Courtesy of Hausson Byrd

Writing poetry in this moment of civil unrest is not much different than writing poetry at any other time in American history, according to Hausson Byrd. He says poets have been writing about police brutality, racism and violence since the beginning. 

Still, he views the latest wave of protest and demonstrations as an opportunity to reinvigorate conversations about race. Byrd is a slam poet and senior at North Carolina A&T University and member of the Bull City Slam Team. His first brush with poetry was only an extra credit opportunity for one of his freshman classes. But after getting on stage to spit poems about life, he was hooked.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Byrd about his coupling of poetry and advocacy. You can view live poetry readings at Byrd’s NC A&T poetry club Instagram account @aggielivepoets.

You can read Byrd's poem "Edgelord" here, and his poem "Barbecue" here.