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This Poet Uses Her Christian and Potawatomi Heritage to Share Beauty

Creator:
Published:
January 9, 2024
November 23, 2019
Watch this poet and her answer to why identity is important.|Watch this poet and her answer to why identity is important.

Kaitlin B. Curtice is a poet, a Christian, and a person of Potawatomi descent. She writes about the tension between those aspects of her identity, and how she tries to share words that move people to attend to justice and beauty.

"This part of me that I know is leaning into difficult questions and saying, 'I have words that I need to share that speak to this,'" she shares.

Video Transcript

Meet Kaitlin: Potawatomi Poet

Kaitlin B. Curtice: Potawatomi people are the People of the Place of Fire. In those moments when I'm pushing against an injustice, that's the fire coming through — this part of me that I know is leaning into difficult questions and saying, "I have words that I need to share that speak to this."

Decatur, Georgia

I write about my life being Potawatomi and being a Christian, and the tension between being indigenous and my Christian faith, and how those intersect and interact with one another. Being an author, being able to take my words and give them to other people and to say, "This is how I express this thing. I hope that it helps you." I really love to write about stories in the moment — something small, something that we don't always notice.

Excerpt from Kaitlin’s poem, “Presence”:

“Every now and then, we should hear the coffee mug clink as we set it back down on the glass tabletop because there is nothing to distract us from its presence. We should listen for the creaking beams of an old house, whose bones ache with a kind of architectural osteoporosis. We should listen for her groans because they remind us that history lives.”

We all have those moments. We all have a glimpse into something sacred or something holy all the time, as long as we are paying attention and if we want to see it. And so, what I love about that idea of “glory happening” is that we can look around and know that there is something sacred in any moment if we're just watching for it and paying attention.

“I am often in my own way. Instead of experiencing the universe, I write about experiencing the universe, while at that very moment, the wind had holy secrets to tell me.”

Creators:
Grotto
Published:
January 9, 2024
November 23, 2019
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