Reader Response Haikus for Improving Writing 2300

After reading Audre Lorde’s “Poetry Is Not A Luxury” and overhearing a student discuss the art and challenge of writing haikus, I challenged my Improved Writing 2300 students to write a haiku in response to any of the readings we have engaged in.  To date, students have read Jo Goodwin Parker’s “What Is Poverty,” Naomi Klein’s “No Logo,” Alice Walker’s Introduction to We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, Langston Hughes’ “Salvation,” Audre Lorde’s “Poetry Is Not A Luxury,” and my own, “For Me, My Mother, and Those Who Keep Secrets.”

I told students that I, too, would write haikus in response to the literature we’ve read, for the haiku is my favorite poetic form.  My pieces are below.

Remembering Jo Goodwin Parker

I don’t say my grace

without acknowledging those

with no food to eat.

In Response to “No Logo”

Got D&G frames

while the other has no clothes

nor shoes on her feet.

For Langston Hughes


I got salvation

through Celie and Shug Av’ry’s

discussion of God.


Shug say he ain’t He,

but God be fields of purple,

valleys, and mountains.

We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For

Waiting on Jesus

to save us from ourselves

is niggard conduct.

Poetry Is Not A Luxury: Thank you, Audre Lorde

I write poetry

‘cause it’s a creative space

for transformation.


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