How will you say what lies in your heart?

How will you say what lies in your heart?

The Lyricality Community

Lyricality supports Minnesota poets and lyricists by connecting them to people who need words to express what it feels like to be human. 

Poets and lyricists put emotions into words. They tell us what it’s like to love and be loved, to be lonely, afraid, courageous, thoughtful, powerful and weak. They help us celebrate, grieve, dream and remember. They show us who we are and they remind us that we are not alone.

Social scientists and geographers tell us that who we are is intricately entwined with where we are. That’s why poetry and song are especially meaningful when they bridge the personal and the communal in a rooted, place-centered way. A wide range of poets and lyricists call Minnesota home. We encourage you to find them, connect with them, and discover how their words can help you experience life in this place more attentively, vividly, and deeply.

Do you value Minnesota poets and lyricists? Your monthly or one-time contribution will help us work to connect local writers to local local audiences. We are the only organization focusing a multi-media spotlight exclusively on Minnesota poets and songwriters, and your support matters.

The Power of Poetry

Poetry is “that supreme bit of alchemy by which mere words . . . establish a world, vivid and tangible.” —Steven Ratiner

Billy Collins, one of America’s most beloved poets, compares a poem to “a bit of amber in which a fleeting moment is trapped.” 

A writer’s attention when making a poem, and a reader/listener’s attentive reception, transform seemingly ordinary human experiences into a chain-reactive, explosive event. Poems are like atomic particles with latent power. 

Poetry Styles

Literary Poetry

Literary poems are constructed of carefully chosen words, crafted into lines designed to focus the human imagination and attention on exquisite, highly charged moments in time: 

Biting my truant pen,
beating myself for spite,
 

Fool,’ said my Muse to me,
‘look in thy heart, and write.
‘ 
— Sir Phillip Sydney 

Song Lyrics

 The Nobel Laureate Committee awarded its literature prize to Minnesota’s own Bob Dylan in 2016. Lyricists use form, sound, rhythm, and rhyme–the same tools as poets. Great lyrics (like Dylan’s) incorporate other poetic devices, too, such as allusion, alliteration, and metaphor. When a song is successful, its melody works to reinforce and enhance its poetry. Songs help us express the meaning—the profound, ecstatic, absurd, silly, sad mystery–of being human. And that’s what poetry does.

Spoken Word

When it means so much 
it’s impossible to say it,
 when what’s wrong knocks you out,
 when what’s good thrills you to truth, 
then your whole livid body must rap
 it. Or hip-hop it. Dance it to slay it. 
Rock it. Repeat it. Rhythm-and-blues it. 
Infatuate and inflate it as if your life 
depends on connecting 
your ski-slope, mogul-steep emotion
 with a human who will hear
 your personal-political play.
When it means so much it’s impossible 
to describe it, then we must perform it.

Alt Lit

Poetry, too, has an Indie scene. These popular renegades are sometimes called Instagram Poets, but that’s just one of the platforms they use to publicize and publish their work. Alt-Lit poets include people blocked from academic literary life due to income, race, language, health/ability, cultural values, and taste preferences. They are bringing poetry to the people, creating even more alternatives in the already rich and lively world of contemporary poetry.

Let's work together

DONATE

Do you value Minnesota poets and lyricists? Your monthly or one-time contribution will help us work to connect local writers to local audiences. We are the only organization focusing a multi-media spotlight exclusively on Minnesota poets and songwriters, and your support matters.

 

DONATE

Do you value Minnesota poets and lyricists? Your monthly or one-time contribution will help us work to connect local writers to local audiences. We are the only organization focusing a multi-media spotlight exclusively on Minnesota poets and songwriters, and your support matters.