Reading in the Aftermath

I haven’t been able to clarify and articulate my thoughts and feelings post-election. My journal and unfinished documents are fragmented and frantic. I’ve been constantly shaking paralysis for a week, trying to figure out what actions to take, throwing my support and attention to those who need it, trying to continue doing the things I have to do even as I’ve been walking around in a fog. And, like many others, I’ve turned my full attention to the words of others.

Even as the full impact of fake news and click-baity headlines are being realized, we still continue to read. And, though fake news and click-baity headlines still run rampant on social media, many of the news outlets, literary journals, and people I follow on social media have been posting some of their best work. We’re turning to voices of those who are threatened, hearing voices some would wish to silence, and we’re returning to favorites by individuals who spoke with enduring wisdom and fire.

Here’s a sample of some of what I’ve been reading and gathering this week to help you get started.


As Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” played on repeat in my head last week, The Atlantic explained why poetry goes viral in the aftermath in Still, Poetry Will Rise.

…a poet wakes up and thinks, “You know, anything is possible.” They imagine things before they’re possible. The reach and power of the imagination means that poetry will always be with us, that it will always be important, that it will always be part of what goes along with our culture, our politics, our personal feelings and relationships.
— via The Atlantic provided a selection of Poems for After the Election

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
— From “Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Continuing this thread, Literary Hub explains The Very Real Consolations of Poetry.  

Poetry is not a substitute for action, but it can serve as a spark of hope in the middle of what feels like endless night.
— via Lit Hub

Literary Hub jump starts our reading list and prompts us to action with 25 Works of Poetry and Fiction for Anger and Action, as well as 25 Works of Nonfiction for Anger and Action.


From Brain Pickings, read up on Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark, then download the free ebook here.

This is an extraordinary time full of vital, transformative movements that could not be foreseen. It’s also a nightmarish time. Full engagement requires the ability to perceive both.
— Rebecca Solnit

The Stop Trump Reading List includes some overlap from the above selections, but is a great, comprehensive addition meant to help you “understand how Trump got elected, how we got to this point, and how we can organize for the future.”


Have books, articles, or poems to add? Let me know what you’re reading!