Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into ideas, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give names to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives. —Caribbean-American writer and civil right activist Audre Lorde

Mary Braford Martin
Mary Braford Martin

TCC’s Women’s Center wound down Women’s History Month with tea and poetry at the Portsmouth Campus. Students shared their own works, and English Professor Mary Braford Martin read two selections from her recently published debut book, “TAPESTRY: Poems Woven from the Threads of Life.”

Braford Martin’s initial selection, titled “Birth of a Poem,” reads:

Poets are born
Just like children
Messy at first.
Once they’re cleaned up they’re some of the greatest gifts of God.

Katie Mitchell
Katie Mitchell

Braford Martin also read the bittersweet “When Love is Not Enough.”

Student Katie Mitchell shared a graphic piece about abuse, and student Eva Miller was a crowd pleaser, offering two poems: “The Truth,” a rap-turned-poem and the poignant “I was in Love Once.” Miller’s soft spoken style, complemented by a beautiful speaking and singing voice, added to her memorable presentation.

Women’s Center staff also shared videos, including a powerful selection from Mayda del Valle and music from Nina Simone.