Global Humanities Lecture: Alysia Harris

Alysia N. Harris is a Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize in 2014 and 2015. She received her MFA in poetry from NYU and is currently a PhD candidate in linguistics at Yale University. Her poetry was featured in the HBO documentary: Brave New Voices and she has toured nationally and internationally in the past 5 years.

Alysia states her mission as: "People are like words. Each has its own purpose. Each has an inner and outer life, a life of thought, interpretation, composition and a life of action. I have made my life about words in hopes of making it about people. My poems come from a love for the world and from a desire to see it transformed. I want to talk to you about pain. I want to talk to you about beauty. I want to talk to you about guilt, faith, failure. I want to talk to you about joy with the wish that we may experience a little more of it here. Some believe the artist's job is to merely create good art. I am dedicated to my craft and when I stop making good art then I will go back to the drawing board  but I also believe the artist's job is to live a a life fearlessly and unapologetically in pursuit of her ideals. This will require examination of the world and the self, indictment of the world and the self, and finally forgiveness of the world and the self in hopes of transformation. An artist's work is just a tool in the service of that pursuit. 

While I will always consider myself  POET first and foremost, poetry is just the beginning of the contributions that I want to make to this world. There is more that needs discussing, fleshing out, uncovering and poetry is only one medium. In addition to being a poet, I am also a teacher and scholar hoping to center more and more of my non-creative work around the issues of spirituality & sexuality, women's empowerment, and racial/cultural reconciliation through workshops, panels, and discussion series. It is not enough to express via words. We must also equip via action, education and resources."

Learn more about Alysia Harris at

Co-sponsored by UofL's Department of Comparative Humanities, the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities & Society, The Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality (CODRE), and the Speed Art Museum.

Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 4:00pm

Speed Cinema 2035 S. 3rd Street, Louisville, KY 40208

Event Type

Arts, Talk, Academic


Students, Faculty/staff, Alumni, Public


Arts & Sciences, Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society, Humanities




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