Poetry Unbound
Poetry Unbound
19 Oct 2020
Chris Abani — The New Religion
Play • 12 mins

How do you speak of — and to — your body? 

This is a poem dedicated to the body. “The body is a nation I have never known,” Chris Abani writes. Throughout the 21 lines of this work, he describes lungs, skin, bone, touch, smells, sweat, armpits and hunger. For all the embodiedness of the poem, there is disembodiedness too: the poem continues to question how to truly be in your own body.

Chris Abani is a novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter and playwright. Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, he has lived in the United States since 2001. He is Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University. His poetry collections include Sanctificum and Hands Washing Water.

Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

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