I didn’t have a date for my high school leaver’s dance. Until the day before it happened. In order to get a date, I gathered up the courage to walk into a girls’ school and approach a random young woman for assistance.
That was over 20 years ago. One day I will tell you that story in full. But for now, the point I am trying to make is that in those days, the only way I could actually get a date for the dance was to actually talk to another human being, either face to face or over the phone – but no, the phone option was ruled out by the fact that the rotary phone at home was always locked, and cellphones were only just getting into the hands of the wealthiest people in Zimbabwe, so for a teenage me, face to face it was.
If I was 18 again today and found myself in the same predicament, I would have so many options for finding a date; DMs on Facebook or Instagram, email, Tinder, etc. If I was desperate enough I could even do a call for a date on Facebook Live. Someone would respond, right?
Don’t answer that. Here are some actual non-rhetorical questions for you: How does technology affect who we love? How we love? When we love? And if we love? I have been working on poetry around this theme for a while now, and this November, when I take part in the 30 Poems in November fundraiser, I will attempt to write one poem a day all driven by the search for answers to these questions.
30 Poems in November is organized annually by the Center for New Americans. Poets around Western Massachusetts, and beyond, commit to writing one poem a day for the month of November and ask their friends, relatives, and other well-wishers to recognize this effort by making a donation to the Center – much like a sponsored walk.
The money raised is used to help fund the work that the Center for New Americans does to help new immigrants settle in Massachusetts. This work includes offering free English-as-a-Second-Language lessons, assistance with finding accommodation, etc.
This is the third year that I’m taking part in 30 Poems in November. I am humbled and excited by the idea that my poetry can have such a solid, real-world impact on someone else’s life.
Here’s how you can support this initiative:
- Share this article
- Click here and make a donation to the Center for New Americans
- Make a comment below to cheer me on 🙂