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Kai Cheng Thom


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In this concluding episode of “Poems as Teachers,” our special miniseries on conflict and the human condition, host Pádraig Ó Tuama says the poems discussed in this offering are a different kind of teacher: “not as teachers that give us rules to follow — more so teachers that share something of their own intuition.” And for a final reflection, he offers Kai Cheng Thom’s “trauma is not sacred,” which speaks directly, fiercely, and lovingly to the pain, scars, and violence that we humans carry and inflict upon one another.

This is the final episode of “Poems as Teachers,” a special seven-part miniseries on conflict and the human condition.

We’re pleased to offer Kai’s poem, and invite you to read Pádraig’s weekly Poetry Unbound Substack, read the Poetry Unbound book, or listen back to all our episodes.