If you don’t know who Ai is, please find out. I just heard via Facebook that she died on March 19. I haven’t been able to find any news reports, although her Wiki has changed (I know that’s not reputable) and on her poets.org bio info, they have updated it to say that she died.
I used Ai in my graduate lecture on writing poetry about trauma. Ai’s poems are in your face, real, and accessible. She wasn’t afraid to write about the horrors of life and some felt her work was too much. Poetry can’t be all rainbows and sunshine because that’s not how life is, I admire her for paying attention to her muse and writing from the heart. She’s the only poet I’ve read that has made me cry. She has this beautifully horrifying poem loosely based on JonBenet Ramsey, I wish I could find it online to share with you. But I’ll share some other poems I’ve found.
Cuba, 1962 via the Poetry Foundation’s website
Grandfather Says via Poets.org
If the news of her death is true, I’m sorry to hear about it…but her words will live on forever, just like other authors I keep on my bookshelf, like Lucille Clifton, Octavia Butler (the first two that came to mind).