Detroit artist explores how poetry and cooking can help us manage grief during difficult moments

Acknowledging that we can’t guarantee protection for those we love is challenging, says Detroit poet Natasha T. Miller, and an intimate part of managing grief.

Look around, and consider the last decade and a half of American life. People have borne witness to multiple recessions, the rise of an authoritarian-leaning president, video-captured murder of African Americans — which led to millions taking to the streets — and a global pandemic that also kept many of us in our homes.

All of this has meant that we’ve experienced a lot of loss and death, especially as America passes the 1 million mark of residents who’ve died from COVID-19. As the losses mount, the public must figure out a way to grieve and navigate difficult moments.

“It was the thing that made me feel better as I was dealing with the grief of my brother. And I looked up years later and realized that cooking had got me through so much of what I was dealing with,” — Natasha T. Miller, performance poet, LGBTQ activist, film producer and Kresge Artist Fellow


Listen: A new book navigates death, loss and tragedy through poetry and cooking.

 


Guest

Natasha T. Miller is a performance poet, LGBTQ activist, film producer and Kresge Artist Fellow. Her recent book of poetry is called “Butcher.” She says cooking and poetry were intimately tied pursuits, both activities that helped her navigate grief after the murder of her brother.

“It was the thing that made me feel better as I was dealing with the grief of my brother,” says Miller. “And I looked up years later and realized that cooking had got me through so much of what I was dealing with.”

Miller is also a host on the WDET podcasts “Tracked and Traced” and the “Science of Grief.” You can listen to those shows at WDET here and here. Or, you can listen wherever you find your podcasts.

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