I have seen a lot of flexibility in the use of the term poet lately, so I thought I’d share my definitions. I define poetry as ‘concise, beautiful, truth.’ I define a poet as ‘a person who writes poetry for a community that has an audience in it that the poet can describe, rather than writing for the historical record.’ For a woman in the US, a professional poet is ‘a poet who wears the poetry bob.’ Cutting your hair in the poetry bob is the moment when you come before God and the world as a poet and accept the duties and responsibilities of a poet, both to the genre and the community, and to God. The poetry bob is ‘a bob of your natural hair, demonstrating authenticity and a lack of shame about your heritage, usually worn around the ears, but for African-American women, often worn much shorter.’
Hope this helps all of you, and I hope you’ll share my definitions with the international press, who I think will find them particularly useful.
Lilly Lekhan, Poet and Founder of The Sweetest Art List