As part of the 2022 Dear Poet project, students around the country and the world wrote letters to Marcus Amaker in response to a video of him reading his poem “Give Yourself Some Flowers” aloud. Marcus Amaker wrote letters back to nine of these students; their letters and his replies are included below.

Marcus Amaker also wrote a response to all of the participants of this year's Dear Poet project.

Dear readers ~

Being a poet can often seem like a solitary experience. It can be a challenge to know that you are connecting with others. That’s why I am so emotionally charged after reading your responses to my poem “Give Yourself Some Flowers.” 

I’m honored that many of you found healing in the words. I’m also encouraged by your honesty and was happy to engage in meaningful correspondence with many of you.

This poem grew from a need to remind myself that I am a whole and worthy person. Life—with its infinite distractions—can be a busy, weird, and awkward place. I’ve defaulted to anxiety and depression in response to many things. Anxiety is human. Depression is human. But I needed to tell myself “You are whole. You are worthy.”

That’s when I started the poem. My therapist often asks “What have you done for self-care today?” 

“Give Yourself Some Flowers.” was my answer to that.

We all have exactly everything that we need. Even when we feel sad and are overwhelmed with shadow emotions.

I’m so glad to be on this life journey with all of you. Wishing you luck and love in all that you do.


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