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Poetry for Public Health with Tyler Meier

Tyler Meier is the director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center and the co-editor of Dear Vaccine: A Global Vaccine Poem, a project that invited anyone to share experiences of the pandemic and vaccination through poetry. 

What business poetry, you might ask? Because poetry, as Tyler says it, is marching away at the atomic level of our communication.

“Our lives are shaped by the language around us and the language that we choose to use. As beings based in language, poetry, I think, is the opportunity to teach us each day new ways of thinking about the language that we use to describe the things that matter greatly to us, the challenges that vex us enormously. We know that the future is one that we’re going to share, regardless of what connects us or keeps us separate from each other. And we know that language is something that forms us and that gives us the sort of power to think in new ways about the challenges that we share.”

Dear Vaccine is an outgrowth of the Global Vaccine Project launched in March 2021 by the University of Arizona and Kent State University. In sum, it features selections from over 2,000 poetry submissions from all fifty states and more than 150 countries. And while the project features incredible global voices speaking to the pandemic, it serves the dual purpose of uniting us, filling in the holes that form through the haze of memory, a reminder that pandemic history is our history, and that if we can come through that, then we can come through anything together. 

Our great thanks to Tyler Meier for joining us on the show this week. Pick up your own copy of the book and learn more about the project at

  • (00:00) – Welcome to Mission Forward
  • (01:26) – Introducing Tyler Meier
  • (08:30) – Filling in Holes in History
  • (17:50) – The 6-Word Memoir and the Pandemic Time Capsule
  • (22:16) – The Question of Platforms
  • (24:46) – Learn More

This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they're all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.

Carrie Fox

Carrie Fox is the founder and CEO of Mission Partners, a woman-owned strategic communications firm and Certified B Corporation that guides high-potential nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible corporations in realizing their greatest social impact. Since launching her first firm in 2004, she has guided hundreds of organizations around the world to lead with purpose, fueling organizations and their missions forward in new and more impactful ways.