Unique among the species, humans create their world through language and imagination. In this we have the potential to be aggressive, violent and oppressive, or gentle, creative and vulnerable. Words express and shape what we are or might become. We are all poets when we attempt to express the essence of our own experiences. As we tell and listen, we develop our sense of community and our humanity. Because the personal is also political, this process creates peace between people, in society, and among nations. The readings and activities in this book aim to lead us to a deeper understanding of how we use language. As we become more discriminating in our use of words, so we can better tell our own stories and relate to the experiences of others.