Amiri Baraka was a provocateur, a radical, an activist, and an amazing poet who remains relevant for all the wrong reasons and some of the right ones. “Dope” is an explosion, a satire, an investigation, an accusation, a poem that kills....more
Posts Tagged: activism
Protecting the Water. Mni Wiconi. Water is Life.
Over the last few weeks, thousands of Indigenous people, representing hundreds of tribes, have gathered together on the banks of the Cannonball River, on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, and in other places, to protect the lands, and the waters, and their sacred sites, against the $3.4 billion Dakota Access Pipeline....more
In an illuminating interview with Claire Schwartz for Guernica, writer Kai Cheng Thom discusses activism, the unique intersections felt by people of color in the queer community, consensual behavior, trauma, and the immigrant experience. It’s a lot of ground to cover, and in doing so she reveals the convergence of all these areas of concern into a singular identity she’s had to construct for herself:
When you begin to define yourself as a queer person of color (qpoc) and transgender or transsexual and of color, you have to, in a sense, give birth to that.
Over at the New Yorker, Dan Chiasson marks the publication of Adrienne Rich’s collected works with an examination of the incredible arc of her life and career. And instead of condemning her many transformations as a kind of flightiness, he reminds us how admirable it is for a person to be able to change as they learn and grow:
Perhaps no American poet who started in the mode of accommodation so abruptly broke ranks, inventing for herself a new kind of discipline whose ethical rigors demanded fresh forms.
The Internet may have irreversibly altered the forms activism takes, but there is still room for change. Christopher Soto reflects on activist frameworks used in 2015 and offers their strategies for working toward a more inclusive poetry community in the future:
I believe in critical conversations with my community, I believe in doing rehabilitative work for my community, I believe in repercussions but not in punishment.
Last December, a group of feminist activists from all over the world met and discussed a new women’s solidarity movement. The full discussion, with an introduction by Eve Ensler, is up now at Guernica.
Now is the time for women to write a different story, grown from the everyday struggles and experiences of those who are most often at the receiving end of disastrous policies and ventures, who clean up the messes and transform the destruction, who build the secret shelters, rescue the raped, stand for the dead, hold town halls for the voiceless, and give presence to the invisible.
Adult coloring books are enjoying a huge surge right now, but this isn’t the first time coloring books for adults have been popular. In the 1960s, coloring books criticizing everything from communism to corporate life proliferated:
The point of the sixties coloring books wasn’t to sit down and do some coloring, but to read their message and take a stand; they were more like a specialized form of political cartoon.
I was recently asked by a young interviewer if writing, with all the time it takes and its use of paper (though I compose on a computer) is not antithetical to what is needed now, the speed that is, to push a speedy change of consciousness and behavior.
In the protests at Mizzou and Yale and elsewhere, students have made it clear that the status quo is unbearable. Whether we agree with these student protesters or not, we should be listening: They are articulating a vision for a better future, one that cannot be reached with complacency.