“Poetry with a Side of Political Activism”…& vice-versa
This morning, while walking my daughter into her school, her teacher came up and shouted, “That’s him!” She knows me well, of course, from our regular conversations before and after school, parent-teacher conferences, my classroom visits, etc. But this morning, in her hand, she held a copy of The St. Paul Union Advocate, a local union newspaper now in its 112th year of publication. And on the back page of Issue no. 5427 was a wonderful piece on my new book by Michael Moore–not the Roger & Me Michael Moore (he hasn’t called me yet!) but the Michael Moore who edits the Union Advocate.
My daughter’s teacher, a teachers’ union member, was proudly standing in the main office of this St. Paul Public School about to make copies of the Union Advocate story for her fellow teachers and others at the school. On the heels of my “Affiliated Poetics” post of a few days ago (and thanks to Patrick and Juliana for their great comments), this incident reminded me (yet again) of the tremendous potential of trading in our avant, elite, niche poetics automobile for some first-person-plural powered poetics feet that are more subsidiary, more public, more “we”. So thanks, Union Advocate and Ms. R. and everyone affiliated and working to agitate toward change together.
On another note, if anyone’s interested, Shannon Green, a student in Mike Chasar’s class at the University of Iowa, was kind enough to post a review of my recent reading at the Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City (fabulous reviews of many, many events at Prairie Lights and across Iowa City this year are also included in the blog). Thanks Shannon!!