First off, I read the book Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher, a therapist who takes you through the delicate process of changing minds. I found her correlations to the therapist’s couch very helpful. She explains why shaming will never work, why certain types of humor will never work and why even facts don't always make much headway with people who have set ideas. She does offer other alternative techniques.
Poets on the March
The good news is poets are being including as cornerstones in many activist events going on around the country, if not the presidential inauguration.
These following two poets were featured at our local Albuquerque Women's March:
- Mary Oishi (a poem and her blog).
- Katrina Guarascio (an interview and a poem). Guarascio made local news when she was pressured to leave her job teaching in the nearby, conservative Rio Rancho public schools. The story made national news.
Our local faculty was featured on PBS Newshour with a political poem.
Los Angeles hosted a Writer’s Resist event. Some highlight readings:
- “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes
- “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold
- “In Memoriam: Martin Luther King, Jr.” by June Jordan
- "I came to you" by Jean Valentine
I came to you
Lord, because of
the fucking reticence
of this world
no, not the world, not reticence, oh
We were sad on the ground
We were sad on the ground.
- [Today my daughter wants to be a waitress when she grows up she doesn’t] by Victoria Chang
- "Giraffes" by Amy Gerstler
- "Dot Head" by Vandana Khanna
- “A Radical Revolution of Values” by Dr. Martin Luther King:
- "Of Courage and Resistance" by Susan Sontag
Other refreshing resistance in verse and commentary:
To Reject Trump the Perverse, Poets Wage a Battle in Verse (New York Times) My favorite is by Susan McLean from Minnesota.
Trump seethes at what the writers say.
He’ll pull the plug on the N.E.A.
The joke’s on him. Art doesn’t pay.
We write our satires anyway.
Writers use poetry and prose in protest of Trump’s election (The Boston Globe)
Poetry in a Time of Protest (The New Yorker) “Poetry is not a luxury.” Audrey Lorde
Trump’s Inaugural Words Turned Into A Chilling Poem (The Huffington Post)
This Trump supporter's poem has also been making the rounds with snickerings.
Art in the Age of Apocalypse (Tin House)
I saw the Neruda movie that is out in independent movie theaters. The movie deals with the political persecution of Neruda and the period when he was in hiding in Chile. Here's a review, When Poetry and Politics Mix (MSFS).
My favorite quote from this surreal and beautiful movie was the last line, "I was made of paper and now I am made of blood.”