I’m still coming across good Black Lives Matter and activist poetry and a look over my web stats shows that the page Poems About Dictators is getting a good amount of traffic also.
In the alumni magazine for my Alma mater, University of Missouri-St. Louis, I read a great article called “Voices of Ferguson” with excerpts from a poet, a criminologist, a counselor, actors from Theatre of the Oppressed and a street medic. I loved the poem by Jason Vasser. Read the article here and click under Vasser’s picture to view the poem that depicts a more peaceful day-to-day life in Ferguson.
I also finished a Juan Felipe Herrera book I picked up years ago at USC’s Festival of Books in Los Angeles, Notes on the Assemblage (2015). The first part felt a bit like slam poetry than what usually appeals to me but the ones I really liked were all Black Lives Matter and activist poems, including these:
And the call to keep-on-keepin’-on in “Poem by Poem”
It’s a beautifully sized book by City Lights Pres and also includes meditation poems like “It can begin with clouds.” And a small ekphrasis section, my favorite of which was “I do not know what a painting does” about how a painting looks back at the viewer.
Former U.S. Poet Laureate Herrera is an Hispanic poet writing about Black Lives Matter but he also writes a few poems in this book about immigration. There’s a great long poem called Borderbus. And there’s “Half-Mexican” I also liked “The Soap Factory,” “Numbers, Patterns. Movements & Being” and “[untitled, unfettered—” which was more experimental. And there’s a great one about human expression called “Song Out Here.”