Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Split This Rock in Fire and Ink

Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing, edited by Francis Payne Adler, Debra Busman and Diana García, is a valuable and vibrant anthology. I will publish a short review of it and other works received at AWP soon, but for now, let me call your attention to the following blurb about Split This Rock in the preface to the anthology:

In 2003, drew thousands of poems within days. In 2008, with no end in sight to the war in Iraq, activist poets gathered at Split This Rock Poetry Festival in Washington D.C. They came from across the country, a national network of writers for change, with readings by such poets as Sonia Sanchez, Patricia Smith, Martín Espada, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Carolyn Forché, among others - many of them contributers to this anthology.

As to the question of the taboo against social action writing or "political writing: some writers inhabit a privileged realm that leaves them free to reflect on the perfect hurricane or a new hummingbird's nest. Other writers' realities reflect on the aftermath of the hurricane. It is the need to privilege those alternate or non-mainstream realities now that compels us to name social action writing as a literary movement.

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