Monday, June 02, 2008


Couple of things

Just today got my hands on You Work Tomorrow: An Anthology of American Labor Poetry, 1929-1941 edited by John Marsh, published 2007 by University of Michigan Press.

The book is a collection of poems gathered from labor newspapers and similar publications of the period, written by workers in a wide variety of labor unions, industries and occupations: Sleeping Car Porters, Hotel and Restaurant Employees, the International Association of Machinists, the United Textile Workers, Carpenters and Joiners; United Auto Workers, International Ladies Garment Workers Union, International Sailors Union, United Mine Workers, United Steel Workers, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers; the Industrial Workers of the World, the Sailors Union of the Pacific, the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union; and this isn't a complete list.

This is poetry rough, untamed, unpolished, priceless. I'll write more about the book here once I've spent more time with it.


On a somewhat different note, I found online a short interview, from 2003, with poet Clayton Eshleman, in which he discusses (among other things) his opinions on the current state of American poetry; the responsibility of poets in dealing with the changes in American politics and culture after the events of September 11, 2001 and the beginning of the war against Iraq; the research Eshleman did on cave paintings France, as part of the background work of his book Juniper Fuse (published by Wesleyan U. Press), and notions about the early origins of human imagination; and other topics.

At one point Eshleman names a number of poets whose work he has found especially relevant and important to his own work. My own list of poets would be very different from his, and my general sense is that our aethetic approaches are pretty different; still I liked reading what he had to say.

Dear Lyle, the labor poetry compliation sounds amazing! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

ms. bluehour

BTW, The Blue Hour Collective's Summer Reading List is up at:

oops, previous address was cut off...
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