The following is an excerpt from a blog post by 2010 Featured Poet Mark Nowak. For the full post, click here.
These were precisely the types of events that I imagined for “Poetry,” and for myself as “Poet,” more than a decade ago. Back then, I wanted to push beyond what felt (to me) like overly constricted, delimited spaces and audiences for the reception of Poetry (I’ll stop with the quotes, but they are still there in the shadows behind the word). So I started curating events at UAW Local 879 at the Ford plant in St. Paul, organizing “poetry dialogues” between Ford workers in Minnesota and South Africa (and with AFSCME 3800 clerical workers, Somali nurses, and other unions and workers’ groups). And my collaboration with SEIU 32BJ in Fairfax and my dialogue on “The Cost of Coal” at the Radical Bookfair Pavilion are just two more examples of that trajectory of work. For me, “This is what Poetry looks like,” indeed.