political poetry

In my Monday night class, we had a really interesting discussion about political poetry–what it is, why it’s dangerous, just how much Americans can “complain” about politics when there are countries where there’s so much more oppression going on, how to write it without alienating readers or preaching, and what we ultimately want from poetry. So it got me thinking about some examples of political poems that, I believe, “work”–and one of those is Tony Hoagland’s poem “America” (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=171302). And why does it work? Well, one reason is that he implicates himself. He’s not pointing the finger at “those bad people”; he recognizes that even he is part of the system he criticizes.

Another important link to check out is the site for Split This Rock (http://www.splitthisrock.org/who.html), a poetry organization dedicated to “political poetry,” or as they call it, “the poetry of witness and provocation.”

Please feel free to add comments, including links to or mentions of other “political” poets and poems.

August 25, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 Comment.

School begins!

Hey students, former students and associated others–

School’s starting on Monday, and I intend this blog to be a place where I list upcoming readings and events in the Tampa area, link to articles of interest to writers and writing students, and in general post stuff useful to all my classes without having to do it three times in Blackboard. So check back here often, and feel free to add events and insights in the comments.


August 21, 2010. Uncategorized. No Comments.