As poet, Camille Roy, recently said,
“LANGUAGE IS THE LAST COMMONS THAT THEY HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO ENCLOSE. YOU CAN SELL PAINT BUT YOU CAN’T SELL WORDS.”
So, in that spirit and inspired by the poets and the radical poetic thinking of the Occupy/Decolonize/Liberate movements across The U.S. and around the world, we invite you to contribute a piece of your own poetic thinking to an Oakland Commune Poetry Anthology. Please interpret this as you will. Whether you've ever set foot in Oakland let alone Oscar Grant Plaza, your thoughts about our collective historical moment are welcome.
Steven Boyer and Filip Marinovich have created an Occupy Wallstreet Poetry Anthology and we want to do the same here. Steve Orth and Lindsey Boldt will act as point people for this anthology and work to coordinate with you and with Occupy Oakland librarians to make the anthology available. Additionally, we hope to create monthly poetry zines including recent work that we’ll make available as a downloadable pdf and in print form. All are welcome and encouraged to contribute and to (yes, please!) help with the process of compiling the anthology.
What part can/does poetry play in these burgeoning movements? As Aaron Gell wrote in his article in the New York Observer,
“Occupy Wall Street is actually, it turns out, occurring in the realm of poetry and spirit. It’s a sort of waking dream. Which is why it’s so strangely powerful and cannot be sneered away or shoveled over with cynicism (not that we didn’t try) or kettled into history, and may even survive the winter in New York.”
So, to start, “Poems from the Oakland Commune” will consist of a 3-ring binders and an email account. As you may know, our camp was been raided and dismantled three times as of the writing of this letter. We had planned to make the anthology available at the commune’s lending library, but we are as yet unsure what the state of the library is or will be. We’re working with commune librarians to make the anthology available asap. We’ll also keep a digital archive of all contributions that are sent to us via email. If people are feeling saucy, we can type up the handwritten poems too. Successive binders and locations may be added as the anthology grows.
All contributions will be accepted. Please spread the word!
Send a Word Doc or PDF file to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring a hardcopy (typed or handwritten) to Oscar Grant Plaza lending library (If/When it is re-established). There will be a box marked “Poems to & from The Oakland Commune”.
Come down to Oscar Grant Plaza, hang out and write a poem directly into one of the notebooks provided (inside the anthology).
Sound good? Let’s do.
Lindsey & Steve