Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Into the Desperate Country by Jeff Vande Zande

Jaff Vande Zande is a long time supporter and contributor to the Blue Collar Review. He has used it in his classes at Delta College.

March Street Press announces the publication of Jeff Vande Zande’s debut novel . . . Into the Desperate Country.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats.”

--Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Into the Desperate Country . . .

Having abandoned his life after the deaths of his wife and daughter, Stan Carter begins accidentally to live “deliberately” in his cabin near Gaylord, MI. Soon, though, he feels the very insistent pull of society calling him back to the path: Find love. Find a job. Have kids. Own a house. And then die -- having, perhaps, never lived. It's the siren call of conformity and status quo. It's the call Stan must fight. And, in some way, it's the fight we all have as we make our way.

Signed copies of the novel can be ordered by sending a check payable to Jeff Vande Zande for $18.00 (includes shipping) to:

Jeff Vande Zande
P.O. Box 2042
Bay City, MI 48707

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Spring Editorial

As this season of new life winds to a close, we are grateful for the life-giving support of our readers to be able to publish another issue. Your support makes continuing this project possible in hard times. We are far from financially secure and your tax-deductable support of our press is always needed.

We hands that push brooms, buffers and shovels, that drive cabs and trucks, that tend the sick; We extensions of machinery; We office slaves, counter clerks, builders, plumbers and programers -- We are expected to show up to work on time, work hard, be loyal team players, buy ourselves into debt, pay our bills on time and die quietly when we are no longer of use. We are not supposed to have our own opinions, think, or speak when not spoken to, and we are not supposed to write.

They do their best to keep tabs on us. They drug test us and monitor our conversations at work. They tap our phones and our computers at home. But still we speak the forbidden. We talk about the boss. We agitate against their wars and global destruction. We organize to demand better conditions and basic rights and we dare, in spite of the risks and the barriers of cultural elitism, to write poetry that matters.

Poetry publication on a large scale is reserved for the literati, where an academic poetry devoid of content is preferred and politics, avoided and condemned. This magazine is an exception. We have seen a few sprouts of progressive literature. But, with very few exceptions, they lack the vital working class connection. This issue, like many others, is an example of the strength of poetry as an authentic expression rooted in the nitty-gritty working class experience: a reality that includes nationality, gender and race. In communicating our common experience what is revealed is the transcendancy of class.

As our world tumbles toward environmental catastrophe, spreading war and the tyrannies of fundamentalism and corporate dictatorship, our only hope for the future is in the unified class-consciousness of our international working class. Without our participation they are powerless.

At a time when our corporate ruling class is promoting nationalist xenophobia and scapegoating immigrant workers forced here by NAFTA's destruction of their country's economy, our class unity is even more vital. We believe that a literature that inspires that unity is a must and we are dedicated to publishing and promoting it.