Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Contest Winners

We are pleased that this year's Working Peoples Poetry Contest had more entries than ever. Choosing a winner from among the many strong entries was difficult and many of the poems that didn't win the prize are sure to wind up published in the pages of the Blue Collar Review.

The winner for this year's contest is Gil Fagiani for his poem "A Clean Wound." This powerful poem shows not only the cost of war but the power of imperialism to press soldiers from poor countries into service for the interests of empire and the multi-nationals ultimately in power.

Our runner up is John P. Heckathorne for his beautiful poem, "Oil Creek, Pennsylvania." This poem describes the waste of land and lives left in industry's wake as it left Pennsylvania for other areas to exploit.

Both of these poems are posted on line for a year and both poets receive a subscription to our journal as well.

We are thankful for the participation of so many fine poets in this contest as it helps us fund our journal and press.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

McGrath Reading his Poetry

This Thanks to Lyle Daggett:

In the website of the Poetry Foundation (Poetry magazine in Chicago) is what purports to be an audio recording of poet Tom McGrath, reading several of his poems, recorded in 1960 at radio station KPFK in Los Angeles. The recording is one of a series selected by poet Donald Hall. The first two or three minutes are taken up by an introduction and short bio supplied by the Poetry Foundation; the rest is Tom reading. The entire recording is about 11 minutes.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spring Issue Editorial

The 30 million of us without jobs who have come to realize that there is no place for us in what's left of America thought we were already angry. Those of us who have lost much; who work ourselves to death on thin ice daily afraid of layoffs really didn't think we could be angrier. But we were wrong. We are over the top. We are seething. Outrage is pouring from us like the red-brown noxious muck spewing death in the Gulf of Mexico where the corruption of the filthy rotten system is no longer hideable.

We have known for a long time that the monstrosity of capitalism was killing us; that it had nothing left to offer but death and destruction. Now there is no room left for delusion. This latest catastrophe, and there are many more like it in places like Nigeria that we don't hear about in the corporate press, is as great a threat to life on earth as we have witnessed. Plugging the pipe, while necessary will not undo the damage or fix the problem. If we are to survive, this system of theft and exploitation must come to an end. If we are to have a future, this century will have to be dedicated to cleaning up the damage of the last.

As debt and calamity choke our class from Detroit to Athens to Lisbon leaving no place in the world untouched, our anger and desperation are building a movement of resistance that is our only hope. We must seize what time is left to save ourselves and build a better world from the ruins of the present.

Amid this nightmare of economic decline and ecological tragedy, we are fortunate to have gotten enough of your support to continue publication of your vital and timely writing. It is a source of hope. This collection speaks to the anger and seeming hopelessness we feel as well as to the humanity and vision we carry like a precious fragile inheritance. The sharing of that awareness and vision through the power of this literature lets others know they are not alone. It feeds and strengthens the class awareness upon which our future depends. We are deeply appreciative of your continued support, especially in these times when every cent must be stretched to its limit and the future is so uncertain.