Friday, March 28, 2014

Winter Issue Editorial

As we dig out of a hard winter, we find ourselves still trapped in a stagnant economy. Jobs remain scarce, low paying, and too often, abusive. Older workers are especially hard hit by long-term unemployment and the younger generation finds itself unable to find sustainable work. Sexual harassment is rife and women bear the brunt of it, as poems in this collection attest.

The corporate right and its sycophants continue to rail against even the modest insurance reforms ushered in by Obama, and to block the expansion of Medicaid to many left too poor to afford insurance. It is being revealed how thoroughly our environment and water are tainted with unregulated industrial chemicals. These affect not only our health but the development of our children. Pollution as well as the mass-impoverishment of our working class is a direct result of public policy written by and for major corporations. Some of us suffer workplace related injuries and illness. Some of us suffer from environmentally related illnesses. Autism rates are growing due to exposure to the contaminants that enriched the few. None of us are disposable for the enrichment of others.

The poems in this collection speak from desperation. They speak with intimate knowledge of the daily struggle for survival in this deadly system. They speak with anger, and most importantly, with militant solidarity and determination to create something better.

This journal, too, struggles against the odds to survive and to publish the strongest writers of our class. Your editors, being among the economically discarded, make this project even more difficult to sustain. This is our fundraising season and, like the last issue, you will find within these pages a Fund Drive request for support. We are grateful to those of you who have already contributed. We have enough to cover this issue and maybe one more. Our printer needs replacing and our other equipment is in need of upkeep. We have to cover supplies and expenses including paper, ink, and rising postal costs.

Admittedly, it would be cheaper to do our journal online but we are averse to that for numerous reasons. A real, ink on paper journal has a life of its own. Issues that we published 10 years ago are still circulating from hand to hand and in used book stores. New eyes continue to see them even without having to search online or even have a computer. Also, there is a major difference in the quality of attention and time that goes into reading an actual book as opposed to scanning a website. Long after the internet is too censored, long after the lights go out, the work you had published here will still be read -- will still make a difference. We remain stubbornly determined to keep the words flowing and are thankful for your support in making that possible.