Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Summer Issue Editorial

We've got the blues; the bad job, no job, hungry child, can't afford a doctor, bad landlord, dying planet, not another stupid bogus war blues.

Our Summer issue deals with the inseparable themes of war and environmental destruction which are unfortunately more timely than ever. As the climate, both political and global, becomes more dangerous and oppressive, people are making the connections, recognizing that capitalism is the prime driver of climate destruction as well as the biggest obstacle to addressing it. The recent massive People's Climate March on September 21st built a coalition demanding systemic change that moves beyond the destructive tyranny of corporate rule.

The so-called economic recovery has failed to trickle down and work has become increasingly part-time, "independent" and temporary. Nationwide strikes and demonstrations by fast food workers demand a living wage. They have brought the reality of job injustice and the costs of economic disparity to the national conversation.

This season has also witnessed the growth of pervasive, blatant racism pushed by the right and the existence of an increasingly militarized police state as a response to rising economic desperation and anger.

Writing together as workers, this magazine is one place we can express our experience. We are proud to announce the winners of our Working People's Poetry Contest. This year's winner, "Rana Plaza: Fire in the Rescue Tunnel" by N.C. Otter appears in this issue. Like the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and theHamlet Chicken Plant fire in North Carolina where profits were prioritized over the safety and lives of working people, Rana Plaza, a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed killing over a thousand workers. As winner, N.C. Otter received the $100.00 prize and a one year subscription. Our runner up was "Out of Darkness" by J.L Schneider, a beautiful poem illuminating the love and pride of accomplishment work can bring. J.L. Schneider also receives a one year subscription. Both poems are posted on our website for a year.

We are grateful to the poets who entered out annual contest. Some of the poems which did not win appear in this collection or will be published in the future. As hard times continue and the struggle for social justice and ecological sanity heats up, we look forward to publishing more of strongest poets in our working class.