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Correspondence: Appeal for activist poets to join online round table

Steve Bloom

25 July 2007

Hello all at Socialist Democracy, 

We had a great Activist Poet's Roundtable at the US Social Forum. Here's the poem that Dennis Brutus contributed: 

I must conjure from my past
the dim and unavowed spectre of a slave,
of a bound woman, whose bound figure pleads silently, 
and whose blood I must acknowledge in my own: 

fanciful wraith? Imagining? 
Yet how can I reconcile
my rebel blood and protest
but by acknowledgement
of that spectre's mute rebellious blood in me? 

Dennis Brutus 

45 people came to the event on Friday morning, a bit less than half of them with poems to read. There was some great material. It was exciting that so many participated actively, and those who just listened also made a wonderful contribution. 

I have now set up an on-line edition of the roundtable. Here's the description of what I have in mind: 

'ActivistPoetsRoundtable' is an email list for those who want to explore the intersection between social activism/human-rights advocacy and poetry. The idea originated as an outgrowth of a workshop held at the US Social Forum in Atlanta, on June 29 2007, sponsored by Struggle magazine. Members are invited to post up to one poem per month (two if their combined length is 30 lines or less). This can be original work or something written by someone else that you would like to share. Those who want to just listen are also welcome. 

All publication and other rights to poems posted on 'ActivistPoetsRoundtable' remain with the author.

The 'ActivistPoetsRoundtable' email list is for poetry. It is not a place to post commercial or other announcements (personal or political), or for political commentary. Nor is it for comments on or criticism of the poetry that is posted. Members are welcome to respond personally to those who share material with us, but please: not to the list as a whole.

Others who are engaged so far have different ideas about what the on-line roundtable should be, which is fine. The end product is still a work in progress. 

Anyone who would like to subscribe to the listserve - again, to participate actively or just to listen - can go to, click on "groups," search for "ActivistPoetsRoundtable" and follow the instructions for signing up.

Warmest greetings, 

Steve  Bloom

One Step Forward

It is a night the featured poet
shows us how to put the “super” 
back into “superficial,” 
and nobody seems to notice my verses—
especially not the new one I am trying out 
for the first time.

One fellow reader on the open mike, however,
offers me words I expect to remember 
And so I decide 
that on this particular evening 
poetry has taken another giant step forward. 


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