Mourning the Gulf: Poetry in Action

May 24, 2010 § 4 Comments

Is writing selfish? Not necessarily and certainly not when it’s linked to social action. Art often flourishes in difficult times and I’m grateful to have found through fellow poet Neil Reid a site that offers us a place to mourn, heal, and create change. 

Poets for Living Waters editors Amy King and Heidi Lynn Staples are looking for submissions:

Poets for Living Waters is a poetry action in response to the Gulf Oil Disaster of April 20, 2010, one of the most profound man-made ecological catastrophes in history. Former US poet laureate Robert Pinsky describes the popularity of poetry after 9/11 as a turn away from the disaster’s overwhelming enormity to a more manageable individual scale. As we confront the magnitude of this recent tragedy, such a return may well aid us.

The first law of ecology states that everything is connected to everything else.  An appreciation of this systemic connectivity suggests a wide range of poetry will offer a meaningful response to the current crisis, including work that harkens back to Hurricane Katrina and the ongoing regional effects.

This online periodical is the first in a planned series of actions.  Further actions will include a print anthology and a public reading in Washington DC.

If you would like to submit work for consideration, please send 1-3 poems, a short bio, and credits for any previously published submissions to the editors at poetsforlivingwaters@yahoo.com.

I have history on the Gulf Coast – my ancestors were early arrivals in the city of New Orleans and it was my father’s birthplace. In the 80s, I spent some time in Louisiana doing the Baton Rouge/New Orleans thing. (It’s best not to describe it in public.)

Think about contributing, would you? We can make a difference.

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§ 4 Responses to Mourning the Gulf: Poetry in Action

  • neil reid says:

    Thanks for posting this Pamela, spreading the word. Me, I dislike attention to the politic, dislike things dark for the most. But I think this is gonna hurt, even more than yet. So pain has some place in this, and pretending otherwise might be heartless, and there’s already been enough of that.

    Maybe if poetry can contribute something, it might be the willingness to look into the dark and painful, yet do so with good heart. Don’t know if I can be that zen, but that’s the challenge I think. We cannot address the darkness of our culture until we’re willing to see it for what it is and does.

  • “I have history on the Gulf Coast – my ancestors were early arrivals in the city of New Orleans and it was my father’s birthplace. In the 80s, I spent some time in Louisiana doing the Baton Rouge/New Orleans thing.”

    I hope this might provide a segue back in the writing world. If not for submission, but to get those thoughts moving. Good luck.

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