baltimore, april 2010 …and other political poems in the philadelphia review of books

I don’t know John Ebersole very well, but he strikes me as an intelligent, highly-creative, intense kind of guy. On Tuesday, he posted on Facebook that he wanted original “political poems of the now.” You see, John’s the poetry editor of The Philadelphia Review of Books and for most of this week, he’s been accepting political poems on the spot and publishing them immediately on Philly Books and Culture, PRB’s blog. In three days, more than 100 people have submitted poems about the Baltimore riots, school shootings, race relations, gay rights, economic inequity, Nepal, and so much more.

Such times we live in. Such talent.  These poems are so worth a few minutes of your time to read. I’m truly honored to have my words – about hearing Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak in Baltimore about justice during another april that seems a lifetime ago – among more than 100 passionate voices.

Here’s “Baltimore, April 2010” on the Philadelphia Review of Books blog, and also below. My thanks, John, for the opportunity and for providing this forum.

baltimore, april 2010

you have a noble profession

you have a calling, you have a vocation

archbishop tutu is saying these words to

me

and three thousand fundraisers

in baltimore

on this april night

we must inspire others to change the world and

we must be inspired to be the change in the world and

we are silent in our seats and

we are awestruck and rapt and

we feel the presence of god and

now he is paraphasing king

we must learn to live together as

brothers and sisters

or perish together forever.

Desmond Tutu - AFP

Desmond Tutu - AFP (2)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaking at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) conference in Baltimore, MD. April 2010.

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One thought on “baltimore, april 2010 …and other political poems in the philadelphia review of books

  1. Becky

    What an honor for you to take part in both the muse for this poem and the collection of work.

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