Saturday, October 29, 2011

OccuPoets Boston

Yesterday, I was part of a weeklong effort by OccuPoets Boston to support the Occupy Boston movement. Organized by Peter Desmond, the weeklong series of afternoon poetry readings were held in support of the hundreds of people camping out, talking to passersby on the street, serving food, organizing events, talking to media, etc.

About 15 poets read to a crowd of 40-50 people, including Fred Marchant, Martha Collins, Molly Lynn Watt, and me. I was incredibly nervous—I never know how my work will be received. But the audience was warm and appreciative of the support from the Boston-area writers community. Four of the five poems I read are from the new manuscript, all of which have to do with the downturn in the economy.

This Occupy effort is centralized at Dewey Plaza at South Station in downtown Boston. What was once a park is now a tent city. Except for the musicians in the background and the city noise, it was relatively calm there. And clean. A little smelly but very organized and orderly. There's even a library on site, that now has a copy of Underlife on its shelves. I definitely got the sense that these 99 percenters are 100 percent committed to change by any (peaceful) means necessary. And with our first winter wallop of a storm coming, the occupiers were readying themselves with tarps and blankets to gut it out.

The contrast of tents and the towering banks in the background just blew me away. As poet Jennifer Badot put it, “How exhilarating to be there!”

Fred Marchant

Martha Collins

Molly Lynn Watt

Organizer Peter Desmond

The Occupy Boston Library


Susan Rich said...

Thanks for documenting this Jan. I love the library and the overall feeling you've described. Will try to work on this for Seattle.

January said...

It's a snowy morning here in Boston. My heart goes out to those braving the cold in the Occupy locations.

Paula Savoy said...

Great piece and pics, especially for those of us who wish we could have been there! Thanks.

Heidi G. said...

Thank you for standing with this crowd - I am especially proud of you Jan for bringing your poetry to these especially dedicated people.


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