Category Archives: Poetry

JOIN US: Poets For Change Celebratory Reading At St. Marks Church!

Clear your calendar and join us Friday, 10pm, September 28, 2012 at St. Marks Church for the opening night of a weekend full of events on behalf of 100,000 Poets for Change! The Poetry Project is hosting an open reading commemorating the Occupy Wall Street and the 100,000 Poets for Change communities. For those unfamiliar with 100tpc, September 29, 2012 marks the second annual global event of 100tpc, a grassroots organization that brings poets, artists and musicians (new this year) together to call for environmental, social, and political change, within the framework of peace and sustainability. The local focus is key to this global event as communities around the world raise their voices through concerts, readings, workshops, flash mobs and demonstrations that speak to the heart of their specific area of concerns, such as homelessness, ecocide, racism and censorship. This past year the Occupy Wall Street movement has been a major force diligently working for a better, more sustainable, more imaginative world, so it’s only natural that 100tpc and the poets of Occupy Wall Street join forces for the opening night of a weekend of 100tpc inspired readings (link to all the 100tpc readings happening in NYC).

In honor of the inventive spirit and the continual striving for inclusivity conducted by Occupiers this past year, the open-to-all who wish to participate reading at St. Marks Church will be held in an experimental way. The intent of this experiment is to break from the confines of routinely structured open mic nights. Instead of focusing the night on individuals confined to a time limit, the night aims to bring everyone in attendance together to create one, fantastic, long, meandering poem which encompasses everyone in attendance and focuses on the collective experience.

Upon arrival at St. Marks, poets will choose a word they feel an attachment to or a word that represents them or that they’re particularly fond of or think funny, etc – just pick a word! One word per person and one person per word (first come/ first pick). When choosing a word, please be mindful that you’re in a room full of people that also want to have a chance to read. Volunteers will ensure no one picks the same word and will prod anyone (the less imaginative poets seeking the limelight) that wants to pick a highly used word, to come up with another choice. (example words not to pick: and, or, is, the, it, your, my, a, no, yes, etc).

Choose a word that you’re pretty sure will be called. Chances are good no one will read a poem with the word glossolalia (meaning: fluent nonsense) in it, unfortunately. The word a poet chooses will be their key to read for the evening. Every time a poets’ word is read by another poet, the poet whose word was read will stand up, display their word, (which will signal the poet that was reading to stop and sit down) and then begin reading. The reading poet will continue until one of their words signals for another to begin. Please bring a range of poems and stretch that vocabulary, as every time your word is said you can/should read from a different poem or a different section of a poem already read from… the goal of the night is to get everyone reading fragments and pieces of work, with everyone’s work bleeding and melding into each others…. that said, a poet may only get one word in before the next reader begins or a poet may read 2 – 3 – 4 – 5(doubtful) poems before the next poet is signaled to begin. The amount of times and the length of time will entirely depend on the size of the crowd and words people read and chose. Hopefully this will create space for us to ruminate (in a fun and playful manner) on our interconnectedness, while we simultaneously create a completely original-communal body of work.

If someones word is never said, the poet can read a poem at the end of the night for our livestream cameras (up to three minutes// also let us know if you wish to not be filmed as we’ll have a special section of the room for you). Livestream cameras will be filming the night so people around the world can tune in. Eventually the night will be transcribed (unless a poet wishes their work be withdrawn), and the results will be posted here. However, if it’s getting late into the night and your word hasn’t been read, I’d encourage letting your neighbors know and would encourage people to create new poems as the night goes on with the words of those around you. Everyone should invest their energies into getting everyone multiple chances to add to the collective poem.

Also, as part of the night, I’m working on creating an installation of sorts, so the space has a nice feel and some decor to go along with the communal spirit we’ll hopefully all be embracing. I sent out an email to the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology list serv (if you didn’t get it and want to be on the list serv please let me know – stephenjboyer@gmail{dot}com), asking poets to email me one photo of themselves or a photo that they feel represents themselves– I might use them as part of the nights installation (technology provided). So if you want a photo of yourself or one that represents you to be included in the installation (as long as everything comes together), then please email me a photo as soon as possible… I’m still accepting and hoping to receive more photos. Also on display the night of the 28th, will be a copy of the final version of the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology, as well as the original versions that were in the park. A table will be set up as a communal poetry library/bookstore. Poets should bring copies of their work to give away, sell or trade (zines, chapbooks, whatever)!!! It’s up to the poet as to whether or not they want their contribution sold, shared, or for display purposes… whatever items a poet brings the night of, if it’s not gone by the end of the night please be prepared to take it home with you.

And finally! Volunteers are needed to make this night happen! All volunteers will be loved forever. And don’t worry– volunteers will fully be able to participate in the reading, so volunteers don’t have to worry about missing out on any part of the night. In fact, volunteers will have the honor of knowing they’re essential to making the night run smoothly. If you’re interested in helping with setting up the space the night of the 28th, or helping with livestream, or helping people pick/assign words upon entry, or looking after the book table (sales/distribution/ensuring books that aren’t to leave remain at the table) or if you’re available to help paint a few things a few days before the 28th or if you want to send me some ideas or moral support –please email me at stephenjboyer@gmail{dot}com.

St. Marks Church is located at 131 East 10th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenue in the East Village (google map). The reading starts at 10pm on September 28th and (crowd permitted) will run till around midnight… Really hope to see you there! And remember to wear something fun ‘cuz the night is going to be viewed by people from all over the world! There is an $8 suggested donation (helps support the Poetry Project), but no one will be turned away for lack of funds! Invite your friends! All are welcome.

And in case my explanation of the night is really confusing, here’s a more visual example of the way the night will proceed:

The following text excerpts are from the OWS Poetry Anthology -except for the second Adrienne Rich poem, which is from an article in The Nation. This was put together for example purposes only and isn’t intended to be an actual representation of the poets whose work was used.

Poet A (Adrienne Rich / chosen word is mother):

Ankles shackled
metalled and islanded
holding aloft a mirror, feral
lipstick, eye-liner

Poet B (Stephen Boyer / chosen word is eye-liner):

gazing into my crystal ball

Poet C (Jeffrey Grunthaner – chosen word is ball):

ad execs of the busyness where L-U-C-K’
s godly, & death’s even possible
by imbibing kitty emetics. O, the miser-
able remnants left on the aortic sidewalk!

Poet D (Filip Marinovich – chosen word is sidewalk):

You lose everything except your S.U.V.
even your children all 8 of them murdered
8 infinity symbol stood up straight
8 double-headed lariat noose cut loose
I fit my Gemini heads through two yellow loops
flying through deep space to meet Mother

Poet A (Adrienne Rich – chosen word is mother):

Saw you walking barefoot
taking a long look
at the new moon’s

Poet E (Ama Birch – chosen word is moon):

Dear President,
Leader of the free world,
Remember who pays your rent
Is wisdom’s pearl.

White House
Turned Brown
Cherry blossom mouse
Cheering sound.

Chopper, Chopper.
Swirling winds.
Marker, Marker.
Light ray blends.

Eggs are laid on the lawns.
You must protect your pawns.

Sincerely,
Ama Birch

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Occupy Wall Street x R.A.W. Poets

Remember these guys?! I do! They really made the poetry readings in Zuccotti Park happen. Enjoy.

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THANK YOU: The Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology Has Been Printed!!!

photo by Ed Giardina

The anthology is being printed! I meant to publicly update on the progress of the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology sooner, but I’ve been so busy picking up stacks of books and carting them around town to send out into the world, that I haven’t had the chance. Anyway, I’d just like everyone to know the books have begun to be printed! So far I’ve sent out about a dozen copies. I didn’t account for the cost of shipping such a large book, as I hadn’t been to the post office in awhile and was apparently out of touch with their rates. That said, if you’re in the New York City area and you’ve ordered a book we should try and arrange a meeting point so I can give you your book. The printer I’ve been working with is printing about 10 books a week so they’re slowly trickling out… the book is huge! 900 pages! I’ve updated the file on the OWS Poetry Anthology page so everyone can see it! There’s now three files: the cover, the anthology and the third file is the final segment of the book, scans of the contents of the “suggestion box” park participants put together and gave me after the raid on November 15th. I wrote a forward regarding the suggestion box which was published in the anthology and copy/pasted below.

This past weekend a copy of the anthology was on display at Surreal Estate as part of the Bushwick Open Studios event. This week, a copy will be on display, permanently, at Poets House. You can also see the anthology in its original binder form on display there as well. A copy has already been given to the New York Public Library and I believe a copy will be at the NYU Library soon… I also displayed a copy of the anthology at the Act Up + Occupy fundraising event at the end of April… Here’s a photo…

Once again, I’d just like to thank everyone that helped make this anthology a success! I can’t believe it’s making its way around the world, both on the web and in the physical! Copies are going all across America and Canada and copies have gone to Cork, Ireland; Paris, France; Latvia; and the United Kingdom! It’s truly a remarkable addition to the American Canon, at least that’s how I see it and it couldn’t have happened without hundreds of people coming together. Yes! Thanks again and please get in touch with me if you’re in the NYC area and you donated to receive an anthology as I’d like to arrange a time to give it to you… MEOW MEOW!!!!

The Suggestion Box:

When tents went up in Zuccotti Park the community was loosely divided into two clusters: At the western end of the park most of the drummers, anarchists, crust punks and long term Occupiers lived; the eastern end of the park was associated with the General Assembly, activist tourists, slacktivists, and people of privilege. However, the eastern end was also where Park mainstays like the Peoples Library, the media table, and the press table held court, and many of the people associated with those groups lived with their stations. So while it’s unfair to mandate clear boundaries, as many Occupiers blur the division made popular by Samantha Bee in her sketch for the “The Daily Show with John Stewart,” there is some truth in such observations. Such a delination places the infamous Kitchen at the center of the Park, the Park’s dividing line.

In keeping with this simplified observation, Occupiers living in the western end of the Park criticized the eastern end, specifically the General Assembly, for allowing people who were unfamiliar with the inner workings of life in the Park the ability to set rules and guidelines that would determine daily structure. Many of the people that lived in the Park full time were too busy with daily work to make it to the G. A.’s, so they often felt excluded from the decision making process and alienated from the people less invested in living in the Park. These non–Occupiers were engaged in a dialogue that felt rewarding to them but lacked an understanding of the community for which they were making decisions.

Eventually, the eastern end of the Park began to disrupt the G.A. which evolved into these Occupiers staging their own anti-G.A. in rebellion of the “sanctioned” G.A. held in the western end of the Park. The anti-G.A. was held in honor of all those living in the Park as a way of challenging the social norms that the Park’s community had established. The eastern end of the Park was made up of many small communities of long term as well as newly founded friendships; it was a place that was often criticized as violent, drug fueled, one harboring misguided extremists (flag burning, confronting police officers, destroying public property, etc). One of the most notorious bands of people in the east end of the Park established a community called, “Nick @ Night.” In keeping with the parks communal atmosphere, this community was started by and maintained a tobacco-rolling station, offering passerbys cigarettes. Rumors always seemed to fly around the Park regarding the shenanigans that took place in the area they occupied…. Despite the flack they received from the community at large, in my opinion they often defied stereotypes. The greatest example of their ability to transcend beyond the pranks and childish behavior they were known for, came shortly after the Raid, when I was handed a box they kept called the Suggestion Box. Like the OWS Poetry Anthology, the Suggestion Box was available to everyone. It was explained to me that they were curating the box as a way to compile a large body of suggestions; and once a large body was acquired, they were going to make these suggestions public so people could then engage with the material. After the Park was raided, many of the east enders left New York City, became disillusioned with the movement, or were pushed to other parts of the city with the rest of the Occupation. The box was handed to me for safe keeping/ archival purposes, so its contents could be added to the anthology and the originals maintained.

At first I typed the messages people wrote, but the typed version failed to capture the essence, the love, and the thoughtfulness that went into each suggestion. So Jackie Sheeler and I scanned them in order not to disrupt the essential rawness of the material: the scans maintain the small details that are lost when handwriting is converted to type. For the past few months I’ve been reading Michael Taussig’s book, I SWEAR I SAW IT; he gave a signed copy to the People’s Library upon the book’s release. Taussig investigates the value of the notebook. He sees handwritten recordings as kindling the mystique; he notes how they’re able to blend inner and outter worlds, to show peculiarities of knowledge and the complexities of life. After all, isn’t the Occupy Wall Street Movement a journey to discover new ways of thinking, seeing, and interacting with the world?

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May Day Verse

From the foregathered there comes a cry

an echo of all that has been said before

in every language

in every way

it sounds like music

it feels like spring

it seems a message

will play here forever

it reaches even those who cannot hear

those who refuse to hear

it sounds like music

it feels like spring

like an echo of all that has been said before

from the foregathered there comes a cry

here it is then

OCCUPY

visit

www.theowsreview.org

for new words from Peter Lamborn Wilson

and submit your literary arts to:

occupyreview@gmail.com

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Running Out Of Time: Help Print The Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology: And it’s been updated!!!

In synchronicity with Poetry Month, which runs throughout April, a small and very committed group of people have been hard at work preparing the anthology for print. In addition to editing, reformatting, and composing a table of contents for the considerable volume of verse contained therein, we have also been working to raise the necessary funding to make this printing possible. You can check out the indiegogo campaign here. The Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology consists of 721 poems by 448 poets, as well as 4 introductory texts. The poems are in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Urdu, German, Japanese, Chinese and Dutch. The online PDF file has officially been updated to include recent additional poems, a Table of Contents and a new section at the end “Suggestion Box.” The backgrounds, career paths, political affiliations, gender identities, opinions, and stylistic choices of the authors are as varied as the occupy movement itself. In bypassing the curatorial and marketing concerns which are de rigeur of a publishing company, we have attempted to create a fully inclusive document; a record of our collective voice which stands in solidarity with not only its authors but as a testament to the literal space held by the general public surrounding the time of its creation.

On April 14th, we gave two copies of a preliminary printing to the Jefferson Market branch of the New York Public Library on the occasion of a reading celebrating the anthology and discussing the importance of the upcoming Mayday strike. The library is currently hosting an installation of poems from the anthology, on display until the end of April. It is an honor and a great achievement to have the NYPL support and recognize the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology; by creating space on its shelves for this book, the NYPL is ensuring that future readers will be able to access this crucial moment in history from the perspectives of those who lived it.

To print this text in its entirety is a special opportunity. Not only does the anthology consist of poems from all over the world, it also has drawings, paintings, and other ephemera from Zuccotti Park. It is simultaneously a beacon for free speech and a time capsule for future generations, so they may examine the hearts and minds that comprised and supported the Occupy Movement in its early stages. All submissions were accepted, so there are also entries that are critical of the Occupy Movement as well as poems in dialogue with subject matter contingent to the direct act of protest/occupation. After speaking with several publishers whose demands to print a consolidated version of the book [highlighting mostly its more noted contributors] were clearly not in keeping with the inclusive tone of the Occupy movement, the decision to self-publish became imperative. The document, in its entirety, is already print-ready. The ultimate goal of this edition is to ensure that the anthology remains in circulation by distributing copies to major libraries and literary institutions on an international level, as well as providing copies to each contributor and enabling us to give the book, free of charge, to as many people as possible.

By supporting the campaign to fund the printing of the anthology, you are ensuring copies get to occupations, library systems and special collections around the world. By the end of May, it is entirely possible for every occupation to have a few copies of the anthology to show passersby that don’t necessarily understand the gravity and global scope of the movement, or how such a movement could be made up of no demands. Also–if enough money is raised, individuals, as well as libraries and special collections, will be able to own a copy. Those that donate $50 or more will be able to not only support the printing of copies that will go to the public domain, but will also receive their own copy. You can check out the indiegogo campaign here.

And a photo Eliot Katz sent me, to share with everyone::

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This Weekend: Reading @Jefferson Market Library and ACT UP + OCCUPY!

For the month of April, the Jefferson Market Library is hosting an exhibition of poems from the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology in the spiral staircase leading library goers from the ground floor to the main room. April is POETRY MONTH! And the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology is open to all poems: famous poets sit next to obscure poets, experimental poems are next to traditional ones, there are many languages, and poems both for and against the the Occupy Movement. The anthology consists of 721 poems, 4 poetic introductions, 448 poets (140 women, 275 men, 34 androgynous) and poems in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Urdu, German, Japanese, Chinese and Dutch.

Tomorrow, April 14th, the Jefferson Market Library has opened its doors to OWS Poetry Anthology to host a reading so all the poets and the community at large can come out and engage with each other. This is a great opportunity for the Occupy Movement to educate and converse with the West Village Community. And they have two weeks to engage with the poems on the walls and think about what is being said…. So come prepared! I’ve even invited all the poets in the Anthology to read a poem as well, so expect to be challenged and expect to be loved!

Poets will get 3-5minutes to read their work, depending on the size of the crowd…. The event will be held in a similar fashion to the Poetry Assemblies: readers will add their name to a “hat” and be called at random. The event will kick off with a short “lecture” on the significance of MAY DAY and the GENERAL STRIKE, which is currently a major focus of the Occupy Movement…. if you don’t know much about it, or have questions or wanna hear about it from an expert, be sure to be there at 2pm. If you have serious ethical, moral, or safety concerns about the poems on the walls, be sure to tell a librarian! They’ll take your concerns, print and laminate them, and post them on the wall so everyone can consider what you got to say…. Also email them to me, so I can add it to the anthology ;) stephenjboyerATgmailDOTcom

Also, to mark the occasion, we will be presenting the NYPL with two copies of the anthology. One will go to central archives and the other will stay in the Jefferson Market branch

And if you haven’t heard, the anthology is currently running a campaign to raise money so it can be printed and sent to occupations, special collections, and major library systems around the world. The Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology is an anthology made by and for the people…. Please spread the word: if we are going to be able to do this, we will need for this to go viral and be supported by everyone. The link for the campaign is here, at indiegogo.

SUNDAY:::

To commemorate its 25th anniversary, the AIDS activist group ACT UP will return to its roots and stage a massive demonstration and march on Wall Street — on Wednesday, April 25 — starting at 11 am at City Hall and ending on Wall Street.

Hundreds of protestors are expected to converge for a daylong siege in Lower Manhattan.

ACT UP (The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) will be joined by Occupy Wall Street (OWS), the organization making history this year and last with its public encampments and series of protests against the global financial community. The groups are joining forces to pump up the
volume on a growing nationwide outcry for a “Financial Speculation Tax” (Fi.S.T.) on Wall Street.

The groups are calling on local, state, and federal legislators to “give Wall Street the FiST,” which is needed to fill AIDS funding gaps and — once and for all — provide universal healthcare in the US. It’s time for effective healthcare to be made available to everyone — to the 99%, not just the 1%.

The Fi.S.T. does not target individual investors, and would not affect regular bank transactions. Instead, it would place a small tax — a mere fraction of one percent — on speculative trading by Wall Street investment banks, hedge funds and other large financial institutions.

HIV treatment saves lives — by preventing new infections and keeping those already infected from reaching end-stage AIDS. However, of all people worldwide in need of access to HIV treatment, only 44% have it. More than 8 million people do not. In the United States today, 3,840 people who qualify for federal assistance to pay for HIV treatment are on waiting lists — or in other words, are at risk of dying from AIDS.

“The AIDS crisis is not over,” says veteran ACT UP New York member Ann Northrop. “But, we know it could be,” she adds.

AIDS treatment — when combined with simple prevention interventions — is the key to breaking the back of the epidemic worldwide. In addition to saving lives, early HIV/AIDS treatment reduces the risk of transmission of HIV by 96%. And so, with sufficient funding for
treatment and prevention, we can turn the tide on AIDS. Globally, HIV/AIDS has claimed over 30 million lives.

Both ACT UP and OWS suggest the revenue from a Financial Speculation Tax would be significant — potentially in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The revenue from this tax should be used to fund the end of the AIDS pandemic, i.e. to fill in US budget gaps in the fight against
HIV/AIDS at home and abroad. It should be used to provide treatment, services and prevention to thousands of Americans and millions around the world. The groups also say the tax could help pay for universal healthcare in the US.

“We are organizing this historic united front to bring our message to governments and to Wall Street financiers who are sitting on the key to ending the AIDS epidemic,” according to Eric Sawyer, a founding member of ACT UP New York. “There is no excuse. We have the know how to end AIDS. It is lack of funding and political will that keeps us from reaching universal access to HIV treatment worldwide.”

Additional organizations are expected to join the demonstration in New York City, including Housing Works, Health GAP, National Nurses United, OWS Healthcare for the 99% Working Group, Visual AIDS, MIX NYC, Le Petit Versailles, Queerocracy, Queering OWS and others. The action will be in New York on April 25th — but the need is global. And, the time is now.

AIDS is now. END AIDS NOW!

ACT UP & Occupy!
Tax Wall Street!
End AIDS!

The AIDS crisis is not over — but it could be! Tax Wall St. to End #AIDS #ACTUP #OWS #OccupyAIDS #OccupyWallSt #TaxWallSt #EndAIDS #April25 #ActUp25 #A25

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POETRY MONTH~ OWS Poetry Anthology @ Jefferson Market Library

For the month of April, the Jefferson Market Library is holding an exhibition of poems from the OWS Poetry Anthology on the wall of the spiral staircase leading up the beautiful tower. It’s a great chance for library goers to absorb the many, varied poems in the anthology and simultaneously enjoy voices from those directly involved with the movement and from supporters from around the world.

On April 14th, we’ll be hosting a reading at the library from 2-5pm. Everyone is encouraged to bring a poem to share! Poets will get 3-5minutes depending on the amount of people that show up, and the event will start out with quick lecture on the significance of the GENERAL STRIKE the occupy movement has called for on May 1st. We’ll also be giving the NY Public Library copies of the OWS Poetry Anthology on the 14th to add to their collection! One copy will go to the archives at 42nd street and another copy will remain at the Jefferson Market location. If you want to check out the exhbition but aren’t sure when to go, I really suggest saving date, Saturday afternoon on April 14th!! If you want to add a poem to the copy of the anthology that will be given to the NY Public Library, please send poems by the evening of April 8th, 2012 to “stephenjboyer(AT)gmail.com.

Here’s a couple photo’s taken by one of the librarians at the Jefferson Market Branch, Marie Hensen… it seems all the librarians are really excited about the exhibition!

And here’s a photo of Frank Collerius (head librarian at the branch) and I… when you stop by, be sure to say hi!

And here’s a few more photo’s, taken by the poet Lee Ann Brown…

My partner in crime, Miranda Lee Reality Torn, her poem “Corporations!” is hanging up now…

Another partner in crime, the poet Patrick Hammer, thanks again for all your help!

AND AGAIN~~THANK YOU AGAIN, JEFFERSON MARKET LIBRARY, AND WE’LL SEE YOU ON APRIL 14TH AND CHECK OUT THE CAMPAIGN TO PRINT THE ANTHOLOGY ON INDIEGOGO!!!!

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Help Print The OWS Poetry Anthology!

 

I’ve started a campaign for printing the OWS Poetry Anthology, the goal is to raise $40,000. You can check out the fundraiser on indiegogo here.

The OWS Poetry Anthology was born the second week of the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Assembly. I was so overwhelmed by the diversity and greatness of the poems presented during the first week of the Assembly, that I knew the assembly must be archived. So at the second Poetry Assembly I asked the poets gathered if I could archive it, then I gave out my email, expecting only a few poems to show up in my inbox. The response was overwhelming, and in the weeks that followed, I received a steady stream of poems from people all over the world. It seemed everyone that had been struck by the Occupy Movement had something to say, and an open Poetry Anthology, that was open to all voices and all types of “poetry” seemed like the appropriate way of archiving the inclusive spirit of Occupy Wall Street.

Many names have contributed to the anthology, some of which you may know: the visual artist Molly Crabapple did the cover art and some of the more prominent poets that contributed are Adrienne Rich, Eileen Myles, Ngoma Hill, the Allen Ginsberg Society on behalf of Allen, Wanda Coleman, CA Conrad, Dodie Bellamy, Kevin Killian, Charles Bernstein, Eliot Katz, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Lee Ann Brown, Anne Waldman, Puma Pearl, Danny Schechter, Stuart Leonard, Filip Marinovich, Ariana Reines, Frank Sherlock, and many many more…

The money donated to this project will allow for the OWS Poetry Anthology to be printed and given away to a lot of people. The more money the project receives, the more copies we will be able to print. The anthology has been open to anyone to send in poems of any size and definition since early October 2011. It’s over a thousand Microsoft Word pages. It’s probably the lengthiest, most inclusive text the Occupy Wall Street movement has yet produced and its a direct reflection of the SOUL of the movement. On April 14th, the Jefferson Market Library in Manhattan will be hosting the OWS Poetry Anthology community for an afternoon of open readings, where anyone can come and join and read a poem. To mark the occasion, we will be presenting the library with the first book print copy of the anthology for them to have on record. Also the money will go towards shipping and storage fees.

The Anthology is over a thousand pages, it’s a very big book. Originally I was going to ask for $50,000.00 as it’s going to be expensive to print this book and ship it. But in the interest of just getting copies into the world, I figured it was safer to shoot for $30,000.00. However, if the goal is met, and more money comes in, that will mean more copies can be printed. The more copies printed, the more people will be able to own it and the more special collections we will be able to get it into. By the time this project is completed, the NY Public Library and Poet’s House in NYC will already have copies in their collections. I’d like to get this important record into as many public collections as possible.

For the past few months I’ve been trying to persuade publishers to print the book in its entirety but it seems the values of this book do not mesh with the values of a publishing company, as we would like for this book to be given out to people freely and we would prefer not exclude any poets nor poems from its pages. So it seems the only way to keep the book, in all its magick, is to print it ourselves and to bring it to the people ourselves, and to read from its pages ourselves. This book is a radical departure from the traditional structure of the “anthology”, most anthologies are very selective, while this collection seeks to welcome all forms of poetry and engages in experiments like placing a famous poets poet next to a never before heard poet. What happens when you don’t exclude an idea and you let everyone encounter the idea? What happens when you print thousands of copies of a book of poetry and GIVE IT AWAY FREE?!

The poems that have comprised this anthology are poems from the soul, poems demanding a new world, poems begging that the recession end, poems from hysterical and starving peers, even poems from the 1% ready to argue against Occupy Wall Street, there are poems from the world over that is standing up virtually naked at the feet of a corporate beast, a war of David versus Goliath scope, and the people that have assembled and added to the OWS Anthology are ready to speak out against the atrocities destroying our Earth, fight back and create a future that can beget a future.

I read from and spoke about the Anthology on WBAI a little while back, you can listen to that program here. The Anthology has received a lot of press, from independent press to the Nation to the Wall Street Journal. So if you’re interested and unfamiliar with this project, search around the internet and you will find a lot of information about what we’ve been doing! Thank you!

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Poetry Anthology Update + Writing Prompt!

As I recently posted, we’re going to be putting on an OWS Poetry Anthology reading at the Jefferson Market Library on April 14th, from 2-5pm. As part of the reading, we’re going to be giving the library a copy of the OWS Poetry Anthology for them to keep as part of their special collections. If you’d like to be in the anthology that will be available at the New York Public Library, be sure to send me your poem by the evening of April 8th, a Sunday. As you probably know, the anthology is ever growing, but we’re going to give them an edition of it, so whatever has been sent to me by April 8th will go into the version of the anthology they’ll have on file. I hope to include your poem in it! Send work to stephenjboyer(AT)gmail.com. Also, if you want to help with some “fixing up” work on the anthology, get in touch with me! As I am trying to clean it up, fix formatting and typo’s. But no changes to any poems will be made! And only want help from people, that will respect all the differing work that has been sent into the anthology.

For those of you that need a prompt or some sort of push toward a poetic starting place… I suggest you go to Occupy Union Square and show solidarity with all the beautiful people currently living and occupying there… DISCOURSE DISCOURSE DISCOURSE and then go home and weave the conversations into an epic poem! For the more adventurous… I’ve been thinking it might be interesting to have people watch the documentary “Dark Secrets: Inside Bohemian Grove” by Alex Jones and then write a poem from the eyes of the owl god Moloch. Shoot forth from the eyes Moloch and unleash verse upon the robed men gathered to worship you!

Remember reality: PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER. ALL PEOPLE. HAVE THE POWER. The people gathered in the documentary may have accumulated “wealth” but it’s actually THE PEOPLE, you know, EVERYBODY that has THE POWER. I don’t mean to get all Star Wars on you, but it’s true… The elites NEED us. We do not need them. Spring forth, GOD/DESS, (the elites worship you) and fill their souls with verse! Moloch! You are the center of a weird, bizarre ancient Canaanite, Lucifarian, Babylonian ceremony, please make sure I get a spot on the guest list…

“What sphinx of cement and aluminium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?

Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!

Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!

Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgement! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!

Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!

Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovas! Moloch whose factories dream and choke in the fog! Moloch whose smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!

Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!

Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!

Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!

Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!

They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!

Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!”

-Allen Ginsberg
excerpt from HOWL

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Spring Fling! Mark Your Calendar!

Happy Sixth Month Anniversary! Spring has come to New York City! Which means, if you’ve been hiding and resting this winter (like I did for a bit) it’s time to dust off your signs and hit the streets! The flowers are in bloom and job prospects are still scarce, so it’s the perfect time to fall in love and with Cupid’s arrow hanging out of your side, run around the streets of New York demanding a better world for you and your new found lover. Today, at the six month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, I was struck by Cupid’s arrow when I noticed a boy screaming hysterically at a swarm of nypd officers, “fuck you you fucking pig you cant push me on a fucking public sidewalk you fucking pig!” Swoon!

Here are some more photo’s I took with my phone today:

Also, I’d like to announce the next OWS Poetry Anthology Reading! It’s going to be April 14th at the Jefferson Market Library in the West Village. The reading will be from 2pm-5pm and it’s a chance for us to CELEBRATE POETRY MONTH! This is a great opportunity for the OWS Community, The People’s Library, the OWS Poetry Community, and the West Village Community to meet, talk and discuss through the form of poetry. Like all readings past, the reading is open to everyone, readers will get 3-5 minutes depending on how many people show up and everyone is encouraged to invite everyone. Like the anthology, all points of view accepted. I’ve been talking with the head librarian and he’s also opened the doors for us to put up a bunch of OWS Anthology poems throughout the library as decorations so library goers can read poems while they peruse the shelves. The occasion will also provide us the opportunity to place a copy of the OWS Poetry Anthology in the library, so the NYPL will officially have a copy of the OWS Poetry Anthology for the community to enjoy. Yes! And if that isn’t enough, we’ll be opening the reading with a quick talk by one of the OWS communities many organizers, to explain the significance and the history and the reason why we are calling for a GENERAL STRIKE on May 1st. If you can’t tell already, I’m excited! Get in touch if you’d like to help or if you can assist with printing and laminating costs as it’s gonna cost a bit to get the poems ready to hang around the library.

So yeah, it’s Spring! May Day is coming! Hopefully I’ll be seeing you in the streets!

And PS: Recently I spoke to my cousin about his time in the Middle East working for the US Military, and it ripped me apart and I was appalled and disgusted beyond belief and for a week I couldn’t think and all I wanted to do was cry but then I was finally able to write about it, and if you want the full gory details, then go here.

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OWS Poetry Anthology on WBAI!!

On February 20th, 2012, WBAI had me on their Occupy Broadcast to talk about the OWS Poetry Anthology.

Here’s the show in its entirety (I come on at 8:40 and continue for about 20 minutes):

For more progressive talk, go to WBAI.org! Or for the anthology, go to the People’s Library wordpress page! I wanted to read more poems on the show, but ran out of time. Alas, I was able to read work by CA Conrad, Lara Weibgen, Sparrow and Ras Osagyefo. Just a handful of poets but hopefully representative of the vast diversity the anthology has compiled.

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The Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology reading/celebration

Friday February 17, 2012 10:00 pm
at the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, 131 E. 10th Street, New York, NY 10003

This reading will celebrate The Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology.  The OWS Poetry Anthology is a living/breathing, all-inclusive, and constantly expanding anthology of poetry in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Admission to the event is free and the reading will be modeled similarly to the Friday evening poetry assembly readings that have taken place at Liberty Plaza for the majority of the occupation there.  Readers will sign up to read from the anthology or from work they feel to be relevant to the OWS movement, then chosen by lot.

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OWS Poetry Anthology Update 11

The 11th update of the OWS Poetry Anthology is officially online, here. The latest update has about a hundred pages of poems and some poetic oil paintings that cartoonist/artist, Sharon Rosenzweig, shared with us. One of her works is the above image.

All poems are welcome to be added to the anthology. If you would be so kind as to send poems in the following format (size 12, TIMES font):

TITLE (bold)
by, Author (normal)
for JOE JOHN (italics)
SOMEWHERE, FARAWAY (italics)

BODY OF POEM (your unique vision!)

The OWS Poetry Anthology is open to all languages! Every week more and more languages are added to the anthology as more and more poets from around the world are joining in to make this text more nuanced. I’m very sorry, I’m limited to English so please pass this on in other languages if you possess such magickal abilities. No poem will be translated as that creates a heirachy of language. However, if the poet who sends in a poems wishes to include the poem in more than one language, all the versions will be added.

Everyone is also welcome to contribute to the “POETIC INTRODUCTIONS” section of the anthology. The introduction section is a place for “essays/writings/stories” about what the Anthology means to you. It’s a space for you to write an introduction for the anthology.

On February 17th, at St. Marks Church, the Poetry Project is honoring the OWS Poetry Anthology with a celebratory reading. It’s free! The reading will be held in the same fashion as the OWS Poetry Assemblies, Poets will put their names in a “hat” and every reader will call the next reader at random. You can see this style of reading in action by watching the recent OWS Poetry Assembly that was held at the Bowery Poetry Club here.

Because the event is taking place at St. Mark’s Church we are going to be able to offer poets more time to represent their work. Depending on the size of the crowd, poets will have 6-10minutes to read their work. All are welcome to join.

And remember, Feel free to print and distribute the anthology as you envision the anthology should look, however, I encourage you to spread it as its intended to represent all that have contributed.

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OWS Poetry Reading Live Feed Video

For some reason the live feed embed code won’t work with wordpress. Does anyone know how to get it to work on here? Here is the link to the video.

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Bloomberg Beware: OWS Poets are EVERYWHERE!!!

On Thursday, January 26th, 2012 at The Bowery Poetry Club from 5:00pm-7:30pm the Poetry Collective of Occupy Wall Street invites you to share your poems at our Winter Poetry Assembly. We imagine a kind of poetry town hall meeting where EVERYONE can assemble together and share words. This event is FREE.

The way Poetry Assemblies operate: show up, put your name in a hat, and eventually you’ll be called. This method is used to show that there is no hierarchy in determining the order.

Please choose a poem no longer than 3 minute. The Bowery Poetry Club has generously waived the usual entrance fee (it’s free!), but not the whiskey fee, which is understandable given the crowd.

Remember these devastatingly beautiful nights!!!

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OWS Poetry Anthology UPDATE 10


Photo of the OWS Poetry Anthology at the Tree of Life in Zuccotti Park

The 10th Update of the OWS Poetry Anthology is now online. Sadly, the poems aren’t pouring in the way they used to so I’m not going to update the anthology on a weekly basis anymore. Instead, I’ll update every few weeks once I’ve received a chunk of poems.

Besides sending in poems, everyone is also welcome to contribute to the “POETIC INTRODUCTIONS” section of the anthology. The introduction section is a place for “essays/writings/stories” about what the Anthology means to you. It’s a space for you to write an introduction for the anthology. Danny Schechter sent in the first introduction. I finally wrote one and it just went into the anthology with this update.

And in case you don’t know, the OWS Poetry Anthology is open to submissions from anyone. All poems are accepted. In all languages. If you want to have your poem in multiple languages, it’s up to you to determine translation.

Find out more about the anthology and read it HERE!

And one of America’s great living poets, the poet CA Conrad, sent in a poem for Update 10. It’s currently the last poem in the anthology… Here’s a video of CA Conrad reading it New Year’s Day at St. Mark’s Church. I LOVE YOU, CA CONRAD!

If you’d like to read my POETIC INTRODUCTION just continue reading… Continue reading

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Happy Holiday’s Ya’ll

Happy Holiday’s Everyone! Doesn’t matter exactly how you celebrate, just remember to celebrate LOVE!

The Occupied Santa sent in three copies of the OWS Poetry Anthology… a copy will be in the park today (I’m heading down there with the library soon) for everyone to admire… or just print/make your own copy! And don’t forget to keep sending poems… The movement is just getting started! And we need your poems! If you haven’t gotten the freak poet in your family something yet, the anthology is the perfect gift and it’s free online HERE!

On another note:

My friend Rami sent me this: America, by now, is truly a land of addicts; but some junkies are just better than others. On this Christmas, let us all remember, whether we’ve struggled with depression, cocaine, cigarettes, or our weight; be we heroin addicts or sex addicts, there’s never been nor will there ever be a better, bigger, and more dangerous addict than that which stalks our dying country in the guise of the Wall Street Banker, the Wall Street Broker, the Wall Street Deal Maker. America’s a land of addicts: but some junkies are just better junkies than others, and some, as W. S. Burroughs reminds us, are better people. Happy Holidays!

Last night I went down to the park for the midnight celebration! I was astonished to see a group gathered near Ground Zero in remembrance of 9/11 victims… It was a beautiful group, they were busy reminding each other “we must remember we are people of joy – it doesn’t matter where we come from or what we worship” and guess whose watching!!!!

I couldn’t believe NYPD COUNTER-TERRORISM officers were patrolling the actions of a group of people grieving the loss of their loved ones due to the attacks on 9/11… merry police state ya’ll and I wish ya’ll a happy jail cell! Once in the park, the Occupiers were busy keeping one another warm and full of good cheer. People read a speech Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. read one Christmas Eve and others spoke of the plight many members of the Baha’i faith face on a daily basis. For those unfamiliar with the Baha’i, they’re a religious movement that seeks to show the interconnectedness of all faiths. It was a cold but beautiful night. And we were all reminded that Jesus was one of the first people to engage in a Direct Action when he overthrew the tables in the temple after the religious leaders of the day had lost sight of the spirit and had adopted an addiction to money. Jesus was a protester! Jesus would have been the first to enter Duarte Sq. Jesus would be here in the park with us. He/She would be with us, healing us, educating us, hugging us, possibly even shooting laser beams from his finger tips…

Hope to see you in the park today! The library will be there ready to give you a book for the holiday!

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the occupy wall street review

The Fiddler and a banjo beginner play old union songs in the night. And somewhere amidst the Beautiful Chaos of the Occupation comes whispers of what we are doing: “OCCUPY these areas [that we may] carry on [our]festive purposes for quite awhile in relative peace.”

this is a bootstrap operation

It was on October 9th, 2011, that the Temporary Autonomous Zone by Hakim Bey was entered into the People’s Library database on Librarything, making it the first cataloged volume.
It wasn’t too long after that when a few of us huddled under shapeless  structures- makeshift and different everyday, like the rules imposed upon us by the men in dimly lit rooms- listening to the rain on the tarpaulin, discussing the T.A.Z., wondering just how ‘temporary’ our autonomous zone was.

the T.A.Z. must be capable of defense; but both the ‘strike’ and ‘defense’ should, if possible, evade the violence of the state which is no longer a meaningful voice.

the sound cannon, truncheons in gloved hands, the cleaning of pepper from the eyes of my friends, Orwellian visions.

often one returns to Liberty Plaza: vacant; lighted holiday trees; library space sans tombs; police-tape demarcating an unknown crime; strange encounters with uniformed men in mustaches.

there are waves nostalgia of course, but the sentimentalism dissipates, though never entirely; it lingers a safe distance away–never impeding future action– and allows me to somehow safely hold our encampment of guerilla ontologists in unforgettable synaptic locations.

“Why?”  I heard a woman say today, as I rounded the corner to a crowd of hundreds, a march and Solidarity Act, for those immigrated to this country.

must we wait until the entire world is freed of political control before even one of us can claim to know freedom?

the rain fell on tarps that night in october, we huddled and laughed, the Fiddler played from his bivouac, from somewhere under the sky we knew our Zone was temporary, we knew these as processes, and not merely results.

there are those that cling to the space–what we call Liberty Plaza.

But the TAZ liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to reform elsewhere, before the state can crush it.

as soon as it is named (represented) (mediated) it must vanish, it will vanish, leaving behind it an empty husk, only to spring up again somewhere else…

follow the seasons

hibernate

educate

[text in bold from the Temporary Autonomous Zone-- Anti-copyright, but still... used with permission]

the following precursory text of the OCCUPY WALL STREET REVIEW was made available at the request of Peter Lamborn Wilson for the occupiers on the day of action, D17.

visit

www.theowsreview.org

to read

OWS Act Two

from the author of

the Temporary Autonomous Zone

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Filed under #N17, 11/15 Eviction, Announcements, Art, Digital Archive, Direct Action, Ephemera, Literature, Media, Music, Poetry, Process, Sean, Solidarity

OWS Poetry Anthology Week 9 Update

“Week 9″ has officially been added to the OWS Poetry Anthology. And I have exciting news! This December 17th, we’re launching a website for the OWS Poetry Anthology so it’s more easily accessible and ever more beautiful and free. The anthology will remain at the People’s Library WordPress page as a PDF but will also be at owspoetry.org as a more navigable version. So everyone that isn’t going to the re-occupation of Dec. 17th, you can occupy the new poetry site! And you should write a love poem to everyone that is occupying the new space on Dec. 17th.

A Writing Prompt(For those that need a nudge in the poetic direction): What does occupation mean to you? The word has a few meanings: Occupation – noun 1. a person’s usual or principal work or business, especially as a means of earning a living; vocation: Her occupation was dentistry. 2. any activity in which a person is engaged. 3. possession, settlement, or use of land or property. 4. the act of occupying. 5. the state of being occupied. But none of those meanings seem to capture the meta-experience occupations across the country have offered people. When has a job ever allowed a worker to fully engage in their right to free speech, free sleep, free food, free books, free everything… So please think about what it means for you to occupy. Where you occupy. Why you occupy. How you occupy. And form those messy ideas in your mind into words. And put those words onto paper. Then send those ideas to the OWS Poetry Anthology – stephenjboyer@gmail(DOT)com.

In other news, “Week 9″ hosts the first Non-Latin language poetic contribution to the anthology! This is a huge step! We are breaking new ground! Incorporating more voices! A United Global Occupation that Occupies Everything is coming! The following poem doesn’t represent what the majority of occupiers feel, but that’s okay! Occupy Wall Street is about the freedom of opinion. It’s about people saying whatever they want. Anyone that has been to any G.A. knows the great lengthy arguments we go through to get anything accomplished. We believe in disruptors, for we are all disruptors.

低能

by 匿名

低能

彼らの心を占めて
前進馬鹿
通りで
公園の
テントに横たわっている
強姦
盗む
不潔な
役に立たない
無意味な
家を移動
愚かなドローン
人の耳の周りにブンブン
あなたが育つだろう願って
あなたの幼稚な方法で過去の
離れて危険なゲームから
あなたの無知を超えて
独善を残して
演技乳児
注目を求めて停止する
あなたは、懇願する
あなたの人生で役に立つ何かをする
他の人を混乱させる横

バスを取る
仕上げ学校
仕事を得る
恋に落ちる
家族を持っている
あなたの子供を愛して
あなたの配偶者を愛して
貢献を行う
社会へ
しかし、ほとんどすべての…
目的を果たす
愚かなクソ低能
生命を得る
私たちの残りの部分を残す
単独

And in closing, here’s the youtube video version of the poem the poet KJ Ink sent this past week… It’s called “Occupy There Minds”. I’ve been seeing more and more poets posting videos of their work on youtube… check out the OWS Poets!

Read, download, enjoy the OWS Poetry Anthology HERE!

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OWS Poetry Anthology Week 8 Update!


Week 8 has been added to the OWS Poetry Anthology! About another 115 pages added… Keep writing poems! Keep sending poems! The anthology will soon be begin enough to crush Wall St. with it’s ever powerful poetic force and then the people of Liberty Plaza can take back their park!

Send poems to stephenjboyer@gmail (DOT) com.

All poems welcome!

All languages welcome!

Find out everything you need to know and the anthology here!

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