Saturday, October 17, 2009
Documentary Poetics: Mark Nowak
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 6:30pm
TH!NKART Gallery: 1530 N. Paulina, Suite F, Chicago IL
Mark Nowak reads from his recent book, Coal Mountain Elementary. Introduction by Ray Bianchi. A reception at the gallery will follow the reading.
A singular, genre-defying treatise from one of America's most innovative political poets, Coal Mountain Elementary remixes verbatim testimony from the surviving Sago, West Virginia miners and rescue teams, the American Coal Foundation's curriculum for schoolchildren, and newspaper accounts of mining disasters in China with photographs of Chinese miners taken by renowned photojournalist Ian Teh.
"Coal Mountain Elementary is an imaginative and shocking reminder of what it means, in the most human and poignant terms, to be a miner, whether in this country or in China, or for that matter anywhere in the industrial world. It is also a tribute to miners and working people everywhere. It manages, in photos and in words, to portray an entire culture. And it is a stunning educational tool." - Howard Zinn
"Mark Nowak's vital poetry cleaves to the hard surfaces of working lives. There is an epic quality to the voices that cannot be dismissed by corporations or the state. Coal Mountain Elementary will move readers to indignation and action." - Aihwa Ong poet and labor activist heralded by Adrienne Rich for "regenerating the rich tradition of working-class literature," Mark Nowak regularly leads transnational poetry workshops between American and international trade unions. He is the author of Revenants and Shut Up Shut Down, a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and finalist for the Academy of American Poets' James Laughlin Award. A native of Buffalo, New York, he is now the Director of the Rose O'Neill Literary House at Washington College in Maryland.
Visit the author's web site at http://coalmountain.wordpress.com