Documentary Poetics: Mark Nowak Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 6:30pm
In his spectacular book of Essays Oranges and Peanuts for sale Eliot Weinberger says something that many poets do not want made public- in the late 1960's many poets moved from politics to theory. Weinberger argues that this retreat by poets into academia and away from politics has removed poets from political discourse and left that field to others.
It is hard not to argue that point. Except for Sam Hamill's effort with Poets Against the War in 2001 most poets are much more comfortable in the library then on the barricades. One major exception is poet Mark Nowak who will be reading here in Chicago on Wednesday at Think Arts Gallery.
His new book Coal Mountain Elementary sits on a par with Eduardo Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America, Neruda's Canto General and even Walt Whitman as a chronicle of our world today in poetry and photographs. With his collaborator he bridges the gap between coal workers and places in the US and China and creates and masterpiece.
I have the honor of introducing Mark and I am sure that this reading will be worth the time to travel to Wicker Park. His work is always timely and politically engaged which makes his poems and the photographs of his collaborators essential reading for today.