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'Unacknowledged Legislators': Poets Protest the War (Introduction)

John J. Simon, Sally Anderson, Sam Hamill, - Poets Against War

Abstract


Earlier this year, Sam Hamill, poet and co-founder of the prestigious literary publisher, Copper Canyon Press, was invited to a White House literary symposium. Incensed by President Bush's war plans, Hamill wrote in an open letter to his colleagues "I believe the only legitimate response to such a morally bankrupt and unconscionable idea is to reconstitute a Poets Against the War movement like the one organized to speak out against the war in Vietnam." He asked "every poet to speak up for the conscience of our country and lend his or her name to our petition against this war." The response was extraordinary. By March 1, when poetsagainstthewar.org, the web site Hamill and friends set up to receive poems, stopped accepting submissions, more than 12,000 poems had been posted. On March 5, a day of global anti-war poetry readings, the poems were presented to Congress by Pulitzer prize winner and Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets W.S. Merwin, Pulitzer prize winner Jorie Graham, and author and poet Terry Tempest Williams, as well as Hamill.

Keywords


War; Imperialism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14452/MR-054-11-2003-04_4

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