Saturday, September 20, 2014

09/18/2014 12:17 PM EDT

Thursday, September 25, 7:00 PM

Charles Wright will give his inaugural reading as the 20th Poet Laureate Consultant at the Library of Congress. This event is free and open to the public.

Location: Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building (ground floor)
Contact: (202) 707-5394

Climate Change: The Next Generation

As world leaders converge for the UN’s global summit on climate and thousands gather in New York for the People’s Climate March, Bill talks to 18-year-old Oregonian Kelsey Juliana, who is walking across America to draw attention to global warming.
She’s also a co-plaintiff in a major lawsuit that could force the state of Oregon to take a more aggressive stance against the carbon emissions warming the Earth and destroying the environment.
The Next One won't be Biblical (Poster: Ellie and Akira Ohiso)

Why We March

More than 1,000 groups are coordinating the upcoming People's Climate March on Sunday, Sept. 21 in Manhattan. But what do they want? by Bill McKibben, Eddie B...autista and La Tonya Crisp-Sauray
An aerial view showing buildings partially submerged in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Sept.10, 2014. Raging monsoon floods sweeping across India and Pakistan have killed more than 440 people, authorities said Tuesday, warning hundreds of thousands more to be prepared to flee their homes as helicopters and boats raced to save marooned victims.(AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

Climate Change You Can Believe In

The signs of a changing climate are all around us. But for some US policymakers, money speaks louder than facts. By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship
Stratocumulus clouds above the northwestern Pacific Ocean, about 460 miles east of northern Honshu, Japan. (NASA/Wikimedia Commons)

Five Big Considerations for the US as Climate Change Sweeps the Globe

In order for a climate agreement to be worked out, wealthy nations will have to engage with some of the questions that poorer nations are asking. Here are five big ones. By John Light and Christina Nadura
(Image: Flickr/ Toño Ortiz)

"Tale of Two Cities:" New York Has Become the Capital of Inequality

According to the Census Bureau, the Big Apple is now the most unequal city in the US. By Joshua Holland
student loans

The Joys of Abolishing Debt

Disgusted by the practices of debt collectors, Rolling Jubilee, an Occupy offshoot, just got rid of $4 million of school loans for thousands of students. By Astra Taylor
A New Approach to Environmental Law

A New Approach to Environmental Law

Environmental statutory processes do not prohibit harm: they permit it. But an ancient legal principle may provide solutions. By Mary Christina Wood
Holding a sign saying

Americans Like Obamacare — Just Don't Call it "Obamacare"

Another poll shows that opinions of the law continue to be skewed by partisanship. By Joshua Holland


I ignored my budget this week and purchased a copy of Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate. If you have no money read page 7-8 of her introduction while standing in a bookstore.

Klein is one of the major thinkers of our time.  Her work should be required reading for all.

Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism was a book that made me look at the world in a different way. Not too many books published these days will do this.

With Award-Winning Director Jason Osder, Assistant Professor of Media and Public Affairs, The George Washington University 

“In the astonishingly gripping Let the Fire Burn, director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied rowhouse. TV cameras captured the conflagration that quickly escalated-and resulted in the tragic deaths of eleven people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to '...let the fire burn.' Using only archival news coverage and interviews, first-time filmmaker Osder has brought to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history.”
September 25th, 7:00-9:00 PM, Jack Morton Auditorium
805 21st Street

Free and Open to the Public

Q&A Following Viewing

Sponsored by the Africana Studies Program

Film Trailer:

Friday, September 19, 2014


Yesterday I met the wonderful Mick Caouette. He was at the Thurgood Marshall Center (DC) getting ready to talk about his film MR. CIVIL RIGHTS: THURGOOD MARSHALL AND THE NAACP.

Mick and I are friends with Susann Thomas. Susann the S in many of my early poems is one of my oldest friends. I can still see us in Dr. Stephen Henderson's class in Douglass Hall. Henderson talking about the black aesthetic and Susann and I celebrating our blackness with nothing but laughter. Did we ever turn in our term papers?

Mick Caouette photo by Ethelbert

Mick Caouette, Carol Caouette, Ethelbert, Susann Thomas


No Thought of Self | September 19, 2014

Bow not for something—to get something for yourself. Bow to empty yourself, to repent and clean out your mind. With no thought of self, all benefit. With a thought of self, all suffer.

- Heng Sure, "Bowing"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Listen To The Mayoral Debate

Sep 17, 2014 12:31 pm

The first Mayoral Debate between Councilmember David Cantania (I-At Large), Ward 4 Councilmember and Democratic Nominee Muriel Bowser and Carol Schwartz (I) will at place on Sept. 18 at the American University Forum at American University's Abramson Hall from 7 to 9 p.m. The debate will be live streamed by American University here ( .
Read More


Sometimes my days are filled with wonderful people. Today Uhuru Phalafala a scholar from South Africa visited my office at Howard. She interviewed me about the South African poet laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile.  I last spoke with Kgositsile when he came to Washington in April 2012.

Uhuru is examining Kgositsile's involvement in the Black Arts Movement in the US. Near the end of our conversation I asked her to share with me the names of South African writers I should be reading.

Below are five names she suggested. Maybe you already know the work of these writers. The names are new to me - so this is the beginning of discovery. There is always homework to do. Every day can be beautiful. Thank you Uhuru...

1. Sello K. Duiker
2. Phasane Mpe
3. Kgafela Oa Magogodi
4. Lesego Rampolokeng
5. Ivan Vladislavic

Mercy, Mercy. Mercy

I want to write a poem that "sounds" like this. I love the transitions that take place in this composition.


Meet author Naomi Klein on 
Friday, September 19 
at Teaching for Change Bookstore 
(at Busboys and Poets) 14th and V.

Book Signing from 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Or order the book from our webstore.

Share on Facebook.


"This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed is the most important movement book in many years. Charles Cobb uses long-standing confusion over the distinction between violence and nonviolence as an entrée to rethinking many fundamental misconceptions about what the civil rights movement was and why it was so powerful." 
 - Charles M. Payne

Discussion and Book Signing
Wednesday, September 24
6:30 - 8:00 PM

Share on Facebook.

Celebrating 38 years on air in 2015
"The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress" presents
poets & writers in its new series:
Charles Wright
Frederick Foote
Barbara Moss
Cynthia Huntington
Ava Hayman and Julie Kane
Honoree Jeffers
Jeannie Mozier
Jeffrey Chappell
Kimiko Hahn
Mary Ann Larkin and Patric Pepper
Maritza Rivera
Sherrill Tippins
Sue Silver and Sonja James
Stewart Moss
YOU CAN hear them now by Clicking Link Below (Wright and Foote will be available on line in November)



This year Joy Zerembka left the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) to work with Andy Shallal and Busboys and Poets. Whenever I see Joy I try to collect hugs. This woman continues to be a strong supporter of progressive organizations. So many people love her. The center of our hearts - filled with Joy!

Photo by Margaret Wrinkle

Baldwin's words to Poets

I was listening the other day to a recording Baldwin made. So much advice he left for writers:

We must learn how to survive.
We should ponder - what is it like to die?
What is it like to fear death?
What is it like to love?

What price do we pay?  The price is the willingness to give up everything.
None of this belongs to you. You have to let it go.

Giving is not an investment - it's a risk.

Only the poets can answer these questions.


Alexis De Veaux was at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library last night. She read excerpts from her new novel YABO. She invited writers Venus Thrash, Michelle Sewell and E. Ethelbert Miller to join her. YABO published by Red Bone Press is a visionary text. During the Q&A the discussion focused on -  how much are writers willing to risk? This is something Baldwin often spoke of  and is a good thing to remember whenever we gather. De Veaux gives us an innovative narrative that is just as political as it is spiritual and erotic.

Alexis De Veaux photo by Ethelbert

Venus Thrash, Michele Sewell and Alexis De Veaux photo by Ethelbert

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Nation Magazine
Dear Friend of The Nation,

In This Changes Everything, her first new book in seven years, Nation columnist Naomi Klein, author of the global #1 bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth.

Climate change, Klein argues, is a civilizational wake-up call, a powerful message delivered in the language of fires, floods, storms, and droughts. Confronting it is no longer about changing the light bulbs. It’s about changing the world. We have been told that humanity is too greedy and selfish to rise to this challenge. In fact, all around the world, the fight for the next economy and against reckless extraction is already succeeding in ways both surprising and inspiring.

On September 18 at 6pm EST, watch live as Klein speaks about the book during a sold-out event at The New School, followed by a discussion with special guests about the call to engage fundamentally with the issue of climate change.

Read an exclusive excerpt from the new issue of The Nation.

Then, buy a copy of the book and find out where else Klein is appearing on her national speaking tour. Whatever you do, don't miss this chance to see one of the world's most eloquent voices speaking on the planet's most urgent problem.

All best, 

Peter Rothberg, The Nation
Catania for Mayor

I’ve said from the beginning of this campaign that District residents deserve a substantive debate about how best to meet the challenges facing our city.
So today, I’m releasing a book explaining my vision to secure our city’s future and outlining the policies I hope to enact as Mayor.
Read it at the link below, and then share it with friends and neighbors who are still undecided about this election:
Highlights of my platform include plans to ensure equal programming across District public schools—especially middle schools—a low-income housing tax credit to develop more affordable housing, and a proposal for mandatory paid parental leave.
The plan is 126 pages total, and I know that’s a lot to read. But it’s broken into sections so that you and your friends can search easily for the issues you care about most. And even if you know your friends won’t read my whole proposal, it’s important to show them that I have a comprehensive vision for governing our city.
Thanks for helping spread the word,


CityLit Stage at Baltimore Book Festival
September 26, 27, and 28 at the Inner Harbor

Quote of the Day

 Sometimes I feel like I'm in the old south except no one drags me from the lunch counter…at least for now.  

    - Michon Boston

 If you missed last week's show, you missed two incredible authors.
E. Ethelbert Miller, and Alexis DeVeaux 
discussed and deconstructed De Veaux's new book, Yabo. To hear the interview, click on link below:

last week's show 090914
Scroll Down.

Show recorded on September 9, 2014