Naomi Shihab Nye – life poems

I love Nye's poetry because of the rich way it brings a new perspective to everyday things and the little things in life, while not shying away from the world's big horrors. Her first poem here is a great example of questioning the smallest things (and making them beautiful through that new way of seeing),... Continue Reading →

Aja Monet: “privilege is knowing there are parts of this earth occupied for your leisure”

I love how raw, strong, and to-the-point activist poetry usually is. There's no time to beat about the bush, no space to weave pleasantries into the systemic abuse. Aja Monet's poetry is like that. Her book, My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter was published last year. Below, a few snippets from it, followed by her... Continue Reading →

Nicanor Parra: “Solid-ground” poetry that is for everyone

“Estados Unidos: el país donde la libertad es una estatua.” (“United States: the country where liberty is a statue”) –Nicanor Parra Nicanor Parra, often described as an "anti-poet", died on Tuesday aged 103.  Parra was a Chilean artist and poet who rejected the formalisms of poetry and abstract, inaccessible, wankiness.  He was direct, blunt, unafraid,... Continue Reading →

3 short Adrienne Rich poems for a dose of realistic wood-stained hope

I like how her poems etch out a determined resistance using nature-based and human metaphors that link the personal with the political. Dreamwood In the old, scratched, cheap wood of the typing stand there is a landscape, veined, which only a child can see or the child’s older self, a poet, a woman dreaming when... Continue Reading →

Art for sexual diversity

Over the past few months Australians have been subject to a postal poll on whether everyone should have the right to get married, or just male-female couples. In defending sexual diversity, Aussies have created some vibrant and inspiring art - with just a sample of it shared below: Source: ABC Artist: n2o_jo Artist: teganiverson Artist:... Continue Reading →

Rumours of Puerto Rico

By Aurora Levins Morales: Someone posted a message about the bees, how they search, frantically, everywhere, for the flowers that are gone. They said to put out bowls of sugar water for them, so the bees don’t all die, but no one has sugar, and no one has water. Someone posted a message from Carrizales,... Continue Reading →

If we loved like farmers… two poems from Suheir Hammad

land his approach to love he said was that of a farmer most love like hunters and like hunters most kill what they desire he tills soil through toes nose in the wet earth he waits prays to the gods and slowly harvests ever thankful the missing the way loss seeps into neck hollows and... Continue Reading →

Activism is poetry is activism

Warsan Shire's poems are angry and they argue and rage and weep. As fighting poems should. A British poet, born to Somali parents in Kenya, Shire's poems have been read at rallies, and in homes and not-so-homes. She writes about people who are made invisible in society - often refugees, migrants, and other marginalised groups.... Continue Reading →

Mexico’s revenge

Trump called the people here rapists. White people in the US think it's legit that Mexican migrants work there for less, doing the hardest work, with no rights. You know the story, but do you hear about the resistance to the narrative, to the demonisation and discrimination? Does the media tell you what Mexicans, and... Continue Reading →

Poems by Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish

Last year, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman called his poems "fuel for terror attacks". By that, he meant that Darwish stood up for Palestinians, weaving his and their dignity into his detailed and visually arresting poems. Below, is one of the poems that enraged Lieberman so, ID card. Write it down! I’m an Arab My... Continue Reading →

A migrant poem defies “anti-poem toxins”

Miguel M. Morales grew up in Texas, in the US. He worked there as a child laborer and migrant or seasonal farmworker. He wrote this poem - by a migrant, about migrants. This Is a Migrant Poem This is a migrant poem a farmworking poem, a poem that covers itself in long sleeves to avoid... Continue Reading →

When a poet dies: Mari Evans

Poet Mari Evans died last month. According to media reports, some 500 mourners attended. Evans had written of her funeral: When I die I'm sure I will have a Big Funeral ... Curiosity seekers ... coming to see if I am really Dead ... or just trying to make Trouble ... Evans was one of... Continue Reading →

Right-wing artists and writers hog the spotlight while few know about this brilliant refugee cartoonist

Right-wing cartoonist Bill Leak died recently. He had portrayed same-sex marriage campaigners wearing rainbow-coloured Nazi uniforms, Aboriginal fathers as neglectful and more. He also won nine Walkley awards and 20 Stanley awards, eight gold Cartoonists of the Year, and was twice the winner of News Corps' award for best cartoonist. Aussie same-sex marriage campaigner, and brilliant... Continue Reading →

Poem: A lesson in the political economy of desire

This poem, originally posted on RedWedge, is a creative, cutting look at US Black confidence and desire amidst struggle by Crystal Stella Becerril i. black on black on Black on Timbs; an interruption – no, an intervention. a reminder to the Columbus-ing ass fuckboys (and girls) that they still here. reminder to the survivors, the... Continue Reading →

Kwesi Brew – The Executioner’s Dream

I dreamt I saw an eye, a pretty eye, In your hands, Glittering, wet and sickening; Like a dull onyx set in a crown of thorns, I did not know you were dead when you dropped it in my lap. what horrors of human sacrifice Have you seen, executioner? What agonies of tortured men Who... Continue Reading →

Photographing disability

...or just photographing life. Lori L. Simpson describes herself as a "writer, artist, proud Texas native and human being- who happens to have disabilities". For now, Simpson is living in an assisted living centre.

Capitalism loves boring

“Rebel children, I urge you, fight the turgid slick of conformity with which they seek to smother your glory.” ― Russell Brand “There are no norms. All people are exceptions to a rule that doesn’t exist.”  ― Fernando Pessoa Drawing by Leunig.

3 emotional, powerful, brilliant spoken word poems

There's something super intimate - politically intimate- about watching people speak their own poems, seeing the face and feelings that go with the piece of soul and struggle contained in the words. Beck Cooper - Alone in a Bathroom Vernell Bristow - Kalgo Tree Jenesis Fonseca - "The Way to a Woman's Heart"

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