Check out “City of ____________: Dispatches from 16 Dallas Poets,” an anthology of responses to recent tragic events in Dallas, Texas, assembled by Joe Milazzo, featuring Christie Bingham, Dan Collins, Mark Crotty, Enfield Sean, Rosealynne Gbelawoe, Chris George, Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi, Amanda Huynh, Paul Koniecki, Joe Milazzo, Leo Martin, Robin Myrick, Marcos Moses O’sirin, Carlos Salas, Opalina Salas, and Leah Tieger.
Joe Milazzo writes:
“[H]aving read all of the writing gathered here numerous times, what impresses is the generosity, vulnerability and appropriately messy probity of my immediate artistic community—its members’ willingness to allow themselves to be tormented by those questions for which there are no answers other than the notion that these are questions with which we are obligated to engage. What does it mean for poets to respond to current events, and under what constraints do poets operate in such circumstances? Is experimentation really liberating? Is there anything new that can be said about the institutional racism and systemic violence to which American life makes us witness? What does collective grief look and feel like? Is the lyric tradition compatible with radical plurality? What dialogue feels possible when the only common vocabulary we seem to share in this nation is that gunfire we so frequently exchange? What resistance can poetry offer the overwhelming force of repeating history? In times of crisis, what are poets to do when poetry is riven by its own crises, crises themselves complicit in that larger crisis? Do we ever really hear how we sound when we assume that we are saying precisely what we mean, or is our own assertiveness all that we ever truly hear?”