Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weekender linker-upper

There will be a part two, a substantive follow-up, to the recent "My Correspondence with Mr. AYW soon, but I can't promise how soon. The question of a political approach to literature is the crux of this blog, its whole reason for being, and another direct address of this question is due. Not today, though.

Today begins the three-day weekend that culminates in a national holiday to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today too the awful crisis in Gaza continues. Some links relevant to both:
  • The latest post on the blog of novelist Tayari Jones, who just returned from leading a women writers' workshop in Uganda, recounts her experience delivering a lecture there to a packed auditorium on "The Legacy of the Legacy of Martin Luther King" and especially the fascinating Q&A that followed. Comments were provocative and wide-ranging and included her being "called on the carpet for the imperialist foreign policy of the U.S." Her conclusion: "At the end, it was just so clear to me how much more informed people in other countries are. I cannot imagine an American audience with such a broad understanding of the history of another country."
  • Palestinian poet Remi Kanazi maintains a great, up-to-the-minute blog called Poetic Injustice, which I've added to my links list.
  • Another worthwhile blog I've just learned of is poet Philip Metres'. It's called Behind the Lines: Poetry, War & Peacemaking, with the subhead: "Further thoughts on the cultural labor of poetry and art. Not 'is it good,' but 'what has it accomplished?'" This blog has featured a lot of interesting news and links during the Gaza crisis.
  • In cities around the country, opponents of the genocidal, U.S.-funded-and-armed Israeli war in Gaza will mark Martin Luther King day in what we believe to be the spirit of Dr.King's legacy, by marching in protest. A good number of those marchers will be, like me, Jews. There has been an amazing outpouring of support for, and over a thousand people have signed on to, the statement by Jews in Solidarity with Palestine. Among those who have signed are a holocaust survivor, a 1933 refugee from Germany, and even a resident of a kibbutz.