Archive for June 2nd, 2013

by lizard

Last weekend, I watched the movie Cloud Atlas. I think it’s a beautiful film that explores how its characters confront and transcend boundaries, like race. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend spending the nearly 3 hours of viewing time to check it out.

Race is obviously still a contentious issue that didn’t just go away because Barack Obama was elected president, although some at the time put forth the notion that, because Obama was elected, we now live in a post-racial America.

Unfortunately, there are too many examples of why that is not the case, like the racist backlash to a cheerios ad featuring a biracial couple, or the lawsuit alleging racism is involved in the decision to close 54 Chicago public schools, or the violent assault of a 14 year old black kid by Miami police for reportedly giving them a dehumanizing stare.

And that was just this past week.

The fault lines of race become even more pronounced during economic downturns. What’s been happening in Greece, for example, is especially disturbing. The political potency of the Neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn, continues to grow, and the weakened government doesn’t seem capable of addressing the increasing number of racially-fueled assaults.

So it’s within this context I started reading Matthew Dickman’s first book of poems, titled All-American Poem (APR/Honickman First Book Prize, 2008; distributed by Copper Canyon Press). What can a white male poet born in Portland, Oregon say about race in America? Click continue reading, and find out. Continue Reading »

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