This panel brings together three poets who have been participants in the struggles of the period since the 2008 economic crisis; they have been part of the anti-capitalist, anti-racist, or feminist-queer-trans political movements. While instructive content in political poetry may remind one of the New Left struggles and poetics of the 60s, this new period of poetry and politics is also developing its own distinct poetic and political trajectory. More generally, there’s been a kind of “turn” (socialist, feminist, even “insurrectionary”) in some of the more interesting work of our moment: Tongo Eisen-Martin, David Lau, and Jeanine Webb will serve as representatives of this new poetic moment. They will read from their work and discuss their political experiences and movement work.
Originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a poet, movement worker and educator. His book titled, “Someone’s Dead Already” was nominated for a California Book Award. His latest book of poems “Heaven Is All Goodbyes” was published in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series.
David Lau is a poet and essayist. His books of poetry are Virgil and the Mountain Cat (UC Press) and Still Dirty (Commune Editions). His poetry and essays have appeared in New Left Review, Literary Hub, The Margins, Counterpunch, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Boston Review. He is a lecturer at the UC Santa Cruz and the co-editor of the literary journal Lana Turner: a Journal of Poetry and Opinion.
Jeanine Webb is a writer, collective organizer and a Dissertation Fellow in Literature at UC San Diego, and has taught at UC Davis. Her poetry has been published in many journals, including Lana Turner, The Capilano Review, The West Wind Review, ARMED CELL, The Ghazal Page, ZYZZYVA. Essays and reviews have been published in ON Contemporary Practice’s .pdf Archive Series, Attention Span, Tripwire, The Poetic Labor Project, & other venues. She helped organize San Diego’s Agitprop Reading Series, and edits the cartonera-style journal TACOCAT.