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Bob Holman & Margery Snyder

Poems in the Occupy Movement

By November 17, 2011

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A couple of weeks ago we took note of the many poets involved in the Occupy movement in cities across the country—and they are getting involved not only as protest marchers and campers, but as poets, contributing their poems to the cause. We’ve just received word of a brand-new online poetry journal, OccuPoetry, put together by Phillip Barron and Katy Ryan, who describe their publication this way:

OccuPoetry collects and publishes poetry about economic justice/injustice, greed, protest, activism, and opportunity. OccuPoetry is an independent project inspired by the Occupy Movement. It is not a project of any one city’s Occupy encampment. This is the space we choose to occupy. This is what we can give.”
Poets at the original Occupy Wall Street in New York City have been gathering in a “poetry assembly” every Friday night, and the folks at OWS’s People’s Library have been collecting poems to make a handmade anthology. After the library’s books were seized and destroyed by the NYPD, Stephen Boyer and Filip Marinovich began to post the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology online in PDF format.

And there are more gatherings of “Occupy Poems” sprouting on the Web:

Have you come across more “Occupy Poems,” new or classic? Tell us about them, in “Comments” below!


November 17, 2011 at 10:05 am
(1) Linda Lerner says:

My poem, “To Those Looking down: Watch, Listen
dealing with ‘occupy Wall Street’ appeared in
New Verse news on Oct. 30th, 2011

November 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm
(2) London Accountant says:

I’d be really interested to hear opinions about the relevance and power of poetry to convey whatever roller-coaster of a Zeitgeist we happen to be living through. I’ve heard arguments that it’s an outdated medium – “try to tell someone something through a poem and they’ll just switch off”. I personally think it can be a very powerful and popular vehicle for cutting-edge opinions – what does everyone else think?

January 5, 2012 at 6:23 am
(3) Cheoy Lee says:

Well, @London Accountant – I don’t think it’s outdated at all! I’d even argue that modern-day rap, for example, is itself the poetry of our times. And some rap artists can be tremendously powerful.

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