Editor Tom Koontz recently informed me that he is taking my piece “Out of Place,” to appear in April on the site. I’m super-thrilled about this. He rejected my submission last year, and it is very hard to get in.
Koontz is a legendary presence, involved in publishing poems since 1978. In my review of Barnwood, I argued that if a Hall of Fame is created for poetry editors, he should be included as one of the first few special names:
My Review of Barnwood
Always exciting, wide-ranging and fresh in his poetry choices for Barnwood, Koontz is also a talented philosopher. Over the years, his website has morphed and branched to include many valuable self-written essays on diverse topics.
And recently he did something almost no other editor has done: he took an inspiring and well-argued stance to support the Occupy Wall Street Movement, offering extensive ethical and social analysis of the issues:
Koontz on Occupy!
If you are ardent about OWS, or interested, or just plain curious, I highly recommend Koontz’s enlightened, passionate, intelligent and occasionally quirky discussion, at the above link.
He starts off this way:
The urgent need for a Resistance
This is it. If not now, never—for we might never have another chance.
Let’s be clear about what now requires thought and actions. This is about whether we will care for our people, and whether we can keep our democracy.
At this moment in America (and not ignoring the rest of the world) hundreds of millions of persons are under assault by a few. This is about abusive power, huge and unrestrained, derived from wealth, and exercised by certain persons with the purpose of accumulating more wealth, and more power, in ways that injure others. The 99% of Americans who are being abused must act together to end the abuse, to take back our lives by creating a healthy, sane lifestyle in America, and by protecting our democracy from a new Ignobility.
There is much, much more after this stingingly good proclamation (can you say, “Thomas Paine”!)
The only other editors I know taking such a full and ferociously ethical role against Wall Street corruption are Karla Lynn Merrifield and Dwain Wilder, who organized the first OWS anthology. The title is, Liberty’s Vigil, The Occupy Anthology: 99 poets among the 99%:
Liberty's Vigil Link
Merrifield and Wilder, in conjunction with the 99 poets in the book, are heavily involved in organizing readings across America (and other countries, too). What I’m hoping is that they can work with Koontz to have him and some poets associated with Barnwood give a reading to raise awareness.
I will write an email to Merrifield, whom I have become well acquainted through the OWS anthology. Koontz writes eloquently, incisively and with new insight on the dangers to America, if greed continues to ravage the fabric of our society. We need brilliant voices like Koontz to be heard!
Let us all take an active role. Anything. There are countless ways to protest, from writing anonymous postcards to changing the bank with which you do business, and beyond!
PS: There are three deer outside my window right now. These beautiful animals live 24/7 outdoors in all kinds of tough Maine weather. They have never used electricity. They have never had a light to alter the moonlit starry velvet. They have never had a roof or walls to dim the orchestras of snow or rain. Can you and I even imagine?