The Editors is taking a new direction -

In November 08 we will begin publishing an edited journal of protest poetry.
plans to present powerful poetry that protests injustice and witnesses to
current events. Speak out for human rights (and humans wronged)! The journal will be updated twice monthly and readers can subscribe to receive poems in their readers or by email.

Read Evie Shockley's "call to words".

Please consider submitting your excellently crafted expressions of fury and hope.

See the poet's guidelines for more information. And check out the current call for action.

See you in November!

Evie Schockley

a call to words

—for saw wei

poetry is not the art of silence. . . .but it can

encompass quiet. . . .meditation. . . .the moments when we

attend to breath or thought without speaking

cacophony is only one

end of its spectrum. . . .there are spaces between words

politics is not an art. . . .but politicians do

exercise craft. . . .their media include words. . . .but

also wool. . . .white noise. . . .and wars. . . .they

cough can’t say and can’t do all day and night into our

ears. . . .we’ve forgotten the sound of our own voices

personal lives are our proper domain we’re told. . . .so

explain to me where they lie. . . .what spaces

are private when our rulers use their power to

control our bedrooms and bodies. . . .to clamp down our lips on

every word of potential dissent

people. . . .we must all become poets

each of us must cultivate the difficult art of

articulating personal lives in political terms. . . .we must

create words that drown out the noise of war. . . .poetry must

excavate a space for the silence that is evidence of peace

Evie Shockley
February 20, 2008

The Burmese poet Saw Wei (Saw Wai) was arrested on January 22, 2008 for writing a poem.

Saw Wei is a well-known poet and performer whose philanthropic works include raising funds for AIDS orphans. He took part in the 1988 uprising and has headed a performance group called “White Rainbow”.

His acrostic poem (titled “February the Fourteenth”) stated that General Than Shwe is power-crazed.

For this he was arrested and is being held incommunicado at the Insein Prison, which is known for the use of physical and psychological torture.

According to a report in Mizzima News, Saw Wei’s family was permitted to visit him on the 20. February. His wife reports he is good health, but has not been given a trial date. The journal which published the poem has been permitted to resume publication. (IFEX, Amnesty Int. and PEN have not posted updates yet, please pass on information if you have it.)

(author retains copyright)