Sunday, October 03, 2010

M.L. Liebler in DFP: New Book salutes "uniqueness of working-class culture"

Detroit Press Press Pop Culture Reporter Julie Hinds penned an article about poet and poetry activist M.L. Liebler. M.L. edited the recent anthology "Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams" from Coffee House Press. One of my short stories is in the anthology.

Here's an excerpt:

It includes a powerful, eclectic assortment of writings, from poetry and short fiction to memoirs and nonfiction. And, of course, there are rock lyrics -- a reflection of the artistry of the genre and the impact that music has always had on Liebler, who considers the Beatles among his earliest teachers.

The lyrics to "Lose Yourself" by Eminem and "The Big Three Killed My Baby" by Jack White, two working-class heroes from the Motor City region, are featured in "Working Words." So are songs by one of America's greatest music icons, Bob Dylan.

At 500-plus pages, the anthology also contains works by old-school greats like Willa Cather, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, contemporary writers like Amiri Baraka and Andrei Codrescu and many writers with Michigan ties, including Philip Levine, Michael Moore, Bonnie Jo Campbell and Liebler himself.

In an introduction to the book, Liebler, who lives in his hometown of St. Clair Shores and is the poet laureate there, describes how he had two goals for the project: to let American writers tell stories of work and to pay homage "in the most inclusive and diverse way to the uniqueness of working-class cultures" and his own roots.

Read the DFP piece at

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