I asked Elaine and Demetria how all this started. I received the following explanation today.
--The DitchRider

It began innocently enough. Three of us sat at the old oak table over a simple meal of pasta with homemade pesto. We had come together to relax on a Friday evening and enjoy some good conversation. At the table were Demetria and Elaine, two poets and Daniel, an Environmental Sociologist. Before long our conversation took an unexpected turn.

All three of us felt the heavy weight of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. It hovered over us like an unwanted dinner guest. Demetria confessed that, for the first time, she wept upon seeing pictures of a sea turtle mired in oil. She asked, “Do you think this kind of grief is widespread?” Elaine, and her husband Daniel, answered in the affirmative. At that point Daniel said, “You have to understand, imperfect humans cannot make perfect technology. Accidents, such as oil spills and leaks are the norm. And not only that. Most of the oil from the Gulf of Mexico goes to the military.”

Demetria said, “You’ve gotta’ be kidding!”
Elaine, feeling the weight of her own activist history, spoke up, “We need to do something. We have a moral imperative to act, to speak now!”

As it happened, Demetria had just returned from the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences. One of her colleagues at the Center’s annual writing workshop was poet Sam Hamill, founder of the international Poets Against War. With this fresh in mind, Demetria put her fist down upon the table and said emphatically, “Why don’t we start our own ABQ chapter of Poets Against War? We could hold a reading addressing the issues of war and the environment.” Elaine responded without any hesitation, “Of course, let’s do it.” And the three of us said in unison,
“Consider it done!”

Ice cream and cookies had to wait as we sat and penned the first draft of our mission statement: The Albuquerque Chapter of Poets Against War grew out of a kitchen table conversation about the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and our disgust at the significant use of Gulf oil by the US military. This use of oil, for both human and ecological destruction, symbolizes the failure of democracy to put the needs of people and the environment first. As citizen-poets we must rise up, bear witness and embrace the work of creating a sustainable, peaceful and just future for all life on earth.

Join us on Sunday October 24, 2010 for our inaugural reading, a fundraiser for the Los Alamos Study Group. This will take place at the Harwood cafeteria, 1114 7th St., NW (7th and Mountain), 3-5 p.m. Cost of admission is three dollars. Billy Brown's Heavenly Cookies will be available for a small donation. Our poetic line-up is as follows: Levi Romero, Cathy Arellano,
Tony Mares, Stewart Warren, Maria Leyba, Jessica Lopez, Gary Brower, Merimee Moffitt, Mary Oishi, Margaret Randall,
& Larry Goodell. We look forward to seeing you there.

Elaine Schwartz and Demetria Martinez

Views: 17

Comment by Krista on October 19, 2010 at 9:17pm
This is pretty great! Best of luck with everything! Hopefully we'll be able to head down for your first fundraiser
Comment by Dee Cohen on October 21, 2010 at 7:43am
I'll be there!
Thanks for getting the word out DitchRider.
Comment by Mary Martinez on October 21, 2010 at 3:17pm
Hola Demetria! Sounds like a great event! --your sister outlaw
Comment by Boyd Brizzee on October 22, 2010 at 9:16am
Hey Just Found this, Kathryn and I plan to attend.
Comment by Mickey on October 23, 2010 at 4:30pm
I heard you interviewed today on NPR. Wonderful work you folks are doing. Like many artists in Santa Fe and other parts of NM, I've been deeply troubled and affected by BP's devastating oil disaster spill this year in the Gulf of Mexico. I've created a mixed media series celebrating "Bottom of An Ancient Sea" in response.

Comment by Johnny_Mango on October 23, 2010 at 5:36pm
Comment by CJ Levine on October 24, 2010 at 9:37am
Sounds like a great event! See you there! Folks may also be interested in another event where social justice and poetry collide: Poets Against Apartheid: New Mexico & Palestine.
Comment by Boyd Brizzee on October 24, 2010 at 7:44pm
WOW What a great time!


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