Four poetry collections, recent or forthcoming from Sugartown Publishing, mark the reemergence of a poetic movement known as the Activists. No, it’s not politics. “Activist” was the nationally recognized rubric for poets working with my father, teacher-critic Lawrence Hart, in the 1940s/50s and after. Since Lawrence’s death in 1996, a number of writers have continued to pursue his demanding approaches, and we’re reviving the “Activist” flag. The titles are Patricia Nelson’s Among the Shapes That Fold and Fly (2012), Fred Ostrander’s It Lasts a Moment: New and Collected Poems (2013), Judith Yamamoto’s At My Table (2014), and Bonnie Thomas’s Sun on the Rind (2015).
Besides writing an introduction for each of these books, I’m at work on an Activist Anthology featuring earlier generations, including the founding and nationally noted trio of Robert Horan, Jeanne McGahey, and Rosalie Moore. The contents, based on selections Lawrence Hart made during his lifetime, are nearly set, and I’m now at the rights acquisition stage.