Thursday, March 16, 2006


1st in the series is Mark Nowak's, from Capitalization, an excerpt from the longer poem of the same name featured in his book, Shut Up Shut Down (CoffeeHouse Press, 2004). Through collage and sampling, this poem weaves together a narrative of Red-scare era union formation and busting with an account of Reagan's quashing of the air-traffic controller's strike in 1981.

An excerpt from Capitalization:

Capitalize the first word
of every sentence, whether or not
it is a complete sentence.
Capitalize the first word of every line
of poetry. I started working
on an assembly line
at the huge Westinghouse plant
in East Pittsburgh when I was sixteen.
The work was dull and repetitive.
From 1954 to 1962,
Ronald Reagan served as host
of the television program, "GE Theater."

MARK NOWAK is editor of XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics, co-editor (with Diane Glancy) of Visit Teepee Town: Native Writings after the Detours, and author of two poetry collections from Coffee House Press (, Revenants (2000) and Shut Up Shut Down (2004).

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