I wrote that piece to be the first poem in the project several months ago, after much of the rest of the manuscript was complete. At the time, I had no idea I would go on to write for Food First, an Oakland-based food sovereignty “think and do tank” Lappé cofounded forty years ago.
The seeds of this manuscript began in a long-shot fellowship proposal I put together while still working in the public schools. I said I would quit teaching, volunteer on a farm in Costa Rica, get more deeply involved with urban farming and food justice initiatives in Oakland, create a poetry book organized around (among other things) the theme of climate change, and write nonfiction to complement the poetry in a more immediately accessible/linear way. It all sounded good, though I wasn’t quite sure how I’d get there—but it turns out I’ve met all of those goals, despite not getting the fellowship.
Next time, I will remember to include something about world peace and winning the lottery.
(c) Teresa K. Miller, 2014
* image taken from poorclaudia.org