Today Poor Claudia’s Phenome published four excerpts from my new manuscript, other sections of which have appeared in Berfrois and sparkle + blink—and are forthcoming in There.
The first line—We wanted to believe there was another way to nourish ourselves—comes from Frances Moore Lappé’s introduction to Masanobu Fukuoka’s natural farming meditation The One-Straw Revolution.
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
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