Boone, North Carolina

ORGANIZERS: Joseph Bathanti and Karthryn Kirkpatrick

CONTACT: Joseph Bathanti- bathantjr@appstate.edu

From Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, Joseph Bathanti (Land of Amnesia, Press 53) and Kathryn Kirkpatrick (Unaccountable Weather, Press 53 – out in Sept.) are co-organizing a program. We’d like to invite everyone to participate in. On Sept. 24 we will be encouraging all NC poets and poetry lovers to email poems to NC’s elected representatives. We are going to try to flood the email boxes with poetry. This is an activity everyone can participate in locally, and it only takes a few minutes. No haranguing, no pontificating, just email a poem. Or two or ten. Putting poetry into the inboxes of politicians, hopefully in such numbers they can’t ignore it.

Below is the letter Joseph Bathanti and Kathryn Kirkpatrick( both publish with Press 53) have drafted for poets in North Carolina to use when sending poems to their elected officials:

Dear NC Poets:

As part of a global initiative called 100,000 Poets for Change http://www.facebook.com/l/2AQAUQC6zAQBbKD3I_b63rdFtBrvNeOj4hHbI0eO_bbBYIg/www.bigbridge.org/100thousandpoetsforchange/), we are inviting you to participate in an action on September 24. On that day, please e-mail your county representative in our state legislature and our state representatives in the Congress in D.C. a poem of your choice. We are hoping to fill the inboxes of our elected officials with poetry as a way of registering our desire for a saner democracy.

Please use the poem’s title for the subject line, and place the poem itself in the body of the email, with your name and the town you live in at the bottom of it. No additional message should be inserted. Our aim is for the poems themselves to be the message. The poem you elect to send does not have to be political, per se, though it can be argued that all poems are political. Of course the subject matter remains solely your choice. We request, however, that this action be one that underscores our dignity as poets and the integrity of our art. Our intention is not to shout at our politicians, or in any way insult them, but to present a powerful united advocacy for change – and to alert them to our constituency.

You should use a personal email account, rather than a business or government account.

You can download spreadsheets for both the State Senate and House on the General Assembly Website – http://www.facebook.com/l/CAQAe4LFlAQD1AMU_CGGam_lbd8D4ub2UMgKM3y0i_caLnw/www.ncleg.net

. For your representative’s address in the House in D.C., visit http://www.facebook.com/l/yAQA6oQYNAQDnlZlyCNMrzLfFcVfhJhLyr0LdKY0ZkbkfKA/www.house.gov/

and enter your zip code. For Richard Burr’s Senate e-mail address, go to http://www.facebook.com/l/qAQB4abO5AQAQ0lzN9XvcApQl9yZ-ySO070IxHOnoo68Rmw/burr.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm

and for Kay Hagan’s contact address, go to http://www.facebook.com/l/bAQDl6BGOAQBTHS7z-pFt2H5I8XBzSSzeg0bNodJtT7mirQ/hagan.senate.gov/contact/

When you send your poems, would you also please copy us – joseph.bathanti@gmail.com and kjkirkpatrick57@gmail.com – so that we can keep a record of this action?

Thanks very much for being involved in this important initiative.

Very best wishes,

Joseph Bathanti and Kathryn Kirkpatrick

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