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Welcome: Day 1 August 26, 2007

Posted by alexis in Uncategorized.

Greetings All! Welcome to “To Be A Problem: Outcast Subjectivity and Black Literary Production”. I look forward to working with you all to create a democratic and dynamic space of learning.

While during the course I hope we will be practicing (and defining) “literary production”, my intention is NOT to reproduce the other topic of the course, “Outcast Subjectivity”, through our new and growing relationships to each other.

To that end in addition to introducing yourselves, I would like for everyone to read over the following “ground rules” that poet/teacher/journalist/activist June Jordan created for her course “Poetry for the People”.

It is copied below, but if you’d like to print your own copy (for reading purposes…or to use in your communities) click here: p4p-groundrules.pdf
Comment and let us all know how you think these ground rules may or may not apply to this online course. How is what you hope to do here similar to the vision of Poetry for the People? How are our circumstances different? What ground rules will be necessary for you to participate fully here? Looking forward to hearing from you soon!


Poetry for the people is a program for political and
artistic empowerment of students. It is motivated by
the moral wish to mitigate the invisibility and the
imposed silence of those less privileged than we.
Originating inside a public institution, and enjoying
full academic accreditation, there are certain ground
rules that must be respected inside this experimental
and hopeful society:
1. “The People” shall not be defined as a group
excluding or derogating anyone on the basis of
race, religion, ethnicity, language, sexual
orientation, class or age.
2. “The People” shall consciously undertake to
respect and encourage each other to feel safe
enough to attempt the building of a community of
trust in which all may try to be truthful and
deeply serious in the messages they craft for the
world to contemplate.
3. Poetry for the People rest upon a belief that the
art of telling the truth is a necessary and healthy
way to create powerful and positive, connections
among people who, otherwise remain (unknown
or unaware) strangers. The goal is not to kill
connections, but rather to create and to deepen
them among truly different men and women.
All teaching and writing within this program shall seek
to honor this belief.
-June Jordan, Poetry for the People, 2000