Showing posts from 2017

What Happened to Baltimore?

Immortal City, Immortal Heart

Visit the Magic of Horses
The Academy of American Poets
by Afaa M. Weaver
Guggenheim Fellow

            When the protests erupted in Baltimore in April, 2015, I was doing a one month residency at Jentel Arts retreat for writers and artists, a lovely place etched into the Wyoming landscape. I had one half of the writer's cottage, complete with a gas-lit heater and a comfy chair where I completed by book Spirit Boxing. I was carving out the poems in the last two sections of the book where I attempt to view America's working class imagery as a whole arising from my particularized experience.

I was a worker poet for fifteen years, from 1970-1985, as the Golden Age of Capitalism segued into the loss of the country's old industrial base, and the transformation of American inner cities into a marketplace for the illegal drug trade. When Freddie was killed, Baltimore bled, and I was heartbroken. For the first time in my life, I felt the strings that conne…