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What Happened to Baltimore?

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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…