The last week had knew figures that unemployment is rising to ever higher levels and in California state workers are getting fired in droves. Teachers are getting fired and fired.
I'm doing a poetry reading from next weekend at the San Francisco labor Festival--a wonderful month long series of events all in San Francisco and the East Bay with music performances, labor history walking tours, films, a book fair, theater, dance--all about labor. In 2003 I published a book of poetry Walker Women which had a series of poems about fighting 6 layoffs from my part-time adjunct community college teaching job in Southcentral Los Angeles in the mid-1990s. When I publish the book fighting layoffs of teachers was not a hot topic-. But in California teachers from full professors at UC to part-timer and subs in the elemntary schools have been fighting for six months against layoffs, pay cuts, furloughs. So I'll read from my now timely poems from my timely book. I think my book Walker Woman was a mere six years ahead of its time.
Also in my book I talk about how I hiked the and camped the West all the while fighting layoffs. Actually hiking and camping helped resume my sanity and keep up my energy. I also, of course, got to see some of the great places of the West which I describe in the poems from Anza Borrega in San Diego County to Joshua Tree to Death Valley to Monument Valley to Sequoia National Park to Yellowstone. I saw gold mining ravages near Death Valley, copper mining ravages in Southern Arizona, the wild herds hemmed in Yellowstone as well as awesome beauty.
At the Labor Fest Book Fair at 2:30 I join a wonderful panel "Women Organizers of the 1930s and 1940s" with noted historians Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Elizabeth Martinez as well as poet/historian Jeanette Calhoun Mish. We'll all talk about different women organizers. I'm going to speak about Rose Pesotta and the organizing of immigrant garment workers/women in 1930s Los Angeles. It should be a dynamite panel. It should be a dynamite book fair.
Check out Labor Fest San Francisco online--the whole schedule is up for you to download-- for the whole calendar of amazing events as well as for the schedule of the book fair July 27th which will have speakers and panels from 9:30-5:00 pm.
Causes Julia Stein Supports
Doctors Without Borders