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Jan Steckel on Poetry and Activism
February 16, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm PST$10
On February 16th the California Writers Club – Berkeley branch welcomes award-winning poet and activist Jan Steckel as a featured guest of the club. Steckel will speak on how poets and writers can effect change through their writing. She will speak on advocacy, representation, and documenting social conditions. Steckel has experience to share on using your writing to inspire empathy and using your notoriety to draw attention to injustice. She will share the ways poets and writers can participate in acts of resistance and move others to action.
Steckel will briefly survey activist poets of the past. Many poets who rarely wrote overtly political poetry have felt moved to do so over the last few years. Online and print venues for political poetry have recently multiplied; a list of 22 journals that publish poetry about current events, including poems that take a political stance, will be provided. Local and national organizations of activist poets and publishers and ways to be an activist poet will be discussed.
Jan Steckel is a former pediatrician who stopped practicing medicine because of chronic pain. She is an activist for bisexual people’s, disabled people’s and immigrants’ rights. Her latest book Like Flesh Covers Bone (Zeitgeist Press, December 2018) won two Rainbow Awards (for LGBT Poetry and Best Bisexual Book) and was a finalist for the poetry category of the Bi Book Awards. Her poetry book The Horizontal Poet (Zeitgeist Press, 2011) won a 2012 Lambda Literary Award. Her fiction chapbook Mixing Tracks (Gertrude Press, 2009) and poetry chapbook The Underwater Hospital (Zeitgeist Press, 2006) also won awards. Her writing has appeared in Scholastic Magazine, Bellevue Literary Review, Rise Up Review, Poetry Reading the News, The New Verse News, and elsewhere. She lives in Oakland, California and works as a medical editor.