Monday, June 25, 2007

Voter Slam Set for July 28th

First Outdoor Slam Tackles Immigration at the Bughouse Square Debates!

The Newberry Library has invited the Bread and Butter Forum to stage a voter slam during its annual Bughouse Square event at Washington Park (Clark and Walton) on Saturday, July 28. The voter slam starts at 3 p.m. and will run for approximately one hour.

Our question is this:

Immigration reform: build a wall, offer amnesty or do nothing? How can immigration reform promote economic security for working Americans?

Surveys show that a majority of Americans favor a legal path to citizenship for American’s 12 million illegal immigrants. Most economists say that immigrant labor is needed for certain industries, like agriculture and food service, but they acknowledge that immigrant labor forces down wages for working Americans.

Voter Slam Format
If you’re new to the voter slam format, here's how it works. It's not unlike a poetry slam but the topic is politics and your answers don't have to rhyme. We pick a topic and recruit one expert to spend 5 minutes at the beginning framing the issue. We recruit 10 to 15 “slammers” of varying viewpoints to speak for 90 seconds or less. Off-topic responses may be cut short.

If you want to participate, please send an e-mail to with your name, contact info and position on immigration.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ernest Hemingway, Also Banned

Poems from another frequently banned author: Oak Park's own Mr. Ernest Hemingway:

Ernest Miller Hemingway (1899-1961)
The Age Demanded

The age demanded that we sing
And cut away our tongue.

The age demanded that we flow
And hammered in the bung.

The age demanded that we dance
And jammed us into iron pants.

And in the end the age was handed
The sort of shit that it demanded.

1] Gerogiannis notes that "The title and the rhythm are borrowed from the second part of Ezra Pound's `Hugh Selwyn Mauberly'" (139).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Poems: D. H. Lawrence

In keeping with the recent post about the American Library Association's "Banned Books Week" I'll be posting some poems by authors whose work has been frequently banned. First up, D.H. Lawrence.

David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930)

"Stand Up!"

Stand up, but not for Jesus!
It's a little late for that.
Stand up for justice and a jolly life.
I'll hold your hat.

Stand up, stand up for justice,
ye swindled little blokes!
Stand up and do some punching,
give 'em a few hard pokes.

Stand up for jolly justice
you haven't got much to lose:
a job you don't like and a scanty chance
for a dreary little booze.

Stand up for something different,
and have a little fun
fighting for something worth fighting for
before you've done.

Stand up for a new arrangement
for a chance of life all round,
for freedom, and the fun of living
bust in, and hold the ground!


I like relativity and quantum theories
because I don't understand them
and they make me feel as if space shifted about like a swan that can't settle,
refusing to sit still and be measured;
and as if the atom were an impulsive thing
always changing its mind.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Banned Books Week Event on Sept. 29

A little far in advance - but put it on the calendar for a post-Bughouse Square event.

Celebrate your freedom to read during the 26th annual celebration of Banned Books Week. Join the American Library Association, McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, and the Newberry Library for a Banned Books Week Read-Out on Saturday, September 29 in Pioneer Plaza—at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River. From 1:00 pm–4:00 pm join highly acclaimed authors Chris Crutcher, Carolyn Mackler, and Robie Harris and local Chicago celebrities as they read passages from their favorite banned and “challenged” books. For more information, visit the ALA's Web site at