AMERICAN GHOST: POETS ON LIFE AFTER INDUSTRY
Accelerated by the Great Recession, late twentieth-century deindustrialization in the United States left many manufacturing cities, and their rural counterparts, economically battered by the experience of unprecedented joblessness, poverty, and depopulation. We characterize these locales as ghost towns, phantoms of a former glory, while often failing to acknowledge the people who fare the downturns and form the core of America's urban and rural cultures.
The nine poets represented in American Ghost: Poets on Life after Industry counter such myopia in verse, with thoughtful reflections on the real costs of industry and its dismantlement--community life, personal identity, cultural traditions, and the natural world--in Michigan, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin, and beyond. This intimate collection culls inspiration from personal and collective experience, found text, and oral history, as it speaks to the complicated humanity surviving amid so-called ruin. American Ghost asks us to consider: what will sustain us? How will we sustain each other?
POEMS BY b: william bearhart, Suzette Bishop, Anne Gorrick, Randall Horton Denise Miller, Ruby Murray, Kate Schapira, Lillien Waller, Deborah Woodard. Photographs by Ruby Murray and Valaurian Waller.
Lillien Waller was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She studied English literature at the University of Michigan and received her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. She also holds degrees from the New School for Social Research and Emory University. She has been a Cave Canem Fellow, a member of the Sisters of Color Writers Collective (SOC), and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poems have appeared in journals and the anthology Sisterfire: Black Womanist Fiction and Poetry (HarperCollins). She is currently working on a collection of poems exploring family and community life in Detroit in the wake of the 1967 riots. She lives in Harlem, New York.