Sunday, March 26, 2006

Dear Poets:

Let's exercise just a bit of caution here. Yes Campus Watch has attacked the poet Ammiel Alcalay, and with him five other poets. But Campus Watch did NOT attack you. Just because you are a poet does not mean that you are being attacked. We're not some collective of pods. CHILL OUT. There are many reasons to write letters to Campus Watch. They write some outrageous things, and show absolutely no understanding of the complexity of thinking that surrounds the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Listen-- if you want to defend Ammiel, read Ammiel's work. Write a letter to Campus Watch in which you show them how they have taken Ammiel's work out of context. Ask them if they understand that Ammiel, who may speak or write in defense of the Palestinians' quality of life and right to land, is NOT calling for the out and out destruction of the state of Israel! A person like Ammiel who is critical of zionism is NOT pro-terrorist! Ammiel is an incredibly complex and nuanced thinker.... he writes about a lot more than Israel! It is a disservice to his work that Campus Watch would write such an attack on him, or that you, fellow poets, would fan the flame of his attackers by putting yourselves in their spotlight.

Hey--I'm a political poet. I write some damn good political poems and I am OUTRAGED about the state of free speech, assembly, and the justification of torture as it is being promulgated by our government. I am annoyed at Campus Watch for infiltrating our Poetry is News event and writing an article which blatantly takes peoples' words out of context. They're irrational. Why counter them with more irrationality? It's like a bunch of crazy people talking to each other. They thrive on rhetoric... don't feed them. Fight the real struggle-- defend free speech by writing real letters with real facts that deal with real issues.

Citizen Kay