ORGANIZERS: Nancy Lynée Woo and Sarah Thursday
EVENT: Lucid Moose Lit press & book launch
DATE: September 28, 2014
TIME: 6-9 pm
LOCATION: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
Lucid Moose Lit engages the literary arts with social justice issues by using poetry and the arts as a vehicle for social change. Our first print anthology, Gutters & Alleyways: Perspectives on Poverty and Struggle, will be released on September 28, 2014 to launch the press! We are proud to collaborate with 100 Thousand Poets for Change to celebrate this launch!
- First and foremost, the goal of the book was to simply hold space for marginalized perspectives to emerge, and to grant them dignity and respect.
- Second, we wanted to open up the lens of poverty and ask what this really means — who is in poverty? What do they look like? Could it be me or you? We wanted to minimize Othering, maximize empathy, and gather a wide range of viewpoints (which we are happy to say, we think we did).
- Third, we hope that sharing these important perspectives will spark conversation about the pressing issues around us, and serve to shed light on the diverse realities of people living below the poverty line.
- Then, we hope the conversations may inspire action.
- As of 2013, one out of seven people in the USA are living in poverty.
- In 2012, 46.5 million people were living in poverty in the United States—the largest number in the 54 years the Census has measured poverty.
- Almost one out of sixteen people in the USA are living in deep poverty.
- Racial and ethnic minorities, women, children, and families headed by single women are particularly vulnerable to poverty and deep poverty.
The bottom line? This issue may not be a pretty one, but it is more relevant than ever. Income inequality has been getting worse, and this is a systematic problem that exists at all cross-sections of marginalized demographics. We saw the Occupy movement address economic issues, but what happened after the demonstrations died? We hope to ward off complacency and raise social awareness through the vehicle of literature and art
Global and national poverty are represented in the book, but we aim to start the conversation on our home turf — Long Beach. Here in the 7th largest city in California, an astounding 22% of adults and 33% of children are living in poverty, according to Long Beach Community Action Partnership. The face of poverty is visible on almost every street corner, but it hides in other places, too.
We hope to have an impact on our local community by involving service organizations, non-profit groups, and people with influence in our readings and events. If we raise enough money to put our September 28th event on the city’s radar, we hope to attract the attention of the recently elected Mayor Robert Garcia. His recent conversations have been directed at alleviating poverty in Long Beach. He remarks on the surprising face of poverty:
“I think sometimes people view poverty as someone on the verge of homelessness,” he says. “But you could walk by an apartment building in Alamitos Beach and never know that inside a one-bedroom apartment there could be eight people living there who are experiencing poverty…Poverty can look like anybody.”
This is what Gutters and Alleyways hopes to shed light on: the almost invisible yet pervasive reality of poverty, and subsequently, the potential to build better and healthier lifestyles for all.
The aim of Lucid Moose Lit is to be an activist press with one goal: improve the state of the world for humans, animals, and ecosystems by welcoming multiple perspectives on controversial topics. We aim to be inclusionary by bringing different views together in productive conversation.
As two poets with backgrounds in sociology, social issues are important to both of us. I (Nancy) have always wanted a way to use poetry and art to affect positive change in the world. I would rather do this than anything else because I believe the first step to cultivating a better tomorrow is to begin and continue the conversations that matter. Since poetry helps spread empathy, Lucid Moose Lit aims to publish a wide variety of perspectives on important topics, while hosting events in our local community – so that we may do more than talk; we can start to build real connections with people who are doing work from the ground up.
Lucid Moose has big plans, from working with community organizations to releasing future anthologies. Help support our launch by donating and sharing our IndieGoGo campaign! http://igg.me/at/LucidMooseLit