Blue Collar Review: Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature Spring 2023 has much to offer readers looking for both solace and inspiration during these tumultuous times. The editors introduce poems by Lyle Estill, John Zedolik, and Ada Negri, as translated by Thomas Feeney, which “describe workplace injuries” as well as “poems of resistance to the workplace threats of harm and to the unlivable pay and limits placed by government assistance that impact our health, our lives beyond the workplace, and our chances of being injured on the job [. . . ] a poem by Cathy Porter reminds us many are forced to choose between food and medicines, [. . . ] and Mary Franke’s poem ‘May Day 2023’ informs us, child labor is back.” Blue Collar Review offers several sample poems on its website, including “The Current Political Scene” by Marge Piercy. Blue Collar Review is a quarterly journal of poetry and prose published by Partisan Press with the mission “to expand and promote a progressive working class vision of culture that inspires us and that moves us forward as a class.”
The Winter 2022-23 issue of Blue Collar Review: Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature opens with the editorial comments, “This winter has seen our working class and our earth under continuous attack. The crimes of commerce and the insane barbarity of war cannot be disconnected.” The poems featured within its pages speak to “the bleak realities of life for our laboring, and post-laboring class” and close with “a post-pandemic wake-up call for many of us who have been stunned into depressed isolation by the pandemic, by the growing threat of impending nuclear annihilation, and by an unfolding climate catastrophe.” The Blue Collar Review website features poems from the issue by Ed Block, Dan Sicoli, TK O’Rourke, Stewart Acuff, Livio Farallo, Joel Savishinski, Roibeárd, and Bill Ayres. Cover art: Uvalde by Roberto Marquez.
A “Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature,”Blue Collar Review Editors never shy away from work that addresses some of our society’s most pressing concerns. This newest issue is no exception: “The contributors in this summer issue understand the growing threat of competitive corporate dominance, of fascism and war, especially in this time of climate emergency. Close to 80% of working people support universal healthcare, climate action, voting rights, and women’s reproductive freedom. These priorities are subverted by corporate media and politicians funded by big business interests whose priorities are legislated at the expense of our freedoms, our health, and the future of life on earth. Democracy, unlike fascism, is defined by authentic public participation. Getting there from here is a continuing struggle upon which our rights and existence depend. [. . . ] This issue [of Blue Collar Review] completes twenty-five years of publication. We are grateful to be able to continue doing our part to demonstrate and encourage a mindset of social and class solidarity necessary to our struggle for a livable world and for authentic democracy.” Sample works from the most recent issues can be read online at Blue Collar Review.
The Blue Collar Review is a quarterly journal of poetry and prose published by Partisan Press with the mission “to expand and promote a progressive working class vision of culture that inspires us and that moves us forward as a class.”
The editors comment: “Poems in this collection focus on poverty, labor struggles, and on the devaluing of, and impact on, children in our corrupt corporate oligarchy. Children suffer inordinately from the criminal irresponsibility of political opportunism and arrogant class disregard. . . Violence driven by bigotry is a continuing foundational American reality. . . The scapegoating and targeting of people based on perceived differences is meant to divide us, diverting the focus of our frustration and rage from those who perpetrate vicious, unrelenting injustice upon us to our class brothers and sisters. Added to the targets of hate are Trans and gender non-binary people. As a class, our struggle demands transcending such prejudices and creating our own justice rooted in our common issues and interests.”
These poems, then, “exists to make us more aware of the commonality or our shared class experience and to strengthen the social solidarity we need to have a voice and to create authentic democracy.” Readers can find sample poems on the Blue Collar Review website along with submission and subscription information.
Blue Collar Review: Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature editors write in their introduction to this newest issue, “These are the kinds of poems, the kind of collection, that you will likely not find in other literary magazines and journals, though we wish that were not the case. Poems in this issue confront cultural discrimination as well as wrestling with our unchosen places and complicity in the web of racism that defines U.S. society. This includes the struggle against cultural arrogance that seeks to oppress other languages and those who speak them. Other poems speak of the accumulated loneliness and difficulties of the pandemic and questions what the ‘new normal’ will be. . . Also prominent are poems and prose on the poisoning of the poor and Black communities for profit by fossil fuel corporations in Louisiana’s ‘cancer alley’ and their power over elected officials.” The full editorial content and samples from the current issue can be read on the Blue Collar Reviewwebsite.