THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Marilyn Buck: State of Exile.

From the Friends of Marilyn Buck, who is fighting cancer in federal prison. She's an extraordinary poet and translator (see State of Exile by Cristina Peri Rossi), and a sharp essayist. The article this links to at the Rag Blog is awesome. Note Marilyn's address change below, and drop her a card of encouragement and blessings. She is supposed to be paroled in August: show them how big and caring her community is.

Hit this page on her friends' site and listen to an interview with her attorney, Professor Jill Soffiyah Elijah, detailing Marilyn's history, prosecution, and experiences as a political prisoner. Professor Elijah has represented many of our freedom fighters and political prisoners over the years...

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Political Prisoner, Poet, Writer, Translator, Teacher –

Free Marilyn Buck!

Photo  of Marilyn 2000

political prisoner

Marilyn Buck began her antiracist activism as a teenager in Texas. As a college student, she organized against the war in Vietnam and in solidarity with the Black liberation movement. “After less than a decade as a political activist,” she writes,“I went to prison, convicted of procuring firearms for the Black Liberation Army. I faced 10 years in prison—a very long time for a young woman."

After serving four years, Marilyn was granted a furlough from prison and did not return. She spent the next eight years in clandestinity. Marilyn was recaptured in 1985. In addition to charges related to Assata Shakur’s escape, she was convicted of conspiracy to protest government policies (the invasion of Grenada and military intervention in Central America) through the use of violence against government property. Her total sentence was 80 years.

poet, writer

“The trials, those years of intense repression and US government denunciations of my humanity had beat me up rather badly. Whatever my voice had been, it was left frayed. I could scarcely speak.” Instead, Marilyn wrote. “For prisoners, writing is a life raft to save one from drowning in a prison swamp. I could not write a diary or a journal; I was a political prisoner. Everything I had was subject to investigation, invasion and confiscation. I was a censored person. In defiance, I turned to poetry, an art of speaking sparely, but flagrantly.”

Marilyn’s poems can be found in many collections, in her chapbook, Rescue the Word, and on her CD Wild Poppies. She has been awarded three prizes by the PEN Prison Writing Program, including first prize for poetry in 2001. Some of her poems are online here.

translator, teacher

Marilyn has long translated for Spanish-speaking women held in prison, and she is now translating Spanish literature to English. In 2009 City Lights published her translation of Uruguayan poet-in-exile Cristina Peri Rossi’s extraordinary collection, State of Exile. Read more about her publications.

She has also taught writing, GED preparation, history, and yoga inside.

imagination

One of more than 100 political prisoners in the United States, Marilyn is proof that imagination and solidarity can’t be stifled, no matter how many prisons or patriot acts we face.

her address is:

MARILYN BUCK 00482-285
FMC CARSWELL
P.O. BOX 27137
FORT WORTH TX 76127

more

Read a recent profile of Marilyn by a long-time activist friend at Austin's Rag Blog.