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September 11 West Coast Writers Approach Ground Zero

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2002-08-01
  • Publisher: Hawthorne Books
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The events of September 11, 2001, their myriad repercussions, and our varied and often contradictory responses to them have inspired this collection of West Coast writers’ responses to the terrorist acts. By virtue of history and geographic distance, the West Coast has developed a community different from that of the East, but ultimately our shared interests bridge the distinctions in provocative and heartening ways. Following is a list of the contributors:

Diana Abu-Jaber, Etel Adnan, T.C. Boyle, Susie Bright, Michael Byers, Tom Clark, Joshua Clover, Wanda Coleman, Peter Coyote, John Daniel, Harlan Ellison, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Amy Gerstler, Lawrence Grobel, Ehud Havazelet, Michael Hood, Ken Kesey, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jennifer Lauck, Stacey Levine, Genny Lim, Beth Lisick, Alejandro Morales, Jessica Maxwell, Colleen McElroy, Jess Mowry, Ishmael Reed, Vern Rutsala, Floyd Salas, Tom Spanbauer, Primus St. John, Barbara Earl Thomas, Sallie Tisdale, Alice Walker.

Author Biography

JEFF MEYERS is the editor of this anthology. His collection of poetry, Hereafter, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards. He is the founder and former Artistic Director of the award-winning Theatre Vertigo in Portland, Oregon. His play Mass Murder was nominated for the 1998 Best Original Play by the Regional Drama Critics’ Circle. His work appears in Exquisite Corpse, Playboy, Nexus, Paramour, and other literary publications.

Table of Contents

Introduction 17(8)
Jeff Meyers
History of the Airplane
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Harlan Ellison
A Clamor of Symbols
Sallie Tisdale
Out of the Fires, What Renewal?
John Daniel
What Remains
Colleen McElroy
Michael Byers
New York Cover
Susie Bright
Dark and Light
Amy Gerstler
If There Were No Days, Were Would We Live
Primus St. John
Catastrophe and the Widening Human Heart
A Crack in the Earth
Barbara Earl Thomas
On Hate
T. Coraghessan Boyle
It Keeps Happening
Vern Rutsala
Seven Letters
Joshua Clover
Stacey Levine
Your Name Here
Beth Lisick
Requiem with Marinara
Michael Hood
The Real War
Ken Kesey
As the Dust Settles: Three Essays
Peter Coyote
On Recognition and Nation
Diana Abu-Jaber
We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us
Jess Mowry
Elegy to a Betrayer by an Outlaw Prophet
Floyd Salas
When Elephants Fight, the Grass Suffers
America United
Ishmael Reed
The Radical Moment of Truth
Etel Adnan
Sent by Earth
Alice Walker
Seeking the Ordinary
Ehud Havazelet
We Don't Live on Things. We Live on the Meaning of Things
Tom Spanbauer
September Eleventh from Abroad
Jennifer Lauck
9/11 Blues
Wanda Coleman
On a Clear Day
Lawrence Grobel
The Sky Had Fallen
Jessica Maxwell
Empty Cup
Genny Lim
Mariposas and Colibries
Alejandro Morales
Maxine Hong Kingston
The Pilots
Tom Clark
Contributors 355

Supplemental Materials

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And the Wright brothers said they thought they had invented
something that could make peace on earth when their wonderful
flying machine took off at Kitty Hawk into the kingdom of birds
but the parliament of birds was freaked out by this man-made bird
and fled to heaven
And then the famous Spirit of Saint Louis took off eastward and
flew across the Big Pond with Lindy at the controls in his leather
helmet and goggles hoping to sight the doves of peace but he did not
Even though he circled Versailles
And then the famous Flying Clipper took off in the opposite
direction and flew across the terrific Pacific but the pacific doves
were frighten by this strange amphibious bird and hid in the orient sky
And then the famous Flying Fortress took off bristling with guns
and testosterone to make the world safe for peace and capitalism
but the birds of peace were nowhere to be found before or after Hiroshima
And so then clever men built bigger and faster flying machines and
these great man-made birds with jet plumage flew higher than any
real birds and seemed to fly into the sun and melt their wings
and like Icarus crash to earth
And the Wright brothers were long forgotten in the high-flying
bombers that now began to visit their blessings on various Third
Worlds all the while claiming they were searching for doves of peace
And they kept flying and flying until they flew right into the 21st
century and then one fine day a Third World struck back and
stormed the great planes and flew them straight into the beating
heart of Skyscraper America where the were no aviaries and no
parliaments of doves and in a blinding flash America became a part
of the scorched earth of the world
And a wind of ashes blows across the land
And for one long moment in eternity
There is chaos and despair
And buried loves and voices
Cries and whispers
Fill the air

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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