On February 12th, 2003, poets in Chicago, Illinois and other localities gathered in protest of what appears to be an inevitable war against the country of Iraq. While few will deny that the Iraqi government has behaved badly, one must, in a democracy, question the motives of one’s own leadership. One must ask for transparency in government. One must add one’s voice to the discourse. For this is part of the process that guards our own freedom.

As such, ChicagoPoetry.com and PoetryPoetry.com joined forces to organize and record a reading documenting the voices of poetic dissent in the Chicago area. The local reading was held at 7:00 PM on February 12th at:

The Launching Pad 4541 N. Ravenswood

Chicago, IL 60640

The performances were simultaneously recorded for posterity (by PoetryPoetry) and transmitted live (by ChicagoPoetry) to an international audience via webcast. To hear Charlie’s commentary on this event click on the [ Stream ] or [ Download ] links.

Please note that the views and opinions voiced in these performances are those of the individual artists, and do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial staff at PoetryPoetry.com. Nevertheless, we at PoetryPoetry are not squeamish. We do not feel that our government has made a morally justifiable case for war against Iraq as it has not exhausted all other alternatives for dealing with their offences. War is–and always should be–the absolute last option. So while our individual opinions may not always coincide, we vigorously defend and promote an artist’s right to be heard.

Click here to stream the entire indexed performance, or click on the Stream or Download links below to listen to individual artists. WARNING: As with any topic that arouses passion and ire, some of the language used may not be suitable for younger or more sensitive souls.

Photo Gallery
From left to right, top to bottom: C.J. Laity, John Starrs, Larry O Dean, Frank DiCostanzo, Steve Glabman, a Liberty Eraser, E. Donald Two-Rivers, Kelly Gilbreth, Charlie Newman, Stella Radulescu, Cathleen Schandelmeier & Katrina, Dan Cleary, Brent Mesick, Mirela Ramona Ciupag, Gene Tanta, Maggie Rubin, Dean Shavit, Jacqui Wolk, Bryan Penberthy, Andrea Change, Jose Bono,
Kate Cullan, Jacob Knabb, and your humble sound man, Bill DuPree.
[ Stream | Download ]C.J. Laity: Introduction to “Poets Against the War”
[ Stream | Download ]John Starrs–Merger; Perhaps
[ Stream | Download ]Emily Calvo–To My Daughter Contemplating the Military
[ Stream | Download ]Larry O. Dean–Patchen poem–And When freedom is Achieved; 4th of July; Blood White and Blue
[ Stream | Download ]Larry Sawyer–Circus Circus; Napalm for Breakfast
[ Stream | Download ]Frank DiCostanzo–A Mare, Icka
[ Stream | Download ]C.J. Laity–A Poem for Mass Destruction
[ Stream | Download ]Michael H. Brownstein–November Evening Protest, Chicago, 2002
[ Stream | Download ]Charlie Rossiter–American Dream; In the Wind; When Times Get Dark
[ Stream | Download ]Steve Glabman–From the Saddest Man; The Extinction of Man-Part 3; Liberty Erasers
[ Stream | Download ]E. Donald Two-Rivers–Big Bombs, Big Thoughts
[ Stream | Download ]Kelly Gilbreth–U.S. U.S.
[ Stream | Download ]Charlie Newman–Testament Re-do; Here We Go Again
[ Stream | Download ]Stella Radulescu–Phone Call; Fresh Cranberries
[ Stream | Download ]Cathleen Schandelmeier–Slobodan Milosevic Does Kosovo; Cisus belli (by Maureen Connolly)
[ Stream | Download ]Dan Cleary–The Cry for War
[ Stream | Download ]Brent Mesick–Patriotism
[ Stream | Download ]Mirela Ramona Ciupag–Plastic Angels; Last Superstition; First Snowfall; I Cant Wait for Next Fall; An Easy Way to Say Or
[ Stream | Download ]C.J. Laity–Hands Off My Stanzas
[ Stream | Download ]Gene Tanta–On the Tradition of Killing the Weak; The Sire and the Sires; Men With Moustaches
[ Stream | Download ]Maggie Rubin–The Face of Peace (trans. from the French), originally Le Visage du Paix by Paul Eluard
[ Stream | Download ]Dean Shavit–In the Darn Hole, Playing Soldier
[ Stream | Download ]Jacqui Wolk–Duct Tape and Bioterrorism
[ Stream | Download ]Marie Krane Derr–Two Prayers; Reign of George the First
[ Stream | Download ]Bryan Penberthy–Assassintown
[ Stream | Download ]Nicholas Reading–Poem for Ginsberg Offered to Chicago Who, on February 12, 2003, Said Peace Is Worth It
[ Stream | Download ]Andrea Change–Here’s to Being Heard; Active Duty
[ Stream | Download ]Jose Bono–Free Time; Sleeping Giant; Pasos
[ Stream | Download ]Kate Cullan–Fossil Fuel
[ Stream | Download ]Jacob Knabb–Don’t Take Your Guns to Town, G. W.
[ Stream | Download ]Dan Cleary–Somewhere Over the Rainbow

We still offer the complete, unexpurgated, warts-and-all recording–all 2 hours 51 minutes 31 seconds of it–for those who want to hear the raw material. Click here to stream or here to download (warning: file size is 30 megabytes) this reading which includes all the above listed artists.

Also, you may click on the [ Stream ] or [ Download ] links to listen to what Charlie had to say about Poets Against the War.