Wild Poppies

A poetry jam across prison walls:
A new CD from the Freedom Archives

Poets and musicians honor poet and political prisoner Marilyn Buck

This CD is a poetry jam in space — created across and despite razor wire, prison bars and censored phone lines. It is a gathering of poets to celebrate the work of sister poet Marilyn Buck, who has spent more than 20 years in US prisons for her anti-imperialist politics and actions.

In the eyes of the government, Marilyn is an enemy of the state, despised for her role in freeing Black Liberation leader Assata Shakur, hated for her willingness to risk her life and freedom for a world imaginable only to a revolutionary—or a poet.

Yet for the poets who rushed to lend their voices and their words to this collection, Marilyn is someone very different – a woman who lives for transformation. Through her political activism and writing, she creates the possibility of a world of social justice and peace. Through her approach to prison, she transforms the repression and censorship of imprisonment and, in the process, has become a poet.

the poets

The poet contributors read Marilyn's poems and their own. They include Amiri Baraka, carolyn baxter/Nottiehead Bosco, Dennis Brutus, Aya De Leon, Fanny Howe, Uchechi Kalu, Elana Levy, Genny Lim, devorah major, Sara Menefee, Kiilu Nyasha, Maria Poblet, Presente!, Carlos Quiles, Samsara, Sonia Sanchez, Staajabu, Jean Stewart, Piri Thomas, Kwame Ture/Stokely Carmichael, Nellie Wong, Merle Woo, and Mitsuye Yamada. See the poet profiles and the poems.

the musicians

Framing the poetry is music contributed by India Cooke, Eugenio Maldonado “El Viejo Mago," Fred Ho & the Brooklyn Saxophone Quartet, Copper Wimmin, Idris Ackamoor, and the musicians and activists of Shame the Devil.

political prisoners

Marilyn is one of more than 100 political prisoners in this country. As you listen to her poems and those of the other extraordinary poets here, let the ideals, the vision, the sacrifice of those political prisoners reverbate in your ears and your heart.

Wild Poppies poetry CD cover

CD Design - Lisa Roth

To order Wild Poppies

Order on the web

Or send check or money order for $10 ($12 in Canada) (includes shipping) to:

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
info [at] freedomarchives [dot] org

For prisoners, there is no alcohol nor flowers,
But the night is so lovely, how can we celebrate it?
I go to the air hole and stare up at the moon,
And through the air hole, the moon smiles at the poet

—Ho Chi Minh, Prison Diary

Listen to recording of "In Your Ear" from October 2, 2004 with Art Sato & guest Horace Mansfield, Jr. on KPFA
Featuring Wild Poppies
  MP3 of Wild Poppies poem ready by Marilyn Buck

The contributors | The poems | About Marilyn Buck | Freedom Archives