Poems for Politicians in DC
$3,635 of $3,500 goal
THANK YOU...WE HAVE REACHED OUR GOAL!
If you would like to help our elected and appointed officials see the images of our late 20th- and early 21st-century culture of ignorance, fear, bigotry, violence and greed in one convenient volume, please donate what you can, and share this page.
Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed, my (Reggie Marra's) fourth volume of poetry, will be available in September 2018. We are sending one copy to each of the September 2018 occupants of the U.S. Senate, House, Supreme Court and White House -- approximately 540-546 books, with some Congressional vacancies and probably just 8 Justices on the court.
The mailing will go out in September. We will post the specific date once we begin to stuff the envelopes.
Note that your donation is not tax-deductible, and will be applied to the costs of:
- purchasing and shipping approximately 546 books (est $1600)
- approximately 546 mailing envelopes (est $200)
- USPS postal rates to send the books to the recipients in DC (est $1600)
- address and return address labels, paper and printing costs for the cover letter that will accompany each book (est $100)
“Reggie Marra’s poetry is both raw and sobering, highlighting how violence changes everything it ‘touches’ either by design or default, whether we are participants or spectators…. Violence exists on a spectrum…and each of us is responsible for the violence we commit anywhere on that spectrum….which, though it can’t be eliminated, can be minimized, if understood. This book helps us do that.” Read more here.
- Bob Killackey, Marine Infantry Officer, Combat Veteran, Husband, Parent, now Public High School Teacher
Learn more about the book and author, and read poem excerpts here: https://killing-america.com/ . View a video of Reggie's reading at Wainwright House in Rye, NY here (this poem is in the book): https://reggiemarra.com/2017/05/23/fillet-of-soul-with-a-dark-night-glaze/
We plan to run this campaign for two weeks and then reassess.
“Killing America chills me, even after 25 years as a police officer and 15 years in counter terrorism. We don’t see all sides of the violence we fight against, and these poems take no sides. Reggie Marra exposes the pain felt by fellow humans, the challenges we face when we take sides, and the compassion we need to see each other’s pain.” Read more here.
- Christopher Rogers, Father, Husband, Retired Peace Officer and Bomb Technician
If we exceed our goal, we will continue to promote the book and provide a detailed accounting to donors at their request. If we do not hit our goal, we will begin sending books to those politicians who have consistently voted against legislation that addresses gun violence, bigotry and greed. All funds will be disbursed, first for the mailing to our elected officials; any remaining funds will be used to promote the book. No funds raised here are used to support the writing, editing or production of the book.
Additional Ways You Can Help
1. Share this page and https://killing-america.com/ with others who would support this cause.
2. Buy the book. It will be available on Amazon -- search for it there in early September. We will announce its availability here and at https://killing-america.com/. If you love a local bookstore, ask them to stock some copies.
3. Review the book on Amazon, and feel free to send your review by email to Reggie.
4. Invite the author for a reading and/or workshop; keep in mind that he's a poet and needs to eat (that's a metaphor).
5. Let your local high school English and History teachers know about the book.
“In Killing America, Reggie Marra gives us deep, disturbing images of War – at home and abroad. What I take with me, especially, are these lines from ‘You Stood Up' – ‘your open heart / exposed the mask / of fear your mind / mistook for you, / so you stood up / and no one got hurt.’”
- Waverly Nall, Father
Updates & Notifications
We will post occasional updates during the campaign, and will let you know when the books have been mailed; GoFundMe forwards these updates to donors' emails. If at any point you would like to opt out of these updates, please unsubscribe using the information at the bottom of the most recent email you've received (we don't have the ability to unsubscribe you at our end). You will still be able to visit this site and see how things are going whenever you please.
Thanks to everyone who contributes to this project in any way.
"….Reggie’s agonizing and precise language describes the carnage resulting from America’s efforts to destabilize dictatorships in Iraq or terrorists in Afghanistan, while shining an unbearable light on the victims of a million American bullets, of children dead, communities ravaged, and families of color pillaged by a virulent strain of America’s unrelenting and targeted war on their men….” Read more here .
- Joan Hurley, 2008 Connecticut Teacher of the Year, Mother
MARCH 16, 2018: FOUND POEM #0
The number of children killed by gunfire
in the U.S. since the 2012 mass shooting
at Sandy Hook Elementary School
in Newtown, Connecticut,
surpasses the total of American soldiers killed
in overseas combat since 9/11,
according to a Department of Defense report.
EARLY AUTUMN SOUTHWEST EVENING
The music stops.
The young women holding hands,
their tank tops, shorts, boots, long
flowing brown hair, and the young
man in a black tee, blue jeans and
boots to their right, capture a neon-
backlit American summer evening.
They run, semi-crouched, amid
food and beverage containers
strewn across the open space while
those behind them kneel, crawl,
crouch and cower along the fence,
unsure where the shooter is and
when the shooting will stop.
“In Killing America, “The Sniper” most resonates with me, as it captures aspects of myself as a military officer (retired) and a parent. Reggie touched my soul as a basketball coach in my adolescence and continues to do so in my adult years.” Read more here .
- Edwin G. Nall, Sr., LTC(R), Father
Excerpt from the cover letter that will accompany each book to the Senate and House:
"The enclosed book of poems, Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed, captures and comments on a series of images from late 20th- and early 21st-century America. Our unprecedented and increasingly normalized national addiction to gun violence catalyzed this project, but what began, and continues, to emerge as the project unfolds is the underlying culture of ignorance, fear, bigotry, violence and greed – at home and abroad, that both feeds and is fed by this uniquely American embrace of violence....
"Whether you are raising funds for re-election or ready to step down, however, you know that we’ve been a violent nation for a long time, and your legislative efforts can attempt to perpetuate, ameliorate or ignore this ongoing violence. The current legislative and executive partisan buffoonery is embarrassing to me as an American...."
About the Author/Fundraiser
Reggie Marra is the author of four books of poetry and four of nonfiction. He has conducted poetry-writing and adult development and healing workshops since 1997, including work with the NEA’s Poetry Out Loud program, the National Association for Poetry Therapy, the Connecticut Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools program, the Transformative Language Arts Network, Teleosis Institute, the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, HealingNewtown, the National Speakers Association and in schools throughout the northeastern United States. Reggie is an Integral Master Coach,™ a Voice Dialogue practitioner through Bridgit Dengel Gaspard, and Nature Based Soulcraft® practitioner, through Bill Plotkin and Animas Valley Institute. Prior to 1997 he spent 21 years as a teacher, basketball coach and administrator in secondary and higher education. He currently lives in Thomaston, CT.
Poems and content Copyright © 2018 by Reggie Marra
"Poems from Students, Educators (and anyone else*) to Politicians" launched this weekend and will remain active indefinitely as a follow-up to our September 4, 2018 mailing of 542 copies of "Killing America" to Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House.
While the program begins with students and educators, it is truly open to anyone.
If you'd like to write a poem to your elected officials, especially if writing a poem is new for you, I invite you to take a few minutes to peruse the site. The process is free, ongoing and self-paced.
Please share with students, educators and other like-minded souls who align themselves in ways that do not promote ignorance, fear, bigotry, violence or greed.
At the risk of taking advantage of your support and generosity, I have a request (which I've already made to a few of you individually).
If you have the time and the will, posting a review of the book on Amazon would be very helpful. Some of you are old hands at reviews; some might find it daunting. One way to approach it is to simply write from your heart about the book's impact on you. Need not be long.
I realize that videos I post here are showing up as photos; I'm in the process of remedying that. Here's the link to the most recent video: https://vimeo.com/291392848
Here are the links to the previous two:
6 short poems from the book: https://vimeo.com/291389204
Reading in Vancouver WA on Sept 13: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=Omx3ltuvUIo&feature=share
Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan joined Senator Hatch as respondent #2 to the book's arrival. Neither made any reference to the book's content.
I may create a journal of respondents' messages (they're very short so it won't be much work).
540 to go.
I'm creating a series of short videos in which I read several poems from the book. The first is attached.
Remember you can unsubscribe from these updates at any time and still have access to this page.
Quick update. I read at the Ghost Town Open Mic in Vancouver WA on September 13 (reading was scheduled over a year ago--long story). See video and some photos below.
So far, I've received one thank-you from DC: Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) thanked me for the book and for my ability to be civil in disagreement.
Each of you has already received, or is about to receive a copy of the book as a thank-you from me. You would all have them already, but I had to return 169 books over three shipments due to cover issues. The final four went out today.
Finally, the book is now available on Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HDT3XCJ/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i6
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