Mark Nowak's Social Poetics (Coffee House Press, 2020) is a history of the poetry workshop "from below and to the left." Inspired by previous workers' poetry workshops led by writers like June Jordan and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Nowak's book traces the history of worker poetry both in the US and abroad. It also details Nowak's own involvement with workers' poetry workshops held with autoworkers facing layoffs, farm workers in Hudson Valley, and metal workers in South Africa. Nowak shows that poetry is not a luxury for the elite, but a vital tool in describing working class lives and in imagining a classless future.
Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts.