“My work now is to support the work of the next generation, to push at courage, to seek new or different language to express the freedoms we need and might imagine.”
Kathy Engel’s “To Kneel” recited by Danny Glover, Anna Deavere Smith and a chorus of other artists in support of the 2018 NFL protest and the right to dissent, and against racist police violence:
The black men who make wages
from the brutal banging of the skull,
pounding of the knees, and those who
dribble down a court, arms like
branches in the long arc of a pass,
now kneel. The muscles of their
souls, the soles of their cleats,
the stretch of their thighs, the yelling
of their fans and refs, the jabbering
commentators behold: one knee
hand to ground, they kneel,
the weight of their built- up bodies
pulled earthward as if called
by those from before
to kneel now, refusing to salute
this country’s killing field.
Those with the heart to be the lonely
first; their knees sing. Jobs at stake,
they kneel for the inheritors. For the future
dignity of bodies to choose to stand
or touch down. And the joining, too –
some, then flocks, arms threaded,
waving flags of jersey-ed bodies,
an anthem, for the uncountable –
to be counted. And to those
who drop to the knee only
in the recesses of a locked back room
or those who switch and bait
in the light, amid the throngs – or those
who hide behind their whiteness –
who will be there to kneel for you
when such a time comes, as it will
come? What will you say when
your children or your grandchildren,
their friends or lovers ask
what parts of your bodies
touched the ground
in the moment of loyalty,
or the moment of betrayal?
What would I say?
Ruth’s Skirts, IKON
We Begin Here: Poems for Palestine and Lebanon, co edited with Kamal Boullata, Interlink Publishing
The Kitchen: with art by German Perez, Lulu.com
Banish The Tentative, Wingding and Honey Press
Journals and Other Publications (a selection)
“Waking” – Poet Lore (forthcoming)
“Dreaming Neruda” in Women’s Voice For Change
“South Fork Poetry: ‘How Sweet the Time’ – The East Hampton Star
“Where I Live” – The East Hampton Star, reprinted by the Boggs Center
“Now I Pray” – Poetry Magazine, Poetry Foundation
“Return (Etheree)” – Split This Rock Poem of the Week
“Family and Spirit” – The Wide Shore
“Inaugural” – Women’s Voices for Change
“I Will Not” – Split This Rock Poem of the Week
“Gratitude” | “After the Storm, Praise” | “How the Light Gets In” – Beloit Poetry Journal/Split This Rock Chapbook, 2012
“Amends to Parts of the Body” – Women’s Voices for Change
“Return.” Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology. Ed. Melissa Tuckey.
“When I Die.” The Lake Rises: poems to & from our bodies of water. Eds. Brandi Katherine Herrera and Lisa Wujnovich. New York:Stockport Flats, Witness Post Series, 2013.
“I Will Not.” Liberty’s Vigil, The Occupy Anthology: 99 Poets among the 99%. Eds. Karla Linna Merrifield and Dwain Wilder. New York: Foothills Publishing, 2012.
“Dad, Pete & Obama.” How Women Grieve. Special Issue – Adanna Women’s Literary Journal, 2012.
“Conversation with Harriet Barlow.” The Bridge Conversations: People Who Live and Work in Multiple Worlds. Arts & Democracy Project, 2011.
“not there” For the Crowns of Your Heads: A poetry chapbook. New York: Poets for Ayiti, 2010.
“Untitled.” Poets for Palestine. Ed. Remi Kanazi. New York: Al Jisser Group, 2008.
“Conversation with Heaven.” A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and a Prayer. Eds. Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle. New York: Villard, 2007.
“Women and Social Change Leadership.” In Encyclopedia of leadership. Eds. G. Goethals, G. Sorenson, and J. Burns. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2004.
“The Hamptons.” Women on War: An International Anthology of Writings from Antiquity to the Present. 2nd ed. Ed. Daniela Gioseffi. New York: The Feminist Press at CUNY, 2003.
Racing and (E)Racing Language: Living with the Color of our Words. Eds. Safiya Henderson-Holmes and Ellen Goldner. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2001.
Film / Video / Radio
“The Lost Brother Alphabet,” performed with Suchi Branfman at Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica, CA
Reading of “Inaugural” – 2012 Split This Rock Poetry Festival
Reading of “We Begin Here: Poems for Palestine and Lebanon” – East End Ink
Readings from Ruth’s Skirts – WPKN Community Radio – East End Ink
“On The Cusp” – Directed by Philippe Cheng and produced by Toni Ross, Kathy Engel, Bastienne Schmidt, and Philippe Cheng
The Voice of the Children: Meet-the-Author Book Reading – TeachingBooks.net
In this audio clip you’ll hear Kathy Engel, friend of poet June Jordan, introduce and read from a collection of poems written by teens in Harlem, NYC in the 1960’s, entitled The Voice of the Children (Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1970).
Moving Towards Home – Eyewitness News Clip