Using Poetry To Expose The Power Of Money, Class And Gender

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Alissa Quart is a journalist, a keen observer of our culture and a believer in the power of poetry to cut to the heart of issues around us: money, class, gender and the environment.

She has just released her first book of poetry that is both personal and universal - inspired by work and research she has done as a journalist.

Here & Now's Lisa Mullins speaks to Quart about her book, "Monetized," and why she chose poetry as the medium to discuss these issues.

Book Excerpt: 'Monetized'

By Alissa Quart



One day you are ordering extra
olives and the next day, one
of The Damned.

I had worked this carapace
that I lived in: modular, notched,
pieces of oak. I built myself
of driftwood, cables.
My face forced yet nonchalant.
Sometimes I was an artist’s
wife, my dress long, hair
a sheaf. Sometimes
I was an extra on Cop Rock.
A singing policewoman
waiting for crimes
to be committed.

Sometimes I prevailed:
a memo, lithographic,
afternoon-like, sharp-edged.

The stamp of unbelonging
had always belonged to me.

Soon I returned to anywhere
but the beginning.
Homes of cockroaches.
Sunken rooms of bruisers.
Islands of police Sirens.
Each year was broken
back into pieces

of driftwood, as if born
to lose. An explosive device
in every pot.


This segment aired on March 27, 2015.


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