A Message from the President
I was recently in a Zoom meeting with some fellow poets from Colorado. When they learned of my affiliation with PST I was asked, “What are you doing about the book banning in Tennessee?” They were referring to a law passed in late April of this year (see final legislation).
My honest response was “Not much!” It was too easy to say, “I don’t actually live in Tennessee, and The Tennessee Poetry Society must remain apolitical.” While those statements are true, I felt like a coward.
Putting aside the jokes about my southern accent, I realized those mountain folks had a legitimate question. It is not a question we can explore and answer as an organization. But it is an important question we must ask ourselves. As individuals who carry the title of POET, we also carry a responsibility for ourselves and fellow writers and readers.
I encourage you to familiarize yourself with this legislation, then take any action you deem appropriate. There is no wrong way to respond. Maybe you will choose to contact local or state politicians. Maybe you will explore the impact of the issue on area schools and libraries. Maybe you will organize a protest. Maybe you will monitor the situation. Maybe you’ll do something else entirely. Whatever you do, do it for all of us. Do it for the poets, writers, and readers yet to come.
yic, Bill Hill