Poetry. Fiction. Literary Nonfiction. Edited with an introduction by M. L. Liebler. Foreword by Ben Hamper. From the White Stripes' "The Big Three Killed My Baby" to Eminem's "Lose Yourself"; from the folk anthems of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie to the poems of Walt Whitman and Amiri Baraka; from the stories of Willa Cather and Bret Lott to the rabble-rousing work of Michael Moore—this transcendent volume touches upon all aspects of working-class life. A collection about living while barely making one, about layoffs and picket lines, about farmers, butchers, miners, waitresses, assembly-line workers, and the "Groundskeeper Busted Reading in the Custodial Water Closet," this is literature by the people and for the people.
“M. L. Liebler is the poet laureate of America’s working class. The collection he has assembled rings out with truth, intensity and love. In a world full of despair, it is comforting to have writers so gifted and generous singing our song of rebellion and hope. This book is the kind of spark we need these daysa rich, intense and inspiring collection for and about those who get their hands dirty every single day.”
“This book is not ‘fresh-air.’ It is a mighty wind.... While the nightly news continues to ‘do the numbers,’ as if we were all investors, here’s the larger partthe real grit and savor of American life. Spelled out in plain English.”
Contributors include: Amiri Baraka, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Willa Cather, Andrei Codrescu, Dorothy Day, Emily Dickinson, Diane di Prima, Bob Dylan, Eminem, Woody Guthrie, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Lolita Hernandez, Philip Levine, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Bret Lott, Thomas Lux, Thomas Lynch, Michael McClure, Michael Moore, Mark Nowak, Edward Sanders, John Sayles, Quincy Troupe, MIck Vranich, Diane Wakoski, Jack White, Walt Whitman...and many more.