The Operating System

FILM : A PLACE TO STAND :: Help Support the Completion of this Beautiful Documentary on Chicano Poet Jimmy Santiago Baca


I am learning to look at myself differently, to see the scattered remnants of hope and dreams and collect them again, return to my old house after the war, pick through debris for old photos of mind and soul, glue together my fallen statues of justice and honor and carefully wrap them in my heart for the long trip back.

                              —Jimmy Santiago Baca, May 28, 1977, Arizona State Prison

 

 As you may know, the Exit Strata editorial team spent this past (glorious) weekend at Governor’s Island, surrounded by the small publishers and reading series that are the lifeblood of our poetry community here. Over 200 NYC Poets read – but also connected, talked, and reminded ourselves of the important social, co-creative, empowering work that we do for ourselves and others.

 

True to form, as we met and engaged in dialogue with new friends (and greeted those already a part of our inspiring number) most of our conversations were centered around our mission to “be the soil” out of which other projects might grow – that we exist not to posture and compete but to nurture and celebrate.  Perhaps it is no surprise that defenses come down when people learn you aren’t trying to take advantage of them or make their lives more complicated, but in fact that your reason for being and working is to be a support system, a shoulder to lean on, an ear, a mentor, a platform – and that we are not only willing but committed to sharing the word about others’ viable, important projects with our network.

 

One such conversation was with the film director/producer Daniel Glick, who is currently wrapping his powerful documentary project,  A Place to Stand, which tells the story of prizewinning Chicano poet Jimmy Santiago Baca. At the core of Baca’s journey (as explained in the autobiographical book of the same name) are the 5 years he spent locked up in Arizona State Prison, one of the toughest prisons in America — a place he arrived violent, angry, and nearly illiterate, but ultimately — where he discovered a passion for poetry that would save and forever change his life.

 

Their kickstarter campaign is in its final stretch — we encourage you to read more about this incredible journey and to support this project, as well as share it with your own networks. As you know — a few dollars goes a long when all our networks join together!

 

Welcome to the New Abundance.

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