The editors and contributors to Who Will Speak for America? are passionate and justifiably angry voices providing a literary response to today’s political crisis. Inspired by and drawing from the work of writers who participated in nationwide Writers Resist events in January 2017, this volume provides a collection of poems, stories, essays, and cartoons that wrestle with the meaning of America and American identity. The contributions—from established figures including Eileen Myles, Melissa Febos, Jericho Brown, and Madeleine Thien, as well as rising new voices, such as Carmen Maria Machado, Ganzeer, and Liana Finck—confront a country beset by racial injustice, poverty, misogyny, and violence.
Contributions reflect on the terror of the first days after the 2016 Presidential election, but range well beyond it to interrogate the past and imagine possible American futures.
Who Will Speak for America? inspires readers by emphasizing the power of patience, organizing, resilience and community. These moving works advance the conversation the American colonists began, and that generations of activists, in their efforts to perfect our union, have elevated and amplified.
All royalties will benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center.
"Feldman and Popkin gather a medley of diverse voices to reflect on politics, society, and culture in contemporary America. Essays, poems, fiction, photographs, and cartoons bristle with emotion from contributors responding to issues they consider most urgent: racism, sexism, poverty, and injustice.... A heartfelt and thoughtful collection."
"Panoramic in scope and exquisite in execution, Who Will Speak for America? is a platform for some of the country's sharpest minds to artistically meditate on life during and after the reign of our Orange Mussolini."
—Molly Crabapple, author of Drawing Blood and (with Marwan Hisham) Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War
"At too many points since Trump's election, my mind went to leaving this country. But Who Will Speak for America? is one of the greatest reminders I've had not to stray again. That we are the majority—we who represent a whole spectrum of gender, sexuality, ability, race, ethnicity, nationality, class, and more—and we will take this country forward from the few who want it to go backward. A potent and necessary read for everyone on this planet, really."
—Porochista Khakpour, author of Sick: A Memoir and The Last Illusion: A Novel
"This collection of political poetry and prose presents a wide and well-selected array of moderate, progressive, and radical voices united in opposition to Donald Trump’s presidency.... (Carmen Maria) Machado’s poem 'How I Should Have Known Trump Would Be Elected President' is a powerful and succinct reflection on encountering racism and homophobia.... The selections vary in tone... Thanks to this variety, the collection should appeal to an equally wide range of readers who share the authors’ opposition to the 45th president."
"Timely and important, Who Will Speak for America? is a powerful anthology of essays, poetry, fiction, and art that grapples with our current political situation. The book’s forty writers and artists explore the question of what it means to be an American in the age of Donald Trump.... (T)he collection contains personal essays on the election’s emotional impact, fictional explorations of possible futures in an increasingly fascistic society, poetry about personal and national identity, and much more. The range of work in this anthology is impressive.... Writing quality is consistently high.... The contributions share a political perspective, but they answer the question posed by the title in consistently surprising and fresh ways. Who Will Speak for America? will inspire thought, conversation, and possibly even political action."
"All of the works included are powerful and attempt to answer a tough question first asked in a 1976 address to the Democratic National Convention in New York City by Barbara Jordan, the first black woman to give such a speech. Even if poetry isn’t your thing, you will find something in this book that resonates. Standouts include Joy Ladin's 'America in Winter,' which almost reads as a love letter to what America was and could be; Jericho Brown's 'Bullet Points' addressing racial injustice; and Lynn Melnick's 'National Pastime' about sexual violence.... But it's not all despair. Optimism and hope are laced through, peeking like sunlight through blinds."