Against the Picture – Window: A Time of the Phoenix Compendium

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Starting in the late 1960s the Young Patriots, a group of radicalized street kids from Chicago’s Uptown area, began to produce a series of poetry chapbooks entitled Time of the Phoenix.
The poetry featured in Time of the Phoenix reflected the lives and histories familiar to the members of the Young Patriots, their families, and their neighbors in Uptown; white, southern migrants living in poverty.
Against the Picture – Window has compiled these “of the moment” poems, written by Uptown residents, from the original chapbooks, along with present day interviews, documents, new works, and conversations about the chapbooks, and the role of poetry and verse as a non-didactic tool for sociopolitical engagement. In particular, the book acts as a bridge, using poetry as infrastructure, to highlight that very role, its past uses and present condition.
This title has been produced in collaboration with, and the assistance of, Daniel Tucker (curator of Organize Your Own, the exhibition spawned by discussions around these chapbooks), Hy Thurman (of the Young Patriots), Anthony Romero, and the editors at Society Editions (Mary Austin Speaker, Chris Martin, and Sam Gould).


About Society Editions
Society is a construction, dismantled and reformed daily, yearly, through our perceptions and public pronouncements, either shouted or whispered. As an expandable publishing platform, Society concerns itself with the intersection where poetry meets speech and where private and public life collide. Society is timely and agile, responsive and responsible, paper and air.
If poetry can act as an ethical barometer of a population in time, Society changes with you and you change Society. Society is a response and then a record.
As an imprint, through a yearly almanac, individual books, chaplets, posters, actions, programs, et al, Society aims to pick away and uncover the role and possibilities of poetry as public speech, how abstract, or seemingly obtuse, texts can engage and decipher very real and timely issues around public life and power.