Are You a Real Literary Activist? Take the Quiz!

Originally posted on Craig Santos Perez:


The spirited discussion on “literary activism” has prompted me to create this easy quiz to see if you are a real literary activist! Each yes answer earns you a point.

  1. Do you write poetry that addresses political, cultural, environmental, and social justice issues?
  2. Do you write poetry that might be described as protest, documentary, decolonial, ecopoetry, subaltern, undocumented, feminist, indigenous, queer, minority, disability, or witness?
  3. Does your poetry carry an ethical dimension to raise awareness, educate, inspire, empower, dignify, or humanize?
  4. Do you write and publish articles, essays, reviews or features of other poets?
  5. Do you conduct interviews with other poets?
  6. Do you publicize and attend other poets’ literary events?
  7. Do you buy other poet’s books?
  8. Do you curate and host events for others?
  9. Do you edit publications that featuring emerging and established writers?
  10. Do you work or volunteer at a small press?
  11. Do you organize or teach local, affordable…

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Low.-Jackalope-FULL-COVER-8.18 (2)

Jim Denomie, cover painting, Dream Rabbit II

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009, is author of 25 books of poetry and prose. She does individual consulting and editing, as well as professional workshops. Low is co-publisher of Mammoth Publications ,an independent small literary press specializing in Indigenous and Mid-Plains poetry and prose. Her poetry blog has over 400 entries, and she reviews poetry for the Kansas City Star. Her book of poetry Melange Block,from Red Mountain Press (2014), Santa Fe, explores geological scales of elegies, celebrations, American Indian and European histories. A new book of short fiction, Jackalope, is forthcoming Dec. 1, 2015 (Red Mountain Press). Cream City Review nominated Low’s flash fiction piece “A Jackalope Walks into an Indian Bar” for a Pushcart Prize. See EVENTS for appearances. Upcoming: an online workshop for Transfomative Language Arts, open to everyone, The Word Artist in the Public Square, Nov. 2 – Dec. 13. Learn ways the individual can keep artistic integrity and be effective in the cross-currents of public presentations of creative works–and learn how to engage in the public square of readings, social media, reviews, contests, and conferences. Details and enrollment at

Recent online publications are an essay on the poet Ronald Johnson, Numero Cinq, an Denise.web.14.Daileyessay on the Black Mountain-related poet Kenneth Irby in Jacket2, and an online chapbook In the Direction of North with paintings by Thomas Pecore Weso. Excerpts from Melange Block are featured on the We Wanted To Be Writers website. An interview is in the Museum of Americana literary journal.   North Dakota Q. published a special issue about William Stafford, including Low’s “‘The Way It Is’: Second Sight in William Stafford’s Poetry.” Reviews of Kooser, Matsuda, Westerman, and Hoogestraat for the Kansas City Star. She teaches in the Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Poetry Foundation biography is at


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