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Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence

by Brian Clements (Editor), Dean Rader (Editor), Alexandra Teague (Editor)

Other authors: Sharbari Ahmed (Contributor), Nick Arnold (Contributor), Jimmy Santiago Baca (Contributor), Aziza Barnes (Contributor), Dr. William V. Begg III (Contributor)105 more, Reginald Dwayne Betts (Contributor), Richard Blanco (Contributor), Pamela Bosley (Contributor), Tara Bray (Contributor), Jericho Brown (Contributor), Rev. Henry Brown (Contributor), Abbey Clements (Contributor), Billy Collins (Contributor), Yvonne Crasso (Contributor), Kyle Dargan (Contributor), Donna Dees-Thomases (Contributor), Marie Delus (Contributor), Joel Dias-Porter (Contributor), Natalie Diaz (Contributor), Mark Doty (Contributor), Rita Dove (Contributor), Cornelius Eady (Contributor), Martín Espada (Contributor), Ladd Everitt (Contributor), Tarfia Faizullah (Contributor), Jameson Fitzpatrick (Contributor), Nick Flynn (Contributor), Monte Frank (Contributor), Rebecca Morgan Frank (Contributor), Amanda Gailey (Contributor), Ross Gay (Contributor), Vanessa German (Contributor), Gabrielle Giffords (Foreword), Colin Goddard (Contributor), Amber Goodwin (Contributor), John Grauwiler (Contributor), Dan Gross (Contributor), Robert Hass (Contributor), Dennis Henigan (Contributor), Juan Felipe Herrera (Contributor), Kevin Hertzog (Contributor), Bill Hicok (Contributor), Brenda Hillman (Contributor), Jane Hirshfield (Contributor), Nicole Hockley (Contributor), Leanne Howe (Contributor), Major Jackson (Contributor), Mark Kelly (Foreword), Lee Keylock (Contributor), Michael Klein (Contributor), Yusef Komunyakaa (Contributor), Clai Lasher-Sommers (Contributor), Dana Levin (Contributor), Kiki Leyba (Contributor), Ada Limón (Contributor), Patricia Maisch (Contributor), Debra Marquart (Contributor), Jennifer Mascia (Contributor), Jamaal May (Contributor), Lucy McBath (Contributor), Pastor Michael McBride (Contributor), Colum McCann (Introduction), Jill McDonough (Contributor), Ashlyn Melton (Contributor), Wayne Miller (Contributor), Jessica Pollack Mindich (Contributor), Darchel Mohler (Contributor), Jacob Mohler (Contributor), Ronnie Mosley (Contributor), Chris Murphy (Contributor), Po Kim Murray (Contributor), Carol Muske-Dukes (Contributor), Jack Myers (Contributor), Iran Nazario (Contributor), Stacey Newman (Contributor), Naomi Shihab Nye (Contributor), Matthew Olzmann (Contributor), Khary Penebaker (Contributor), Rev. Michael L. Pfleger (Contributor), Meghan Privitello (Contributor), Joe Quint (Contributor), Kate Ranta (Contributor), Roger Reeves (Contributor), Samaria Rice (Contributor), Judi Richardson (Contributor), Rev. Sharon Risher (Contributor), Liz Rosenberg (Contributor), Kim Parker Russell (Contributor), Renan Salgado (Contributor), Michael Skolnik (Contributor), Danez Smith (Contributor), Patricia Smith (Contributor), Christopher Soto (Contributor), Tess Taylor (Contributor), Caren Teves (Contributor), Lt. Brian Thiem (Contributor), Natasha Trethewey (Contributor), Ocean Vuong (Contributor), Shannon Watts (Contributor), Afaa Michael Weaver (Contributor), Daniel Webster (Contributor), Eddie Weingart (Contributor), Dr. Leana S. Wen (Contributor), David Wheeler (Contributor), Francine Wheeler (Contributor), Camiella Williams (Contributor), Jody Williams (Contributor), Antonius Wiriadjaja (Contributor), Robert Wrigley (Contributor), DeAndra Yates (Contributor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
473473,876 (4)12
A powerful call to end American gun violence from celebrated poets and those most impacted Focused intensively on the crisis of gun violence in America, this volume brings together poems by dozens of our best-known poets, including Billy Collins, Patricia Smith, Natalie Diaz, Ocean Vuong, Danez Smith, Brenda Hillman, Natasha Threthewey, Robert Hass, Naomi Shihab Nye, Juan Felipe Herrera, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, and Yusef Komunyakaa. Each poem is followed by a response from a gun violence prevention activist, political figure, survivor, or concerned individual, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams; Senator Christopher Murphy; Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts; survivors of the Columbine, Sandy Hook, Charleston Emmanuel AME, and Virginia Tech shootings; and Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir, and Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis. The result is a stunning collection of poems and prose that speaks directly to the heart and a persuasive and moving testament to the urgent need for gun control.… (more)
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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
Published in 2017, this book pre-dates half a dozen more incidents of gun violence on a mass scale across the country that underline its importance. This is a collection of new or relevant poems that cover all facets of gun violence from the perpetrator to the victim to those left behind to mourn or try to make sense of the tragedy. Each poem has a personal reflective response from someone whose life has been impacted by gun violence, "a call-and-response format, a church of the possible."It is an impressive collection of literature, but also dedicated people who want to see a better side of America and ensure safety of all its citizens. Though it leans left due to the sheer number of tragedies, there is representation of gun rights advocates and more importantly the call for common ground. How do we balance our freedom from the 2nd Amendment with responsible citizenship? No easy answers, but an important dialogue and a profound inquiry that shows the power of words and experience. "What poetry can do is untangle some of the 'facts' and reveal the human tissue underneath." says Colum McCann in his forward. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
This collection of poems on gun violence includes poem interpretation and commentary meant to make the case for gun control in America. While not everyone will agree with the premises presented, the book provides another avenue to open discussion on what drives the want for control or no control of weapons.

I was randomly chosen to receive this book. I was under no obligation to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. ( )
  bemislibrary | Nov 12, 2018 |
A powerful collection in call-and-response format (a poem is followed by a response). Strongly anti-violence and heavily - but not completely - anti-gun. Many voices.

Quotes

Introduction, Colum McCann

Poetry calls out for us to be inclusive. (xx)

We are forced, in literature, to make the empathetic leap into the realm of someone else. (xxi)

"Morning Shooting" by Jimmy Santiago Baca

...life hits black ice and spins out sometimes,
I tell myself, but that doesn't mean we're lost,
doesn't mean the spinning will never end....

...the hour makes its rounds like a jailer...

"Bullet Points" by Jericho Brown

I promise that if you hear
Of me dead anywhere near
A cop, then that cop killed me.

"In Two Seconds" by Mark Doty (for Tamir Rice, 2002-2014)
the boy's face
climbed back down the twelve-year tunnel
of its becoming, a charcoal sunflower
swallowing itself. Who has eyes to see,
or ears to hear? If you could see
what happens fastest, unmaking,
the human irreplaceable, a star
falling into complete gravitational
darkness from all points of itself, all this:
the held loved body into which entered
milk and music, honeying the cells of him...
...when behind every tributary
poured into him comes rushing backward
all he hasn't been yet.

"[11 Gunshots]" by Vanessa German
...no one knows the language of these mornings the way that we do. how do you walk the child to the bus stop. who will call the fourth grade teacher. to tell them. listen. today. _____ is going to be different. may. need. more. ____. or. ____. please. accommodate this trauma. with. more. love and deep listening.

We must challenge every politician who thinks it's easier to ask an elementary school teacher to stand up to a gunman with an AR-15 than it is to ask themselves to stand up to a gun lobbyist with a checkbook. -Colin Goddard, VA Tech survivor, response to "Throwing A Life Line"

Perhaps the real question is not why are our children getting killed, but why are we standing by watching? -Rev. Michael L. Pfleger, response to "the bullet was a girl"

Activism is what love looks like in public. -John Grauwiler, response to "All the Dead Boys Look Like Me"

Scientific studies show that violence spreads from person to person, just like other communicable diseases. Just like other diseases, violence has a treatment and a cure. And it can be prevented, using the same public health approaches we take to other diseases...
Taking a public health approach to violence is how we can ensure that where our children live no longer determines whether they live.
-Leana S. Wen, response to "Something It's Taken Thirty Years to Write" ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 17, 2018 |
Showing 3 of 3
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clements, BrianEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rader, DeanEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Teague, AlexandraEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ahmed, SharbariContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arnold, NickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baca, Jimmy SantiagoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barnes, AzizaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Begg III, Dr. William V.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Betts, Reginald DwayneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blanco, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bosley, PamelaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bray, TaraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, JerichoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, Rev. HenryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clements, AbbeyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Collins, BillyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crasso, YvonneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dargan, KyleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dees-Thomases, DonnaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Delus, MarieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dias-Porter, JoelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Diaz, NatalieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doty, MarkContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dove, RitaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eady, CorneliusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Espada, MartínContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Everitt, LaddContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Faizullah, TarfiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fitzpatrick, JamesonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Flynn, NickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frank, MonteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frank, Rebecca MorganContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gailey, AmandaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gay, RossContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
German, VanessaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giffords, GabrielleForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goddard, ColinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goodwin, AmberContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grauwiler, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gross, DanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hass, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Henigan, DennisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Herrera, Juan FelipeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hertzog, KevinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hicok, BillContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hillman, BrendaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hirshfield, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hockley, NicoleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Howe, LeanneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, MajorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kelly, MarkForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keylock, LeeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Komunyakaa, YusefContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lasher-Sommers, ClaiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levin, DanaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leyba, KikiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Limón, AdaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maisch, PatriciaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marquart, DebraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mascia, JenniferContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
May, JamaalContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McBath, LucyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McBride, Pastor MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCann, ColumIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McDonough, JillContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Melton, AshlynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, WayneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mindich, Jessica PollackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mohler, DarchelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mohler, JacobContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mosley, RonnieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murphy, ChrisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murray, Po KimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Muske-Dukes, CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Myers, JackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nazario, IranContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Newman, StaceyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nye, Naomi ShihabContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Olzmann, MatthewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Penebaker, KharyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pfleger, Rev. Michael L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Privitello, MeghanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Quint, JoeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ranta, KateContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reeves, RogerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rice, SamariaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Richardson, JudiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Risher, Rev. SharonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rosenberg, LizContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Russell, Kim ParkerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Salgado, RenanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Skolnik, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, DanezContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, PatriciaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Soto, ChristopherContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Taylor, TessContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Teves, CarenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thiem, Lt. BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Trethewey, NatashaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vuong, OceanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Watts, ShannonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weaver, Afaa MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Webster, DanielContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weingart, EddieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wen, Dr. Leana S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wheeler, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wheeler, FrancineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, CamiellaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, JodyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wiriadjaja, AntoniusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wrigley, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yates, DeAndraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A powerful call to end American gun violence from celebrated poets and those most impacted Focused intensively on the crisis of gun violence in America, this volume brings together poems by dozens of our best-known poets, including Billy Collins, Patricia Smith, Natalie Diaz, Ocean Vuong, Danez Smith, Brenda Hillman, Natasha Threthewey, Robert Hass, Naomi Shihab Nye, Juan Felipe Herrera, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, and Yusef Komunyakaa. Each poem is followed by a response from a gun violence prevention activist, political figure, survivor, or concerned individual, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams; Senator Christopher Murphy; Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts; survivors of the Columbine, Sandy Hook, Charleston Emmanuel AME, and Virginia Tech shootings; and Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir, and Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis. The result is a stunning collection of poems and prose that speaks directly to the heart and a persuasive and moving testament to the urgent need for gun control.

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