Saturday, December 8, 2007

Marilyn Buck

Marilyn Buck 00482-285
Carswell FMC
PO Box 27137
Ft. Worth, TX 76127

U.S. political prisoner and poet Marilyn Buck translated and wrote a nuanced introduction to "State of Exile," an essay and poems by Uruguayan Cristina Peri Rossi, now exiled in Barcelona. It is published by City Lights Books as part of its Pocket Poet series

"State of Exile is a haunting work that sat for decades, awaiting, like cicadas, its proper season. That time is now." -- Mumia Abu-Jamal

For more information, see

In the window of City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco – the poet's dream come true!

Rescue The Word. 2001. Friends of Marilyn Buck, % LSPC, 1540 Market St., #490; San Francisco, CA 94102. Noted prison poet Buck's first chapbook of her own work. Conscious, poignant, internationalist and consistently revolutionary. Paper, 22 pages.

From the title poem:

"sacred words are in danger
fugitives, they seek cover
bury themselves alive
shamed by the profane purposes
they are forced to serve
dressed in lily-white lies

"sing them        shout them
teach them
wear them
around your neck
amulets against amnesia"

Wild Poppies: A poetry jam across prison walls. 2004. Freedom Archives, Poets and musicians honor political prisoner Marilyn Buck, reading 46 of her poems and their own. Hear South African poet laureate Dennis Brutus and a host of others including Amiri Baraka, Genny Lim, devorah major, Vini Bhansali, Mariann Wizard, Akwasi Evans, Samsara, Carlos Quiles, Piri Thomas, Aya de Leon, Kwame Ture, and Marilyn herself, reading her work over the censored telephone lines of the Federal Correctional Institute at Dublin, CA. Compact disc.

Hear a sample cut of Marilyn reading now:

Marilyn grew up in Austin, attended school at the University of California at Berkeley, and later returned to Austin for a short time, where she hung around The Rag and appeared anonymously in its pages, although she didn't write any articles for it. Later she went to Chicago and edited Students for a Democratic Society's national newsletter, New Left Notes, then back to California, where she became an active member of Newsreel and a trusted supporter of San Francisco's militant Black Liberation forces. She had been imprisoned on a variety of charges off and on since the early 70s, except for several years spent as a fugitive, living life "underground". While in prison, she completed two college degrees and maintained a lively correspondence. She taught literacy to other women prisoners, and had participated, while imprisoned, in fund-raising walks for women with AIDS and other solidarity events. Sadly, Marilyn died on 3 August 2010 at the home of her attorney Soffiyah Elija in New York, just nineteen days after being released from prison. For more detail about her passing, click here. There is also a tribute page located at

In addition to her poetry, Marilyn was a gifted ceramic artist

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