The Grating of America: Poems for a Democracy Ground Down by Judith S Offer
The new book of poems, “The Grating of America: Poems for a Democracy Ground Down” by Judith S. Offer includes editorial cartoons by Nick Anderson as she walks the humorous road following the orange president’s trajectory in taking down democracy.
Judith S Offer opening poem asks:
“What sort of swamp monster have we now
That clumpfs his mud across our golden prairie,
Down our constitution, over our independence?”
These are same questions we hear being asked at the current Senate impeachment trial of January 2020 when this interview was held. In our conversation, Judith Offer describes her poetic techniques, reads some of her poems, and explains why she included the cartoons. As a cartoonist’s daughter, I was very interested since poetry and cartooning are seldom bedfellows. I find that her little chapbook is very cathartic for the horrible thoughts some of us are having as we contemplate what a Trump victory in November 2020 could mean for the country, our planet, and species, thoughts we try to push aside as we go about our daily lives.
Will endless wars and rape of the earth in the name of profits be our legacy to our descendants? Will national parks become hunting grounds, oil fields, and lumber camps, and then deserts? Will our democratic institutions evolve into a fascist corporate state? Perhaps it is only though humor and irony that such thoughts can be faced.
Judith S Offer has raised two daughters, published five books of poetry and written eighteen plays. She has read her poetry at scores of poetry venues, is included in the Library of Congress series, and in “All Things Considered” on NPR.
Her writing reflects her childhood in a large Catholic family, her experience as teacher, community organizer, musician, historian, gardener, and all-purpose volunteer. She is especially fascinated with her roles as wife and mother. Currently she is working on a history play about Susan B. Anthony. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband, Stuart.
I hope in presenting this interview, we are all moved to get out the vote to Dump Trump and share this widely with family and friends.