Norman Stockwell Profiles Si Kahn in the Progressive

Under the title “Art as a Hammer to Shape the World: Folksinger Si Kahn raises the question ‘Can Poetry Change the World?'” venerable publisher Norm Stockwell examined the work of Si, Emma’s Revolution, and the late Don West in the venerable left-leaning magazine The Progressive.

Stockwell wrote: “Well, if music could only bring peace, I’d only be a musician,” sang Pete Seeger in his 1967 song “Letter to Eve.” In an essay in a forthcoming University Press of Kentucky re-issue of the classic [Don West] book Clods of Southern Earth, folksinger Si Kahn raises a related question: “Can Poetry Change the World?”…..
“’A lot of people say, oh, music can change the world,’ says Kahn in a recent interview, during which we chat about his work and my tattered copy of West’s classic. But, he continues, ‘only if it’s accompanied by direct action organizing. People say, ‘Well, look at the civil rights movement. All those songs, didn’t they make a difference?’ I say, yes, of course they did. They sustained the people who made the movement. The songs were important. But songs alone, poetry alone, any of the arts alone, they don’t change the world. That takes organizing and direct action.’”

Read the complete article at:

Norm Stockwell

Stockwell is publisher of The Progressive. Previously, for more than 20 years, he served as WORT Community Radio’s Operations Coordinator in Madison, Wisconsin. He also coordinated the IraqJournal website in 2002-2003. In 2011, he regularly reported on protests in Madison for Iran’s PressTV and other outlets. His reports and interviews have appeared on Free Speech Radio News, DemocracyNow!, and AirAmerica, and in print in Z Magazine, the Capital Times, AlterNet, Toward Freedom, the Tico Times, the Feminist Connection, and elsewhere. He is co-editor of the book REBEL REPORTING: John Ross Speaks to Independent Journalists.

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