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Undocumented: An Evening with the Poets Laureate of Pennsylvania

This May, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore and Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel are pleased to welcome the Poets Laureate of Pennsylvania to present their new collection, Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice.


Several current and former Poets Laureate will read their work from the collection, including Heather Thomas of Berks County, Sandra Fees of Berks County, Carla Christopher of the City of York, Barbara Buckman Strasko of Lancaster County and Rick Kearns of the City of Harrisburg. Each of these poets is known locally and nationally for their lyrical talents along with their commitment to justice.

About the Book:

Focusing on contemporary issues, Undocumented showcases a large collection of regional poets laureate writing on subjects critical to understanding social justice. Includes writing by seventy-eight poets and organized around themes from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide,” this collection calls on readers to act on behalf of victims of social injustice.


"Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice is an inspiring gift of wisdom, grit, and resolve. These celebrated poets have created what Adrienne Rich calls a “cairn of . . . intention.” Radical to the root, this soul-searing collection, sharp as singing knives and hot as fired stones, calls for justice and action: we must learn to heal one another in this precious, broken world".
Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Poet Laureate, 2005–2009, Halifax, Nova Scotia
"Riekki and Scarpino’s Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice speaks to the tangible way in which poets laureate can raise awareness of key social justice areas in the places where they live, work, and write. Its arrival is timely, given the often negative and sometimes apathetic state of our current social and political climate, when poets and writers are even more and more needed to shine light into darker spaces. These poems witness real injustices in our world but still sing with hope. This is the power of good poetry."
Kim Fahner, Poet Laureate, 2016–2018, Sudbury, Ontario
" In Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice, Great Lakes poetry washes our souls from the tiredness of the long roads we crossed and makes our journey worth it. Like water, it flows and, without discrimination, reflects our faces one by one.
Dunya Mikhail, 2001 recipient of the United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing"
"This unique anthology taps into the poetry of social justice by poets laureate from the Great Lakes region. In selecting specific poems by Great Lakes poets, Riekki and Scarpino connect their work with the larger, important aspects of social justice. The collection is fresh, very timely, and extremely insightful, and serves as a clarion call to our nation."
M. L. Liebler, Poet Laureate, St. Clair Shores, Michigan