Cover for Kalar: Papermill: Poems, 1927-35. Click for larger image


Poems, 1927-35

The gritty landscape and language of the working man from a great forgotten writer

Unlike many of the protest poets of the Depression era, Joseph Kalar lived the workingman's life he wrote about. Though he produced some of the finest social protest writing of his era, the circumstances of Kalar's life--his tireless work in the unions, his long hours at the mill--meant that he wrote only occasionally and never published a book. Papermill is Kalar's most famous poem, a stark description of a shut-down factory. First published in 1931, the poem was praised by Max Eastman as "the rarest jewel so far produced by the ferment in America called proletarian poetry--and it is pure art."

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