Al Young title

WORKING WORDS: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams | Edited and introduced by M.L. Liebler


Just out from Coffee House Press | Fall 2010

Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams

Edited and introduced by M.L. Liebler

Paperback: 563 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1566892481
ISBN-13: 978-1566892483

© Linda Koutsky: Cover photo, cover and book design

M.L. Liebler

M. L. Liebler is the poet laureate of America’s working class. The collection he has assembled rings out with truth, intensity and love. In a world full of despair, it is comforting to have writers so gifted and generous singing our song of rebellion and hope. Make no mistake about it: the voices of the working class are shut down and snuffed out—and for good reason. Should they truly be heard, all hell might break loose. This book is the kind of spark we need these days—a rich, intense and inspiring collection for and about those who get their hands dirty every single day so the wealthy elite never have to. At least for now.” — Michael Moore

“This book is not ‘fresh-air.’ It is a mighty wind. . . . While the nightly news continues to ‘do the numbers,’ as if we were all investors, here’s the larger part—the real grit and savor of American life. Spelled out in plain English.”— Peter Coyote


From the White Stripes’ “The Big Three Killed My Baby” to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”; from the folk anthems of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie to the poems of Walt Whitman and Amiri Baraka; from the stories of Willa Cather and Bret Lott to the rabble-rousing work of Michael Moore—this transcendent volume touches upon all aspects of working-class life.

A collection about living while barely making one, about layoffs and picket lines, about farmers, butchers, miners, waitresses, assembly-line workers, and the “Groundskeeper Busted Reading in the Custodial Water Closet,” this is literature by the people and for the people.

Amiri Baraka
Bonnie Jo Campbell
Willa Cather
Andrei Codrescu
Dorothy Day
Emily Dickinson
Diane di Prima
Bob Dylan
Woody Guthrie
Allison Adelle
Hedge Coke
Lolita Hernandez
Philip Levine
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Bret Lott
Thomas Lux
Thomas Lynch
Michael McClure
Michael Moore
Mark Nowak
Edward Sanders
John Sayles
Quincy Troupe
Mick Vranich
Diane Wakoski
Jack White
Walt Whitman
Al Young

. . . and many more

— a taste of the very last piece in this juicy new anthology

Booker T. & the MG’s, 1962

Al Young

For a splendid surprise, click gently on the text below

© 1982 and 2010 by Al Young


Leave a Reply