Matriot (ma’ – tri – at) noun 1. One who loves his or her country. 2. One who loves and protects the people of his or her country. 3. One who perceives national defense as health, education, and shelter for all people in his or her country, and the world.
(Orig. FPA, 1991)
“These poems touch and explore the core of human existence the wars, the illnesses, but also the love, the courage, the defiance, of which her own writing is an example. Her definition of “matriot” alone makes it worthwhile opening the book.”— Howard Zinn, author of People’s History of the United States
“If national defense is the issue, why not, as poet-activist Frances Payne Adler suggests, a ‘national defense’ budget that defends the people through affordable health, education, and shelter for everyone?”— Adrienne Rich, from Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations
“Fierce and protective, these are urgent poems for an urgent time. Adler infuses her lyrical and narrative landscape with unexpected definitions, statistics, quotes, and even a graph, to give us a glimpse of something larger.”— Diana Garcia, author of When Living Was a Labor Camp, winner of the American Book Award, 2001
Why a Second Edition?
— Excerpt from Preface, Making a Matriot, Second Edition, 2017
“Why a second edition? “The Matriot is even more relevant now,” my publisher says. Actually, the collection was just as relevant when it was first published. But it wasn’t yet happening to him. And to many of us.
Let me tell you a story behind just one of the poems, “The Hearing.” Welfare reform was being rolled out in Wisconsin in 1995, and was about to roll across the country. Many of my Women’s Studies students were about to be cut from their classes. “These cuts have been going on in our communities for a very long time,” one of my African American students said to me after I read the poem at the hearing, “It’s just now reaching you folks.”
Since the November 2016 election, the callousness of the new government is affecting more and more of our communities, and the matriot word and concept are spreading…”