This is the first-ever anthology of American labor poetry of the Great Depression. You Work Tomorrow provides a glimpse into a relatively unkwn aspect of American literary and labor history - the remarkable but largely forgotten poems published in union newspapers during the turbulent 1930s. Members of all unions - including auto-workers, musicians, teachers, tenant farmers, garment workers, artists, and electricians - wrote thousands of poems during this period that described their working, living, and political conditions. From this wealth of material, John Marsh has chosen poetry that is both aesthetically appealing and historically relevant, dispelling the myth that labor poetry consisted solely of amateurish and predictable sloganeering. A foreword by contemporary poet Jim Daniels is followed by John Marsh's substantive introduction, detailing the cultural and political significance of union poetry. This anthology offers a unique opportunity for a wide range of readers, including literary critics, labor historians, union members, and general readers to learn how an earlier generation of workers confronted and challenged injustice and inequality.
John Marsh is Assistant Director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and Lecturer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.