Our Journal: The Working-Class Poetry Issue

In December 2020, we published a special issue of The Journal of Working-Class Studies: the Working-Class Poetry Issue. Featuring poems about factory working conditions, working as a garbage collector, as well as the experiences of Indigenous Australian and queer Arab working-class poets, the issue also offers several book reviews and essays about working-class art, culture, and poetry.

Editors Sarah Attfield (University of Technology Sydney), Liz Guiffre (University of Technology Sydney), and Jen Vernon (Sierra College) write of the issue:

WORKING-CLASS POETRY PLAYS WITH LANGUAGE AND OFTEN UTILISES A WORKING-CLASS VERNACULAR. THERE MIGHT BE SLANG OR CODE-SWITCHING BETWEEN LANGUAGES AND THERE WILL BE THE RHYTHM OF EVERYDAY SPEECH. TO ENHANCE OUR COMMUNICATION, WE MIGHT NEED TO DEVELOP AN UPDATEABLE GLOSSARY OF KEY-TERMS AS MANY USE VERNACULAR EXPRESSIONS TO SAY WHAT THEY MEAN, BEAUTIFULLY. AND THE EVERYDAY OFTEN DOMINATES WORKING-CLASS POETRY. POEMS ABOUT WORK, ABOUT HOME, ABOUT FAMILY REVEAL MUCH ABOUT HOW CLASS WORKS. THESE POEMS DON’T RELY ON ABSTRACT IDEAS – THEY GROUND THEM IN PALPABLE EXPERIENCE AND REVEAL THE CONCRETE, THE SPECIFIC AND THE SMALL DETAILS THAT SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT WHAT IT IS LIKE TO REALLY BE WORKING CLASS.

Check out the poetry issue and our current call for papers!

Last call for nominations!

The Working-Class Studies Association calls for nominations for our annual awards. To be eligible, works must have been published (in the case of books or articles) or completed (in the case of films and dissertations) between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Nominations are due no later than January 31, 2021.

View the 2020 Call for Awards here.

Check out our list of previous winners here!

Reminder: Call for WCSA AWARDS

The Working-Class Studies Association calls for nominations for our annual awards. To be eligible, works must have been published (in the case of books or articles) or completed (in the case of films and dissertations) between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Nominations are due no later than January 31, 2021.

Arts Council Grant for an Archive of Working-Class Writing

At-large steering committee member, Dr. Emma Penney, has received a Literature Project Award in English from the Arts Council of Ireland. She will carry out a collaborative project with poet Sophie Meehan and digital artist Áine O’Hara. This project team will curate an online archive of community publications from the 1970s and 1980s as well as creating a living and growing archival space for work produced by community writing groups today. The aim of the project is to recover and amplify the voices of working-class writers and independent collectives whose creative output has remained uncollected, unread and unconsulted for decades. The team hope that this dynamic archive will enact a lost history and validate working-class creative futures. The archive will become an important resource for the representation and amplification of working-class voices in Ireland, with potential to inspire international comparative studies. Contact Dr. Penney for more information at <emma.penney@ucdconnect.ie>.