Sunday, February 11, 2007


Linh Dinh & Frank Sherlock on the streets of Philadelphia

One of the lessons I think anyone learned who came into the orbit of the late Gil Ott is that, outside of the writing itself, virtually all of the other tasks of the poetry are identical to those of community organizing. That’s something that Gil taught primarily through example, but its impact on the next generation of poets in Philadelphia has been profound, which in turn has not only had a lot to do with the renaissance of poetry here, but even, I daresay, the kinds of poetry being written & associated with the region.

One of the writers who clearly has learned this lesson well is Frank Sherlock, longtime host of the reading series at La Tazza, whose day job until recently had been working with a nonprofit to ensure that kids in Philadelphia schools get healthy food to eat rather than just high fructose corporate profit margins. Awhile back, Frank took some time off to go down to New Orleans, help out a little & see what’s become of the city that’s a monument to George Bush’s domestic agenda. When he got back, however, Frank fell ill. C.A. Conrad tells what happened next:

Our good friend Frank Sherlock was rushed to the hospital January 22nd with a sudden and mysterious illness which turned out to be a serious case of meningitis. He needed emergency surgery, and also suffered a heart attack and kidney failure as a result of symptoms related to the illness.

The timing could not be worse as this attack of meningitis happened during the two month window in which Frank is without health insurance.

His friends have come together to help raise money at this critical time. We are reaching out to other friends and the poetry community on Frank's behalf. Please consider sending donations for his hospital bills, physical therapy, as well as his very expensive medications and other needs.

Thanks to the generosity of Juliana Spahr you can now send checks for the Frank Sherlock EMERGENCY FUND which will be tax deductible!

c/o J. Spahr
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94613

and these checks will be tax deductible.
Thanks so much! Your donations are very much appreciated!


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