Heather McHugh is the author of several books of poetry, including Eyeshot, The Father of Predicaments, and Hinge & Sign: Poems 1968-1993. For over 20 years, she has served as a visiting faculty member in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
THIS WEEK’S ARCHIVE PICK
by Anne P. Beatty
As L.A. teachers prepare to go on strike, we’re revisiting an essay by Anne P. Beatty about her time teaching high school in South Central Los Angeles, where her homeroom class often paused for a moment of silence to mourn students who had died in drive-by shootings. Her students knew that this was not the case in wealthier school districts. “They knew that somewhere there were schools with computers that worked, just as they knew that somewhere it was safe to walk through the streets at night,” Beatty writes. “They knew it wasn’t normal for 16-year-olds to die.” But what she found shocking, her students had to learn to endure. “Apathy was involved in giving in to the violence, and there was despair over the prospect of a better future.”