A Democracy Divided
by Ralph J. Long Jr.
A Democracy Divided examines the sharp split that exists in the body politic of America. The first section, “answers” each amendment in the Bill of Rights with an original poem, while the second half addresses topics like origin, faith, leadership and our future. Through clever use of the abecedarian form, Long examines the stance taken by individual states and their electorates, revealing the frustration caused by a lack of empathy for others when politicians strive for election over governance.
About the Author
Ralph J. Long Jr. is a retired investment executive whose career featured extensive travel throughout the United States. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and has lived in Northern California for thirty three years. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Haverford College and did graduate business studies at New York University.
His poetry has appeared in Stoneboat Literary Journal, The Poeming Pigeon, The Ghazal Page and The Avocet. He resides in Oakland California with his wife, Liz and their sons. He is currently at work on a series of epistolary poems addressed to poets and writers that reflect on modern America, travel and his youth.
What They’re Saying . . .
“It is thrilling to read A Democracy Divided. At a time in our history when it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless, Ralph Long asks us to consider the strange yet beautiful language of our American Bill of Rights, the possibilities of formal poetry, and complicated issues of social justice and history. With a sharp eye, big-hearted intelligence, and a certain buoyant energy, the poet looks closely at our shared American situation, our ‘fervor of frightened patriotism.’ A Democracy Divided is a pertinent, powerful and original collection indeed.”
~ Caroline Goodwin, author of Peregrine and Paper Tree
“Ralph J. Long Jr. links a nation’s founding to its current crisis in an unflinching snapshot of our sociopolitical climate, and an indictment of the sensationalist figureheads who fan the flames of our slow undoing. Against a backdrop of our Bill of Rights, he shows our rights eroding beneath our country’s day-to-day inequalities. Long engages religious hypocrisy and the mental gymnastics of the politically influential and average voter alike. ‘What is the state?’ he asks, ‘Who are the people?’ His work challenges the long-term wisdom of answering, everyone who believes as we do. Long captures our now in these poems, and locks it honest and visible within this book. If only we could as skillfully capture the many tragedies that make his poems so necessary.”
~ Josh Gaines, Thoughtcrime Press, editor of Not My President: The Anthology of Dissent
Book Launch Readings:
at 1:00 pm
Poetry reading featuring Caroline Goodwin & Ralph Long
Octopus Literary Salon
2101 Webster Street