As my readers will remember, last November marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Detroit Artists Workshop, a seminal collective of cultural workers I’m proud to have been a part of.
This coming June will mark the 50th anniversary of the Artists Workshop Press, which published my first books of poetry. And to celebrate my half a century as a poet and writer I have collected 25 poems & 25 writings for Its All Good: A John Sinclair Reader, which I hope to see published in an American edition this year, and hopefully by the publisher of this magazine for which I've written a column each month for the past four years.
Now I’m in the process of presenting excerpts from It’s All Good in this column, and this month’s episode is a look at the Detroit Artists Workshop by two of the founding members several months after its creation. This article has been edited from its original appearance in a magazine called New University Thought.
In the context of this column, it’s worthwhile to note that the Detroit Artists Workshop was a hotbed of weed smoking. We were breathing together to forge a creative conspiracy in the decrepit city of Detroit.
As we've seen in a previous installment of this column, the Detroit Narcotics Squad pinpointed the Artists Workshop and this writer as dangerous factors opposed to their utter control of the life of the city, and they caused us a world of pain in which we continued to make our art and organize ourselves for effective cultural action.
Finally, I gave the two joints in my famous marijuana case to an undercover policewoman—at the Artists Workshop.