UCU Strike: a list of poems about work

A small black dog lying on a patch of sun on a big bed

Today was not a normal day of work for me. Instead of teaching my amazing students, I chose to participate in the UCU industrial action over attacks on pay, working conditions and pensions.

I have blogged about this issue before, in 2018, which included a series of poems about work and working.

Today, in support of the strike, I collect them all in one place for the first time.

What Work Is, by Philip Levine

Invisible Work, by Alison Luterman

Calling Him Back from Layoff, by Bob Hicok

Things I Learned at University, by Kate Bingham

Day of Song, Day of Silence, by Ada Limón

The Way Things Work, by Jorie Graham

Try to Praise the Mutilated World, by Adam Zagajewski

Five Minutes Of Work 4.23.2009, by Margaret Alice

from Cats and a Cock, by Muriel Rukeyser

from A New Guide, by Kenneth Koch

An Horatian Notion, by Thomas Lux

Diving into the Wreck, by Adrienne Rich


  1. Power to your elbow.
    Contemptuous attitude towards learners and teachers at all levels. No respect for time required for preparation and scrutiny. Or the emotional resilience required to inspire and provide guidance.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for this wonderful collection of poems, Anthony.
    And good luck to all of you who know the true value of your labour and who are on strike.


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