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This image is of Peggy (R), then a 19 year-old SNCC member, next to future civil rights icon, Dr. Dorothy Cotton (L), after a 1962 church burning in Georgiathe state that Peggy's great-great grandparents, William & Ellen Craft, famously escaped from enslavement nearly 115 years earlier...


S P E C I A L 

W O R D...O R  T W O...O R  T H R E E...



Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely

Dr. Dorothy Cotton


Once again,  I must apologize for not updating sooner, but I have three special words to share. The first is that in April I had the honor of joining acclaimed author, Ilyon Woo, author of Master, Slave, Husband, Wife (Simon & Schuster)—the lauded book on my great-great-grandparents William & Ellen Craft—at the renowned Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. In addition to our photo below at the event, please also see the wonderful segment about William & Ellen featuring Ilyon and myself on CBS Sunday Morning


The second special word is that I hope you can join me at the 2023 CariCon Conference being held this Saturday, 6/3 & Sunday, 6/4 at USC. My panel is on Sunday at 12:30 pm, and entitled Marronage: Literature of Resistance, that also includes a discussion on my great-great-grandparents' 1860 book, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom.


Finally, downthread is my latest poem, "Rugged Waters", that I felt compelled to write due to the issues surrounding the debt ceiling bill...

Ilyon with Peggy.jpg


by Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely

Winter has not melted

Hearts we had hoped

Were no longer

Frozen in positions



Rather Spring came


Resolute, persistent

Barely looking over its shoulder.


The Congress of Congestion

Nearly wrought havoc once again.

And yet the tendrils of hope\poke

Up through the mire of

Arguments on floors meant for compromise

Not battle.

This Nation, our fragile home

Flails and fumbles

Inches its way forward

Fraught as it is with whispers of war.

Yet clearly dialogue and the bells of Wall Street

Prevail despite

Or because of

The rising tide of the unhoused,

The stand-off between neighbors

The turmoil in our families, in our hearts

The climate of impending uncertainty on Earth

And in our harrowed halls of Justice.


Maybe it is the persistence of a wholly decency

An invisible and invincible aspiration

Which yet prevails


If only until the next session

Halts secession

And we reach hands across aisles and miles

To smile at one another and share

The avocado green of yet another provisional harvest season.

© 2023 Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely. All rights reserved.

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