Matt Sedillo, City on the Second Floor
EcoJustice Radio Literary

Poetry & Politics: City on the Second Floor with Matt Sedillo


EcoJustice RadioOne of the best political poets today, Matt Sedillo discusses and recites poetry on EcoJustice Radio from his book City on the Second Floor.

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Poet Matt Sedillo: Confronting Injustice Through Poetry in an Era of Diminishing Opportunities

Confronting Inequality & Injustice – With Poet Matt Sedillo

The poetry of Matt Sedillo   — a fearless, challenging and at times even confrontational blend of humor, history and political theory — is at times a shot in the arm of pure revolutionary adrenaline. It also acts as a sobering call for the fundamental restructuring of society in the interest of people not profits. Passionate, analytical, humorous and above all sincere, Matt’s poetry revolution is a clarion call for those who know a new world is not only possible but inevitable.

Matt Sedillo has been described in ROAR Magazine as “one of the most important working-class intellectuals of our time.” On this show, Matt discusses his latest book, City on the Second Floor, published by Flowersong Press. He is a Poet and Writer in Residence at Re Arte and also author of Mowing Leaves of Grass.

Matt Sedillo, City on the Second Floor

Author Paul Ortiz wrote “Matt Sedillo’s poetic work is full of history, struggle, tragedy, anger, joy, despair, possibility and faith in the struggles of working class people to overcome the forces of capitalism and racism.”

Cambridge Professor, Thomas Jeffrey Miley called his poetry “electric, like a lightning bolt” and sees the work as a foray into Sociology, into Marxist Geography, as Sedillo roams the streets of Los Angeles, reporting what he sees and relaying what he knows. Famed journalist Greg Palast summed it up: “Sedillo is Vengeance — the one we’ve been waiting for.”

For an extended version of this show, CLICK HERE.

Matt Sedillo also has been called the “best political poet in America” as well as “the poet laureate of the struggle” by academics, poets, and journalists alike. He has appeared on CSPAN and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He is also a returning guest of EcoJustice Radio; check out episode 105 where he and fellow poet Awa Ndiaye discuss Spoken Word: Challenging Mainstream Discourse on Climate.

In the following video (and also in our interview), Sedillo recites the poem, “L.A is Full of Pigs.”

Matt Sedillo - Poet - L.A. is full of Pigs

In a sample from his book City on the Second Floor, Sedillo does not spare the liberal or multicultural exploiters, as elicited in a post from Cosmonaut Magazine. He points out that more equal ‘anti-racist’ inclusion within the current structures is not enough, and often functions as an alibi for continued oppression.

In “To Serve Hispanics,” Sedillo rebukes prevailing “Diversity, equity, inclusion” efforts that target and funnel people of color into STEM programs to benefit institutions like the Department of Defense. Such “Access and achievement” programs feature:

Boards of trustees
Safe spaces
For students
To sleep in
Parking lots
Perchance to dream
Of a way of life
That died
Decades before they were born.

To buy Matt Sedillo’s latest book, ‘City on the Second Floor’:

El Martillo Press:

Matt Sedillo, City on the Second Floor

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Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Host and Producer: Jessica Aldridge
Engineer and Original Music: Blake Quake Beats
Show Created by Mark and JP Morris
Episode 129
Image: Matt Sedillo

Published 5 March 2022, Updated 22 September 2023

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