On the day Dr. Martin Luther King was buried, Gerald McCarthy was officially discharged from the Marines, having served in Vietnam. After the Iowa Writers Workshop, the poet Dave Kelly got him involved in teaching poetry workshops inside Attica Prison. At the same time he taught writing in migrant-labour camps county jails and in inner city schools. In those years, he began to understand how poverty, class and race had been central issues in the war in Vietnam and in the other struggles he witnessed afterwards.
Gerald’s poem, Burdock, is in An Outbreak of Peace.