Recently released from Texas prison: Cancer takes poet Marilyn Buck
03 August 2010
Mariann G. Wizard
AUSTIN -- Friends of long-time political prisoner, former Austinite,
and acclaimed poet Marilyn Buck, 62, were saddened by news of her
death in a New York hospital early Tuesday, August 3.
Buck was released from the federal prison medical center in Carswell,
Texas, July 15, 2010, and was paroled to New York City.
Buck served 25 years of an 80-year prison sentence for politically
motivated crimes undertaken in opposition to racial injustice and
U.S. imperialism. As a prisoner, Marilyn, while moderating her ideas
about methods, continued to stand tall for her beliefs.
A selfless advocate for others, especially in the arena of prison
medical care, Marilyn was diagnosed late last year with a uterine
sarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer, too late for treatment to save her life.
Marilyn Buck was the recipient of funds raised at a June 25 benefit
in Austin hosted by eight local groups, including NOKOA the observer
and The Rag Blog, and supported by many businesses, artists, poets,
and compassionate individuals.
While attending the University of Texas at Austin, Buck became
involved in the civil rights and anti-war movements, and worked with
SDS and the underground newspaper, The Rag. In the following years
she became increasingly committed to and active in support of the
black liberation struggle in this country.
Buck is survived by three brothers; several cousins; her long-time
counselor, Jill Soffiyah Elijah; and loving friends worldwide. Her
parents, Dr. and Mrs. Louis Buck, who both pre-deceased her, were
leading civil rights activists in Austin in the early 1960s.
According to sources close to Marilyn's family, there will not be a
funeral, but memorial gatherings will be scheduled in the future in
New York City, in California's Bay Area, and in Texas. Funds raised
for her hoped-for transition to the free world that had not been
dispersed at the time of her death will be used according to her
wishes to assist other aging prisoners.
The size of the U.S. prison population guarantees that increasing
numbers of those released after lengthy sentences will lack savings,
health insurance, or the network of friends from all walks of life
that sustained Marilyn -- and benefited from her generous, principled
spirit -- throughout her years behind bars.
Youth Emergency Service, Inc., fiscal sponsor for last month's Austin
benefit, will continue to accept tax deductible contributions through
PayPal at its website, or by check or money order, made out to YES,
Inc., at PO Box 13549, Austin, TX 78711.
Also see: [See URL for links.]
"Thorne Dreyer: Poet Marilyn Buck Freed After 25 Years in Prison" by
Thorne Dreyer / The Rag Blog / July 19, 2010
"Austin Benefit: Friends Support, Celebrate Marilyn Buck" by Mariann
G. Wizard / The Rag Blog / June 30, 2010
"Warrior-Poet Marilyn Buck: No Wall Too Tall" by Mariann G. Wizard /
The Rag Blog / May 19, 2010
And listen to Thorne Dreyer's interview with Robert King and Mariann
Wizard on Rag Radio / June 22, 2010