"Teach Us That Peace" opens a door on a dramatic American moment when a vision of racial harmony began to be more than a dream. From the summer of 1962, when the powers in Albany, Georgia, stymie Martin Luther King Jr. and aerial photographs first reveal missiles in Cuba, to the March on Washington in August, 1963, Susan and Arthur Mermelstein, mother and son, high school English teacher and high school student, journey from sheltered innocence through the contradictions and complexities of race, politics, and history. With humor,tenderness, and candor Teach Us That Peace captures the vivid darkness and fraught determination of a time when apocalypse was tangible and convulsive protest a constant presence. The Baltimore that Susan and Arthur inhabit is supremely local yet anywhere in the United States where people started to look twice at what they had taken too long for granted.
The author of more than a dozen books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and former poet laureate of the state of Maine, Baron Wormser has received the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry and the Kathryn A. Morton Prize along with fellowships from Bread Loaf, the National Endowment for the Arts,and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Wormser teaches in the Fairfield University MFA Program and lives in Cabot, Vermont.