by Andrea Walls
Thread Makes Blanket
On May 13, 1985, a Philadelphia Police Department helicopter dropped a bomb onto a row home at 6221 Osage Avenue, the headquarters of the group MOVE. Eleven people lost their lives, five of them children, and inexplicably, despite heavy fire department presence, 61 houses on the block burned to the ground.
Writer Andrea Walls grew up just blocks away from the bombing and witnessed its aftermath, and now, a quarter century later, she's telling the story of that night into morning through her poetry. Walls' chapbook, "Ultraviolet Catastrophe" examines the events from all sides, even at times transporting the reader into the mind of the helicopter pilot that dropped the bomb. With empathy, bravery and electric twists of phrase that speak to her project as both poet and witness, Walls brings light to this crucial moment in West Philadelphia history.