William Boyer
The Detroit Blackout Power without Power

Our backyard bonfire crackles, dimly lighting the faces of neighbors and their dogs emerging from the shadows. Secure with our bottled water, red wine and campfire grill, over a dozen of us trade clumsily barbecued chicken, whitefish, and green peppers, along with vignettes of the worst power outage in American history.


William Boyer
From Angels Leaving Sepsis


It is time you knew

I am guilty of the following charges:

Attempting to lead an unarmed insurrection,

33 unpaid parking tickets (to date)

compulsive jaywalking,

second helpings with my fingers,

embezzlement of milk money for 45-rpm records,

forced humor,

passing on sensitive information,


William Boyer
Stumbling Upon Public School Utopias Tales from two front lines

Part One: Utopia Outlined

February 1999: I’m pivoting on my desk, basking in a student-led discussion, momentarily featuring a couple of black-clad teenagers contrasting the ideological differences between Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid with Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

The twenty alert faces of the elective “Russian Social Anarchism,” stretch about the carpeted room, where Pilot pens race across lined paper as if there are only seconds left to write before our CD musical segue into Chumbawamba, while a girl with cropped pink hair raises her hand, eager for the previous student to call upon her.


John Brinker
William Boyer

Francisco Ferrer & the Free Education Movement

Today, the concept of a free school has many connotations. It can mean the freedom to choose what to learn or whether to learn at all. But whatever we mean by free, we can’t really discuss the free schools of today without some background in the Modern School movement that began more than a century ago.


William Boyer
“Detroit” The Film More Horror Story Than History

a review of

Detroit (2017)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

143 min.

The misnamed film “Detroit” is more about a triple slaying by police than the city’s 1967 Rebellion. It first opened in the Motor City in July, and then nationwide 50 years to the day of the final riot fatality, a firefighter electrocuted trying to put out one of the last of the smoldering fires.