A HATE LETTER TO CORPORATE AMERICA.
Much ink has been spilled on the rise
in authoritarianism within American institutions,
from healthcare to universities, but how often do
we talk about this troubling trend in Corporate America?
When Dustin Grinnell was a marketing writer for a
major hospital in Boston, new managers built a team
of authoritarian leaders who demanded obedience and
punished dissenters with ridicule or termination.
A work of narrative poetry, The Velvet Ghetto
is made up of twenty-five poems that form a larger
story in verse. Grinnell began writing these poems
in 2020 after witnessing the journalist Bari Weisss
public resignation from The New York Times.
Darkly inspired by her and other independently minded
journalists, he was motivated to address the authoritarianism,
illiberalism, and censorship in his own workplace.
The poems in The Velvet Ghetto capture the
tension and erosion of the self that accompanies working
for a corporation that values obedience above all
else. Transcending Grinnells personal experience,
it gives words to the indignities all employees can
suffer in large hierarchical bureaucracies ruled by
Dustin Grinnell is a writer based in Boston. Hes
the author of The Genius Dilemma, The Empathy
Academy, and The Healing Book. He holds
an MFA in fiction from the Solstice MFA Program at
Lasell University. Learn more at dustingrinnell.com.