Wednesday Writing Prompts to Return on March 21; Meanwhile, Introducing Deborah Alma, Emergency Poet; “Ramingo’s Porch” and Poetry Radio

The Spirit of the House, Still Life with Cat by German Expressionist Painter, August Macke (1887-1914)



The Spirit of the House

from the painting by August Macke 1910

A smug cat, a cosy cat, a passing cat,
a blue striped jug, with the light catching

the glaze, its dazzle closes the eyes
of the cat -it is a jug of cream.

A scented geranium, red and jaunty
in a terracotta pot.

Three small oranges and a blue dish
to hold the finger rubs of friends around its rim

always, always when they come, they reach out
to stroke the leaves, to rub the dish,

to add to the stroked smug of the cat,
to peel an orange.

There they are my friends, their backs
to the wall as they bend and bow

to half heard music, from the times we danced
to the times we laughed.

A smug cat, a cosy cat, a passing cat.

© 2018, Deborah Alma (The Emergency Poet), All rights reserved


THE HEALING ADVENTURES OF POEMEDIC

An Interview

Originally published in the December 2016 issue of The BeZine

by

Mendes Biondo and Deborah Alma

If I have a headache, I generally take a pill. But are we really sure that only medicines are able to heal our illnesses? Deborah Alma, poet and poemedic, said no. Poetry can give us a great hand to face our problems, in particular those that are hidden in our deepness. We had a brief chat about Deborah’s wonderful work and this is what came out.

Mendes: The theme of this issue of The BeZine is the healing power of art. Before asking you about The Emergency Poet, I would like to know your personal experience with art self-healing.

Deborah: That’s an interesting question and quite a difficult one to answer briefly. I think my own experience is like most people’s: extremely varied, very common and often very unconscious.

The moments that stand out for me I suppose were in the compulsion I felt to write myself through and out of an abusive and damaging relationship, watching my own grandmother’s solace in reading poetry after the death of her husband and as she was dying. I remember also being overwhelmed by an exhibition in London of the works of Frieda Kahlo and how bravely she painted her pain. I have worked for a few years with people with dementia and at the end of their lives using poetry.

For me, there is no doubt that art is where we can best connect with each other in ways that are intimate, empathetic and authentic.

MENDES: Now it’s the time of the Poemedic as you like to call yourself. A white coat, a stethoscope and a poetry book are the main objects you need when you ask your patients to open themselves up and then you suggest to them the right poem. What happens when patient and poem match each other?

Deborah: Ah this has been the most amazing thing for me! I had no idea when I started prescribing poetry just how much this process can work. People love to have a poem hand-picked for them after some careful listening. They see the gift and make it their own. It seems to bring a lot of joy and sometimes relief and comfort.

Mendes: Why people are frightened about reading poems and how can people involved in culture help readers to start loving poetry?

Deborah: I think that something happens, at least in the UK in secondary school where often pupils are asked to examine texts as though they were a forensic scientist, pulling out the meaning and the poet’s intention, leaving the student with a sense that somehow poems are difficult, like a puzzle to be decoded rather than being asked to respond emotionally and intuitively. They also seem to stop writing creatively themselves and being a writer yourself is the easiest way into loving poetry.

I think that there is a certain amount of snobbery in the poetry world, that asserts that poetry is not for everyone, that likes to encourage this perception of difficulty. Certainly some poetry is ‘difficult’ and the reader is rewarded and flattered by understanding it, its clever tricks, its craft, its vocabulary; but instead of saying it is just for us few, I believe we can help others in. This comes from reading widely, from a developing confidence in approaching a poem and through being invited in. This is what I aim to do with Emergency Poet, invite them in.

Mendes: You worked also with people with dementia. How can it help, in this case, reading poetry?

Deborah: I have worked using poetry with people with dementia and also with people in care homes and in hospice care for the last five years. As a poet I do know something about what it is to be intimate and honest and authentic. The thread joining poetry and these areas of work for me is this intimacy and honesty. Poetry I believe, more than any other art, with the exception perhaps of music (and they have much in common), speaks as though directly from one human being to another. It is about connection and empathy.

Most of the people that I’ve worked with who have some degree of dementia, are from the generation that learnt poetry by heart at school. As a poet working with a small group of people in a care home or day care centre I have often had the experience described so beautifully in Gillian Clarke’s poem Miracle on St David’s Day that describes the poet reading Wordsworth’s much-loved poem Daffodils in a care setting somewhere, where the words of the poem long ago learnt by heart ignite something deep inside the mind of a long mute man:

“He is suddenly standing, silently,
huge and mild, but I feel afraid. Like slow
movement of spring water or the first bird
of the year in the breaking darkness,
the labourer’s voice recites The Daffodils.”

It is a gift and a privilege to be the one who brings this to a group of people. I worked with a group of people with sight-loss last year and as I started to read Masefield’s ‘I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky…’ and to have at least twenty voices take it up with me, one woman reciting it word perfect all the way to the end was a joy to all present and it brings a tear to my eye even now as I write this and remember it.

Mendes: Best and the worst experience you have had with the Emergency Poet?

I think the best experiences I have had with Emergency Poet, and I have had so many, was when taking the ambulance to Bristol Southmead Hospital for a few days and parking near the other ambulances and prescribing poetry to patients, stressed staff and visitors . There was something very uplifting for people , (one woman still attached to her drip and in slippers) answering questions that were gentle, uplifting and being given the gift of a poem. It worked really well there. I’m starting to work in hospices prescribing poetry, which is wonderful and intense and extremely rewarding.

Bad experiences are usually to do with bad weather, wind, rain and cold. The hardest thing for me is to prescribe poetry to people who have never really read at all, not even as children.

Mendes: We always need a box of aspirin in our pockets. Who is, for you, the poetical aspirin? Can you suggest any “everyday” poems?

Deborah: I have a few poems that I use very often; the poem I am prescribing a lot these days ( it has been a difficult year), is the beautiful poem Try to Praise the Mutilated World by Adam Zagajewski

Mendes: The ambulance is riding down the street. What and when is the next stop?

Deborah: It’s quiet over the winter because of the weather, but the next stop is to set up an inside surgery and run a workshop on compassion at a conference in London for Psychology and Psychological Therapies which will be fascinating for me. I will have fun having psycotherapists on my couch.

To know more about Deborah Alma and her work, you can visit her website The Emergency Poet, The world’s first and only mobile poetic first aid service.

© 2016, text, Mendes Biondo and Deborah Alma; All rights reserved – Published here with permission The photographic origins of the Maché painting are unclear.  It may be in the public domain. At any rate, it does not belong to me./J.D.



POETRY ON RADIO

Ramingo’s Porch

To be aired on February 27th.

The second issue of The Ramingo’s Porch is out. This publication is cofounded and coedited by Mendes Biondo. Poems from both the first and second issues are to be read on February 27 on Ellen Sander’s Poetry Woodshed Radio (Belfast Community Radio) by the poets or other readers on their behalf. (Mine is read by actor Richard Lingua. He is based in Northern California where he works in multiple fields including theatre, the arts, and technology.)  Mendes’ partners are Catfish McDaris and Marc Pietrzykowski. Submission guidelines for Ramingo’s Porch are HERE. This is a print magazine available through Amazon. The URL for Poetry Woodshed Radio is in the illustration.


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

Advertisements

“On a Passage from the Mishna” . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“There are people in the world, I imagine, who are born and die in the same town, maybe even in the same house, or bed. Creatures without migration: have they not lived a life because they have not moved? What of the migratory los González, moving from one place to another and marking every stopping place with angst? What kind of alternative is that? For once my father and I are thinking thinking the same way, sharing a similar yearning for our starting points to have been different, for our final destination to be anything other than the tearful, resentful arrival it is likely to be.” Rigoberto González, Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa


When I wrote the prompt last week, February 14, Brooklyn, In Memory Most Green, I wrote from my passion for the place to which my family immigrated and in which I grew up. I wrote from my respect for the grit I’ve almost always encountered in immigrants and refugees. I wrote from an appreciation for my country’s highest and best ideals, however much we so often fail to fulfill them. I wrote from a place of gratitude: by what unearned grace am I safe and not running for my life across some bomb-riddled landscape?

Several of the poems shared here today by poets Lisa Ashley, Paul Brookes, Mike Stone, Sonja Benskin Mesher and Anjum Wasim Dar remind me of my father’s sighs. I barely knew the man, but I do remember his lament: “a-MHE-rrreee-ka. a-MHE-rrreee-ka.” Life was hard for him in the beloved city. Contrary to the mythology of the day, the streets weren’t paved with gold. He was something of a linguist but few people knew his language, his culture, his history.

Enjoy this collection and …

Note: I am going to be moving to a new place and will put The Poet by Day on hiatus after a few more posts that are in the hopper. Hence, Wednesday Writing Prompt will not return until March 21. The March issue of The BeZine will be published on the 15th as scheduled. It’s currently in the works. Updated submission guidelines will be available on March 25 along with the next theme.


Reluctant Immigrant

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Emma Lazarus

Plaintive song sung in childhood, beloved melody that touched my heart,
Often tired, sometimes wretched, always poor, though not homeless

Before I understood the words, I knew the yearning
to belong, to fit in, to be accepted—we were outsiders

Immigrated to the west, escaped, searching for a better life
I left family behind, severed ties for years, survived

He was forced to flee the genocide, board the boat,
Fighting his friends to go to his wife and child, already dead, they said

Landed in New York, no English, cooked for men like him in the hostel
Once a proud Armenian, now a conquered, bereft, shamed man

Reluctant immigrant to a strange land, mourning his home, far away
Arranged second marriage, nine children born on a farm, a life lived, survived

Trauma lived and re-lived, DNA passed down the generations, his story lost
No golden doors for him, just a desire to blend in…and forget

Grandfather to father, father to daughter, I stop the cycle of abuse
Exiles that no God, no Lady Liberty could return home, sheltered here

Safe now, loved, loving others, a good life carved out of pain and shame
He survived that 1915 holocaust, I am, we are, his legacy, immigrants yet.

© 2018, Lisa Ashley   (www.lisaashleyspiritualdirector.com)


Refugee

is good. To belong
is wrong. Be homeless.

Mortgages and rents are chains.
Tread the world without burden.

Find a banquet in a crumb.
A glassful in a droplet.

Warmth in a newspaper blanket.
Comfort is a concrete underpass.

© 2018, Paul Brookes  (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

Refugees Rule Each

Nation. The seat of power
is one that must travel.

If it was to ever stop
the populace would revolt.

Folk who stay in one place
are a public nuisance

who don’t get rid of their own
trash, who have a reputation

as thieves from the greater majority
who are travellers. Stayers

Put pressure on others as they insist
on a place to put down roots,

occupy a piece of land when all
land is in common to be used by all.

Stayers cordon off land with fences
which restrict travel and onward journey.

From A World Where (Nixes Mate Press, 2017)

© 2017, Paul Brookes  (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

Our Edge

Each time it is a border,
an end of the road,
a new building,
where I am asked same questions
“What’s your name?
Where are you going?
Why?”

I am discovering my story,
remembering where I have
been, but I recall it as
a
border,
an end of the road,
a new building,
where I am asked same questions
“What’s your name?
Where are you going?
Why?”

© 2018, Paul Brookes  (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)

My Daddy

A soldier moves Dad
with the butt of his rifle.

“Why, Dad?”

“They don’t know where
we belong.” He says.

© 2018, Paul Brookes  (The Wombwell Rainbow, Inspiration, History, Imagination)


.. wouldst thou be pm, an abbreviation..

archaic or dialect question, in appropriate. a lowly start

with slight misgivings, i come arrived from the country, an immigrant

here.

if the task came to me unlikely, i should sew profusely. a safe bet in that

something grows decently.

do you know how to stitch a lie, when all about grow honesty? mine was

white last year,

now nothing germinates.

the question is irreverent, no disrespect meant. forgive me, this is the second

time. this time,

i shall stay.

despite my nationality.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

#russian

‘i came from another country, you know,

some time ago. i lived in the jungle’

yes.

‘i have been here so long, i feel i belong’

yes.

‘ they call me an immigrant’

said the bear, sadly.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

.shopping in town.

wednesday, the shops shut early.

here.

there are still tourists around.

or new people. i bought some sweets,
a thimble,a packet of screws, one
light bulb.

chatted about face book in the mongers.

i moved here in 1993. I am an immigrant.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

. the questionaire .

is this a mill, or is it a shop,
is it both, when did the looms stop?

twenty years now sir, yet you can see some
working elsewhere.

shall i write it down, all the pattern,
and most of the history? it has different fibres,
yet mainly wool in it.

these are made in yorkshire, the bags are italian,
yet i am from wales, an immigrant they say, yet we
are all from another place originally.

we came from the sea.

so let us move things about.

cloth by cloth.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)

 

. another country .

grandma came from malta, or was it

gibraltar, anyhow dad was very dark.

his hair remained so, with help and support.

i came from england to live here with you

#thebear.

also from another country.

i hear there is trouble in the village.

yes. i am scared they will shout

and say go home.

another country.

© 2018, Sonja Benskin Mesher  (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA and Sonja’s Drawings)


On a Passage from the Mishna
….(Raanana, November 17, 2017)

It is written that whoever saves a life
It’s as though he saved a world
And whoever snuffs out a life
It’s as though he snuffed out a world,
And why is that?
It’s because that when we walk
We walk with an entire world in front of us
And we walk with a whole world behind us
On either side of us
Above and below us
So we are six worlds saved or destroyed
And who can know from whence will come the savior
How he’ll look or what he’ll do,
So whoever saves a life
It’s as though he saved himself
And whoever kills a life
It’s as though he killed himself.

Note:
The fourth chapter of the Mishnaic tractate of Sanhedrin “whoever destroys a single life … is considered … to have destroyed the whole world and whoever saves a single life … is considered … to have saved the whole world” sometime prior to 250 A.D.

© 2017, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

A Visitor
…..(Raanana, January 10, 2018)

A multiplication table,
Two times two is four,
She could read a multiplication table
And you’d swear it was poetry
But when she’d read you her own poem
It’d sound like her skin was torn from her soul,
Like she’d invented meaning in your mind.
She was a visitor,
She didn’t come from here.

© 2018, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

Call of the Whippoorwill
…..(Raanana, January 30, 2018)

O Whippoorwill, O Whippoorwill,
I alone do hear your plaint.
It comes from deep inside my breast,
Would that I could let it out
To fly free singing,
But no such birds exist here
In the promised land.

Note: This poem expresses how I often feel as an American-expat-Israeli-immigrant in Israel.

© 2018, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)

The Old Colossus
…..((an alternate plaque for our Statue of Liberty))
…..(Raanana, February 16, 2018)

What have I done
What
have
I
done
to warrant these insults and injuries
to our once rich lands,
our once free skies,
and our once clear waters?
You’ve stripped me of my soil,
you’ve fouled my air,
and you’ve diverted and poisoned my waters.
Have you found another land,
another sky,
or another water to love?
Or have you no soul anymore
to love any land,
any sky,
or any lake or river?
Take what you will from me
then leave me alone
and I will recover without you
but what will you do without me?
What
will you
do without
me?

[Note: This poem is addressed, not to fresh-off-the-boat-or-plane immigrants, but to those who have forgotten that they are immigrants and take their country for granted.]

© 2018, Mike Stone  (Uncollected Works)


Born in Srinagar Kashmir, migrated to adopted country Pakistan in 1950 with my mother and sister..travelling in a refugee convoy, escorted by soldiers crossed the border at Sialkot.

Title: Partition
(Inspired by T S Eliot )

August is the cruelest month, bare branches
Sprouting tiny greens,
life bursting from the lifeless,
A rising,
mixing sorrow of defeat with defiance,
Spring rain drizzles consistently,
snow suddenly surprised us
We stopped in the plains,
leaving the mountains’
Went in half daylight so we should have
Known the path,
and the unknown traversed rarely,
So we should have known the faith,
and the faithful and the Emperors of Ice creams-
Not long ago, when I was a child,
was carried across borders
frightened, slept in a camp for two nights,
-wonder how Mother felt? She never spoke
About those days, then on we
came to Murree Hills, and felt free
And I knew not, was I taking refuge or was it a
New land?
What was left in enemy hands, where
Are the roots that make a family?
Out of the masses who survived who committed
Suicide-you cannot say or guess even for you
Have seen only images and heard only broken voices
Who lost half the thought in trying to forget
Spoke not all-scenes of horror
Heaps of bodies cut and slayed
Blood splattered on trains roads and fields
Death, for a cause? Yet not so or was it?
Many went South, separated, lost, confused-
All said ‘we shall go back, one day’
The Day never came-
And then the beginning of the end-
One by one
Who has seen Spring again, after the Fall
Providence persists prevails
Acceptance and non-acceptance is, what ails
Unreal cities, unreal people, so unlike what
Was expected-
War War War and again War-
When will it end, fear strikes within
Shelter is scarce, fashion abounds and all
Is a show off! Young dead glorified
on the mini screen, what are they dying for
now? Half the barren land, minerals in ranges
The enemy changed and we thought ’this is Right-
People crowd the roads , daily beggars are children
And who said ‘we shall have enough, and peace”
Mountains and Rocks
Mountains are dangerous, no rocks will give
Shelter, there is no water, nor wells
A waste it becomes, filth in the drains overflowing
And the big man’ said’ we have worked hard’
But the mountains will not protect,
Truth is linked , Faith is strong
It will not be long when the Shadow
Will turn to Light and the darkness will go-
Go in the shadow of the mountain
Sit by the stream and clean all
The mind and soul, wash away to the sea
Impurity, or else be prepared to face,
a tsunami, or the jolts and shakes
there is still a chance-look! Be the Dance
not the dancer, in the circle of life
Come to a still point with Nature
Where nothing matters anymore-
Think and feel, help and heal, the needy
Feed the hungry, for I can see-there comes
Someone-keeps close and watches , ever present
Who leads us on unseen and the Third we say
Who helped us –its not our doing but The Mercy
Of The Merciful-
Bow bow bow –pray pray pray…
Welcome love from above , eternal peace will stay

© 2018, Anjum Wasim Dar


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

A Moral Failure; poems by Michael Dickel and Jamie Dedes written in the aftermath of shootings; protests and resources

 



“Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.” Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. from his speech, A Proper Sense of Priorities, February 6, 1968, Washington, D.C.

When we speak or write about gun control, the fingers point to second amendment rights, to the suggestion that a complex problem may resolve with the application of one strategy, or to the NRA position and lobby. Democracy is messy, but safety and citizen rights are the concerns rational people hold in common.

No matter the side on which we stand, we are guilty of a moral failure. Gun control is not going to be the entire answer. It’s a beginning and as the U.K., Australia, Japan and Germany have proven it’s a huge and rewarding beginning. I think that most who advocate gun control understand that the issues of violence in America are complex. Not the least of other initiatives would be mental health interventions, mitigating poverty and youth unemployment, creating more educational opportunities and subsidizing arts programs, revisioning our materialistic values, fostering the reimagination of masculinity, and honoring our stated religious convictions. Many of us understand gun ownership as the gateway drug to violence and murder, a contradiction to those convictions. The U.S. is predominantly a country of the Abrahamic traditions and the law we share: “Thou shalt not kill.”

– Jamie Dedes


A Priest’s Lament

i

Starting from the outside,

the labyrinth’s path moves closer,

further, closer, as it takes a poet

deviously toward the center.

 

Mosaic patterns, partly broken

by frost, perpetually bloom there.

Gray, mossed-stones line the path—

they frame the wanderer’s flower.

 

ii

We wandered that desert

for forty years. All we had

for communication were

specially designed tents

 

built from detailed plans—

each folding floorboard

and floating nail exact—

a cellular plan from God.

 

iii

That lonely God longed for

our calls, the return of a gift

we could not understand.

We just turned on each other

 

instead. We hoarded words

into locked arks as though

we owned them or understood

what they meant. We didn’t.

 

iv

We meant to know more. Ever since,

with poor reception, a limited data plan,

we still pretend we can call God

whenever we want. We pray

 

for every child shot in school

as though words could unlock

such cruelty. We pray that we

will not long be held responsible.

 

v

I long for the days before

those instructions were given,

before we built the tabernacle,

before we transformed the tent

 

to stone on top of a mountain,

before we thought we knew

what God wanted us to do,

before we decided we were priests.

 


Poem of separation (kodesh)

(vi)

A wandering God longs for us

from outside a forty-year labyrinth,

folding time, returning space, locked

into receiving words that cannot be given.

 

We thought we knew.

 

(vii)

On the seventh day, God rested.

We have not seen or heard

Creation since. Our language

overwhelms the world.

 

We thought we knew.

© 2018, poem, Michael Dickel (Meta/ Phor(e) /Play), All rights reserved (Written during the 100,000 Poets for Change 2018 Lake Jackson Poetry Residency Program)

February 23, 2018 — 7:00 pm

Poetry Reading with Michael Dickel
A Sublimatus / HamiltonSeen Production
The River Trading Company Bookstore
Facebook Page | Facebook Event
559 Barton St. East
Hamilton, ON L8L 2Z2  Canada

A note from Michael:

Stoneman High School students who survived the shooting are resisting. If you haven’t yet, see the widely shared video of one articulate student “calling” BS the excuses and people refusing to ban assault weapons through her tears. Facebook Page: March for Our Lives


Collateral Damage

bullets
……….perforated

and were laid to rest in her
sterile room on steel tables
lined-up like school children
awaiting lessons

Math

counting wounds, counting dead

Biology

which the death-dealing injury

innocent life forms wept

….trees
……..birds
…………earth
…………….sky

children

in the stillness between breaths
she boxed and stored her tears
making way for scalpel and saw

best

yes, best

to keep her heart locked-down

until . . . until

a whiskey

a bed

oblivion

©  2018, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved



POETS AND OTHERS STAND AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

At this writing, according to the Gun Violence Archive in 2018 there have been 6,975 incidents, 1,922 deaths, 3,330 injuries, 71 children killed or injured, 377 teens killed or injured, 32 mass shootings, 41 officers shot or killed, 312 subject or suspect killed, 235 home invasions, 192 defensive use of guns, and 229 unintentional shootings in the United States.

MAR21

A World With Peace: A Place to Lament and Resist Gun Violence

100,000 Poets for Change Co-founder, Michael Rothenberg and The BeZine team member, Michael Dickel, have initiated a day for poets to gather wherever they are in the world to resist violence, especially gun violence, and raise awareness of the need for appropriate gun legislation in the United States and elsewhere. Beguine Again founder and another member of The BeZine core team, Terri Stewart, Guns Don’t Save People, Poets Do founder Evelyn Agusto and I support the effort and encourage you to organize events. To publicise your events post your event on the 100,000 Poets for Change Facebook Communication Page and on The BeZine 100TPC Facebook Discussion Page. I’ll do my best to catch all and post them to The Poet by Day Facebook Page and The Bardo Group Beguines (publisher of The BeZine) Facebook Page. Post to  Evelyn’s Facebook Page as well.  March 21 is also World Poetry Day.


NATIONAL SCHOOL WALKOUT

Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes at 10am across every time zone on March 14, 2018 to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods. We need action. Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship.

Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school.

Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.

We are not safe at school. We are not safe in our cities and towns. Congress must take meaningful action to keep us safe and pass federal gun reform legislation that address the public health crisis of gun violence. We want Congress to pay attention and take note: many of us will vote this November and many others will join in 2020.

Join us in saying #ENOUGH!

Add your event to the map or find one near you here: https://www.actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/enough-national-school-walkout


THE RESISTANCE POETRY WALL

A reminder about this. I just noticed no one’s posted since October 2017.  Go for it. Have your say.

100tpc20122

The RESISTANCE POETRY WALL “We want your poems! Share this information.”

A MESSAGE FROM 100TPC cofounders Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion.

“The RESISTANCE POETRY WALL has been opened in response to the call by many for an open place to post poetry about the recent USA elections. Poets from around the world are invited to post. Feel free to share this link. Post your poems in the comment box at the bottom of the page. Your poem will appear on the WALL in approximately 1 hour.”

En Español:
“Se ha abierto el MURO DE POESÍA EN RESISTENCIA como respuesta al reclamo de muchos por un espacio abierto donde publicar poesía relacionada con las recientes elecciones en los Estados Unidos. Se invita a poetas de todo el mundo a publicar aquí. Por favor compartan esta liga. Entren a la página y peguen sus poemas en la caja de comentario (‘comment’), al calce. Su poema apareceré en el MURO en aproximadamente 1 hora.”

“The poetry and art posted on the WALL are not limited to the USA elections. There are many issues that concern us all and we welcome your contribution.”


I AM NOT A SILENT POET

UK POET, REUBEN WOOLLEY hosts a zine, I Am Not a Silent Poet, and a Facebook Discussion Page. You may post to the later and submit to the zine.  There are already some anti-gun violence/pro-legislation pieces shared. Check them out.

“I am not a silent poet welcomes quality poems of protest. We have been seeing such increasing evidence of abuse recently that we felt it was time to do something. I am not a silent poet looks for poems about abuse in any of its forms: colour, gender, disability, the dismantlement of the care services, the privatisation of health services, the rape culture, FGM, our girls in Nigeria are just some of the examples that come to mind at the moment. It is not a site for rants.

“Please send all contributions for consideration to: reubenwoolley52@gmail.com. I would prefer attachments (especially for poems with unusual formatting and graphic material. You can add a brief biographical note and/or link to your website or blog.” Reuben Woolley



ABOUT THE POET BY DAY

SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS: Calls for Submissions, Contests, Events and Other Information and Special News About Taking a Stand Against Gun Violence



CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Opportunity Knocks

ACUMEN, Poetry Prose Reviews is published three times a year and editors seek poetry and feature articles. Submission by email or by postal service.  Details HERE.

BOABAB PRESS is currently considering Creative Non-Fiction, Short-Story, Novel, and Comic manuscripts. Comic manuscripts will not be considered without artwork. Poetry will re-open March 7th, 2018. Details HERE.

THE BROKEN CITY is currently accepting submissions of poetry, fiction, essays, comics, illustrations, photography, music/book reviews for its 2018 edition. Previously published work is acceptable. No prose exceeding 3,000 words. No submission fee. No payment. Deadline: June 1, 2018. Details HERE.

CONTRARY MAGAZINE, the journal of unpopular discontent is published on the South Side of Chicago and welcomes submissions of original fiction, poetry and commentary from writers anywhere in the world. No submission fee. $20 payment. Details HERE.

THE COSSACK REVIEW “accepts electronic submissions of new work all year. We respond within 60 days, usually much sooner. Work submitted will be considered for upcoming print and online issues.”  It has a rolling deadline. The review includes fiction, nonfiction, translation and poetry (3-6 poems in a single submission.) Details HERE.

RINKY DINK PRESS, micropoetry for the people: “poems delivered in a 2.75 x 4.25 format … so bigger than a credit card, but smaller than a postcard” that contains six pages.   The press is a “rotating collective of advanced creative writing students and established poets from the Phoenix area dedicated to promoting lyrical yet concise micropoetry, compact little messages with a punch.”   DETAILS HERE.   

SOUTH/85 is a semi-annual online literary journal of the Converse College Low-Residency MFA Program is accepting submission for consideration through May 1. This journal publishes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, reviews, and art by new, emerging, and well-established writers and artists. The editors say “we are especially interested in pieces that demonstrate a strong voice and/or a sense of place.” Details HERE.

THE NORMAL SCHOOL, a bi-annual online and print literary journal featuring nonfiction, fiction, poetry, criticism, journalism, author interviews, and multi-media texts. The editors like energetic and quirky and “work by historically under-represented and marginalized voices.”  The Normal School accepts submissions of creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry for consideration from through April 16 for the next edition. $3 submission fee. Details HERE.

THE NOTTINGHAM REVIEW, an international short-story and flash fiction literary journal that has been online since fall of 2015 and will publish its first print edition this year. Fiction from 100-3,000. Nothing previously published. No submission fee unless you want an “expedited” (7-day response). Details HERE.

THE OFI PRESS MAGAZINE, International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City is open for submissions of previously unpublished  poetry, short stories, as well as non-fiction, interviews and reviews from diverse writers but are also interested in work from Latin American and Mexican writers. No submission fees. No payment. Details HERE.

THREE DROPS FROM A CALDRON, poetry and fiction ~ myths, folklore, legends and fairy tales will open for submissions of poetry (1-6 poems) and fiction (up to 1,000 words) on 30th March 2018. Will consider reprints. No submission fees. Payment a possibility. Details HERE.


CONTESTS

Opportunity Knocks

CREATIVE NONFICTION, True Stories, well told.  The theme is Intoxication and the editors say: “Seeking altered states might be one of the oldest human hobbies—for better and for worse—and we’re looking for stories that capture the widest possible range of experiences and voices. Whether you (or someone else) were tipsy or wasted, soooooooo drunk or just a little high—on life, or love, or power, or something else—we want to hear your story about being under the influence.” Must be previously unpublished. Cash award $1,000 for best essay and $500 for runner-up. $20 reading fee. Mail in submissions must be postmarked February 26. You can also submit online by 11:59 p.m. DETAILS HERE.

NARRATIVE Winter 2018 Story Contest  for short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Cash awards: $2,500 for first prize, $1,000 for second prize, $500 for third prize, and $100 each for the ten finalists. Submission fee: $26 per entry. No previously published work. Deadline: March 31, 2018. Details HERE.


EVENTS

  • WORLD POETRY DAY,  Tuesday, March 21, 2018 celebrates and supports poets and poetry around the world.  It is an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Details HERE.
  • StANZA 2017  (Scotland) is scheduled for 7-11 March, 2018. The themes are The Heights of Poetry and On the Road.  Details HERE.
  • POETRY NOW is a weekly four-minute radio series featuring poets who offer an acoustically rich and reflective look into a single poem. Produced in partnership by the Poetry Foundation and WFMT. Link HERE.


POETS AND OTHERS STAND AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

At this writing, according to the Gun Violence Archive in 2018 there have been 6,975 incidents, 1,922 deaths, 3,330 injuries, 71 children killed or injured, 377 teens killed or injured, 32 mass shootings, 41 officers shot or killed, 312 subject or suspect killed, 235 home invasions, 192 defensive use of guns, and 229 unintentional shootings in the United States.

MAR21

A World With Peace: A Place to Lament and Resist Gun Violence

100,000 Poets for Change Co-founder, Michael Rothenberg and The BeZine team member, Michael Dickel, have initiated a day for poets to gather wherever they are in the world to resist violence, especially gun violence, and raise awareness of the need for appropriate gun legislation in the United States and elsewhere. Beguine Again founder and another member of The BeZine core team, Terri Stewart, Guns Don’t Save People, Poets Do founder Evelyn Agusto and I support the effort and encourage you to organize events. To publicise your events post your event on the 100,000 Poets for Change Facebook Communication Page and on The BeZine 100TPC Facebook Discussion Page. I’ll do my best to catch all and post them to The Poet by Day Facebook Page and The Bardo Group Beguines (publisher of The BeZine) Facebook Page. Post to  Evelyn’s Facebook Page as well.  March 21 is also World  Poetry Day.


NATIONAL SCHOOL WALKOUT

Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes at 10am across every time zone on March 14, 2018 to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods. We need action. Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship.

Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school.

Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.

We are not safe at school. We are not safe in our cities and towns. Congress must take meaningful action to keep us safe and pass federal gun reform legislation that address the public health crisis of gun violence. We want Congress to pay attention and take note: many of us will vote this November and many others will join in 2020.

Join us in saying #ENOUGH!

Add your event to the map or find one near you here: https://www.actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/enough-national-school-walkout


I AM NOT A SILENT POET

UK POET, REUBEN WOOLLEY hosts a zine, I Am Not a Silent Poet, and a Facebook Discussion Page. You may post to the later and submit to the zine.  There are already some anti-gun violence/pro-legislation pieces shared. Check them out.

“I am not a silent poet welcomes quality poems of protest. We have been seeing such increasing evidence of abuse recently that we felt it was time to do something. I am not a silent poet looks for poems about abuse in any of its forms: colour, gender, disability, the dismantlement of the care services, the privatisation of health services, the rape culture, FGM, our girls in Nigeria are just some of the examples that come to mind at the moment. It is not a site for rants.

“Please send all contributions for consideration to: reubenwoolley52@gmail.com. I would prefer attachments (especially for poems with unusual formatting and graphic material. You can add a brief biographical note and/or link to your website or blog.” Reuben Woolley



Accessible anytime from anywhere in the world:

  • The Poet by Day always available online with poems, poets and writers, news and information.
  • The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, online every week (except for vacation) and all are invited to take part no matter the stage of career (emerging or established) or status (amateur or professional). Poems related to the challenge of the week (always theme based not form based) will be published here on the following Tuesday.
  • The Poet by Day, Sunday Announcements. Every week (except for vacation) opportunity knocks for poets and writers.
  • THE BeZINE, Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Peace, Be – always online HERE.  
  • Beguine Again, daily inspiration and spiritual practice  – always online HERE.  Beguine Again is the sister site to The BeZine.

THE RESISTANCE POETRY WALL

A reminder about this. I just noticed no one’s posted since October 2017.  Go for it. Have your say.

100tpc20122

The RESISTANCE POETRY WALL “We want your poems! Share this information.”

A MESSAGE FROM 100TPC cofounders Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion.

“The RESISTANCE POETRY WALL has been opened in response to the call by many for an open place to post poetry about the recent USA elections. Poets from around the world are invited to post. Feel free to share this link. Post your poems in the comment box at the bottom of the page. Your poem will appear on the WALL in approximately 1 hour.”

En Español:
“Se ha abierto el MURO DE POESÍA EN RESISTENCIA como respuesta al reclamo de muchos por un espacio abierto donde publicar poesía relacionada con las recientes elecciones en los Estados Unidos. Se invita a poetas de todo el mundo a publicar aquí. Por favor compartan esta liga. Entren a la página y peguen sus poemas en la caja de comentario (‘comment’), al calce. Su poema apareceré en el MURO en aproximadamente 1 hora.”

“The poetry and art posted on the WALL are not limited to the USA elections. There are many issues that concern us all and we welcome your contribution.”


YOUR SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENTS may be emailed to thepoetbyday@gmail.com. Please do so at least a week in advance.

If you would like me to consider reviewing your book, chapbook, magazine or film, here are some general guidelines:

  • send PDF to jamiededes@gmail.com (Note: I have a backlog of six or seven months, so at this writing I suggest you wait until June 2018 to forward anything. Thank you!)
  • nothing that foments hate or misunderstanding
  • nothing violent or encouraging of violence
  • English only, though Spanish is okay if accompanied by translation
  • your book or other product  should be easy for readers to find through your site or other venues.

TO CONTACT ME WITH ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OTHER INFORMATION FOR THE POET BY DAY: thepoetbyday@gmail.com

TO CONTACT ME REGARDING SUBMISSIONS FOR THE BeZINE: bardogroup@gmail.com

PLEASE do not mix the communications between the two.


Often information is just thatinformation – and not necessarily recommendation. I haven’t worked with all the publications or other organizations featured in my regular Sunday Announcements or other announcements shared on this site. Awards and contests are often (generally) a means to generate income, publicity and marketing mailing lists for the host organizations, some of which are more reputable than others. I rarely attend events anymore. Caveat Emptor: Please be sure to verify information for yourself before submitting work, buying products, paying fees or attending events et al.


ABOUT THE POET BY DAY