A Potpourri for Poets and Writers


Recommended Reading

Ta-Nehisi Coast won the National Book Award for nonfiction for Between the World and Me, an exploration of his experience of being a black man in America.  Well done.  Must read.


“The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”

“You must resist the common urge toward the comforting narrative of divine law, toward fairy tales that imply some irrepressible justice. The enslaved were not bricks in your road, and their lives were not chapters in your redemptive history. They were people turned to fuel for the American machine. Enslavement was not destined to end, and it is wrong to claim our present circumstance—no matter how improved—as the redemption for the lives of people who never asked for the posthumous, untouchable glory of dying for their children. Our triumphs can never compensate for this.”

Poetry Reading

FullSizeRender-2On December 5, at 5:30 p.m. Michael Rothenberg is reading along with San Luis Obispo Poet Laureate, Dian Sousa at Laurel Bookstore, 1423 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612.  Details HERE.

Michael is an American poet, songwriter, editor and environmentalist. In 1989 Michael started a fine print literary press, Big Bridge, with artist Nancy Davis. Big Bridge has published work by Jim Harrison, Joanne Kryger, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Whalen among other.  Michael also edits Big Bridge, a poetry webzine and Jack magazine.He is the co-founder (with Terri Carrion) of 100,000 Poets for Change (100TPC).  Bay Area residents will be familiar with Shelldance Orchid Gardens (Pacifica), an orchid and bromeliad nursery, co-owned by Michael.

Transatlantic Poetry

TRANSATLANTIC Poetry is global poetry movement bringing some of the most exciting poets from the US, UK, Europe and beyond together for live online readings and conversations. With the help of notable partners, we are transforming the way people experience poetry in the twenty-first century.”

Transatlantic Poetry was founded by an American poet living in England, Robert Peake, the “Transatlantic Poet.”  Peake’s most recent collection of poetry is The Knowledge (Nine Arches Press, 2015).  He writes about poetry and culture. His essays may be found on Huffington Post HERE. Robert Peake also hosts Poetry Writing Prompts.

A Poem a Day

The Academy of American Poets publishes a poem a day online.  You might want to take your morning break with them.

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today’s talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge….”

The BeZine


Our fourteenth issue will publish on December 15.  Submissions should be sent to bardogroup@gmail.com for consideration. Guidelines are HERE. Deadline is December 10.

The theme for the December 2015 issue is The Hero’s Journey.

100TPC Group Discussion Page

The BeZine is hosting an ongoing discussion page on Facebook where we share information related to peace, sustainability and social justice.  Our focus for 2016 is environment/environmental justice.  If you would like to join the Group and you are on Facebook, leave me a message in comments.

From Second Light Network of Women Poets (SLN)

ARTEMISpoetry submission deadline for Issue 16: FEBRUARY 29th.

If you live in the area (Worcestershire, England) or expect to be there, you might be interested in

  • AUGUST 2016: Mon 1st to Fri 5th, Holland House Residential, Worcestershire; and/or
  • JULY/AUGUST 2017: Mon 31st July to Fri 4th August, Holland House Residential, Worcestershire

Copyright (United States)

Creative Commons

Thanks to Corina Ravenscraft (Dragon’s Dreams) for these:

Copyright Laws + Licensing Digital Content Resources

U.S. Copyright Fair Use Index

Resources for Photographs &



First off, I’ve found two sources of public domain* photos, which might serve you well as either inspiration or as illustrations to go with your poem or story.  The first is Public Domain Review.

“Founded in 2011, The Public Domain Review is an online journal and not-for-profit project dedicated to the exploration and sharing of curious and compelling works from the history of literature, art and ideas. In particular, the focus is on showcasing digital copies of public domain works – all drawn from a wide range of various online archives – with a mission to facilitate the appreciation, use and growth of a digital cultural commons which is open for everyone. With a focus on the surprising, the strange, and the beautiful, the site provides an ever-growing cabinet of curiosities for the digital age, a kind of hyperlinked Wunderkammer – an archive of materials which truly celebrates the breadth and variety of our shared cultural commons and the minds that have made it.”

The other is Emilian Robert Vicol Public Domain Photos.

It’s always nice to credit the source even when it’s public domain.

These both come from Flickr, where there are lots of other photos available.  Some are “all rights reserved” but some are available under a Creative Commons license and you should comply with the rules and link the photo back to its source.

Two sites I’ve used for years are: PublicDomainPictures.net and morgueFile. Directions for use are on the sites. You don’t have to sign in to use these and they offer quick and easy downloads.

Wikipedia is another resource.  It’s not enough to just put Wikipedia as the source. You’ll note if you click on the photographs in Wikipedia, the name of the “author” is on the left under the photograph and on the right you’ll see the licensing.  It’s usually either public domain or it’s one of the Creative Commons licenses.

public domain: belonging to the public and not subject to copyright

©Photograph by Chilli Head under CC A-2.0 Generic license and public domain illustration courtesy of Slashme via Wikipedia. Michael Rothenberg’s photograph and the rose illustration are mine.