SAVE THE DATE: 100,000 Poets for Change act in global solidarity on September 24, 2016



AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM 100TPC COFOUNDER, MICHAEL ROTHENBERG: “On September 24, 2016 poets, musicians and artists around the world will be organizing poetry readings, parades, gallery exhibitions, music and dance performances focused on issues of peace, justice, and sustainability. This important annual global act of solidarity is the core activity of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a non-profit organization.

100 Thousand Poets for Change offers an opportunity for a peaceful global discussion of issues such as war, global warming, poverty, racism, gender inequality, homelessness, gun violence, police brutality, lack of affordable medical care, censorship, and animal cruelty. Individual organizers are free to choose the specific topic and focus of their local event. If you are interested in participating in this global action please post sign up HERE.”


100TCP - 2016

THE BARDO GROUP BEGUINES will host a virtual 100TPC event on September 24 with American-Israeli poet, Michael Dickel (Fragments of Michael Dickel) as Master of Ceremonies. Between Michael and me the event will run from morning in Israel to midnight in California.  You can share your work through Mr. Linky (instruction will be provided) or in the comments section of the blog post that day at The BeZine where you can also enjoy the work of other artist activists.

Work may include anything on topic: poetry, essay, short fiction, video (music, mime, dance, dramatic monolgue), art and photography and so forth.  The topic we’ve chosen this year – selected by Rev. Terri Stewart (Beguine Again founder) – and supported by our core team of poets, writers, story-tellers, artists and photographers, musicians and clerics is ENVIRONMENT and ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE.

This event is open to everyone wherever you are in the world and makes possible participation even if there is no street event happening in your area or if you are homebound. We hope you’ll join us.  Soon after the event, we’ll collect everything into one commemorative page. This is tradition. Commenorative pages from prior years can be accessed at The BeZine through its blog roll. All work will be also be archived at Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Please feel free to share this post widely. Thank you! 

BETWEEN SCYLLA & CHARYBDIS: why I can’t spell … and yes! You can be a writer even if you’re dyslexic

Some days I get caught between my inability to spell a word and the artistic desire to use just the right one. There’s a temptation to take the lazy way out, to substitute the easy word for the perfect one. My spelling is so bad that I got Ds and Fs on tests in elementary school. I was always the first one to get booted out of the spelling bee.

Later in life, when my son got home from school, I would hand him a manuscript and pay him a quarter for every misspelling he found. Now I just text him. Generally I can’t come close enough to the right spelling … if I could the spell-check might work for me  … so I just make like a crossword puzzle:

“Son, Homer between a rock and hard place … ?”

“Mom, Scylla and Charybdis.”

“Son, it begins with an ‘a’ and is foolish.”

“Mom, absurd…!!!!”

Even though I’m a slow reader and a poor speller, it never occurred to me that I couldn’t write for a living, probably because I wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until I was almost fifty. (Story for another day.) I had no name to give this puzzling situation. In retrospect, that might be a good thing.

For years I thought my problem was my Brooklynese, my pronunciation. On and off over time I read books and listened to tapes on elocution, which did seem to help a bit. Then Laurel D. sent us this Funny or Die video, The Bensonhurst Spelling Bee. It’s a chuckle-and-a-half and has nothing to do with dyslexia, but in an odd way it sort-of validates my hypothesis. Pronunciation may not be the root of the challenge, but it probably does help to complicate things.

If you’re reading in email, you’ll likely have to click through to this site to view the video. (If you’re also from Brooklyn, it’s a must see.)

Humor aside, dyslexia shouldn’t stop anyone from being a writer. It’s not a reason to give up on writing or to encourage your children to do so. HERE is a list of twenty-five well-known writers who are or were dyslexic. The late Stephen Cannell was famously dyslexic. He was open about it in an effort to help and encourage others. The Learning Center section of his website provides some background and tips.

  • It is estimated that 15-17% of the population is dyslexic.


© Jamie Dedes; Illustration is in the public domain.