For The POET By DAY ~ In Response To Children’s author, Joyce Sidman’s Poem : What Do The Trees Know ‘

A thoughtful homage to American poet and writer, Joyce Sidman, by Pakistani poet/writer/artist, Anjum Wasim Dar. Sweet! Anjum Ji has also included an excerpt from one of her novels. Happy weekend. Enjoy!


 Joyce Sidman




 From the  Second Adventure Novel   ‘Pencileeze Forest  Mystery           

What Do The Trees Say

We grow as Nature ordains
never complain and bear the pains
from black to grey, green to brown
one by one we fall to the ground

Our duty done with full obedience
spreading freshness and fragrance
with peaceful quietude we surrender
making space for others in elegance.

This is The Truth This is The Call
This is The Providence of The Fall
Be it Oak, Pine Fir or Kowhai
Sown ‘n Grown, This is The Final Cry’.

Excerpt from the Novel….

Prologue to The Second Adventure of The Multi Colored Lead People
Mystery of the Pencileeze Forest
Never before had anyone ventured so far on the Land of Twisted Trees and found a treasure to keep’ unknown to them at the time, how valuable it would be in…

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Cheyenne and Arapaho Novelist Tommy Orange Wins $25K PEN/Hemingway Award for “There There’

“We are the memories we don’t remember, which live in us, which we feel, which make us sing and dance and pray the way we do, feelings from memories that flare and bloom unexpectedly in our lives like blood through a blanket from a wound made by a bullet fired by a man shooting us in the back for our hair, for our heads, for a bounty, or just to get rid of us.”  Tommy Orange, There There


  • Séan Hemingway [Ernest’s grandson] To Present Award During Ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, April 7, 2019
  • There There is also Amazon’s Best Book of 2018

Critically-acclaimed debut author Tommy Orange is the winner of the 2019 PEN/Hemingway Award for his novel There There (Knopf, 2018), PEN America announced today. Honoring a distinguished first novel, Tommy Orange will receive $25,000 underwritten by the Hemingway Family and the Hemingway Foundation, as well as a month-long Residency Fellowship valued at $10,000 at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, a retreat for artists and writers.  Séan Hemingway, the grandson of the American writer Ernest Hemingway, will present the prestigious literary award to Tommy Orange on Sunday, April 7, during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

Orange’s There There illuminates the lives of urban Native Americans, and explores their struggles with identity and authenticity. This year’s judges—authors Cristina Garcia, Dinaw Mengestu, and Scott Simon—called There There a “devastatingly beautiful novel, as acutely attuned to our current cultural and political condition as it is to the indelible legacy of violence that brought us here.”  The judges added that “The breadth and scope of this novel are matched only by the fierce and relentless intelligence that Orange brings to his characters, who despite tragedy, heartbreak and loss, reside in a remarkable world of hard-earned grace.”

“Orange’s novel is striking in its range and depth, and it is exceptional for a debut novel to disrupt and expand the landscape of American fiction the way that There There has,” said Literary Awards Program Director Nadxieli Nieto. “It is exactly this kind of groundbreaking work that the PEN/ Hemingway Award honors.”

“She told me the world was made of stories, nothing else, just stories, and stories about stories.” Tommy Orange, There There

Tommy Orange is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, and was born and raised in Oakland, California. He received his MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), and was a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. Orange joins other notable PEN/Hemingway winners and honorees including Marilynne Robinson, Edward P. Jones, Jhumpa Lahiri, Colson Whitehead, Jennifer Haigh, ZZ Packer, George Saunders, Ha Jin, Yiyun Li, Teju Cole, and Ottessa Moshfegh—a four-decade lineage of literary excellence founded in 1976 by Mary Hemingway, the widow of Ernest Hemingway, to honor her late husband and draw attention to debut novels. (See the complete list here.)

The two PEN/Hemingway runners-up are Akwaeke Emezi for Freshwater (Grove) and Ling Mafor Severance (Macmillan). Two writers will receive Honorable Mention: Meghan Kenny for The Driest Season (W.W. Norton) and Nico Walker for Cherry (Knopf). Runners-up and Honorable Mentions each receive a Residency Fellowship at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming.

“Opal and Jacquie’s mom never let them kill a spider if they found one in the house, or anywhere for that matter. Her mom said spiders carry miles of web in their bodies, miles of story, miles of potential home and trap. She said that’s what we are. Home and trap.”  Tommy Orange, There There

This feature is courtesy of PEN America. Book cover illustrations courtesy of Knopf.

The PEN/Hemingway Award Ceremony will take place at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library on Sunday, April 7, from 2 to 3pm and is free and open to the public. Renowned novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen will be the keynote speaker.  Those interested in attending should call the library at (617) 514-1643 or register online at to reserve a seat.

The PEN/Hemingway Award Ceremony is supported by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Hemingway Family, and the Friends of the Ernest Hemingway Collection.

The Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library spans Hemingway’s entire career, and contains ninety percent of existing Hemingway manuscript materials, making the Kennedy Library the world’s principal center for research on the life and work of Ernest Hemingway. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis described Mary Hemingway’s gift of Ernest Hemingway’s papers to the Kennedy Library as helping “to fulfill our hopes that the Library will become a center for the study of American civilization, in all its aspects.”


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.  

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is one of fourteen presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and is supported, in part, by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, a non-profit organization. The Kennedy Presidential Library and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service.


Young People’s Poetry Day Combines Poetry and Science

Children’s author, Joyce Sidman, c Poetry Foundation
“What Do the Trees Know?
What do the trees know?
To bend when all the wild winds blow.
Roots are deep and time is slow.
All we grasp we must let go.

What do the trees know?
Buds can weather ice and snow.
Dark gives way to sunlight’s glow.
Strength and stillness help us grow.”

© Joyce Sidman, Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold [a free read if you have Amazon Unlimited]

The Poetry Foundation will open its doors to the youngest poetry lovers for Young People’s Poetry Day on Saturday, April 20, 10:00 AM–1:00 PM with the theme “Poetry and Science.” This annual free event features a reading by acclaimed poet and children’s author Joyce Sidman, animal odes with the Field Museum, a poetry scavenger hunt, fun crafts, writing activities, and refreshments in one of the only buildings in the world dedicated to poetry.

“Poetry and science are a natural fit, especially for young children who are already so curious and excited to learn.” says Katherine Litwin, Poetry Foundation library director. “We are celebrating that curiosity this year by providing an environment where budding poets and scientists can experiment with language.”

Special guest Joyce Sidman is the author of sixteen books of poetry for children, including Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, a 2011 Newberry Honor Book. Her most recent book, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies, was named one of the New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2018; it details the life of Maria Sibylla Merian, the 17th century artist who uncovered the mysteries of metamorphosis in butterflies.

“Why read children poems about worms and beetles?” asks Sidman. “Because we—and the children we care about—need the space to pause, stretch out our arms, and touch the world. In handling its lovely mysteries, we learn from them and about ourselves.”

Please note, this event is open only to children and their accompanying caregivers

Young People’s Poetry Day: Poetry & Science
Saturday, April 20, 2019
10:00 AM–1:00 PM
Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60654

This feature is courtesy of The Poetry Foundation.

JOYCE SIDMAN “is known for her fresh, inventive poetry for children. Her award-winning books include Dark Emperor (A Newbery Honor Book), Song of the Water Boatman and Red Sings from Treetops (both Caldecott Honor Books), Butterfly Eyes (Cybils Award), and This Is Just to Say (Claudia Lewis Poetry Award). A recent starred review in School Library Journal said, “Sidman’s ear is keen, capturing many voices. Her skill as a poet accessible to young people is unmatched.” Born in Connecticut, Joyce now lives in Minnesota. Her Amazon page is HERE.

Joyce’s website includes free classroom guides for teachers. She says, “My mission is to foster poetry and science in the classroom.”

About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs.
Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook at,  Twitter @PoetryFound and @Poetrymagazine, and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.


Opportunity Knocks: Calls for Submissions, Competitions

“Dining Out” Theatre Row, Redwood City

The year we shaped our lives in the redwood forest,
you brought a wounded salamander inside to heal.
We gathered woodsy things, thistles and pinecones.
We made rose-hip syrup, dried the last of the herbs.
I decorated the cabin in an ensemble of earth tones,
a spicy blend to match the fires you built in the hearth
and the scent of the East in the ma’amoul baking. Our
seasonal hibernation was swathed in sweets and books.
Our winter warmed on the gold-dust of our love.
© 2016, Jamie Dedes



Opportunity Knocks

BULBUL, an annual of art and literature affiliated with Brown University’s Middle East Studies Program, seeks submissions that reflects that region’s cultures including poetry , prose, photography, visual arts, translations, and audio visual. Now submission fee. No Payment. Deadline: May 1, 2019. Details HERE.

ELECTRIC LITERATURE is an online publication offering several potential opportunities for publication. The following are current or upcoming …

  • April 1 – April 7 – general fiction submissions to “Recommended Reading”
  • through April 1 – poetry and graphic narrative for “The Computer”

Submission Guidelines HERE.

NONBINARY REVIEW, The Zoetic Press Journal of Literature, seeks poetry and visual arts on theme for upcoming issues:

Issue #21: The Works of H. G. Wells
(closes 4/22/2019)

Issue #22: The Odyssey by Homer
(closes 7/24/2019)

No submission fee. Paying market. Details HERE.

THE SUBURBAN REVIEW is open for submission of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and comics through 18 April 2019.  No submission fee. Paying market. Details HERE.


Opportunity Knocks

2019 CRAB CREEK REVIEW POETRY PRIZE is open through through May 15, 2019. Entry fee. Cash award. Details HERE.

THE LORAINE WILLIAMS POETRY PRIZE 2019 of The Georgia Review is open through May 15. Entry fee or subscription purchase. Cash award. Details HERE.

MARSDEN THE POETRY VILLAGE COMPETITION is themed “together” and closes on 1 June 2019.  Entry fee. Cash awards. Details HERE.