I am an American writer and activist. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York (the Center of the Universe) and was raised by my mother and grandmother who were Lebanese and the Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, L.I., N.Y. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I also worked in social services as an employment counselor, case manager/superisor, career center manager, and ultimately as a planner in a government planning office with duties that included writing position papers, requisitions for proposals, and grant applications. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate chronic and catastrophic illness, which has me home bound, sometimes bed bound. The gift in this is time for literature, my primary passion, and social justice advocacy, my primary mission.
I live in a Northern California facility for disabled elders and work from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities (including yearly on the fourth Saturday of September in collaboration with Israeli poet, Michael Dickel, virtual 100,000 Poets and Others for Change) and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to feature and encourage activist poets and poetry, good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity.
I founded The Bardo Group, a virtual arts community, that publishes The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. The goal of this collaborative is to foster proximity and understanding through our shared love of the arts and humanities and all things spirited and to make – however modest – a contribution toward personal healing and deference for the diverse ways people try to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of a world in which illness, violence, despair, loneliness and death are as prevalent as hope, friendship, reason and birth.
The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.
My work has been published in digital and print publications. My primary professional affiliation is Second Light Network of Women Poets (U.K.)
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“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton