CALLING ALL ARTISTS: “The BeZine” 100,000 Poets for Change Banner Contest

Are you artistically inclined? Do you believe in raising awareness about important issues like Peace, Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice? Would you like a chance to display your visual arts talent to a global audience for a whole year? Could you use an Amazon Gift Card?

If this sounds like you, then we want to see your art! The BeZine 100TPC (One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change) is holding an open contest for our 2021 Banner. This respected online magazine showcases both budding and well-established, professional talent from poets, musicians, and all manner of artists from all over the world. The BeZine reaches a global audience of thousands of people and continues to attract additional readers, followers, and subscribers. Artists who are interested are encouraged to check out our site at: to see the kinds of things we publish, as well as read our mission statement and publishing guidelines.

There is no entry fee. Only one entry per person, please.

You may use any medium, but the final submission needs to be a digital format picture or slide (.jpg, .png or .bmp). Banners need to be: 820px x 360px (or 6.8” L x 3” H) so that we may also use it on our Facebook page. All entries should be mailed to, and the Subject Line should read: ATTN The BeZine 100TPC Banner .

Submission Deadline is 12 pm Noon CST, Monday, August 31st, 2020. Winners will be announced Tuesday, September 15th, 2020.


• First Place: $100 Amazon Gift Card • Two Runners up: $25 Amazon Gift Card each

SAVE THE DATE: 100,000 Poets (and Allies) for Change, September 26, 2020; Call for Submissions to 100TPC Anthology

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” Audre Lorde

SEPTEMBER 26, 2020


It’s twelve years since I started using poetry for activism, involving myself first with Sam Hamell‘s Poets Against the War. Almost ten years have passed since poet, publisher, musician and artist, Michael Rothenberg, and editor, artist, graphic designer, and translator Terri Carrion, co-founded 100,000 Poets for Change (100TPC) to which I am seriously devoted.

Through the decade our 100TPC poet-activist numbers have grown. We’ve expanded to include allies. These creatives from around the world share the values of peace, sustainability, and social justice. They speak out against corruption, cruelty, tyranny, and suppression through poetry, story, music, mime, art and photography, sometimes at personal risk.


If you’ve been involved before, please note the date and participate again. If you haven’t participated in 100TPC, we invite you to become a part of this worthy worldwide initiative.

By “we” I mean:

  • Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, founders and organizers of Global 100TPC;
  • Regional organizers for 100TPC (connect with yours via the blog roll or contact Michael Rothenberg to set up your own event), and
  • The Bardo Group, publishers of The BeZine and hosts of The BeZine Virtual 100TPC.




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~ Be inspired . . . Be creative . . . Be peace . . . Be ~


Our banner was designed by Zine team member Corina Ravenscraft (Dragon’s Dreams)

The second year I invited poetry against war was 2011. I put up a post on Into the Bardo (the name of the site before it became The BeZine) and invited folks to share their poems in the comments section. That was the last year for Sam Hamill’s Poets Against the War and the first year for Michael and Terri’s 100,000 Poets for Change.

Since 2012, we (The Bardo Group) have hosted an annual virtual event on the fourth Saturday of September in concert with Global 100TPC. My thought for going virtual was that there were many others who, like me, are home bound but want to have their say, want to stand for peace, sustainability and social justice. Soon Michael Dickel (Meta/ Phor(e) /Play) joined our team and a new tradition was born. Michael became our Master of Ceremonies.

This year – whether your are homebound or not – we invite you to join with us via The BeZine Virtual 100TPC on September 26.  Complete instructions for sharing your work will be included in the post that day.  Between us, Michael Dickel and I keep the event running for twenty-four hours or so. Mark your calendars.

Watch for more info here and at The BeZine on these initiatives and . . .


  • Call for Submissions to the September 15, 2020 issue of The BeZine, which is a prelude to 100TPC;
  • The Poet by Day 100TPC Wednesday Writing Prompt, September 16, hosted by Michael Dickel; and
  • A contest (the heart-child of Zine team member, Corina Ravenscraft) to find the best The BeZine 2021 header for our Facebook Discussion Page.

In the spirit of love (respect) and community and
on behalf of The Bardo Group,
Jamie Dedes, Founding Editor and
now Co-Manager Editor with Michael Dickel

100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE: Ten years of evolution (2011-2020)
VOL 1: The Memoir


From Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion

In the tenth year anniversary of the movement, we are excited to invite all ​past and present 100TPC organizers and/or participants, to submit a three page ​essay to be considered for inclusion in ​the book ​100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE [100TPC]: Ten years of evolution (2011-2020),​ which will be published on a date to be announced.

This book will tell the story of 100TPC from the perspective of the poets who have been a part of creating and sustaining it. Through ​our personal essays, the reader will learn not only about the individual stories of the hundreds of poets-organizers from all corners, reflecting on the social and cultural effects of such poetic actions, but it will also offer an enriched summary and an organized way to learn about this grassroots movement and its impact on the history of poetry. It can also be thought of as a guidebook and manual, for future generations interested in the strategy of activists engaged in manifesting positive change–peace, justice and sustainability.


You can submit a ​maximum of two essays,​ only one (1) per theme. Be sure to send each essay in a ​separate e​mail (see details below).

1. FOUNDATIONAL EXPERIENCES.​ First experiences as organizer/ poet/ artist/ audience with ​100,000 Poets for Change.​
2. LOCAL EXPERIENCES.​ Experiences seen as a whole, after these ten years. Reflect on your achievements, or whatever you have witnessed, good and bad. You can choose to write about success or disappointments, benefits and limitations, even if you were not an organizer/participant consistently for the past ten years.
3. IMPRESSIONS​: Reflections and stories on the philosophy, ideas and spirit propelling the movement. How has this movement informed your poetics?
4. SALERNO.​ If you participated in the 2015 Salerno conference, you can choose to write about it, as a whole experience, and/or highlighting a specific story or aspects of the conference.
5. READ A POEM TO A CHILD.​ If you have been part of the Read a Poem to a Child initiative, you can also choose to write about that.

Submission deadline:​ December 1, 2020

Format guidelines​: Word document, Times New Roman, Font 12, Double Spaced.

Maximum 750 words.

Language​: If you are not an English speaking writer, please send your text in its original language along with the best possible English translation (three pages max, each). At this point, the project will only include the English version, but we’re studying alternatives to the issue of language, and world accessibility.
Bio & Photos:​ Please send a fifty word Bio as a Word doc. attachment. Also, and this is optional, you can attach three-to-five good quality images (jpg) related to your essay, and/or the events you organized in your community. Include photo caption and credits. Do not send bio photos. We want exceptional images that offer a glimpse either of the themes or aspects we’ve mentioned above, the collective drive, or the audience reaction.

Please send your submissions and/or any questions to: ​ In the email’s Subject Matter​, please write your essay’s t​heme.

Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!


For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Part 1 of 3: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile: Award-Winning Mbizo Chirasha, A Life on the Run, Interview

Mbizo Chirasha

“Mother Africa survived the trauma of clanging chains of captivity during slave trade, shackles of colonialism, and winced from beatings of hard bolt nut clenched fists of apartheid. Children and grandchildren of Mother Africa watched helplessly her sorrowful dance to the acoustics of sufferance. Still, Africa remains resilient … smashing punches from kindred’s of neocolonialism: global village, digital revolution and consumerism. Mama Africa’s groin is ripped apart by her triplets: totalitarian regimes, economic malaise and moral decadence. Today Mother Africa of pyramids, Africa of Nefertiti , Africa of Lumumba, Africa of Mandela, Africa of Kambarage , Africa of Lithium , Africa of diamond and Africa of uranium wallow in murky waters of poverty, chronic civil wars, and deadly epidemics.” Mbizo Chirasha, Editor, Brave Voices Poetry Journal.

Orthographic map of Africa courtesy of Martin23230 C BY-SA 3.0

When I was a junior in high school (circa 1966), our civics/history teacher said that Africa was a continent of much promise because of its diverse populations, its biodiversity, mineral resources, endless beauty, and its arts and wisdom traditions. She was right, of course. As a consequence, we spent several months of that school year studying the promise of Africa and its peoples.

For years after, Africa haunted me: Mosi-oa-Tunya, birds hitching rides on giraffeswhite rhinos, the rhythms of kebero drums and the swing-and-sway of folk dance, the injera, the wat, and the niter kibby.  But our teacher’s great vision of Africa’s promise was largely unfulfilled. Blame it on the fall-out from old-and-new waves of colonialism, apartheid, and corporate land-grab and land-rape. What could have been a place of hope and high expectation is rife with turmoil, poverty, and suffering. It is a place where poets who speak out against violent despots and greedy kleptocrats put themselves at great risk in doing so. Today, I have the pleasure of featuring Mbizo Chirasha, one such poet. He is dedicated to gender equity, environmental justice, and human rights and he is on the run . / J.D.


JAMIE: What were the events in your life that lead you to socially engaged poetry?

MBIZO: My father was a storyteller, an African traditionalist, a
singer and a village griot. I grew up listening to the sound of the
wind of the drum. Ritual and ancestral ceremonies were the norm
and usually accompanied  by spiritual song, dance, drum and chants. I
was introduced to words at a  tender age and more over to
sounds of chirruping birds, syntactic over night hooting of owls,
the rhythmic dove cooos, the dance and the smile of white moon. I am a
grandchild of African proverb.

I am a child of war. I was born during the Zimbabwean struggle for independence.
My ears sedimented to the clap of gun shots  and the thunder of death, the
thud of grenades, and heave of the Pungwe River’s songs. I read Achebe, Ngugi,
Marechera, Hamutyineyi, Neto, Senghor, Miriam Ba, Tsodzo, Chiundura Moyo, Makari,
Soyinka and more in my early teens. I became a school griot when I was seven.

JAMIE: Why is your life at risk?

MBIZO: I write the truth to any form of leadership: cultural, social and
political, My literary arts activism and my human rights and arts for
justice activities put me at risk.

I write feature articles that speak against dictatorship, injustice
and tyranny. Political leadership in Zimbabwe does not like the truth.
They want praise, which I think is a bad sign. We have violent goons
among leaders who thrive on silencing writers, artists, activists and
human rights defenders.

I am the Founder of the Zimbabwean We Want Poetry campaign, a global
literary activism campaign that exposed and is exposing political rot, poor
governance and corruption in Zimbabwe specifically and in greater Africa.

That campaign has led to the founding of the Brave Voices POETRY JOURNAL
and the Freedom Voices Poetry Writing competition. This in turn has lead to the
publication of more than 10,000 poems on various social media platforms.

My poetry in books and  journals is critical to fighting systems that oppress masses,
systems that violate human rights, systems that loot the economy and subject
masses to abject poverty .

My latest poetry collection, A Letter to the President, the title itself does not sit well with politicians, zealots, and charlatans who survive on political and economic strife, but the collection is a must  read.
It never mentions names but it speaks truth against injustice, corruption, violence and expediency and it got me in trouble: death threats, tailing, and haunting after the grand launch.

I don’t hesitate to write the truth. We have suffered under dictatorial leadership in Zimbabwe. We want the new leadership to reform and to refrain
from abductions, corruption, violence and looting. We need the purpose to live, to belong and to love our beautiful country. We want political violence
stopped. The abduction of artists and activists must stop.

JAMIE: What is the status of your situation now?

MBIZO: Exile has never been good but resilience is key. In exile you are both foreign to yourself and foreign to the land.  Accommodation, security, resources, communication, and other foundations of personal welfare and trust become first priorities and they are not easy to come by because one is not in his usual haven. The stalking is constant and exhausting. You sleep with an open eye or walk with your eyes above your shoulders.

JAMIE: You put in an application to ICORN* in 2017. What was the response?

MBIZO: I am not happy because the reply was really bad, I don’t know whether
they want you to loose a leg, a hand, or to die for them to accept your application
to be safe.

* International Cities of Refugee Network; ICORN’s mission is “protecting and promoting writers and artists at risk.”  I’ve read Mbizo’s paperwork. Responses to Mbizo’s 2017 application for assistance repeatedly indicate that his paperwork is in process but no action has been taken by ICORN on Mbizo’s behalf over the two years since he filed for safe haven.

JAMIE: What organizations have come forward to help you?

MBIZO: The main  and major organization that have stood by me since 2017
are the following
a)      PEN GERMANY 2017

JAMIE: What is your plan now and how can we as part of the greater poetry community assist?

MBIZO: I continue with writing for justice, human rights, the truth, and with activism and literary activism. In this moment of madness, trials and hardships, poets must unite. Help me lobby resources, lobby institutions that offer assistance to writers-at-risk: PEN, UN Human Rights, Writers Centres, and Artists for Justice Centres for safety retreat.

We must all keep writing for truth, justice, and  good governance.

Editor’s note:  I want to get a letter-writing campaign going for Mbizo to help him attain safe haven. More on that in Part 3 on Monday.  Tomorrow (Sunday), you’ll have the opportunity to read four of Mbizo’s poems.  Stay with us in solidarity for free-and-open civil discourse, social justice and responsible governance. May all sentient beings find peace. 

© 2019, introductory text, Jamie Dedes; photos and interview text, Mbizo Chirasha


MBIZO CHIRASHA is a recipient of PEN Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant (2017), Literary Arts Projects Curator, Writer in Residence, Blogs Publisher, Arts for Human Rights/Peace Activism Catalyst, Social Media Publicist and Internationally Anthologized Writer, 2017 African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival Exiled in Africa Program in New York. 2017 Grantee of the EU- Horn of Africa Defend Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund. Resident Curator of 100 Thousand Poets for Peace-Zimbabwe, Originator of Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Movement. He has published a collection of poetry, Good Morning President, and co-created another one Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zembezi with Indian poet Sweta Vikram.

Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email for permissions, commissions, or assignment

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

Recent poems and short stories: How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

TOMORROW WE GO GLOBAL: It’s Your Day to Shine

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship

Tomorrow is our day to hear songs, read good poems, see satisfying videos, share art, and be moved to celebrate together and to foster peace, sustainability and social justice:

“One thing I learned from organizing 100 Thousand Poets for Change  [100tpc] this year is that change will certainly come. It just might come at the very last minute. Wow! People all around the world are signing up right now, like crazy! We have 700 actions so far! Keep it coming!” Michael Rothenberg, Cofounder of 100,000 Poets for Change on September 21, 2019.

To find an event near you go to

And . . . 


Banner artwork courtesy of The Bardo Group Beguines team member, Corina Ravenscraft, (Dragonkatet [Dragon’s Dreams])
Don’t forget to share your work tomorrow at The BeZine virtual 100TPC.  A post will go up on The BeZine blog with complete and easy directions for participation. Michael Dickel and I will keep the event going for 24 hours at least. All you need is access to a computer. You don’t have to go anywhere to share, to read, and to be inspired.

See you there …

Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton