Opportunities and Activities for Poets and Writers, Locked down, Quarantined, Day-jobless

Unsplash courtesy of Kaitlyn Baker

“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.”  Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own



CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

THE MADRAS COURIER publishes on art, culture, environment, biography, public policy and global affairs topics. Poetry welcome. No payment. No submission fees. Details HERE.

OVERLAND LITERARY MAGAZINE is open to receiving pitches or completed works of nonfiction or essays.

PEDESTAL MAGAZINE will open for submissions of poetry from May 11-31 to its June 2020 issue. The themes are: “a lament for the earth” and/or “a song of residence.” Payment. $50 for accepted poem. Details HERE

COMPETITIONS:

LITERARY TAXIDERMY (REGULUS PRESS) is open for submissions to its 2020 Short Story Competition. Cash awards and publication in the next Literary Taxidermy Anthology. Opening and closing lines provided. Stories to 2,500 words. $10 entry fee. Details HERE

MASTERS REVIEW is open for entries to its Anthology Prize showcasing the best emerging writers. $5,000 will be awarded between ten finalist. Entry fee: $30. Deadline: March 28. Details HERE.

NARRATIVE WINTER 2020 STORY CONTEST is open for entries of previously unpublished short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entry fee: $27 (covers entry and subscription). Deadline: March 31. Details HERE.

WRITER’S DIGEST SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK AWARDS is open for entries through April 1, 2020. Cash award, publication, and trip to New York for the annual conference. Categories include poetry. entry feels run from $85 – $125. Details HERE.

IDEAS, THINGS TO DO, RESOURCES:

On another note (sort of): United Way has a COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund.  They will help with bills, rent, and food. You can call 1-866-211-9966 and provide your zip code. You will be given a list of local agencies that might offer assistance. 

 


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!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

Interview with Mbizo Chirasha, Founder and Curator of the Womawords Project and Call for Submissions to Daughters of the Earth Project, an international contest

Taken on a trip in 2016 with World Vision to Sierra Leone. Courtesy of Annie Spratt, Unsplash

I Read a Poem Today

I read a poem today and decided
I must deed it to some lost, lonely
fatherless child… to embrace her

along her stone path, invoke sanity
I want to tell her: don’t sell out your
dearest dreams or buy the social OS

Instead, let the poem play you like a
musician her viola, rewriting lonely
into sapphire solitude, silken sanctity

Let it wash you like the spray of whales
Let it drench your body in the music
of your soul, singing pure prana into

the marrow and margins of your life
Let your shaman soul name your muse,
find yourself posing poetry as power and

discover the amethyst bliss of words
woven from strands of your own DNA
Yes. I read a poem today and decided
I must deed it to a lost fatherless child

© 2011, Jamie Dedes (Written for an International Women’s Day forum and republished in 2012 for International Girl Child Day in 2012)



Womawords is a complex of efforts initiated by Zimbabwean poet activist in exile, Mbizo Chirasha (Mbizo, The Black Poet).  I was curious – and thought others might be as well – about the inspiration for this ambitious and worthy effort that is devoted to giving women and girls a platform to speak out about their concerns and experiences and to share their wisdom.  I think you’ll enjoy the interview. Perhaps some women reading here will want to consider submitting to the Daughters of the Earth  Project International Contest. There is no submission fee.

The Womawords Project comprises: Womawords Literary Press, Liberating Voices Journal, the Girl Child Creativity Project (now evolved into Womawords), and Daughters of the Earth Project International Contest (not for poetry only).

INTERVIEW

JAMIE: Why and when did you start Womawords?

MBIZO: The heart of a women is like an  ocean, thus  she must be proffered a free platform to express concerns, to speak rights, to voice against wrongs, to sing experiences and more. The world over we are blessed with an influx of  women and the girl child gifted not only physical stature but  mental beauty, endowed with wisdom to sub create and shape humanity. Womawords was birthed in  April 2019 as a complimentary initiative during my eye-opening  and life changing tenure with the International Human Right Art Festival.

JAMIE: Please tell us about the origin of the name.

MBIZO: The name pays tribute to the power and influence literary arts culture, words and poetry. The Womawords Project is a positive transformation from my initial project Girl Child Creativity Project, which was Zimbabwean based, and transitioned it into an international literary arts culture digital space exhibiting women’s voices and literature. Women are powerful trench soldiers; they experience a bundle of traumas from child birthing, forced intercourse, menstrual health issues, domestic violence, stigma and discrimination. A whole lot of hardships but also women are molders of humanity. I have always known of mother tongue not father tongue, hence Womawords – a metaphor that gives women from around the globe a space to express themselves through poetry , resistance  literature,  and resilience  arts.

JAMIE: What are the current activities Womawords is sponsoring?

MBIZO: The 2020 main project is the Daughters of the Earth Project, an international writer’s contest. The writer’s contest gives an opportunity for women to raise their voice, exchange ideas and promote dialogue on Menstrual Equity and Health through poetry, stories, flash fiction, and essays. And they are a myriad of  issues, unresolved problems, taboos and myth experienced by women globally. WOMEN must be given the chance to speak, to raise their concerns, to offer solutions and to tell their experiences through this # Daughters of the Earth Writers Contest Project. For more details follow on the submissions portal on Womawords.

Other projects include:

  • Women of Residence Profile Features: The Press is anchored by FEATURES of Prolific Poets, Writers, Socialites and Artistic Luminaries.
  • Liberating Voices: this is a quarterly collection of voices and is guided by a specific theme of every publication.

JAMIE: What are the long-term goals?

MBIZO: Womawords Literary Press is a formula of positive change and transformation in the area of exhibiting women’s artistic voices and resistance literature by the girl child.  In the next five years we are  growing  into a  reputable book and literary arts publishing republic. Going forward within 2020 we continue to restructure by placing  and appointing representatives in more than twenty countries around the globe. These  are women writers, poets, activist, and artists using their words to bring  forth transformative change, using their poetry to expose societal tumors, wielding their artistic weapons to slash perpetuators of barbarism, using their resistance literatures to shine a light on the madness.  In March  2021, we are hosting a Womawords International Symposium with editorial associates, contributing writers, women artists, and women arts cultural activists who will convene to  share and exchange experiences through symposium presentations, poetry performances, and  story readings .

ALUTA CONTINUA!!! [“The struggle continues.” It’s a rallying cry for freedom.]

THE DAUGHTERS OF THE EARTH PROJECT

Call for Submissions

The newly initiated Daughters of the Earth Project will offer a new theme each year.  The  2020 theme is Menstrual Health and Menstrual Equity

BACKGROUND AND SCOPE: The Daughters of the Project is an international writer’s contest . The writer’s contest gives an opportunity for women  to raise their voices, exchange ideas and promote dialogue on Menstrual Equity and Health through poetry, stories, flash fiction and essays. There are a  myriad  of  issues , unresolved problems, taboos and myth experienced  by women globally. Women must be given the chance to speak, to raise their concerns, to offer solutions, and to tell their experiences through this Daughters of the Earth Writers Contest Project.

TIMELINE: The Daughters of the Earth Writing Contest Project  will resume  in April  2020 and end in October  2020

April 2020- JUNE 2020( Writers Submissions and Contest Entries)

July 2020-  August 2020- ( Judging, Jury to be announced)

August 2020- September 2020 (Publicity and Awards  Gathering)

October 2020( Results and Winners Announcement)

Mbizo Chirasha

MBIZO CHIRASHA (Mbizo, The Black Poet) is one of the newest members of The BeZine core team. He is a poet from Zimbabwe who is on the run. We have been coordinating in the search for safe harbor. In part I am doing this today to remind everyone that while we’ve made progress with funding, we still need to find a host for Mbizo, preferably Germany, but England or U.S. would work too.  Open to suggestion.  Connect with me if you are able to help, have leads, or have questions. You can read more about Mbizo and his story: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile: Award-Winning Poet Mbizo Chirasha, A Life on the Run, Interview.


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!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Bruegel the Elder Painting, William Carlos William Poem ; Art Inspiring Poetry: Rattle’s Monthly Ekphrastic Challenge

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Pieter Bruegel the Elder – 1. Web Gallery of Art 2. The Bridgeman Art Library, Object 3675 / Public Domain

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling
near

the edge of the sea
concerned
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings’ wax

unsignificantly
off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning

© Estate William Carlos Williams

From Collected Poems: 1939-1962, Volume II [recommended] by William Carlos Williams, published by New Directions Publishing Corp. © 1962 by William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams (1883 –1963) was an American poet and physician closely associated with modernism and imagism. In addition to his writing, Williams had a long career as a physician practicing both pediatrics and general medicine. He was affiliated with Passaic General Hospital, where he served as the hospital’s chief of pediatrics from 1924 until his death.



RATTLE MONTHLY EKPHRASTIC CHALLENGE

Each month Rattle presents a new piece of visual art to inspire poets and we have one month to write and submit via Submittable. Two poems will be chosen and awarded with digital publication and $100. The deadline for this month is March 31. Details HERE. No submission fee.

PLEASE NOTE: The photograph of Kenneth Borg is the Challenge for March 2020, as you will note if you carefully read the publisher’s directions. I put up William Carlos Williams’ work here as an example of ekphrastic poetry because this may be new to some readers. I didn’t mean to confuse. Always – ALWAYS – follow the publisher’s direction, after reading carefully.


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!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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

For Projects U.S. and Elsewhere: The U.S. Library of Congress 2020 Literacy Awards, open through March 6th

Courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress

“More than the divides of race, class, or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, our culture has been carved up into radically distinct, unbridgeable, and antagonistic entities that no longer speak the same language and cannot communicate. This is the divide between a literate, marginalized minority and those who have been consumed by an illiterate mass culture.” Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle



Applications are being accepted for the 2020 Library of Congress Literacy Awards through March 6th. The awards are made possible through the generosity of philanthropist David M. Rubenstein.

The Literacy Awards, which were created by the Library of Congress and Rubenstein, were first conferred in 2013 to honor and support organizations working to promote literacy both in the United States and abroad. The awards encourage the continuing development of innovative methods for promoting literacy and the wide dissemination of the most effective practices.

The awards are intended to draw public attention to the importance of literacy and the need to promote literacy and encourage reading.

Three prizes will be awarded in 2020:

  • The David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000) is awarded for an outstanding and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels. The prize is awarded to an organization based either inside or outside the United States that has demonstrated exceptional and sustained depth in its commitment to the advancement of literacy.
  • The American Prize ($50,000) is awarded for a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels or the national awareness of the importance of literacy. The prize is awarded to an organization that is based in the United States.
  • The International Prize ($50,000) is awarded for a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels in a country other than the United States. The prize is awarded to an organization that is based either inside or outside the United States.

Other organizations will be honored for their best practices in various areas of literacy promotion.

The Librarian of Congress will make the final selection of the prize winners with recommendations from an advisory board of literacy experts.

The application rules and a downloadable application form may be accessed at read.gov/literacyawardsApplications must be received no later than midnight Eastern Time on March 6, 2020.

The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program is administered by the Learning and Innovation Office, a unit of the Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement at the Library of Congress.

Library of Congress flag / public domain

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


Jamie DedesAbout /Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium Ko-fi

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!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



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