To mark International Poetry Month April 2020, we at The BeZineblog invite submissions of poems on the current pandemic. To paraphrase R. Buckminster, think globally but write locally. Write from your context about your experience during this Time of Coronavirus, but at the same time, reflecting to larger global contexts. Write about glimmers from within the crisis that illuminate ourselves, our world, and the world(s) possibly coming to us afterwards.
We especially look for poetry that projects changes (positive or negative) that may evolve from this crisis:
• worldwide coordination/collaboration
• resources of one sort or another—old, new, emerging; shared or fought-over
• the impact the pandemic might have on:
° women and the role they play in assuring good health and hygiene
° the poor and low-wage or middle class workers
° water and the environment
° war and conflict, and
° addressing the climate issues that contribute significantly to this and looming pandemics.
What about the communities—perhaps yours—that have no running water and are also therefor ravaged by typhoid, cholera, and dysentry?
In the spirit of love (respect) and community,
Michael Dickel, Co-Manging Editor, The BeZine
Mbizo Chirasha, Curator of Womawords Literary Press, Co-Host of The BeZine International Poetry Month
Jamie Dedes, Founding Editor and Co-Mnaging Editor, The BeZine
Thank you for sharing your love of words. Comments will appear after moderation.
The oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world.
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry, announced that the safety of staff and community remains it’s top priority and that during these unprecedented times, they continue to monitor and heed the guidance of local and national officials. Based on the most recent guidelines from the Center for Disease Control they’ve decided to cancel all programming and remain closed to the public through May 15, regretful because April is National Poetry Month, a time for celebrating the community of poets, artists and performers.
Poetry Foundation will continue April’s celebrations across digital platforms and suggests that whether you’re a newcomer to reading poems and looking for a place to start, or a lifelong writer seeking fresh engagement with poetry, the Foundation will have something for you.
The BeZine will celebrate April as International Poetry Month, themed pandemic but we are suggesting a wide-range of subject material under that heading. I will publish more details sometime tomorrow. Submissions to email@example.com (Please note this is our new email address.) / J.D.
“Poems are canny little nuggets of life, captured moments of insight and appreciation wrapped in a sweet lyric dough that we find appealing to read and to write. Poems are literary dim sum, which translates to ‘ touch the heart.’ They do, touch our hearts, that is. Depending on the poem, they also tickle our funny bones, stimulate our minds, soothe our spirits, and befriend us on life’s journey.” Jamie Dedes
For the folks that are confused (I don’t blame you! ♥ ) about what’s what and what submissions and/or communications go where:
The Poet by Day jamiededes.com firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a curated site for and about poets and writers. It also includes resources, information, and activities of interest to them and actively supports human rights and freedom of artistic expression.
The Poet by Day hosts Wednesday Writing Prompt. Responses to Wednesday Writing Prompt go in the comments section under the prompt post.
Communications with regard to The Poet by Day go to email@example.com
Participation in Wednesday Writing Prompt is open to all. Other than that publication is by invitation only. As of this writing, the current prompt – deception – is closed for submissions. The next prompt will post on Wednesday, January 22. Mbizo Chirasha is hosting this week. Directions for participation are included in every prompt posting.
The material here – my own and that of others – is copyrighted but also available to you read for free. There is no paywall. However, I do have Ko-fi. This allows you to buy me “a cup of coffee” to help defray the costs incurred in maintaining this site.
The BeZine thebezine.com firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an online publication founded by The Bardo Group Beguines, a virtual arts collective. It is the official site of the Zine, although I do share the Table of Contents here at The Poet by Day as well. There is also a Zine blog.
The Zine is published regularly each quarter and each Zine is themed:
March – Waging Peace;
June -Environmental Sustainability/Environmental Justice;
September – Social Justice; and
December – Life of the Spirit.
The BeZine communications and submissions go to email@example.com
The call for Zine submissions generally opens for 4-to-6 weeks before publication and closes on the 10th of the month in which the Zine is to be published. The Call for Submissions to the March 15 issue – themed Waging Peace – is currently open and will close on March 10.
Submissions for the Zine blogmay be sent at any time.
In September we also do 100,000 Poets (and others ) for Change. This is a global event (see 100TPC.org) and at The BeZine we do a virtual event in which everyone may participate from anywhere in the world. A virtual event also facilitates and encourages participation by the homebound. Contributing Editor, Michael Dickel (Meta/ Phor(e) /Play – Words, Images, & More) hosts. 100TPC is held on the fourth Saturday in September. We hold the event open for 24 hours, sometime longer.
Occasionally, we have a theme for the month on the Zine blog. February 2020 is illness and disability. This may include mental illness. This event is co-hosted by YOPP!, a social justice blog dedicated to civil rights eduction, elevating voices of marginalized people, and reducing oppression, which was founded and is managed by Kella Hanna-Wayne, one of our new Zine team members.
We are not yet firm on doing April as poetry month but that will probably happen. It is likely that in August 2020 – like August 2019 – the blog will focus on Climate Action.
The BeZine also offers two Facebook Discussion Groups:
The BeZine 100TPC IS NOT a place to share poetry or announce publication. Through this group we’re especially interested in filling an information gap by collecting links to pieces on practical initiatives – ideas for taking action – from anywhere in the world, “best practices” so to speak that foster peace, sustainability and social justice, especially those that might be easily picked up and implemented elsewhere. This has been an uphill battle but the dream that people will regularly start using it for that thrives in my heart.
The BeZine Arts and Humanities Page (not just for poetry) is a place to share all your arts activities and accomplishments, not just poetry, in the hope of inspiring one another and encouraging collaborations among the arts and within our community. Through this group you are invited to announce publications, showings, events et al. You are encouraged to share your videos: music, poetry readings, photography, art, film and so forth.
The BeZine is an entirely volunteer effort and we are unable to pay contributors but neither do we charge submission or subscription fees.
I hope this clears up the confusion. I appreciate when communications go to the correct email. At this point I get quite a lot of email, so it can be an onerous job to get through them and, as many of you know, I also am dealing with chronic and catastrophic illnesses and limited by disability. I am at this very moment tied up with preparing to move to another apartment that is fully adapted for someone with my handicaps, a fortunate thing for which I am grateful but also time-consuming and tiring.
The magazine was founded in 1912 by Harriet Monroe, an author who was then working as an art critic for the Chicago Tribune. She wrote at that time:
“The Open Door will be the policy of this magazine—may the great poet we are looking for never find it shut, or half-shut, against his ample genius! To this end the editors hope to keep free from entangling alliances with any single class or school. They desire to print the best English verse which is being written today, regardless of where, by whom, or under what theory of art it is written. Nor will the magazine promise to limit its editorial comments to one set of opinions.”
In a circular she sent to poets, Monroe said the magazine offered:
“First, a chance to be heard in their own place, without the limitations imposed by the popular magazine. In other words, while the ordinary magazines must minister to a large public little interested in poetry, this magazine will appeal to, and it may be hoped, will develop, a public primarily interested in poetry as an art, as the highest, most complete expression of truth and beauty.”
The magazine first established its online presence in 1998 at poetrymagazine.org and, after a 2003 grant from Ruth Lilly, moved to poetryfoundation.org in 2005.
Publication in Poetry is highly selective and consists of three increasingly critical editorial rounds. With a publication rate of submissions at about 1%, the magazine is “one of the most difficult to get [published in]”.
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetrymagazine and the home for poetry in Chicago, announces its winter and spring events and exhibitions.
The events began on January 9 with the opening of the new exhibition A.R. Ammons: Watercolors, and are scheduled to run through May. The season includes readings with two former US poets laureate, a peek at a punk musical, and celebrations of collaborative creation.
“We are excited to begin the New Year with programming that celebrates the range of ways people experience and create poetry, ” said Henry Bienen, Poetry Foundation president. “We hope you’ll join us, and make poetry an active part of your plans for 2020.”
THREE NEW EXHIBITIONS
This season features three exhibitions that span several decades and artistic media, two in the Poetry Foundation Gallery and one in partnership with Newberry Library. First in the Poetry Foundation Gallery is A.R. Ammon: Watercolors, featuring the abstract watercolors of one of the 20th century’s most gifted and prolific poets; visitors can learn about the relationship between Ammons’s work in both art forms at the January 9 opening event with scholar Elizabeth Mills; the exhibition runs until April 30.
Jun Fujita (1888 – 1963) was a first-generation Japanese-American photojournalist, photographer, silent film actor, and published poet in the United States. He was the first Japanese-American photojournalist. As an American, Fujita lived in Chicago, Illinois and worked for the now defunct newspapers: the Chicago Evening Post, published from 1886 to 1932, and Chicago Daily News, which was published 1876 to 1978. Fujita was the only photographer to document the aftermath of the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. Following his death in 1963, most of his work was donated to the Chicago Historical Society, which later became the Chicago History Museum.
A few blocks away, Jun Fujita: American Visionary is open January 24–March 31 at the Newberry and focuses on the extraordinary accomplishments of poet and photojournalist Jun Fujita. An expanded version of Jun Fujita: Oblivion, first mounted at the Poetry Foundation in 2017, Jun Fujita: American Visionary introduces new materials such as pieces about Chicago’s literary and publishing scene and the era of organized crime, including an Al Capone portrait and letter. Fujita, who regularly published in Poetry, is the photographer behind some of the most iconic images from Chicago history, including photographs of the Eastland disaster, the 1919 race riots, and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Poetry by Winterhouse explores the 12-year collaboration between the Poetry Foundation and the Winterhouse design studio, cofounded by William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand. The exhibition covers April 2005–June 2017, illustrating Winterhouse’s illumination of Poetry’s rich history, the expansion and evolution of the magazine’s visual style, and the progression toward the Foundation’s current Pentagram designs. This spring, design luminaries Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand visit for a discussion in response to the exhibition, in honor of the late William Drenttel.
The connections between poetry and other artistic media extends throughout the season’s events. In January, poet Elizabeth Bradfield and artist Antonia Contro discuss their collaborative work Theorem, published by Chicago’s own Candor Arts. On February 4, the city continues to take center stage with a sneak peek at Verböten, The House Theatre of Chicago’s new musical about a punk band getting ready for a show in 1983, based on the exploits and including the music of Jason Narducy.
There is no shortage of music for all tastes, as later in February Poetry in Russian Music comes to the Poetry Foundation with a performance of work by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, and others who were inspired by Russian poets. Always Already, a composition for voice, fixed electronics, keyboards, and vibraphones by Ben Vida, premieres in March in a performance presented with Lampo. In April, pianist Stephen Alltop and soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg return for a program of poetry by Heinrich Heine, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and e.e. cummings in evocative musical settings.
POETRY FOR ALL
Poets with varied approaches and interests share their work on the Poetry Foundation stage. Patricia Lockwood, author of the highly acclaimed memoir Priestdaddy and two collections of poetry, reads on February 13. On March 13, poet Matthew Zapruder reads and discusses his work as a writer, translator, and editor.
Later in the season, two former US poets laureate read at the Poetry Foundation: Robert Hass, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Time and Materials, on March 26, and Billy Collins, winner of the Poetry Foundation’s inaugural Mark Twain Poetry Award, on April 16.
Young People’s Poetry Day, the annual celebration for the youngest poetry fans and their families, kicks off National Poetry Month on April 4 with a reading by Carson Ellis, poetry writing activities, crafts, and a poetry scavenger hunt. Teenagers can experience a reading by former National Youth Poet Laureate Patricia Frazier at the teens-only ChiTeen Lit Fest.
These are only a selection of the varied events that the Poetry Foundation offers this season. For all event listings, details, and advance registration visit poetryfoundation.org/events.
Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis at the Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street, Chicago, IL.
In addition, the Poetry Foundation Library, home to a collection of more than 30,000 books of poetry, is open to the public weekdays and select Saturdays, including January 18, February 8, March 21, April 18, and May 16, from 11:00 AM–4:00 PM, as well as select evenings, including January 21, February 18, March 17, April 21, May 19, from 4:00 PM–7:00 PM.
This post is complied courtesy of Poetry Foundation, Wikipedia, and Amazon.
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.