HEADS-UP MY FELLOW CALIFORNIANS: PEN America Emerging Voices Fellowships L.A.

 

“Arts and culture are inextricably linked to our humanity,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. “They serve as a universal touchpoint for understanding and addressing our societal issues—dismantling inequity, healing trauma, reframing justice, inspiring truth and shaping futures.”



This week the California Arts Council announced a grant award of $18,000 to PEN America LA to support its Emerging Voices Fellowships offering literary mentorship to new writers isolated from the literary establishment.

“Emerging Voices is grateful to receive support from the California Arts Council, allowing us to continue our decades-long mission to enrich and diversify the literary community in Los Angeles and beyond at a critical time for writers and their stories,” Michelle Franke, Executive Director of PEN America LA.

City of Los Angeles flag

Local Impact supports community-driven arts projects for small and mid-sized arts organizations to foster equity, access, and opportunity in historically marginalized communities. The program centers the arts as a vehicle for building strong, healthy, vibrant, and resilient communities. Historically marginalized communities may include but are not limited to African and African American; Arab; Asian and Asian American; Latinx; Middle Eastern; Native American and Indigenous Californian; Pacific Islander; lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender and gender-variant people; people with disabilities; women; low-income, rural, or immigrant and refugee communities.

PEN America LA is one of 190 grantees chosen for the Local Impact program. The award was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, with grant funds totaling a projected $24,508,541 for 2018-19, the highest investment in statewide arts programming since the 2000-01 fiscal year.

“Arts and culture are inextricably linked to our humanity,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. “They serve as a universal touchpoint for understanding and addressing our societal issues—dismantling inequity, healing trauma, reframing justice, inspiring truth and shaping futures.”

The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California’s diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Larry Baza, Juan Devis, Jodie Evans, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Donn K. Harris, and Louise McGuinness. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.

*****

PEN.org logo

PEN America has joined forces with the former PEN Center USA in California as one nationwide organization united under the PEN America banner. Now with 7,000 members coast-to-coast, PEN is an even stronger force to defend against looming threats to open discourse and a free press, to stand with writers and creators who face persecution, and to celebrate literary excellence both established and emerging. The PEN America Los Angeles office, led by Executive Director Michelle Franke, remains a vital hub for carrying on established programs and expanding advocacy in defense of free expression worldwide and other new initiatives.

This post courtesy of PEN America and the California Arts Council.  Illustrations are in the public domain.



ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


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



 

because, a poem

“Clouds are on top for a reason. They float so high because they refuse to carry any burden!”  Jasleen Kaur Gumber,  Ginger and Honey

“On cloud nine (or seven) – extremely happy. [A reference to a ten-part classification of clouds in which ‘nine’ is next to the highest.]



wind came through like an old bruja one night,
taking her broom to my cloud, scattering the seeds
of my poetry to all the four corners and the center
below where I do my shopping for earthly things,
down I went to try to gather them up only to

meet a philosopher peach who set me on my ear
with his questions on mind, matter and meaning,
wanting to know why he couldn’t taste himself
and how was it that I had a mouth that wouldn’t

in any trance, no matter the depth of it, be a
peach, pointing out to me how we needed one
another to get the job done and – Why?, he asked
and what could I say, having lived my life in the

clouds, drinking the vapors of trust and basic
instinct, and knowing tomorrow is today and
this day is perfect, and no matter the tears and
laughter, there’s a rightness to it all, so

on pale rimy breath, like the child I once was,
I answered him simply . . .
. . . ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,because

© 2019, Jamie Dedes


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


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



 

Opportunity Knocks: 11 Calls for Submissions and 3 Competitions

Davoser Café by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1928 / Public Domain

“But as Brillat-Savarin has correctly observed, coffee sets the blood in motion and stimulates the muscles; it accelerates the digestive processes, chases away sleep, and gives us the capacity to engage a little longer in the exercise of our intellects. It is on this last point, in particular, that I want to add my personal experience to Brillat-Savarin’s observations.” Honoré de Balzac, The Pleasures and Pain of Coffee [This links to the complete essay translated from the French.]



Of Note: 

Gwendolyn Brooks was born on this day in 1917: Celebrating American She-Poets (23): Gwendolyn Brooks, Journalist, Poet, living in the along …

Opportunity Knocks replaces Sunday Announcements. I post it when there are enough leads. Many leads are only announced on The Poet by Day Facebook Page.

Links to articles, events and news of interest to poets and writers are regularly published on The Poet by Day FaceBook Page.  

You are welcome (encouraged) to share your work and announcements on The BeZine Arts and Humanities Facebook Group Discussion Page

MARK YOU CALENDAR: SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 is 100,000 POETS FOR CHANGE, GLOBAL, 2019 and THE BeZINE 100,000 POETS FOR CHANGE VIRTUAL EVENT, hosted by Michael Dickel.  Look for updates on this site, The BeZine,  and at 100tpc.org

Join us for this week’s WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT, How to Be a Poet; poems submitted on theme in response to Wednesday Writing Prompt are posted the following Tuesday, making a lovely collection for poets and readers.   



“THE BeZINE” CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS thebezine.com is open for the upcoming June edition to be published on June 15, deadline June 10. This is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. We are unable to pay contributors but neither do we charge for submissions or subscriptions. The theme is sustainability. We publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, feature articles, art and photography, and music videos and will consider anything that lends itself to online posting. There are no demographic restrictions. We do not publish work that promotes hatred or advocates for violence. All such will be immediately rejected. We’d like to see work that doesn’t just point to problems but that suggests solutions. We are also interested in initiatives happening in your community – no matter where in the world – that might be easily picked up by other communities. Please forward your submissions to bardogroup@gmail.com No odd formatting. Submit work in the body of your email along with a BRIEF bio. Work submitted via Facebook or message will not be considered for publication. We encourage you to submit work in your first language, but it must be accompanied by translation into English. / Jamie Dedes



THE BANGALOR REVIEW is a monthly digital magazine promoting literature, arts, culture, criticism, and philosophy through the publication of literary fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, criticism, poetry and art. “If you happen to be in love with life and think that your words can generate a vision, send us a shout – we’ll probably like your work.” Submission fee. Honorarium to one contributor each quarter. Details HERE

THE FABULIST publishes fables, yearns, tales and fantastical very and art in both digital and print editions. Submissions close on Tuesday, June 10. Details HERE.

eFICTION INDIA publishes fiction, flash fiction, poetry, art, interviews and book reviews. It provides a few unique services: ad listings for writers, free ad listings for contributing writer, assistance with film distribution in accepted after review. No submissions fees except for the premium level (i.e., accelerated response) under Independent Film. Details HERE.

HIRAM POETRY REVIEW, Distinctive, witty, and heroic poetry since 1966 reads submission year-round. No submission fee. U.S. poets submit by snail-mail. International poets may submit by email.  Details HERE.

NEW OHIO REVIEW will open for submission of poems, short stories and essays on September 15.  Submission fee and discounted one-year subscription. Mark your calendar. Details HERE.

THE PASSED NOTE REVIEW is a digital publication offering fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and visual arts for young adults ages twelve through nineteen. This press also publishes shrt fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry for its blog. Details HERE.

POETS READING THE NEWS publishes unsolicited and original poetry and prose about current events from around the world and “encourages writers of all backgrounds to submit their writing, in particular writers of color, women writers, emergent writers, LGBTQI+ writers, and writers from regions near and far.” Submission fee. No payment. Details HERE.

POETS READING THE NEWS STONEWALL RIOTS POETRY CHALLENGE ends in a scant three days as of this posting.  It’s an ekphrastic challenge. No fee. No payment. Details HERE.

SNAIL MAIL NATURE TRAIL, Youth Art and Poetry, Nature Journal from Tiny Seed Literary Press focuses on post card submissions from children and youth. Cute! If you have young children, please do check it out HERE.

TINY SEED LITERARY JOURNAL focuses on nature and publishes short fiction, poetry, art, and photography by established and emerging writers & artists. Submissions for the fall issue (September publication) open July 15. Submission fee. 10% goes to Nature Conservancy. No payment. Details HERE.

COMPETITIONS


University of Sydney, School of Literature, Art and Media:

THE HELEN ANNE BELL POETRY BEQUEST AWARD 2019 offers cash award and publication with Vagabond Press for a winning collection by an Australian Women over 18 years.  No entry fee. Closes August 2, 2019. Details HERE.

THE DAVID HAROLD TRIBE FICTION PRIZE 2019 offers a generous cash award to a writer living in Australia. Publication. No entry fee. Closes on August 2, 2019. Details HERE.


TIFERET JOURNAL, Fostering Peace Through Literature & Art has extended the closing date on this year’s contest to June 14. $1,500 will be awarded in prizes: $500 for the best poetry submission; $500 for the best short story (fiction); and, $500 for the best essay or interview (non-fiction. Entry fee. Details HERE.


ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


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



 

Depression era moms and a poem by Langston Hughes

“Oh, God of Dust and Rainbows,
Help us to see
That without the dust the rainbow
Would not be.”
– Langston Hughes



Family during the Great Depression (Oklahoma) by Dorothea Lange (1936), Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Div. digital ID cph.3c29107

As a youngster, Mother to Son was one of the first poems I read by Langston Hughes. He had me hooked right away.  I wondered when and where he’d met my mother and my grandmother. Their native language and my mom’s American idiom were different from that of Hughes’ anonymous mom but the song was the same. These were Great Depression era (1929 – late ’30s) mothers. Yes! even mine. My big sister was born in 1936. It was a hard time for most everyone but harder still for minorities, emigres, and single mothers. Hughes wrote the poem when he was twenty-one years old, so the poem actually predates the Depression and he is illustrating the Black-American experience and a mother encouraging her son to preserver in spite of all. This poem, however, has such a wonderful heroic quality and a continuing universal appeal. This is the voice of mothers throughout time and all over the world who are living in strained circumstances.

Mother to Son

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

– Langston Hughes, excerpt from The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
© Hughes’ estate

Langston Hughes (1943) by Gordon Parkes / Public Domain

LANGSTON HUGHES (1902-1967), an inspiration in so many ways,  was a social activist and leader of the HarlemRenaissance, a poet, novelist, playwright, and columnist.  Hughes was an early innovator of a new style in his time, jazz poetry – i.e. jazz-like rhythms, improvisational feel – and much of his poetry was on social justice themes. (Jazz poetry tends to be consider outsider art. It is the root of poetry slams and hip-hop.)



ABOUT

Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* Remembering Mom, HerStry
* Three poems, Levure littéraire
Upcoming in digital publications:
“Over His Morning Coffee,” Front Porch Review

A homebound writer, poet, and former columnist and associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, I Am Not a Silent Poet, The Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, an info hub for poets and writers and am the founding/managing editor of The BeZine.


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