2018 NEWS & GUIDELINES FOR POSTING ON THE DISCUSSION PAGE: We’re especially interested in filling a gap by collecting info 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 picked up and implemented elsewhere. Examples from the past include the churches that open their parking lots at night to the homeless, the barber who uses his days off to give homeless people haircuts, or the group that put out clothing for people to take if needed.
FOR WRITE-UPS ON SPIRITUAL PRACTICE for Beguine Again beguineagain.com Facebook message Terri Stewart. We also have a FB page – The Bardo Group Beguines -where we provide Zine info, inspiration, notice of spiritual events of interest to seekers and links to work posted on beguineagain.com founded and managed by Terri.
PLEASE DO NOT POST POETRY ON THE DISCUSSION PAGE. There are plenty of poetry groups on FB. We’re unique, doing something different but we do offer other opportunities to share your poetry and creative work:
SUBMISSIONS of poetry, essays, short stories, creative nonfiction, music videos, and artwork for The BeZine – journal or blog – are considered via email only: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BeZine is on a quarterly schedule in 2018 and for the foreseeable future. Here are the schedule, themes, submission deadlines and publication dates for the remainder of this year:
June 2018 issue, Deadline May 20th. (The deadline is extended this month and would normally be on the 10th of the month prior to the publication month.) Theme: Sustainability
September 2018 issue, Deadline August 10th, Theme: Human Rights/Social Justice
December 2018 issue, Deadline November 10th, Theme: A Life of the Spirit
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES: Email me – email@example.com – if you have poetry news or essays on poetry to be considered for The Poet by Day jamiededes.com For submissions (poetry and short fiction or creative nonfiction) for consideration by Michael Dickel for Meta/Phor(e)/Play Facebook message Michael or connect with him HERE.
The Bardo Group Begines is a twelve-member core team of poets and writers, artists and musicians, philosophers and clerics providing comfort, inspiration and information via thebezine.com and beguineagain.com. The BeZine is an entirely volunteer effort, a mission. It is not a paying market but neither does it charge submission or subscription fees. Instead of charging you, if you enjoy and benefit from The BeZine and Beguine Again, we encourage you to make a donation to one of your local charities and, especially if you are in the Seattle area, to Terri Stewart’s Youth Chaplaincy and Peacemaking Coordinating Team.
As an offshoot of 100,000 Poets for Change (100TPC), this event is organized by The Bardo Group Beguines‘ Rev. Terri Stewart (Beguine Again and The BeZine) at Riverton Park United Methodist Church, 3118 S 140th Street, Tukwilia, Washington 98168 on Saturday, September 24th, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. with a social gathering from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Terri will lead a peacemaking circle that will focus on earth justice. She says, “We want to make a public witness of peace and peace for the earth. Hope to see you there!”
The Peacemaking Circle will focus on ecological justice by following the tradition of the Tagish and Tlingit First Nation people of the Yukon Territories as taught to me by Saroeum Phoung.
“The principles of Peacemaking Circles are embodied in the talking piece. A talking piece holds the power of both talking and listening. It gives everyone an equal say as it relentlessly passes from person to person in a clockwise manner.
“Circles intentionally create a sacred space that lifts barriers between people, opening fresh possibilities for connection, collaboration and mutual understanding. The process works because it brings people together in a way that allows them to see one another as human beings and to talk about what matters.
“We will be utilizing the method of a talking circle that allows different voices to come together to explore a particular topic, the environment, from many different perspectives. This allows a diversity of voices, thoughts, and ideas to surface.” Terri Stewart
That same afternoon there will also be a food drive in process at Riverton for the Tukewila Pantry Emergency Food Bank and donations of food or money are welcome. Here is the wish list if you are able to help:
Remember, wherever you are in the world, go to 100TPC to find an event in your area or to register to hold one and no matter where you are, you can also participate in The BeZine’s 100TPC virtual event.
Of note: Michael Rothenberg, cofounder of the global peace initiative, 100TPC, announced yesterday that 500 events are now registered.
“Mohammed al-Ajami Pardoned by Qatari Emir. It seems that the Government of Qatar has finally listened to the concerns of the United Nations and international community,” says ADHRB’s Executive Director, Husain Abdulla, “The Emir’s decision to pardon Mohammed al-Ajami is not only a victory for free expression over the forces of censorship and repression in Qatar, it is also a testament to the power of public, international pressure to improve human rights everywhere.” Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain
You can register your book with Publishers Weekly and submit it for review via its BookLife platform HERE.
Writer’s Digest Deadline for WD Self-Published Book Awards: April 1, 2016 … “here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 24th annual self-published competition–the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition, co-sponsored by Book Marketing Works, LLC spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.” Details HERE
Information on other self-published book awards is offer by The Book Designer HERE.
April 16, 7-9 pm.
LITERARY PUB OR PERISH
Stickyz Rock N’ Roll Chicken Shack
107 River Market Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Join Sharon Frye, Ayara Stein, Silva Zanoyan Merjanian, RJ Looney, Donnie Lamon, MH Clay and Justin Booth. You’ll find the bios of presenters HERE.
MARCH 21, 6-7pm in HumSS G27, University of Reading Whiteknights Campus. Poet, playwright, director, producer and teacher Mojisola Adebayo will give a talk on and reading from her work, Mojisola Adebayo: Plays One (Oberon Books, 2012), on Monday 21 March, Mojisola will discuss her work with the Department’s expert on black British theatre, Nicola Abram. No charge and no reservation needed.
Mojisola Adebayo: Plays One includes the plays Moj of the Antarctic, Desert Boy, Matt Henson: North Star and Muhammad Ali and Me
Moj of the Antarctic is inspired by the true story of an African American woman who cross-dresses as a white man to escape slavery; taken on a fantastical odyssey to Antarctica.
Desert Boy, a time-travelling a capella musical, offers a sharp twist on the subject of knife crime, black youth and absent fathers.
Matt Henson, North Star is a biographical tale of Arctic betrayal, mixed with Greenlandic folk tales; all about love, climate and change.
Muhammad Ali and Me is a lyrical coming of age story, following the parallel struggles of a gay girl child growing up in foster care and the black Muslim boxing hero’s fight against racism and the Vietnam war.
APRIL 15: Special Poetry Issue of The BeZine. April, National Poetry Month in the United States, is celebrated as an international event at The BeZine. This year Contributing Editor Michael Dickel hosts and The Woven Tale Press is a partner. Poets featured include: Michael Rothenberg, Myra Schneider, Carolyn O’Connell, Terri Muuss, Dilys Wood, Liliana Negoi, Michael Dickel, Jamie Dedes, Imen Benyoub, Natasha Head and Aprilia Zank.
Notes: The Woven Tale Press offers a copy of their first Press Selected Works for free; and National Poetry Month is sponsored by the American Academy of Poets. Link HERE for activities in which you may join and to send for a free poster.
APRIL 21: Litquake Celebrates National Poetry Month at Gardenias: A Poets Supper; 1963 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115; featured poets include Kimberly Grey, D.A. Powell, and Solmaz Sharif. Details HERE.
JULY 3 – 18:W/rites and Rhapsodies: Israel Writing Tour
Write! Tour! Perform! Listen! Learn! Feast! With tour leaders Adeena Karasick and Michael Dickel. Registration deadline: 15 April 2016 Link HEREItinerary. Cost: $3,080, which does not include air fare, more details HERE. Register HERE.
SEPTEMBER 24: is the next Global Event Day for 100,000 Poets for Change (peace, sustainability, social justice). Check out 100TPC.org for details on this initiative, to find events in your area and/or to register an event you’re organizing. Poets Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion are founders and hosts.
In honor of 100TPC, The BeZineis focusing on Environment and Environmental Justice this year. Message G Jamie Dedes on Facebook if you want to join our ongoing Facebook discussion group. Our September 15 issue of The BeZine is dedicated to Environmental subjects and hosted by Associate Editor, Priscilla Galasso. On the global event day, September 24, the Zine will sponsor a virtual event with reader participation. Michael Dickel hosts.
OCTOBER 17: Under the leadership of Terri Stewart, Beguine Again founder and managing editor, will host a 100,000 Beguines for Peace event. This interfaith effort will focus on spiritual topics. Details to come from Terri in months ahead. Beguine Again and The BeZine are sister sites and The Bardo Group Beguines support and often contribute to both sites. Terri Stewart is a Methodist Minister. Her popular Daily Practice posts on Beguine Again feature poetry, art and music to address timely topics in a conscious and prayerful manner.
OCTOBER 20-23:The 30th Annual Dodge Poetry Festival, the largest poetry festival in the United States will be held in Newark, New Jersey. Details HERE. Readings from past festivals are archived on YouTube HERE.
SAN FRANCISCO JAPAN TOWN 2016, 110th Anniversary: This is one of the only three remaining Japan towns in the United States. Events are scheduled throughout the year to celebrate culture and history. Of special interest are photographic displays, a book launch, a concert and performing arts nights. Details HERE.
THE POET BY DAY
“Here be inspiration. There are blogs and there are blogs. There is writing; there is poetry; there is art; there is human endeavour and there is ‘The Poet by Day’. Rarely, if ever, have I come across a web log like this, of such towering integrity. Seldom have I encountered such a willingness to subjugate self for the benefit not only of the art of the written word, but also for the benefit of poets and writers everywhere. Here be a deep well of inspiration.” Poet, essayist and musician: John Anstie (My Poetry Library)
to honor the place of poetry in our lives;
to acknowledge good poets, both established and emerging;
to encourage poetry for social and environmental justice;
to shine a light on women and minority poets and poets just finding their voices in maturity;
to encourage you in your writing and provide helpful information and resources;
to have fun, to laugh, to feel good … and to cry when that’s needed.
I “met” Terri Stewart online in 2011 when I visited her blog Beguine Again, which at that time was entitled Cloaked Monk. “Beguine” Again – after the Beguines, a lay semi-monastic Christian order of the 13th-16th centuries in Northern Europe. It was committed to – among other things – caring for the sick and the poor.
I was impressed with Terri’s commitment to spiritual ritual and her openness to the wisdom and beauty in religious traditions, including traditions other than her own. I valued her respect for diversity, both social and spiritual, so I eventually invited her to become the Sunday Chaplain for what was then a blog entitled Into the Bardo.
Since that time, we’ve evolved into a group (The Bardo Group) of clerics and poets, writers and other creatives representing varied traditions and cultures and sharing the core values of respect and nonviolence. We work in the interest of peace, sustainability and social justice. We publish The BeZine. Our thirteenth issue comes out on November 15th. The theme is At-risk Youth. Terri is taking the lead for that issue, making this the perfect time for readers and colleagues to get to know her better. Hence this interview … Enjoy!
Jamie: I have a sense that you were committed to social justice long before you decided to study theology and become a minister. Is that correct? What was the stimulus and what was the first project on which you worked?
Terri: When I first joined the church in 2001, I was looking for a connection to community. What I discovered was inequality in the church and an avoidance of social issues that drove wedges between people. It was like that uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner. Everybody is at the table, but only a few were allowed at the grown-up’s table. And! disagreements were glossed over for the sake of unity.
My biggest issue with the church was its lack of inclusion for LGBTQIAP individuals. In response to that, and as a mirror of the greater structure of the United Methodist Church (UMC) world-wide church, I founded the Church & Society committee. This was an attempt to get people talking and to be able to step into social issue learning and leadership. I soon found myself embroiled in controversy as two issues marched through Washington state. In 2004, there was a church trial in the town next to my home town that was an attempt to defrock a lesbian pastor. Also, just prior to the trial, I was involved in a march on the capitol in Olympia for marriage equality.
The upshot was that I was yelled at like I was a child! “Are you trying to destroy the church?”
As my first forays into social justice was basically full inclusion for LGBTQIAP individuals within the UMC church, I would count myself unsuccessful. The UMC church continues to have harmful language in its official rulebook (the ominously named Book of Discipline). I continue to advocate and am on the national board of Reconciling Ministries Network. Our goal has been full inclusion. I think we are beginning to realize that we need a second goal, that of creating safe space.
Also! At the same time this was all swirling around, I started volunteering with Kairos Prison Ministry in 2003. Kairos provides spiritual renewal retreats within the prison setting. Working with Kairos (Ancient Greek for “the right time” as opposed to chronos which is “watch time”) started me on a path towards understanding the full systems that impact the lives of those who are incarcerated.
Jamie: How and when did the focus transition to incarcerated youth? What is the most important thing you would like us to understand about the youth being served?
Terri: As I worked with Kairos, I started out working with incarcerated men. Then with incarcerated women. And then with women whose loved ones were incarcerated. I worked my way into leadership positions. Eventually, we thought, “What about youth whose loved ones are incarcerated?” So we wrote a program just for them.
At the same time, I was called into ordained ministry. I went to seminary. In my second year of seminary, I was required to do an internship. My internship was at the King County Youth Detention Center (KCJDC), Seattle, Washington. I basically never left.
The thing to know about the youth at KCJDC and at the state level institutions I serve, is that they are traumatized youth. The average ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) score for incarcerated youth is 92 out of 100. Most of us would be in therapy with that high of a score! Instead, these youth are incarcerated. We could change that by having trauma informed teaching practices in communities where generational trauma has occurred or by having mental health centers with trauma treatment available. Destigmatizing therapy would be grand!
Jamie:Tell us about Youth Chaplaincy Coalition, how other ministers may get involved and what the public can do to help.
Terri: The Youth Chaplaincy Coalition developed out of my internship at KCJDC. We realized that there was a need to organize, train, and supervise religious volunteers so that the youth would get the best care possible.
While we started at KCJDC, we now are state-wide. I run a mentoring program called MAP that aids youth in developing transition plans for when they go home. Since the kids go home all over Washington, I need volunteers in every city!
My dream is to teach people across the world how the MAP program works and how easy it is to walk with those affected by incarceration. There is also a training called “Healing Communities” that teaches communities how to use their gifts in aid of those affected by incarceration. If every church was a Healing Community and every city had trained mentors, we could transform the world! Well, we could at least change one child’s life. If you want to be involved or talk to me, you can email me at YCC-Chaplain@thechurchcouncil.org
My biggest need is financial support. I take a very small stipend and am responsible for all my own fundraising needs. I often make decisions this way, “Should I do my work today? Or should I do fundraising today?” Although I should view fundraising as work, I often give it a lower prioritization! So donations would be especially appreciated. I persuaded the Church Council of Greater Seattle to adopt the organization so we are a legit 501c3 and we have an accountant doing all the financial stuff! That is a great gift to me!
Donations can be sent to:
Youth Chaplaincy Coalition
PO Box 18467
Seattle, WA 98118
Be sure and put YCC or Youth Chaplaincy on the memo line.
Jamie:What made you decide to go into ministry? What is the most rewarding aspect of that commitment?
Terri: When I first experienced a call to ministry, I thought I was going bananas. My first reaction was, “Who me?” or “I must be over-tired!” The call I experienced felt like a direct communication from the Divine telling me to go deeper. As I went deeper into understanding the call of ministry, I discovered it was a call to ordained ministry.
The most rewarding part of the commitment to a sacramental ministry is when I see a person’s eyes light up with the understanding that they are, indeed, holy and good—a living sacrament.
Jamie:Tell us about “cloaked monk” and the place of ritual in our lives.
The Cloaked Monk developed out of a commitment to daily spiritual practices in ordinary life (the monk part) and that I was kind of disguised—like wearing a cloak!
I believe that ritual marks out sacramentality in our daily lives. Sacramentality is that connection to one another and to the Divine. It is a way of marking time that moves away from chronological time (Greek: chronos) and into marking the fullness of time (Greek: kairos). It also allows us to fully be present without living in the past or rushing into the future. This is especially important in our transient age of moving here and there faster and faster. Rituals grounded in generational practices connect us through time and space to another age. There is also the place for new rituals created that uplift new and modern experiences that our ancestors would never have imagined. They can be a celebration, a grounding, a remembering, or a lament.
The ancient Celts had thin places. They were places that the veil between the earth and beyond seem especially vulnerable to one another. Places where the things of heaven could pass to the earth and where things of the earth could pass to heaven. Stonehenge is one such place. Or labyrinths. Ritual, when it is meaningful, creates this thin place.
Jamie: Why should readers care about people and issues that don’t seem to touch their lives directly?
Terri: Unfortunately, it seems that issues of justice and mercy do not intersect with ordinary lives. Incarceration seems far away from us. Refugees in Syria seem far away. Violence in Palestine seems so very far away. But it all tangles together like my bag of knitting yarn. I am a very poor knitter. My yarns always get tangled and I don’t know what to do. And when it is in my bag, it will suck in all the other little things in there! Resources or things I might need become tangled up in the yarn. Those are resources that I need. They might be resources that others need.
In Washington, we spend about $9,600 per student to educate them. We spend about $45,000 per prisoner to incarcerate them. What we know is that by reading scores in the 4th grade, we can predict incarceration rates because we do not fully fund our schools. What if we were able to direct our resources into education? All students would benefit.
I imagine that it is like boats rising in a tide. A rising tide raises all boats. Yours, mine, everyone’s!