PEN America in the time COVID-19 moves Lit Festival from May to September; decries Trumps attack on journalist

American Museum of Natural History (NYC) courtesy of IngfbrunoCC BY-SA 3.0

Momentous Event at the American Museum of Natural History Brings Together the PEN America Community of Writers, Activists, and Cultural Luminaries to Support the Organization’s Increasingly Essential Advocacy of Truth-Telling and Free Expression



As a global public health crisis underscores the importance of credible, vital information, PEN America has confirmed a new date for the 2020 PEN America Literary Gala, its annual celebration of free expression and open discourse. The organization has rescheduled the event for September 15 (from May 19) and looks forward to convening its diverse, international community of writers, activists, and cultural luminaries in person to advance PEN America’s fundamental principles and honor the individuals who embody and uphold them.

“Denial, repression of facts, and disinformation have accelerated the spread of COVID-19 and impaired an effective response to it. Reliable truth—a prerequisite for assessing and ameliorating the crisis—is yet another casualty of this pandemic,” said Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America. “We stand in solidarity with all truth-tellers at home in the U.S. and abroad and are mobilizing to shore up a literary community hard-hit by this unfolding crisis. The 2020 PEN America Literary Gala is an opportunity for the literary and free expression communities to stand up for their values and raise support to defend them. We regret having to postpone but are determined to mount a forceful stand together in the fall.”

Note: Trump also bragged about not distributing The New York Times or the Washington Post in the White House. For my own reasons, I’m not crazy about either paper, but the Times is traditionally consider the newspaper of record in the U.S. / J.D.



Trump Attacks NBC Reporter, Peter Alexander, When Asked To Assuage Fear

PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel issued the following statement after President Trump chided a reporter for asking about what he would say to frightened Americans in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak:

NBC’s Peter Alexander interviewing Senator Chris Coons / public domain photograph courtesy of Senator Coons office

“President Trump’s shoot the messenger strategy of combating the coronavirus by attacking a reporter who did nothing more than point out the terror it is wreaking across America is shameful. Trustworthy, fact-based media has never been more essential to Americans than it is right now. The president’s effort to deflect the shortcomings of his administration’s response to the pandemic by attacking the reporters who question him has become an appalling daily spectacle and an international embarrassment to the United States. “



At the Gala, PEN America presents Patti Smith with the 2020 PEN/Audible Literary Service Award, for her prolific, multifaceted career and her unflinching determination to protest injustice and speak truth; and recognizes Frank A. Bennack, Jr., Executive Vice Chairman and Former CEO of Hearst, the event’s Corporate Honoree, for his dexterous, determined leadership of the company, an extraordinary source of philanthropy and a nimble force for quality journalism. As the event approaches, PEN America will announce the recipients of the PEN/Benenson Courage Award, for dauntless exercises of free expression, and the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, which goes to writers imprisoned for their work and spearheads advocacy campaigns on their behalf.

The PEN America Literary Gala is an annual highlight of New York’s literary, cultural, and social calendars and a vibrant cross-pollination of distinguished writers, human rights activists, publishers, editors, journalists, creative visionaries, and philanthropists. The event leaves guests moved and inspired to redouble their efforts in defense of truth, facts, the role of the media, and open dialogue as foundations of democracy. Proceeds of the dinner are crucial to PEN America’s cultural programming and advocacy work.

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. It champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.


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

Poetry Foundation announces its winter and spring line-up of events and exhibitions

The January 2020 issue of POETRYmagazine, which is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. It is published by Poetry Foundation
First issue cover, October 1912

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

A.R. Ammons (1988) copyright by Robert Barker, 1998 / Fair Use

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 cabin at Voyageurs National Park, listed in the National Register of Historic Place / Public Domain

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.

MULTIDISIPLINARY CONNECTIONS

Source: Ms. Bradfield’s Amazon page

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.

Celebrate the poets of tomorrow with two readings by student poets in May, sharing work they’ve written as part of the Chicago Poetry Center programs.

HOURS AND EVENT DETAILS

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.

Follow the Poetry Foundation and Poetry on Facebook, Twitter @PoetryFound and @Poetrymagazine, and Instagram @PoetryFoundation.


Poetry Rocks the World!

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.

Link HERE for Free Human Rights eCourse designed and delivered by United For Human Rights, Making Human Rights a Fact



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

“The BeZine” in Solidarity with Global Climate Change Events; Call for Submissions; U.N. Climate Summit 2019, “A Race We Can Win”

copyright Rick Frausto*

This month in solidarity with Greta, the September 20-27 Global Climate Strike (info and sign-up HERE), and in support of the U.N. Climate Change Summit 2019, we are posting climate material on The BeZine blog.

We are still open for submissions to this effort: poems, feature articles, fiction, creative nonfiction, art and photography, music videos, documentary videos on climate change for The BeZine blog, open through September 10, 2019. Your original previously published work may be submitted as long as you own the copyright. NO simultaneous submissions in September.

Email submissions to bardogroup@gmail.com.

Please note in your subject line: For the climate change blog.

All honors to Contributing Editor Michael Dickel for coming up with this idea.

– Jamie Dedes, Managing Editor

*The Greta Thunberg Drawing is all over the Internet. A bit of research reveals that it is by Rick Frausto and is part of his pen and ink “Visual Activism” series. It is available for purchase.


U.N. CLIMATE SUMMIT 2019, “A RACE WE CAN WIN”

The United Nations has opened additional places for civil society groups to participate in the 2019 Climate Action Summit, in recognition of the crucial role of civil society in driving forward urgent climate action.

Successful applicants will join global leaders in the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York on September 23, as well as working meetings across the Summit’s key action areas, to be held on September 21 and 22.

These places are in addition to more than 200 invitations that are already being issued to civil society representatives, including over 100 youth representatives. More than 600 young people will also participate in the Secretary-General’s Youth Climate Summit at UN Headquarters on 21 September.

The announcement is being made in conjunction with the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, which was held in Salt Lake City from 26 to 28 August, convened by the UN’s Department of Global Communications.

UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Climate Action Summit, Luis Alfonso de Alba said the UN was responding to the overwhelming demand for increased participation from civil society.

“With carbon pollution increasing and the global thermometer rising, we are seeing the impacts of climate change getting worse every day, causing huge damage to people, communities, and ecosystems everywhere. But the movement to tackle climate change is gaining momentum, as people and organizations everywhere are demanding action. The Climate Action Summit will be a moment for civil society to join with leaders from across government and politics to push climate action into a higher gear.  The voices, solutions, and engagement of civil society are more vital than ever.”

HEADS-UP: SEPTEMBER 5 DEADLINE

Civil society groups – in all countries and across all fields – who are working to drive forward positive climate actions and solutions are encouraged to apply for the additional positions by submitting a short written submission by September 5 at https://reg.unog.ch/event/31641/.

Applications will be assessed by a panel consisting of UN representatives leading broader engagement with civil society and experts on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The application review process will take into account gender and regional balance when assessing candidates. Reviewers will also recognize the resilience and leadership of individuals from marginalized and vulnerable communities, including but not limited to indigenous and tribal communities, people living with disabilities, refugees, LGBTQ and otherwise. Candidates must also clearly demonstrate a commitment to addressing the climate crisis and advancing solutions, including through leadership positions, partnerships with other stakeholders, and evidence of impact.

Successful applicants will be notified by September 9.

For media inquiries and interview requests on this announcement, please contact:

  • Dan Shepard, UN Department of Global Communications: shepard@un.org
  • Esra Sergi, UN Department of Global Communications: sergie@un.org

For media inquiries on the United Nations Civil Society conference, please contact:

Felipe Quipo, UN Department of Global Communications: queipo@un.org

Follow @ladealba on Twitter for the latest news on the Climate Action Summit.


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, 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 thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications * 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

 

Brooklyn Book Festival Children’s Day, September 21; 100TPC Read a Poem to a Child Week; “The BeZine” in Solidarity with the Global Youth Climate Strike

A mother reads to her children, depicted by Jessie Willcox Smith in a cover illustration of a volume of fairy tales written in the mid to late 19th century. / Public Domain

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” Lemony Snicket [Daniel Handler], Horseradish



The Brooklyn Book Festival was launched in 2006 to address the need for a major free literary event that embraced the diverse constituencies of New York City. The Festival’s mission is to celebrate published literature and support the literary community through programming that connects New York City readers with local, national, and international authors, publishers, and booksellers. To this end the festival develops original programs that are hip, smart, and diverse and collaborates to present free and low-cost programming includes the Festival Day, the Bookend Events, and the BKBF Children’s Day.

BKBF Children’s Day is presented by the non-profit Brooklyn Book Festival, Inc. and the Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council.  Be sure to visit www.brooklynbookfestival.org or check out the official Facebook page, follow the Festival on Instagram (@bkbookfest) and on Twitter (@BKBF).


This is a global event. Events scheduled for the “Read A Poem To A Child” initiative will take place from September 23th – 28th and will include readings in bookstores, schoolrooms, community centers, public parks and at private homes. Co-founder Terri Carrion explains that, “All you have to do is read a poem to a child in any setting that is convenient, and you can sign up on our website at http://100tpc.org/sign-up/


IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE GLOBAL YOUTH CLIMATE STRIKE

CALLING YOUTH & ADULTS

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS of poems, feature articles, fiction, creative nonfiction, art and photography, music videos, documentary videos on climate change for The BeZine blog is open through September 10, 2019. In solidarity with the world’s youth, we’ll post work on Climate Change throughout September. Your original previously published work may be submitted as long as you own the copyright. NO simultaneous submissions.  Please note in your subject line: For the climate change blog. Email submissions to bardogroup@gmail.com. All honors to Contributing Editor Michael Dickel for coming up with this idea.


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, 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 thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications * 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

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