MAMA, Goddess of All Times, An Eulogy to Mother (Part 2), a lyric essay by Zimbabwean Poet in Exile, Mbizo Chirasha

Mbizo’s Mom

“In all her doings my mother influenced me to have endurance, dedication, resistance, faith and resilience.” Mbizo Chirasha

Our village rondavels sat on the peripheral fringes of Dayataya, that elephantine mountain of home. It cracked with a fervent babyish glee every promising dawn. Birds sang soprano and black baboons yelped baritone. The chattering monkeys and jiving rock rabbits chanted tenor. Musical Mother, your footsteps to the mountain to pick firewood for our morning meal was a goddess jive, complimenting nature’s rhythm. This is points to the meaning of mothers. They are angels, messengers of life, You, my Mother, are the goddess of all times.

Dayataya wore a light-yellow tinge on its head at dawn. Toward sunset it cracked a harmless oxblood tinted smile. You wore an earthly doek [bandana] with your resilience matching that yellow, the color of freedom.

Dayataya was our mountain of home. Its cousin, Zvegona, remained holy and steadfast, standing still in hard seasons of drought and winter. Like the steely goddess in you, it never surrenders to ravaging winds and tumultuous storms. Zvegona strutted in grey gowns on winter mornings. At night, it switched to black to compete with Dayatayas blankets of shadows that lulled us to sleep and guide us against nightmares and omens.

Your motherly love was big and it filled the caves, thickets and crevices of Dayataya. Zvamapere hills and Gwenyuchi kissed the sunrise exchanging breath in a sprightly romantic parody. At that time Corona Virus and his ancestors Influenza and Whooping cough were not yet born, the earth was virgin and fresh as a country damsel. The Zvamapere hills danced in blue bridal veils. Gwenyuchi shuffled in his grey silver suit passing the holy mist to his beloved bride Zvamapere. You giggled with joy at nature’s lively escapades.

Dear Mama, you trudged through hills and mountains and along fields hunting for life and food to feed your brood.  When hunger folded its legs on our doorsteps and our stomachs roared with emptiness, you wept passionately. You persisted and won the battles against hunger. We, your brood, jostled in ignorance of your motherly dedication. We were overjoyed by the gift of food after the restless sleep of empty bellies.

You are the goddess of all times. When poverty erected its manhood into our homestead, you fumbled metaphors to gods and you chanted resistance. Then poverty, the coward scampered to other villages, those lacking your determination.Your hoe cracked palms defended our bellies from the devastation of hunger and poverty.
The earth roasted time into years and years baked themselves into war.  Chimurenga war arrived with its sleepiness nights, beatings, violence, blood, songs and massacres. You fought side by side with combatants with zeal and spirit for a new country. A war collaborator par-excellence, you slaughtered and stewed road runner chickens for comrades and scampered for blankets and jeans to clothe war cadres, you endured the pain of gun butts’ beatings inflicted by colonialist dans.  The rattling of rains and the rat tat of bullets during Pungwes Nights. You were a blessed soul   heaving the breath of the revolution. I dangled on your backside chanting verses imitating war time songs . . .

Vana Mai bikai Sadza, Vana Venyu Tauya

Vana Mai bikai Sadza Vana Venyu , Yuwi vana bikai  Yuwi vana bikai Sadza

Vana Venyu tauya

You sang with war collaborators and comrades despite the incessant clutter of guns and hair harrowing grenades explosions. I am child of war, of rain, of the hard road and victory songs.

The storms of war raged. You protected my young body through thickets of demons and jungles of lions as I smelt the rhythm of Chimurenga and the wave of gun smoke. Behind your revolution hardened back, I carved poetry from your sweet lullabies and grieving hymns, I became a griot before I teethed. The gift I carried and still carry in my DNA, a gift from gods. Shaped by your love, I am a griot of the land. I speak to Kings, Queens,, Mediums and Revolutionaries. I preach justice to unjust. I sing truth to political imbeciles. I voice human rights to immoral ideological zealots. Dear Mama, I remain resolute. I am a griot, prince to carry forward your ideals and example. You remain my goddess of all times.

Sometime back you told of the day when I was born, that the sun went back early into the womb of earth, the moon was torn into two halves, wind raged, a storm ensued, thunder roared, lightning bolts cracked in synchrony with gun claps. The rat tat of pelting raindrops witnessed your labor pains on God’s night. I was born. The angry earth was reversed to harmony, the Chimurenga war paused, freedom songs vibrated the grenade pregnant earth. You and other peasants of the land danced fervently for the black cockerel and his revolutionary cabal. My tender soul smiled at the paradox. You, father and the villagers drank the socialist revolutionary propaganda like whisky. You munched the Nkurumaist-Castroist-Mugabeist Ideological biscuits like any other war-time peasants. Nevertheless, black cockerels drank the revolutionary eggs and you returned to scratch for dear life on the rock fringes of Dayataya. Still, you remained the goddess of all times.

I grew up as Ndoda [Xhosa term for man], a weakling because gun claps broke my ears and my lungs. I suffered from asthma, chest pains, and chronic ear infections. You carried me to hospitals in light and night for years and decades, you wept in between the my tortured  seizures until your tears dried. You consulted with every hospital, healer, and prophet on my behalf. Time passed and the gods and ancestors freed me from the bondage of Satan. I grew perfectly then like a sweet potato enjoying the warmth caress of red earth. Years stewed into decades and roasted into more decades. I became a steadfast griot, toiling in the land of the Almighty Lord. I am your prince. You remain the goddess of all times.

In the wake of a pregnant anopheles [a type of mosquito] humming its blood-sucking hymn, and after bedbugs launched a terrorist bombing against my skin, I got dizzy and convulsed. I swatted the mosquitos with my big thumb and the bedbugs scattered in no time. I slept again and a  revealing dream spoke to me in the rush of a presidential motorcade to long waiting hope-drained villagers.

I dreamt of you Mother, wearing a sparkling silver wedding dress, walking side by side by the great king of all times, my departed father. The Mahosa totem appeared. I carried a lit white candle and you had a bunch of white roses. A wedding song boomed feverishly from a big stereo. I can’t remember the singer, but I remember the beautiful poetic song,

Vul’indlela wemamgobhozi
He unyana wam
Helele uyashada namhlanje
Vul’indlela wela ma ngiyabuza
Msuba nomona
Unyana wami uthathile
Bengingazi ngiyombon’umakoti
Unyana wam eh ujongile this time

You looked gorgeous like Zvegona pastures during rainy season. Your smile was wide like a full summer moon. Father winked to you with heartily contentment and then swallowed their desire. I smiled to the dream and you smiled back then disappeared in a white wedding limousine. I pondered. I failed to calculate the meaning and the reason. Then on the Saturday that followed that Friday night dream, a windy morning, and my brother wept in the phone, telling me of your departure. Your death was unexpected and I failed to be there to say goodbye for the world is now ravenous.

The revolution is roasting its own grandsons and daughters. The devil is manancing. His threat long , coy  and rogue. He gave birth to a cruel goblin of a son called Corona Virus. Now every door of every home is locked. Every gate of every country is locked. The goddess have take a breather, those pacesetters and trendsetters. I know I was not there to cast the last lump of shovel dust to say goodbye spirit Queen. I did what I can as a prince, your griot son, including prayers. God knows I sang a spirited supplications to the angels of God to welcome and place your motherly in the and resilient soul in the warm embrace of the Almighty God.

I failed to weep not because I am a coward. Today as I write this eulogy and my heart caves, bleeding grief. I remain chanting resilience as every morning I see you floating in the mist of dawn and later wrapped in the cloaked night  I watch you sending guardian angels to guide us against evil, to protect us from poverty, hunger and demons. Dear Mama, I remain resolute knowing death is not a good guest nor a best host. I know we meet one day in the heavenly mansions of God.

Fambai Zvakanaka Shoko

Makwiramiti, mahomu-homu
Vanopona nekuba
Vanamushamba negore
Makumbo mana muswe weshanu
Hekani Soko yangu yiyi
Vakaera mutupo umwe nashe
Vana Va
Vakabva Guruuswa
Soko Mbire ya
Vanobva Hwedza
Vapfuri vemhangura
Matonjeni vanaisi vemvura
Zvaitwa matarira vari mumabwe
Mhanimani tonodya, svosve tichobovera
Maita zvenyu rudzi rukuru
Vakawana ushe neuchenjeri
Vakufamba hujeukidza kwandabva
Pagerwe rinongova jemedzanwa
Kugara hukwenya-kwenya
Vari mawere maramba kurimba
Vamazvikongonyadza kufamba hukanya
Zvibwezvitedza, zvinotedzera vari kure
Asi vari padyo vachitamba nazvo
Zvaitwa mukanya rudzi rusina chiramwa
Maita vari Makoromokwa, Mugarandaguta
Aiwa zvaonekwa Vhudzijena

You remain the goddess of all times. I chant resilience!

© 2020, Mbizo Chirasha 

Link to Part 1 HERE.

Mbizo Chirasha

MBIZO CHIRASHA (Mbizo, The Black Poet) is one of the newest members of the Zine team and  a recipient of PEN Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant (2017). He is a Literary Arts Projects Curator, Writer in Residence, Blogs Publisher, Arts for Human Rights/Peace Activism Catalyst, Social Media Publicist and Internationally Anthologized Writer, 2017 African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival Exiled in Africa Program in New York, 2017 Grantee of the EU- Horn of Africa Defend Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund, Resident Curator of 100 Thousand Poets for Peace-Zimbabwe, Originator of Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Movement. He has published a collection of poetry, Good Morning President, and co-created another one Whispering Woes of Gangesand Zembezi with Indian poet Sweta Vikram.

Speaking in Poetic Tongues: A Salute to Women Activist Poets from Womawords Literary Press

Courtesy of Levi Guzman, Unsplash

“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.” Mbizo Chirasha

Originally published in Cultural Weekly, this is Mbizo Chirasha’s acknowledgement of some of the activist poets featured by Womawords Literary Press, which is dedicated to giving space to the voices of women and girls. I am touched to be counted among them and to be included in Mbizo’s feature here. Womawords Literary Press is also the co-host of The BeZine‘s International Poetry Month April 2020 series of daily poetic offerings in celebration of the month beginning on April 1.  / J.D.

Speaking in poetic tongues is an homage to the evangelists of resistance and poetic prophetesses. The women poet wordslingers wielding their pen weaponry to unchain the world from the pressing yoke of stereotypes and the hard granite rock sufferance perpetuated by unrepentant moral morons.

as we stand the ground of one another’s battles
where peace would be evolutionary and
the unholy alliance of wealth and fear-mongering
might burn itself out, find its way into justice,
but here we are, once again, in thrall to the
sociopaths, they have us bloodied and bound ~
their eyes are the aged face of clockwork orange,
numb to the obscenities of maim and murder …

© Jamie Dedes


The griot in JAMIE DEDES is dared–daring. The tone as accompanied with the hard- rock verbiage is sarcastic but riotous. Racists are jabbed by defiant swords of satire. Poetry Spaces are poetry washed into oxy-moronic fields of peace. Corrupt landlords, warlords and tyrants are roasted by flames of metaphor. Dedes irony exorcise political demons and rattles the grip of economic dare-devils. Jamie Dedes is a Lebanese-American writer and activist. In another lifetime, she was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. She’s had to reinvent herself to accommodate chronic and catastrophic illness, which has her home-bound, often bed-bound. The gift in this is time for literature, her primary passion, and social justice advocacy, her primary mission.

America is a blessing; it is blessed with the gift of word evangelist. It is the land of abundant literary arts culture talent. TRACY YVONNE BREAZILE‘s double edged razor sharp cutting poesy scythes against weeds of earthly stereotypes of political barbarism. Unsparingly ,the razor sharp tip of her poetic machete slice through Africa in quest for the freedom of her earth mates “Zimbabweans,” writhing under the heavy yoke of unbridled corruption as they suffocate from toxic, choking and command politics.

I gather my confusion and stutter my truths,
As you unleash your lightning bolt into the thicket,
Crashing into the night with a raging fire,
I dance with the embers ‘till morning light,
While you devise an avalanche to extinguish the fire,
You dropped your mask and it tumbled to the ground,
In the dust of the avalanche, beneath the rubble of your pedestal,
I will leave you there to mind your mazes,

© Tracy Yvonne Breazile

TRACY YVONNE BREAZILE is a Mentor in Residence of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign Projects–Brave Voices Poetry Journal, Word Guerrillas Café and WOMAWORDS Literary Press.

I hear the poetic giggles echoing from beyond century hills reverberating foothills of Kirinyaga Mountains. Nancy Ndeke is an African prophetess, her to poetic tongues echo the foothills of Kirinyaga mountain, her writings are pregnant with African emotion and spiritual resonance. She writes of her kindred, WOMEN with a bold spirit and an aura of sisterly stubbornness. Her pen jives on page leaves like a rock rabbit dancing to earthly acoustics of wind, tree branches and discordant village songs. Ndeke’s poetry is the tenor of deep but soft flowing river, the rhythm abound is undeniably scintillating. You need a calabash of fresh spring water to wash down the poetry dinner of realism, metaphor and satire.

……………Is less of the individual, and
More of the community, meeting as equals,
At the intersection of connectedness
The hubris,
That rules empires with iron tanks and nuclear weapons
The feel good notion,
That sets colors apart in racism,
Are months that blow evil dust on the arena of life’s rainbow
There is no joy whatsoever
In fear, in anger
With greed, with bigotry,
Peace flees,

© Nancy Ndeke

NANCY NDEKE is a Poet of international acclaim. Her writings and poetry are featured in several collections, anthologies and publications around the globe including the American magazine Wild Fire, Save Africa Anthology, world Federation of Poets in MEXICO.



The Armenian spirit HOKIS returns the echo with indomitable metaphoric incantations. Here poetry walks confidently in the spirit land. Hokis is the Founder and Senior Editor of Headline Poetry and Art Magazine. She believes in supporting a range of voices at various stages of their craft for this is the most impactful design of grassroots revolutions. She envisions Headline as a platform that exemplifies the beliefs that all poetry is political and reflection is essential to effectively reshape conversations and culture—for writers and readers alike.

the let loose moments
of garbled wrappers and stenched bottles
drizzled over our bedside table
like syrup on empty caloried

© Hokis


Again, We walk through the holy sands of Cape Verde to harvest voices of souls dead and walking. GLORIA SOPHIA is a deep, versatile and powerful Cape Verde-an poet with three published books and some more contributions in a number of anthologies. The poet is a creative began. She cultivates her creativity with determination and the required zeal. It is very critical to give poets, like Sofia creative spaces suitable platforms for purposes of growing them into literary stardom.


Sun explodes in the sky
Burning the moon
Destroying the eternal blue
Germinates in my womb
Star packed with music It hurts everything
Swollen mother
Wrapped stomach
Blushing breasts
My undulating body

© Gloria Sophia

Nordic Europe have its on share of poetic prophets. Wisdom is not sold but served in cafes, restaurants, galleries and bookshops. DOLORES MEDEN is a versatile and a genius poet who mastered the power of art and the versatility that is found languages. She writes her poetry and translates them herself. She infuses her writings with visual artist’s drawings to bring about to the reader historical references of art, humanity and just life. ALLUSION is one great element of literature and most reader respect reference, history and currency

To read is resistance
to stupidity
to ignorance
to the unhealthy
you once
escaped from.

© Dolores Menden


Meden was born in Sweden by Croatian parents and have lived there all her life. A graduate of Bachelor of Arts in History of Religion. She also studied some languages, mostly Slovene and Chinese.


The sun rises from the East and its rays bathe the world. The earth becomes beautiful and creative abundance is gathered to heal the world. MIROSLAVA PANAYOTIVA is one great poet of national and international repute in Bulgaria .Her themes are diverse from nature to confessional poetry, her style unique and her diction versatile. Her verses carry scintillating rhythm.

In the grass of the night,
in the sleeping mystery,
in the expiring pencil
to the blue notebook,
I outline the sunset

© Miroslava Panyotova

MIROSLAVA PANAYOTOVA graduated from the Plovdiv University majoring in Bulgarian philology. Her whole lot of poems, stories, tales, aphorisms, essays, criticisms, translations, articles and interviews in periodicals and collections.

© 2020, introductory text, Mbizo Chirasha; poets poems and photographs are under their own copyright.

Womawords Literary Press is a complex of efforts, the heart-child initiated and curated by Zimbabwean poet activist in exile Mbizo Chirasha (Mbizo, The Black Poet).  You can read an interview of Mbizo on Womawords and the opportunities offered there to women HERE.

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!


For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders

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

Immersive Exploration Into Auteur’s Theatrical Career: In the Company of Hal Prince, Broadway Producer, Director, Collaborator

Broadway director Harold Prince receives the Golden Plate award from Nobel laureate (literature) Toni Morrison at the American Academy of Achievement’s 46th annual International Achievement Summit in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 23, 2007 / Courtesy of the Academy of Achievement and generously released into the public domain

“I was nine. I saw Orson Welles in ‘Julius Caesar.'” It was involving, emotional, imaginative. I’ve never forgotten it.” Hal Prince

For many many reasons, I’ve loved musical theatre almost from day one. Partly, of course, it’s just fun, but I’ve also always been intrigued by the collaborative nature of the medium. Naturally writers are included in that collaboration, perhaps a career aspiration for some readers here. After all, what is theatre about if not storytelling? As poets and writers, that’s what we’re about too. We love to read stories, write them, view them, listen to them. It’s a never-ending love affair and how wonderful it is that musical theater brings story together with song (poetry, if you will) and dance.

“Way way back: Music, poetry and dance came into the world together. Sometimes they get lonely for each other.” Joy Harjo during her Inaugural Reading as Poet Laureate of the United States

Few people have helped to define American musical theatre more than Hal Prince (1928-2019), who died this past July in Reykjavík. His plays include some of my all-time faves: West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Damn Yankees, Phantom of the Opera, and Zorba.

Hal Prince’s significant influence on Broadway stemmed from his reinvention of musical theatre from the script-and-score-based model to a more visual, almost cinematic art form in which the director is auteur. But it also stemmed from his appreciation for collaboration and his trusted collaborators, talented friends and colleagues who could help achieve his singular vision for a production.

Photo of Hal Prince by Van Williams. Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. copyright: NY Public Library

Now, in the interest of education, theatre history, homage, and the absolute shear pleasure of it, there’s a new free exhibition In The Company of Harold Prince: Broadway Producer, Director, Collaborator. Through the exhibition,The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts explores Prince’s creative trajectory and showcases the team of designers, stage managers, press agents, composers, and writers he assembled to create so many history-making shows. In The Company of Harold Prince is at the Library’s Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery and will be on display through March 31, 2020.

Curated by Doug Reside, the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Curator of the Library’s Billy Rose Theatre Division, the exhibition will display original costumes, set models, and archival video, and borrows from the aesthetic of immersive theatre, inviting visitors to pick up, examine and interact with reproductions of documents and objects from the Library’s unparalleled collections. Facsimiles of the paperwork for Pajama Game and Damn Yankees will be scattered over a recreation of Prince’s desk for visitors to look through. Digital recreations of stage manager Ruth Mitchell’s scripts will be linked to thousands of never-before-seen photographs from the Library’s collections. The exhibition will end with an open cabaret stage will allow visitors to perform songs from his shows or record their own stories about their experience with Prince’s theatrical work.

“I had the pleasure of getting to know Hal over the course of planning this exhibition,” said Reside. “Showing him initial designs and ideas about the direction of the exhibition was a thrill, as was hearing his stories about his career and the collaborators he so loved working with. We’d planned this exhibition believing that Hal would be here to enjoy it with us, and I’m so sad that that’s no longer the case. The whole Library mourns the loss of our friend, supporter, and legend, and we’re honored to celebrate his life and achievements through this exhibition.”

​A major highlight of ​​In The Company of Harold Prince is an area devoted to his collaborations with set designer​​ Boris Aronson. Aronson designed the sets behind some of Prince’s most iconic productions, and many of these models, often constructed by Aronson’s wife and design collaborator Lisa Jalowetz, have been recently restored and will be on view together for the first time public. Sets on display will include ​​Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, ​​Zorba​​, ​​Company, ​​Follies, ​​Pacific Overtures, ​and ​​A Little Night Music.

Other highlights from the exhibition include:

  • Recreation of Prince’s office with George Abbott in Rockefeller Center
  • Prince’s roulette wheel, which he kept in his office to illustrate that “theatre is a gamble”
  • Footage of Taganka Theatre’s production of Ten Days That Shook The World, which deeply influenced Prince’s aesthetic
  • Materials from the original production of Merrily We Roll Along, including cast newsletter, video of the original production, and the stage manager’s script
  • Patti LuPone’s Buenos Aires dress and wig worn during Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from the original Broadway production of Evita
  • Original costume designs by Patricia Zipprodt for Fiddler on the Roof, and Florence Klotz for Show Boat

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Library for the Performing Arts will also present a series of free public programs.

In the Company of Harold Prince Public Programs


Harold Prince: The Director’s Life 

MON, OCT 21 | 6 pm

Advance registration required

Lonny Price and David Thompson discuss and screen their documentary film Harold Prince: The Director’s Life, which premiered on PBS GREAT PERFORMANCES in November 2018. In addition to archival clips, this fascinating performance-documentary includes interviews with many of Prince’s renowned collaborators, including Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mandy Patinkin, John Kander, Susan Stroman, Angela Lansbury and others, all sharing their firsthand insights into his pioneering achievements in the theater.

Yes, Mr. Prince: An Evening with Harold Prince’s Assistants

THURS, OCT 24 | 6 PM

Advance registration required

From 1960 to 1976, Annette Myers scheduled the appointments, transcribed the memos, and took down the messages, as her boss brought Cabaret, Company, Follies, and other legendary Prince productions to Broadway. For this special program, Meyers and other people who worked as Prince’s assistant step out of the office and onto the stage to share their untold stories and insights on the making of theatre history.

Harold Prince’s Library Jukebox

TUES, NOV 19 | 7 PM

Advance registration required

Join Thomas Z. Shepard, legendary record producer of dozens of Broadway’s most beloved cast albums, for an interactive sound salon of Harold Prince Broadway hits.  Choose your favorite show tunes from a menu of Prince musical numbers, listen to cast recordings, and marvel at rarely seen artifacts from the Library’s unrivaled theater collections, including Jerry Bock’s home recordings, Jerome Robbins’ choreography notes, Stephen Sondheim’s discarded drafts, memos, models, manuscripts, and more.

A Marriage of Two Modernisms: Boris Aronson and Lisa Jalowetz 

MON, DEC 19 | 6 PM

Advance registration required

The spinning, Chagall fantasy of Anatevka…The tarnished, mirror-topped Kit Kat Klub…the Erector-set skeleton of city life…Director Harold Prince and artist Boris Aronson used scenic design as theatrical narrative. Behind Aronson’s sets was a unique partnership with his wife Lisa, whose Viennese modernism complemented his Russian Constructivism. Cultural Historian Marc Aronson presents on the many layers of his parents’ work.

Parade Reunion

MON, JAN 13 | 6 PM

Advance registration required

In 1997, Broadway’s most famous and successful director, Harold Prince tapped the unknown composer Jason Robert Brown to write the score for perhaps the most challenging work he’d ever conceived: Parade, a complex musical tragedy about violence, anti-Semitism, and love through adversity. Brown and playwright Alfred Uhry reunite on the Library’s stage to celebrate Prince and share memories of Parade.

Harold Prince Birthday Party, Sing Along Show and Tell 

THURS, JAN 30 | 6 PM

Company, Follies, A Little Night Music… Phantom, Evita, Cabaret, Fiddler… Merrily! Sweeney! West Side! Oh my… Lend your voice to our Harold Prince celebration. Play games, win prizes, and sing along to live performances of beloved songs from Prince musicals.

Additional programs will be added through the duration of the exhibition. Please check for updates.

All programs listed below are free and take place at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Programs are first-come, first-served unless otherwise noted. When indicated, advance registration can be handled online or in person at the Library’s Welcome Desk. Visit for details.

This post is courtesy of the New York Public Library, Wikipedia and my (admittedly questionable at this point) memory.

Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day, 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 for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * 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

We join the world in mourning the loss of Toni Morrison …

Street art depicting Morrison in Vitoria, Spain courtesy of Zarateman under CC0 license

“Anger … it’s a paralyzing emotion … you can’t get anything done. People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don’t think it’s any of that — it’s helpless … it’s absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers … and anger doesn’t provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever.” Toni Morrison during an interview with CBS radio host Don Swaim, September 15, 1987. 

This is a message for our times. Thank you to the anonymous person who shared this elsewhere online.

Toni Morrison (February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019) was truth, hope, and inspiration. She lives on in our minds and hearts as we begin rereading her monumental works.

Toni Morrison was a friend and colleague of the literary organization PEN America. When she died on Monday at the age of 88, PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel issued the following statement:

PEN America mourns long-time member Toni Morrison, 1993 Nobel Prize winner, 2008 PEN Literary Service Award winner, and 2016 PEN/Saul Bellow Award winner. Her unmatched ability to use story to kindle empathy and rouse the imaginations of millions to contemplate lived experiences other than their own has transformed our culture. Her faithfulness to fellow writers and the cause of literature was unparalleled. To have her voice silenced at this moment is an almost unbearable loss.  Our society would do well to recall her maxim just now, ‘If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.’”

– Jamie Dedes


  • Toni Morrison, Nobel Lecture
  • Toni Morrison, The Pieces that I Am, Trailer
  • Dangerous Work: An Evening with Toni Morrison. Here is the video of this tribute to Toni Morrison, 2016 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction Winner. It features actress Adepero Oduye, actor Delroy Lindo, jazz pianist Jason Moran, and mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran. The Master of Ceremonies is Kevin Young, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. (If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view this video presentation.)


Recent in digital publications: 
* Five by Jamie Dedes, 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)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group / Beguines, pushers of The BeZine of which I am managing editor. Email me at for permissions or commissions.