The oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world.
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry, announced that the safety of staff and community remains it’s top priority and that during these unprecedented times, they continue to monitor and heed the guidance of local and national officials. Based on the most recent guidelines from the Center for Disease Control they’ve decided to cancel all programming and remain closed to the public through May 15, regretful because April is National Poetry Month, a time for celebrating the community of poets, artists and performers.
Poetry Foundation will continue April’s celebrations across digital platforms and suggests that whether you’re a newcomer to reading poems and looking for a place to start, or a lifelong writer seeking fresh engagement with poetry, the Foundation will have something for you.
The BeZine will celebrate April as International Poetry Month, themed pandemic but we are suggesting a wide-range of subject material under that heading. I will publish more details sometime tomorrow. Submissions to email@example.com (Please note this is our new email address.) / J.D.
It’s great to get a poem or story published. It’s about income and getting read and for some it’s validation as well. These are all important (even vital), but I was reminded recently that our poetry and other writing is about so much more.
“The title of David Cooper’s book on Kabbalah invites us to re-think the Creator as Creating: God is a Verb. While I don’t want to equate science to God in a religious sense, I want to borrow this re-conception. Science is creative, creating, if you will, knowledge of the world. Science is a verb.”
A friend of mine came to visit and glowed when she told me she’d read Michael’s introduction. God is a Verb and Science is a verb popped out at her. Something she’d been struggling with suddenly fell into place. Other company arrived and I wasn’t able to get further explanation. I’m pleased but not surprised with her reaction to Michael’s piece. It demonstrates the power of words to bring joy, clarification and healing.
My own recent experience: a few people commenting or emailing me saying my post here – not with a bang but a whimper – helped release needed tears.
On another occasion a woman in Scotland wrote to say she’d read my poem – Wabi Sabi – to her wabi sabi group. They found it inspiring. Wow! While I do need my payments, it’s this sort of thing – this human connection – that is satisfying right down to the marrow of my bones.
Poetry is also important as an entry point into sacred space for both artist and audience. This is motivation for everyone to practice their art, whether professionally or as amateur, which is not a pejorative. I’m sure many of you – if not all of you – know what I mean. There’s a shift that happens. Sometimes it feels more like channeling than writing. The experience is illuminating, healing and peaceful. An unexpected insight often arrives just when you need it.
Our job as poets and writers goes even further: we bear witness, we give voice to the voiceless, and we observe and commemorate.
Myra Schneider said in an interview HERE, that “I believe the role of the poet is to reflect on human experience and the world we live in and to articulate it for oneself and others. Many people who suffer a loss or go through a trauma feel a need for poetry to give voice to their grief and to support them through a difficult time. When an atrocity is committed poems are a potent way of expressing shock and anger, also of bearing witness. I think that the poet can write forcefully, using a different approach from a journalist, about subjects such as climate change, violence, abuse and mental illness and that this is meaningful to others. I very much believe too that poetry is a way of celebrating life. I think it deserves a central place in our world.”
So, as we celebrate poetry this month, be sure to give yourself time to read and write … for the sake of your spirit and for the rest of us too.
Please join us at The BeZine on April 15th for our special interNational poetry issue. Michael Dickel is the lead editor.
WRITERS EMGENCY ASSISTANCE FUND of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) for established writers with credentials that are the same as those required for membership in the ASJA. These are not grants to fund writing projects. They are to provide help when needed due to advanced age, illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis make the writer unable to work. A writer need not be a member of ASJA to qualify for a grant. Details HERE.
THE INTERNATIONAL WRITERS PROJECT of Brown University “provides assistance to writers who ace personal danger and threats to their livelihood in nations throughout the world each academic year, the Project sponsors a resident fellowship for one writer who feels unable to pactice free expression at home.” Details HERE.
THE GREAT BREAK SHORT STORY WRITING CONTEST of The Writer magazine. “Frame a short story using any nuance, definition or understanding of the word “break.” Write 2,000 words of fiction and submit it to The Writer.” Deadline April 25. Details HERE.
THE GLIMMER TRAIN VERY SHORT FICTION CONTEST “The Very Short Fiction Award is open to all writers. Any story that has not appeared in a print publication is welcome. Word count range: 300 – 3,000. PRIZES:1st place wins $2000, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 10 copies.2nd place wins $500 or, if accepted for publication, $700 and 10 copies.3rd place wins $300 or, if accepted for publication, $700 and 10 copies.Deadline April 30. Details HERE.
THE GLIMMER TRAIN SHORT STORY AWARD FOR NEW WRITERS “is open only to writers whose fiction has not appeared, nor is scheduled to appear, in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000. (Entries must not have appeared in print, but previous online publication is fine.) Most entries run from 1,500 to 5,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome.” 1st place: $2,500 | publication in Glimmer Train Stories | 10 copies; 2nd place: $500; 3rd place: $300. Deadlines June 30 and October 31 Details HERE.
*Or, if accepted for publication, $700 and 10 copies of that issue
THE FLORIDA REVIEW 2016 EDITORS’ AWARDS for fiction, essay and poetry. $1,000 plus publication. Deadline March 31. Details HERE.
THE ACADEMY OF AMERICAN POETS PRIZES Since 1934, the Academy of American Poets has provided visibility and financial support to poets demonstrating artistic excellence. Guidelines and entry forms are provided, where applicable. All poets who receive an Academy of American Poets Prize are strongly promoted, including features in American Poets magazine, on social media, and, of course, on Poets.org. There are a number of different award programs. Details HERE.
APRIL, CELEBRATING POETRY
NATIONAL POETRY MONTH (April) of the Academy of American Poets is celebrated with a Poem in Your Pocket, Dear Poet project, a Poem-a-Day and other activities. You can also send for a free poster for your classroom or office. Details HERE.
100,000 POETS FOR CHANGE is a global initiative in support of world peace, sustainability and social justice. The next worldwide event is September 26. If you plan to organize an affiliated event in your area, register with 100TPC HERE. Join The Bardo Group Beguines on September 26 to participate in The BeZinevirtual 100TPC. Reader participation invited. Details in future posts.
I originally posted this feature in June last year. Since April is Poetry Month and since one woman is running for Vice President and some 300 women are running in the provincial elections today in Afghanistan, it seems a good time to revisit.
پاس په كمر ولاړه ګله! نصيب دچايي اوبه زه درخيژومه O Flower that you grow on the mountain side; The duty to water you belongs to me, but to whom would you belong?
ستا به د ګلو دوران تير شۍ به پاته شۍ دزړه سوۍ داغونه The blooming season of your beauty will pass; But the scorched patches on my heart will always remain fresh.
In June 2013 The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, devoted the month’s issue to Landays, the traditional poetic form of Afghan women. . .
After learning the story of a teenage girl, Zarmina, who was forbidden to write poems and burned herself in protest, poet and journalist Eliza Griswold and photographer and filmmaker Seamus Murphy journeyed to Afghanistan to investigate the impact of the girl’s death, as well as the role that poetry plays in the lives of contemporary Pashtuns. A year later, Griswold and Murphy returned to Afghanistan to study the effects of more than a decade of U.S. military involvement on the culture and lives of Afghan women. In the course of this work, Griswold collected a selection of landays, or two-line poems. These poems are accompanied by Murphy’s photographs from the same period and are presented in the June 2013 issue of Poetry.
My pains grow as my life dwindles, I will die with a heart full of hope.
A report on death and love by Eliza Grizwold and Seamus Murphy, a project of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. .
.Griswold describes the characteristics of a landay in her introduction: “Twenty-two syllables: nine in the first line, thirteen in the second. The poem ends with the sound “ma” or “na.” Sometimes they rhyme, but more often not. . “In Pashto, they lilt internally from word to word in a kind of two-line lullaby that belies the sharpness of their content, which is distinctive not only for its beauty, bawdiness, and wit, but also for the piercing ability to articulate a common truth about war, separation, homeland, grief, or love. Landays are centuries-old custom among Afghans, traditionally passed along in the oral tradition, and passed down through generations. The topics of the landays included in the June 2013 issue run the gamut—love, marriage, war, the status of women, drones, politics, courage, nature, and the Internet. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, these captivating two-line poems offer unique insight into the contemporary life of the more than twenty million Pashtun women who span the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.” .
About Poetry Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume 1 of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg, and other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades it has presented—often for the first time—works by virtually every major contemporary poet. The entire June 2013 issue is available online as of June 3 HERE. Digital copies of the June issue of Poetry magazine, as well as a digital subscription, are also available.
About the Poetry Foundation The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our 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. For more information, please visit http://www.poetryfoundation.org.
About Everything Afghanistan “Afghanistan’s recent history is a story of war and civil unrest. A country once prosperous now suffers from enormous poverty, a lack of skilled and educated workers, a crumbling infrastructure, and widespread land mines. It’s being heard about in the news every day but the media approaches this country from its dark side only. Here at Everything Afghanistan we try to show the world the other side of this war torn country. Despite years of bloodshed and destruction, there is still so much beauty that remains unseen. Here we post about Afghan related things, from politics and events to its culture and traditions. This blog is against the US invasion of Afghanistan.” Aminajalalzei, a.k.a. Vicoden.
About Mirman Baheer, the Ladies Literary Society “Over 300 members of Mirman Baheer, the Ladies Literary Society, stretch across the provinces of Afghanistan. Women write and recite landai, two-line folk poems that can be funny, sexy, raging or tragic and have traditionally dealt with love and grief. For many women, these poems allow them to express themselves free of social constraints and obligations. 5 out of 100 women in Afghanistan graduate from high school, and most are married by the age of 16. This kind of expression is looked down upon in society, forcing the women writing to keep their craft a secret.” The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Meetings of the poetry society are held in Kabul, but with 8 out of 10 Afghanistan women residing in rural areas, many women call in to the meetings. Zarmina Shehadi was one of those callers. She lit herself on fire two years ago. Her family denies her suicide, claiming that she lit herself on fire to get warm after a bath. “She was a good girl, an uneducated girl. Our girls don’t want to go to school,” her mother said. Zarmina is the most recent of Afghanistan’s poet-martyrs.
About the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is an innovative award-winning non-profit journalism organization dedicated to supporting the independent international journalism that U.S. media organizations are increasingly less able to undertake. The Center focuses on under-reported topics, promoting high-quality international reporting and creating platforms that reach broad and diverse audiences. .MOREPhoto credit ~ Seamus Murphy for The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Video by Seamus Murphy for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
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