“I am not a silent poet,” this Wednesday Writing Prompt in honor of Reuben Woolley

c estate of Reuben Woolley

“I have been seeing such increasing evidence of abuse recently that I felt it was time to do something. I am not a silent poet looks for poems about abuse in any of its forms, colour, gender, disability, the dismantlement of the care services, the privatisation of the NHS, the rape culture are just the examples that come to mind at the moment. It is not a site for rants which, if they are well written are welcome here [i.e. Facebook]. My idea for this group is for discussion about abuse and what we can do about it. There is room here, of course for poetry. I just felt it was time for me to get off my arse and try to do something.” Reuben Woolley, publisher of the webzine I Am Not A Silent Poet, A magazine for poetry and artwork protesting against abuse in any of its forms



Reuben Woolley died last week and so many of us are feeling the loss of this man who shared our ideals, wrote poems of protest and resistance, and published “quality poems of protest” on his webzine site as well as poetry and information on his Facebook discussion page. His most recent book. This Hall of Tortures, was published in April 2019.  He recently sent me a copy for review. I was waiting until he got out of the hospital to send my interview questions.

“I am not a silent poet looks for poems about abuse in any of its forms: colour, gender, disability, the dismantlement of the care services, the privatisation of health services, the rape culture, FGM, our girls in Nigeria are just some of the examples that come to mind at the moment. It is not a site for rants.” 

Reuben was laid to rest on Monday and his daughter writes, “Although he was not a religious man, we decided to do brief ceremony at the Iglesia de los Milagros in Ágreda. In the same place where he and my mother got married 40 years ago, we came today to cry his death and celebrate his life.

“Remembering all our roadtrips around the UK listening to the Rolling Stones’ album “Let it Bleed” , I thought that playing for him “You can’t always get what you want” one last time would be a good way to remember him. Personally, I think he would have got a huge kick out of knowing that he caused a Rolling Stones’ song to be played in this quaint Spanish cemetery. Cheers dad.”

requiescat in extremis

the dark denizens
come forward
in flux
& what i have is
the hole in the picture the
red balloon & a child
follow me this
again
& one time only

here
there is weather a
hindrance & my chair i
sit too much listening
to pure crazy jazz
in this brain my
dangerous habitat

extinguish me now say
a pointless gesture ever & down
load this my stupid requiem

© Reuben Woolley, September 13, 2019

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

In the spirit of I am not a silent poet and in honor of Reuben, please share a protest poem or two – any topic but NO RANTS, per Reuben’s rules.  Comments on and memories of Reuben are welcome also if you’d like and will be published along with your poem/s next Tuesday.

  • please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
  • please submit poems only, no photos, illustrations, essays, stories, or other prose

PLEASE NOTE:

Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published.

IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These are partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.  

Deadline:  Monday, December 9 by 8 pm Pacific Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, check The Time Zone Converter.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.


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 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 and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

About / Testimonials / Disclosure / Facebook / Medium

Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications: Five by Jamie Dedes on The World Literature Blog,  Jamie Dedes, Versifier of Truth, Womawords Literary Press, November 19, 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

A Sad Day: Rest in Peace Reuben Woolley, your voice will never be silenced; link to Paul Brookes’ interview with Reuben

U.K Poet, Reuben Whoolley

U.K Poet, Reuben Woolley bares witness

December 2, 2019: In honor of a valued poet, a reblog of this 2017 post on Reuben and HERE is the link to Paul Brookes’ interview. 

Reuben Woolley’s poetry is minimalist, sinuous on the page – or sometimes scattered like landmines waiting to explode. I find his work addictive and his latest book UntitledSkins (Hesterglock Pess, 2016) is going to be a gift to myself next month. Proceeds from sales go to CalAid.

Reuben’s poems, while exquisitely trimmed of all excess, are still rich with imagery and emotion.

Stylistically, I’m reminded of e.e.cummings.

Yes! I like the way he writes. More importantly, I’m glad Reuben chose to use his deft pen and kind heart to bring more awareness to the darkness in humanity, hanging our dirty laundry out to be seen and not denied. He tells the hard truth. If you are not devastated then you have grown numb to the injustices of our world. This is why we need poets like Reuben, to sound the clarion call and to bare witness.


With Reuben’s permission, here are two poems and look for more of Reuben’s work in the January 15 issue of The BeZine.

lessons

this is the fear
of a first breath

start counting
now

this is laughter
through bleeding membranes

don’t hope
for wings

or terminal
stations

we walk the subway
mazes.the painted
maps & all their changes

…………drilling
skulls gives no answers
& death itself
is rarely clean


to this we came.not this

wrapping
a mind round wires
& razors
……………..cut

i’ll wear the given
shoes so well in these
white
streets

……………....it isn’t
the same
the running from metal

……………….the bombs
they make who give
the shoes but

still

they’re laughing at us
mother


THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF POETRY, MARRAKESH

Reuben is invited to the Fourth International Festival of Poetry in Marrakech, Morroco in April. He plans to take poems from I am not a silent poet, his online magazine. The Festival covers hotel and catering costs but doesn’t pay anything towards transport. Like all of us who live off the proceeds of poetry, his purse is a little light. Reuben set-up a crowd funding page to raise the money for the airfare. That’s the main reason I wanted to introduce Reuben to you today. Here’s the invite. The “Mrs.” is a typo and festival organizers have promised to correct it. Reuben’s crowd-funding site is HERE.

marrakech-invitation


51m8en2wll-_sx329_bo1204203200_Reuben Woolley is published in various magazines including Tears in the Fence, The Lighthouse Literary Journal, The Interpreter’s House, Domestic Cherry, The Stare’s Nest and Ink Sweat and Tears. His collection, the king is dead was published in 2014 with Oneiros Books  and a chapbook, dying notes, in 2015 with Erbacce Press. Reuben was runner-up in the Overton Poetry Pamphlet competition and the Erbacce Prize in 2015. A new collection on the refugee crisis, skins, was published by Hesterglock Press, 2016:
Reubensays, he “pretends to be busy editing the online magazines: I am not a silent poet and The Curly Mind.”

I am not a silent poet is a zine dedicated to poetry and artwork of protest against abuse in all shapes and forms. Reuben’s motivation for founding the site: “I have seen such increased evidence of abuse recently that I felt it was time to do something. I am not a silent poet looks for poems about abuse in any of its forms, colour, gender, disability, the dismantlement of the care services, the privatisation of the NHS, the rape culture and, of course, war and its victims are just the examples that come to mind at the moment.”

© 2017, poems,and photograph, Reuben Whoolley; bookcover art by Sonjia Benskin Mesher

Four poems by Jamie Dedes

Many thanks to poet/editor/activist, Reuben Woolley, for featuring four of my poems in “I Am Not a Slilent Poet.”

I am not a silent poet

the century of possible peace

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,after Muriel Rukeyser

I lived in the century of world wars and
into the century of “hot spots” and “conflicts,”
those isolated regions of hostility and battle, of
choreographed shows of military cliché and the
violent disaffected eruptions of the marginalized

Every day is an homage to some insanity
Media reports are conveyed with facile intensity
by hyperkinetic journalists – they deliver easy
and ominous conclusions based on seemingly
recondite facts, quickly moving to celebrity
gossip and other insipid topics . . .

I have lived in two centuries of wars
I know what it is to be exhausted by the
vain posturing of the ruling class and
the tired protestations of tribal unity and
supremacy based on accidents of birth

I know what it is to imagine peace across
the circumference of one small blue ball
in a Universe of inestimable size and…

View original post 518 more words

LATE BREAKING NEWS: Naomi Baltuck at Northwest Folk Festival; poets Liliana Negoi and Reuben Woolley honored by erbecce press

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NORTHWEST FOLK FESTIVAL: Popular storyteller Naomi Baltuck (Writing Between the Lines) and her husband Thom Baltuck are performing this weekend (Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-30) at the Northwest Folk Festival in Seattle. The performance schedule is HERE.

NAOMI BALTUCK (Writing Between the Lines)~ is a Contributing Editor and Resident Storyteller at The BeZine. She is a world-traveler and an award-winning writer, photographer. Her works of fiction and nonfiction are available through Amazon HERE.

Naomi presents her wonderful photo-stories – always interesting and rich with meaning and humor – at Writing Between the Lines, Life from the Writer’s POV (her personal blog) as well as on The BeZine.

Naomi conducts workshops such as Peace Porridge (multicultural stories to promote cooperation, goodwill, and peaceful coexistence), Whispers in the Graveyard (a spellbinding array of haunting and mysterious stories), Tandem Tales, Traveling Light Around the World, and others. For more on her programs visit Naomi Baltuck.com.

Naomi says, “When not actually writing, I am researching the world with my long-suffering husband and our two kids, or outside editing my garden. My novel, The Keeper of the Crystal Spring (Viking Penguin), can be read in English, German, Spanish, and Italian. My storytelling anthology, Apples From Heaven, garnered four national awards, including the Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice. I am currently working on a contemporary women’s novel.”

**********

erbacceprise 2016: Congratulations to Liliana Negoi and Reuben Woolley for making the long-list of 100 for this prize. They were chosen from among 8,000 entries world wide. According to erbacce press website the finalist are to be featured poets in their quarterly publication, erbacce journal. Read the long list of 100 HERE and watch for further announcements. (The site has great but loud music, so if you are at work when you read this, you’ll want to turn off the sound.)

Liliana Negoi has been on the core team of The BeZine since 2011 (back when it was a collaborative blog, not a zine) and is a contributing writer.

Ruben Woolley was featured for poetry month in the April edition of the zine, introduced to us by Contributing Editor, Michael Dickel. We are proud of both these poets and wish them luck in the next steps.

LILIANA NEGOI  (Endless Journey and in Romanian curcubee în alb şi negru)  is the author of three published volumes of poetry in English, which is not her mother tongue but one that she came to love especially because of writing: Sands and Shadows, Footsteps on the San – tanka collection and The Hidden Well.  The last one can also be heard in audio version, read by the Liliana herself on her SoundCloud site HERE.

Liliana is also the author of a novel, Solo-Chess, available for free reading HERE. Many of her creations, both poetry and prose, are published in various literary magazines.

HERE is an indepth interview with Liliana.

REUBEN WOOLLEY has been published in Tears in the Fence, The Lighthouse Literary Journal, The Interpreter’s House and Ink Sweat and Tears among others. A collection, the king is dead, 2014, Oneiros Books. A chapbook, dying notes, 2015, Erbacce Press. A poetry pamphlet on the refugee crisis, skins, 2016, Hesterglock Press. Runner-up: Overton Poetry Pamphlet competition and the Erbacce Prize, both in 2015. Editor of the online poetry magazines, I am not a silent poet and The Curly Mind. You can read more on Reuben’s  Blog.