SECOND LIGHT NETWORK OF WOMEN POETS: News and Information

In the Medieval Period, Sappho had a reputation as an educated woman and talented poet. In this woodcut, illustrating an early incunable of Giovanni Boccaccio’s De mulieribus claris (Concerning Famous Women), Sappho is portrayed surrounded by books and musical instruments. Boccaccio (1313-1375) was an Italian writer, poet and Renaissance humanist.

Dilys Wood, SLN founder and poet, editor and publisher


SECOND LIGHT NETWORK OF WOMEN POETS (SLN), founded by poet, editor and publisher, Dilys Wood, was created to encourage and promote women poets – forty-plus.  SLN lives in London but membership is open to women poets over forty-years old living anywhere in the world.


NEWS & INFORMATION

SLN’s ARTEMISpoetry, Issue 18, themed “Risks in Poetry” is just out and can be purchased from Second Light via Anne Stewart’s poetry pf. 

Anne Stewart, poet, poetry tutor, founder of poetry pf and administrator to SLN

Each issue of ARTEMISpoetry is chock full of information, inspiration, poetry and introductions to good poets who might be new to you. There’s always a sprinkling of black-and-white art and often a clever cartoon by Kate Foley. A “note board” provides news and updates on publications by member poets and on events, conferences, classes and poetry readings. These latter are in and around London and so mostly benefit local poets.  

ARTEMISpoetry, Call for Submissions – Opportunity Knocks

Issue 19, November 2017  

Editors for Issue 19 are: General & Artwork – Dilys Wood and Katherine Gallagher; Poetry – Anne Stewart.

New: Readers’ Letters are invited. Comments on the journal’s content or anything you would like to see discussed in relation to women’s writing. (max 100 words).

All submissions: submit paper copy initially to Dilys Wood, 3 Springfield Close, East Preston, West Sussex, BN16 2SZ. Please write “ARTEMISpoetry” on your envelope. (Enquiries only: e-mail Administrator editor@poetrypf.co.ukPoems: Issue 19 deadline – August 31, 2017

Poems by women of any age. Poems should be typed, or if written, then very neatly. Each poem should commence on a new page, headed “Submission for ARTEMISpoetry”. Please SEND TWO COPIES.  Include your name with each poem and include your name and full contact details in your submission. Long poems are considered. Submit up to four poems to a maximum of 200 lines in all.

Artwork: Black and white photographs or line art. Submit up to four pieces to Dilys as above.


EVENTS

Bookings open for AUTUMN FESTIVAL in mid-to-late August. This Festival is scheduled for November 17 & 18 this year.

Bookings open for SPRING FESTIVAL in mid-to-late February 2018. This Festival is scheduled for May. Exact dates to be announced.

Details HERE.


COMPETITION

Poet, poetry tutor and consultant to SNL

Second Light Poetry Competition for Long and Short Poems by Women 2017 – Deadline Tuesday, August 15th

JUDGE MYRA SCHNEIDER will read all entries. Myra Schneider’s latest and recent books are Persephone in Finsbury Park (SLP), The Door to Colour (Enitharmon); What Women Want (SLP); and the writing resource, Writing Your Self (with John Killick). Myra is a Poetry School and Second Light regular tutor. More at Myra Schneider website where you can also order Myra’s books

Awards:

  • £300 First Prize for each of Long (no upper limit) and Short (max 50 lines) poems
  • £150 Second Prize (1 poem from either category)
  • £75 Third Prize (1 poem from either category)

Winning & Commended Poets published (in full or extract) in ARTEMISpoetry. Winners offered a London reading.

Entry fees are:

  • £6 each per long poem.
  • Short poems: £4 each or £9 for 3, £14 for 8. Enter by post (2 copies) or online.

Members are entitled to one free entry into the competition. Join now to be eligible.** (see About Second Light/Joining)

Rules & Entry direct link to payment at poetry p f online shop.

The competition results will be posted on the website by September 30th. Once winning poems (or extracts) are published in ARTEMISpoetry, they will be available to read there.


REMOTE (DISTANCE LEARNING) WORKSHOPS

REMOTE WORKSHOPS, a service you can access from anywhere in the world, are offered. There are two courses from which to choose with eight sections each. The workbooks are two of the many poetry anthologies published by SLN, Her Wings of Glass and Fanfare, both can be purchased from poetry pfWorkshop details HERE

PERCEPTIONS OF TIME, a full-day remote/distance workshop (5 hours plus) designed by Myra Sneider. Price: £8.

“Time plays a central role in every aspect of our lives. The workshop explores ways in which we perceive time and how we represent these perceptions in writing.

“Past experience crucially influences how we view the present and future. Earth’s distant past, cosmological time are difficult to imagine … Clock time is fixed but our impressions of time are subjective – an hour’s enjoyable exercise session will seem to be over quickly, but the minutes drag during a boring lecture…”

Further details on Myra Schneider (workshop designer and tutor) are HERE.

To order, contact Administrator, Anne Stewart, +44 (0)1689 811394 / +44 (0)7850 537489 or e-mail

Poems written in these workshops are invited for consideration for ARTEMISpoetry.


REMEMBERING MARY MacRAE

Poet Mary MacRae

THE MARY MacRAE ACCESS TO POETRY MEMORIAL FUND: “many will remember the outstanding poet and Second Light member, Mary MacRae (her books As Birds Do and Inside the Brightness of Red are available from Second Light).

“The Fund has been created in her memory, begun with a substantial donation from Mary’s family, with the intention of providing modest grants to enable local members on low income, along with a travel companion if they are unable to travel alone, to come to Second Light events.

“If anyone would like to make a contribution to the fund in Mary’s memory, all donations, however small, will be most welcome. Donate to the Fund

Making an Application

“Members on low income, who may not otherwise be able to attend Second Light events, may apply for assistance with local travel, for themselves only or for themselves and a travelling companion, if they are unable to travel alone. Recipients will be asked to make receipts for expenditure available whenever possible. Applicants should be aware that Donors of substantial amounts to the Fund may be given access to Fund records on a confidential basis.”

Download Application Form


CONNECT

Photo credits: header is courtesy of cladcat under CC-BY 2.0 license; © photo portraits of poets Dilys, Myra and Anne belong to them and Mary’s to her estate; Sappho Eresia (below) is in the public domain


Hermaic pillar with a female portrait, so-called “Sappho”; inscription “Sappho Eresia” ie. Sappho from Eresos. Roman copy of a Greek Classical original.

RELATED:

My SLN member page is HERE.


Jamie’s THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers

LATE BREAKING NEWS: “RESIST” live and virtual events and “Artemis Poetry” calls for submissions

“On January 15, 2017, poets around the U.S., in cities, towns and villages, will gather on the steps of their local city hall to read poetry against the coming dictatorship of Trump.”

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Organized by Alan Kaufman and Michael Rothenberg.

Alan Kaufman is the Editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry

“Outlaw poets” is a term of endearment used in reference to poets whose work is featured in the Outlaw Bible. The following is a partial list of the characteristics of such poets:

  • anti-authoritarian personality;
  • anti-Vietnam war activists known for their anti-war rhymes (many poets write about Vietnam who are by no means outlaw poets).
  • Elder poets that gained notoriety via unconventional forms
  • Poets deliberately not included in most academic curriculums
  • Often inspirational to or inspired by the so-called “Beat” movement in American poetry during the mid-20th century

and

Michael Rothenberg is co-founder (with Terri Carrion) of 100 Thousand Poets For Change. He is an American poet, songwriter, editor, and active environmentalist who recently moved to Florida from the San Francisco Bay area. Born in Miami Beach, Florida, Rothenberg received his Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1993 he received his MA in Poetics at New College of California. In 1989, Rothenberg and artist Nancy Davis began Big Bridge Press, a fine print literary press, publishing works by Jim Harrison, Joanne Kyger, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Whalen and others. Rothenberg is editor of Big Bridge, a webzine of poetry. Rothenberg is also co-editor and co-founder of Jack Magazine

It’s probable that The BeZine January 15, 2017 issue will be devoted to this event. Save the date for both live and virtual events and prepare to submit your poems. Let them be both truthful and artistic . . .

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

 

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind — Emily Dickinson

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The latest issue of ARTEMISpoetry (UK) just landed in the USA with its usual rich assortment of essays, book reviews, art, announcements and – Yes! – of course, a wealth of good poems. (Apologies for not getting a better photograph of the cover.) ARTEMISpoetry is the bi-annual journal (November and May) of the Second Light Network and published under its Second Light Publications imprint. The poetry is by women forty-plus or better. The poems are for everyone. You can order this issue and others through Anne Stewart‘s poetry p f and/or sign up for membershipMembership includes a journal subscription.

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CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Opportunity Knocks

Poetry Deadlines: Issue 18, February 28, 2017 and Issue 19, August 31, 2017. “Women poets only, of any age. Unpublished poetry only and not out in submission elsewhere.  Strict limit: max 4 poems; the total number of lines in all should not exceed 200 lines (i.e. you could send a poem of 200 lines and this would restrict your submission to just one poem).  Two copies, A4 paper only [U.S. standard letter paper – 8 1/2 x 11 is the closest we have in the US to A4], typed or neatly handwritten.  Each numbered sheet to bear the poet’s contact details (name, address, telephone, e-mail). Send to ARTEMISpoetry, ATTN.: Dilys Wood, 3 Springfield Close, East Preston, West Sussex, BN162 SZ.”

Response by April 30 for Issue 18 and October 31 for Issue 19.  Kate Foley is the poetry editor for Issue 18.

Artwork – Black and white photographs or line-art sketches are welcome for submission. Four max.

For new and emerging writers, Second Light also offers “remote” – i.e., distance – workshops.  Check out the website for details.

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HEADS-UP: December 7, 2016,

Poetry Now @ The Department of English and American Studies, The Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities, Tel Aviv University

Our own Michael Dickel is a featured.15289246_10154375245428557_1972176959953952764_o

CELEBRATING AMERICAN SHE-POETS (23): Gwendolyn Brooks, Journalist, Poet, Living in the along …

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“Live not for Battles Won.
Live not for The-End-of-the-Song.
Live in the along.”
Report from Part One

There is so much about Gwendolyn Brooks and her work that is remarkable and goes beyond the awards and acknowledgements, though these are many and prestigious and often firsts for her gender and race.

In 1968 Gwendolyn Brooks was named Poet Laureate of Illinois. In 1985, she was the first Black woman appointed U.S. Poet Laureate, known then as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, the Frost Medal, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas, but within a few weeks of her birth her family moved to Chicago, Illinois, her true roots and the source material for her poetry. She lived in Chicago until her death in December 2000. According to the family and friends who surrounded her at the end, she died as she lived with pencil in hand.

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“But in the crowding darkness not a word did they say.
Though the pretty-coated birds had piped so lightly all the day.
And he had seen the lovers in the little side streets.
And she had heard the morning stories clogged with sweets.
It was quite a time for loving. It was midnight. It was May.
But in the crowding darknesss not a word did they say.”
Old Marrieds

Gwendolyn’s first poem was published in a children’s magazine when she was thirteen years old. By the time she was sixteen 75 poems were published. Her first collection, A Street In Bronzville, was published in 1945. She never completed college because she saw herself as a poet and not a scholar. Maybe this is one reason why her poetry is so unselfconscious and down-to-earth.  There’s no posturing. It’s real and readable.  She experimented with many poetic forms and is known for her innovations to the sonnet. She seems to have invented a few forms of her own. Though her subject matter is serious and always compassionate and practical, often compellingly spiritual, she can – and often is – funny, even Suessian on occasion.

In writing of a particular time, place and people – as a journalist poet (a phrase she coined) – she not only chronicled the soul and lives of a people, she captured the essence of the eternals – the follies, the challenges, the good, the loving and the enduring – in the human condition, in the human soul … “To be in love,” she wrote, “is to touch things with a lighter hand.”

Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies.
And be it gash or gold it will not come
Again in this identical disguise.
Annie Allen

Was she a student of Eastern mystics or Meister Eckhart? I rather doubt it. What we have here is a good woman writing from the perspective of her own sacred space, her refined intelligence and her acute observation and imagination. She certainly also writes out of the deep love she has for her people, the exploration of the complexities of being Black in America, and her rootedness and familiarity with the South Side of Chicago. I unreservedly recommend Gwendolyn Brooks for the sheer pleasure of her poetry, for some more understanding of the Black experience in America if you are not Black, for a connection with your roots if you are Black, for your understanding of your own soul and for your education as a poet.  If you haven’t met her yet, do so as soon as you can. A good place to start is with The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks from the American Poetry Project. It has a fine introduction by Elizabeth Alexander.

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John, Who Is Poor
Give him a berry, boys, when you may
And, girls, some mint when you can
And do not ask when his hunger will end
Nor yet when it began
(From Bronzeville Boys and Girls, 1956)

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We Real Cool

“We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.”

― Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks, Journalist Poet, reads We Real Cool (If you are viewing this post from an email, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to see it.)

“She was learning to love moments. To love moments for themselves.”
Gwendolyn Brooks

© 2016, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; poems, Gwendolyn Brooks  estate; photograph of “Winnie” stone is in the public domain

LATE-BREAKING NEWS: The May 2016 issue of ARTEMISpoetry is out …

FullSizeRender-1It’s absolute joy to see that this issue honors Myra Schneider at 80 years and includes an interview of Myra by Dilys Wood, founder of Second Light Network of Women Poets (SLN) and managing editor of ARTEMISpoetry. Bravo, SLN! 🙂

[Myra’s] poetry glows with an unembarrassed love of the quotidian – food, the kitchen, creatures, company, every leaf in the garden – especially the edible ones! – and almost above all, color.” Kate Foley, A Crimson Creed, Appreciating Myra Schneider

It’s equally wonderful after a long day to find this issue in my mailbox … with a bit of a new look, if I’m not mistaken …  a little less content and a bit more white space to enhance the readability and quite a bit more artwork, most enjoyable.

Gil Learner co-edited this issue with Dilys Wood. Kate Foley is featured poet and Maggie Hawkins chose the wealth of poetry included. There’s a nice collection of book and pamphlet reviews to excite our appetites for more.

Reminders included: SLN’s poetry competition for long and short poems by women to be judged by Alison Brackenbury. The deadline is 31 August 2016 with winners to be announced on 30 October 2016.  Details HERE.  …. Opportunity knocks!

Thanks to Dilys and team for the mentions of this site and of The BeZine. Always appreciated … and I am happy and honored to be “the American connection.”

You can sign-up for membership in SLN (recommended ladies!) or subscribe to the magazine at Second Light Live or at poetry p f, which was founded by and is run by poet, Anne Stewart.

apologies to all for the poor quality photo … the blame is mine not SLN

RELATED FEATURES:

Myra Schneider, A Life Immersed in Poetry

Dilys Wood’s “Antarctica,” the work of a highly original poet

Poet, Teacher, Inspiration: Dilys Wood and the Latter-day Sapphos

Opsimaths, Polymaths and Poets