I am thrilled and honored to have “What Catches the Light” up on Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal this month. Love and gratitude to founder and managing editor Stephanie Bryant Anderson, along with editors and staff E. Kristin Anderson, Deidre Sloss, and KB Ballantine, for including this poem alongside fine work by poets Avra Elliot, Erin Elizabeth Smith, Jill Khoury, and Nicole Rollender. Read it here.
Publishing just five poems a month, check out this beautifully artful microjournal. Red Paint Hill also publishes chapbooks as well as full-length collections. Check them out.
It has been a deep honor and pleasure to work on The Gathering of Poets the past two years with Richard Krawiec and Jacar Press. The Gathering of Poets will be held March 24, 2018 in Winston-Salem, NC at The Historic Brookstown Inn.
Following is the lineup of terrific workshops that weekend. If you would like to attend, visit Jacar Press’ Gathering page, on Facebook, or e-mail Richard for upcoming announcements and how to reserve your space.
Lynn Emanuel –
Obsessional Poetics: No One Writes Just One Poem
“All obsessions are extreme metaphors waiting to be born.”
– J. G. Ballard
In this workshop, we will examine the ways a few modern and contemporary poets turn and return to a place, person, image, form, or event as a way of exploring and unearthing a subject. What can these forms of return teach us about our own poems? How can we mine our own repetitions or obsessions for new work? How might we delve more deeply into our own habits of writing and feeling? If you can, please bring a couple of poems to workshop that you might use as a resource for exploring your own poetic obsessions.
Patricia Spears Jones –
Basic and Bold: The Uses of Contemporary Poetry
This Workshop is designed to engage participants with contemporary poets and the different strategies to generate new work. While the focus is on African American poets, a range of poets will be under review. The Workshop will be in two parts:
1. Participants will look at poems in the packet and discuss the work of those poets with whom they unfamiliar.
2. We will use vocabulary from two or three of the poems to generate new work.
We will use two or three poems as catalysts for new works. Poems by Gregory Pardlo, Ada Limón, Marilyn Chin, Maureen Owen, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Adam Fitzgerald and Charif Shanahan will be part of the packet. Participants must be prepared to read and write, write and write. At the end of this workshop, it is my hope that participants will have created poems that they feel good about and have learned about.
Zeina Hashem Beck –
The Ghazal and the Poetic Leap
In this workshop, we will focus on the ghazal as a poetic form: beyond talk about the shape of the poem, the radif (refrain), the qafia (rhyme), and the poet’s signature, we will look at how the ghazal’s couplets can both exist as independent units and relate to one another and the poem’s whole. We will discuss how this quality allows the poet to create juxtaposition and make poetic leaps within a ghazal. Participants will also write.
Maggie Anderson –
The Poet in the World: Writing Political Poetry
In this workshop we will examine the ways in which our poems can be made from the intersection of local and global political events and our own lives as poets. Why is the term “political poetry” often seen as a pejorative? Can the necessary evidence, documentation and witness in political subject matter be expressed through poems that are also highly attuned to metaphor and music? What makes a “good” political poem? If you can, please bring with you one poem by yourself or another poet that you consider both “political” and “poetic” that you might use as a source or model for writing from your own political feelings, fears, and understandings in these times.
Gary Fincke –
Everything Matters: Deepening Experience in Narrative
We will explore ways of opening narrative poems, not only to move beyond simply “close observation of what happened,” but also to broaden the personal by associative connections to what’s learned in any number of ways—history, science, the arts, culture, politics, and the oddities of trivia. Bring along a few of your own narrative poems to re-examine for the possibility of entering again from another angle.
Sandra Beasley –
What We Talk About When We Talk About Voice
Voice is the most elusive element of strong writing. How do we craft language that feels compelling and unique? We will unpack constituent elements of voice—the recurring decisions made in terms of point of view, tense, image, sound, structure, and diction—and read examples of effective voice from noted contemporary authors of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. This seminar includes an extensive handout of texts and a generative prompt.
I’m really honored to have had the opportunity to work on this project, and proud of the book. An important and timely issue — though not an easy one, to be certain — this is a beautiful book and I hope you’ll consider picking up a copy.
If you’d like a copy for review, please contact me.
Red Sky: Poetry on the Global Epidemic of Violence Against Women
For more information, including a full list of contributing poets and how to order, please go here.
The one job your book cover has — the only job it has — is to sell your book, and in just a few seconds. There are careful considerations to be made in choosing your book’s cover design. Join us this Thursday evening to learn all you can during this FREE and informative workshop and conversation.
Anyone interested in publishing or self-publishing is invited to come and explore the rules of book cover design — and when to break those rules — with master book designer Danny Krawiec, including casual discussion of his designs for Jacar Press and Sable Books, which include three of the four 2014 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame Inductees. We’ll have lots of ideas, books, and covers to discuss, and if you have questions or have previously published a book of your own, please bring them! Feel welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion to talk about design elements, themes, and choices.
Danny’s cover designs include:
This Thursday evening, December 4th,
at the Kathleen Clay Edwards Branch
of the Greensboro Public Library
in the study room
Daniel Krawiec grew up in Raleigh, NC before attending UNC Asheville for a BA in Interactive Design. Subsequently, he received his Master of Arts in Interactive Media from Elon University. His design work includes logos, identity packages, book covers & interiors, album covers, and websites. He is also a web developer, and has done occasional work in the area of application & interactive systems development. His non-professional creative pursuits include music composition, photography, and illustration.
Imagine if everyone got involved?
I’m honored to have been invited to the panel last night for the 2014 Citizen Diplomacy Summit in Cary, North Carolina, at The Cary Downtown Theater. The panel was moderated by Dr. Calvin Hall from NCCU, and included Leila Bekri, who works in promoting diplomacy and cultural exchanges for an international leadership program, Leslie Huffman, who founded LOL Marketing, and Wesley Lo, an international student exchange advocate from NC State University. The panel theme was Building Cultural Bridges in the Social Media Age. Learn more about the panelists here.
“Citizen diplomacy is the concept that the individual has the right, even the responsibility, to help shape U.S. foreign relations, ‘one handshake at a time.’ Citizen diplomats can be students, teachers, athletes, artists, business people, humanitarians, adventurers or tourists. They are motivated by a responsibility to engage with the rest of the world in a meaningful, mutually beneficial dialogue.” –The U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy
And it was terrific to learn more about this program. The centerpiece of the summit was the video competition that ran this year, free to entrants ages 18 to 25 and living in North Carolina. Congratulations to grand prize winner, Ilayda Yigit (North Carolina School of the Arts), who received $500 for her film MeetCute, and Misha Tobar (NCSU), who received 2nd prize and $250 for her film, Citizen Diplomacy in France. Both videos were publicly screened at the beginning of the evening, and had two different takes on the meaning of citizen diplomacy. MeetCute is an abstract take on the television/film term, meet-cute, which is a scene in film, television, etc. in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing. Citizen Diplomacy in France features a montage of multi-cultural scenes, including food, music and dance, from a trip to France, edited with energetic music pumping in the background. Judges for the film competition were Alan Buck, Lorenzo Collado, Joan Conwell, Terry ‘Doc’ Thorne. Read more about the judges here.
This was the sixth annual Citizen Diplomacy Summit, which is co-sponsored by the Sister Cities Association of Cary and the Town of Cary. The Sister Cities Association is a non-profit association that, according to their website, strives to further global understanding and to encourage and assist sister city relationships between the citizens of Cary and cities throughout the world, especially Cary’s four Sister Cities, Le Touquet, France, Markham, Ontario, Hsinchu, Taiwan, and County Meath, Ireland.
The evening started out with networking over terrific food, with perhaps 40 or so people in attendance. Dr. Hall opened the discussion with the question, How has people-to-people diplomacy changed as a result of social media? This is an exciting time with technology outpacing use, our governments and laws, and we are only beginning to scratch the surface of how to use it to affect real change. Our definitions of the word tribe are changing, opening up, to include a global community. Wesley told the story of when he was tasked with the opening of a building at N.C. State, and so he created a short, one-minute video, and uploaded it to Instagram and sent it around in e-mail. The next morning, there was a line outside that building to get in.
And that’s the point. Social media is a tool, a powerful tool, in connecting us all. We have ideas and tools and we can use them for the greater good. But be careful we do not leave others behind. To the notion that “if you’re not online, you’re irrelevant,” I say that it’s not a good idea to lose track of people with wisdom or experience or knowledge just because they may not be online, and it is incumbent upon those of us who have a platform to speak for those who do not, or can’t. One of the challenges we all face is reaching people who are not connected, especially in other cultures. And we must be mindful of how we use social media and those who would abuse it, or any government that would try and control its citizen’s access.
The exchange between audience and the panel was fantastic, highly interactive, and the young people in the audience shared their stories and perspectives with us. I loved that part, honestly. There was so much of a spirit of collaboration and community in those moments, and it made the evening really special for me. Topics ranged all over the map, including B Corporations (businesses who are part for-profit and part non-profit, with a social or altruistic goals as part of their business plan), citizen journalism, cyber-bullying, Net Neutrality, and global citizenship. And we didn’t get to talk about crowdsourcing and the video trend as part of social media, but that’s a significant piece of the next steps.
Imagine if everyone, EVERYONE, got involved?
Consider a neighborhood food co-op that wants to grow the food to feed its community. Or a crowdsourced scholarship fund for the NC Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Studies, dedicated to a lost loved one. Or a writing project for cancer patients to provide them both with the healing power of writing, and beautiful and personal headscarves.
It was a meaningful conversation, and everyone agreed that it should continue. By social media, perhaps. 🙂
Thanks to the organizers and sponsors for putting such a wonderful event together, including Sister Cities Association of Cary, the Town of Cary, RTP Global, and the Cary Chamber of Commerce. And very special thanks to Joanie Conwell and Birgul Tuzlali for inviting me into it.
I have proudly accepted the role and honor as a member of the advisory panel for Writing for Peace. If you are not aware of this fine organization, run by Carmel Mawle, here is their mission statement:
Through education and creative writing, Writing for Peace seeks to cultivate the empathy that allows minds to open to new cultural views, to value the differences as well as the hopes and dreams that unite all of humanity, to develop a spirit of leadership and peaceful activism.
Writing for Peace is currently accepting submissions for the 2015 anthology Dove Tales, An International Journal of the Arts. The theme this year is Nature. Learn more about the submission process and the type of work that will be included here.
I am very proud to be involved with this fine organization, and want to express my deep gratitude to Carmel Mawle for the invitation.
January 11, 2014 is the first of the 2014 Writers’ Series of WWOT Writing Workshops. It promises to be inspiring and productive!
** PLEASE NOTE ** This event is open to the general public.
Advance registration is required.
Writers from all groups and genres welcome!
Cost for the two hour workshop is $25. This will be a productive session!
Debra Kaufman is a phenomenal writer and teacher, and we’re lucky to have her coming over from the Triangle to spend an hour and a half with us, reading and exploring a few pieces to get conversation and creative juices flowing, and then begin writing exercises.
This is sure to be an informative workshop so plan on attending and RSVP as soon as you can. Space is limited so reserve yours as soon as you can!
Poet and playwright Debra Kaufman’s newest collection of poetry is The Next Moment (Jacar, 2010). She is also the author of Family of Strangers (Nightshade, 1990), Still Life Burning–winner of the Kinloch Rivers Poetry Competition–(South Carolina Poetry Society, 1996), A Certain Light (Emrys, 2001), and Moon Mirror Whiskey Wind (Pudding House, 2009).
Her poems have appeared in many literary magazines, includingSouthern Poetry Review, Greensboro Review, Pembroke, andCarolina Quarterly, and in several anthologies, including Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont(University of North Carolina, forthcoming), The Sound of Poets Cooking(forthcoming); Word and Witness: 100 Years of North Carolina Poetry(Carolina Academic Press, 1999), and The Art and Craft of Poetry (Writers Digest Books, 1994). Her poems have won prizes from such organizations as the North Carolina Writers’ Network, the North Carolina Women Writers Conference, the North Carolina Poetry Society, Emrys Press, the Poetry Society of South Carolina, theIndependent, WUNC-FM’s Radio Poets, Kakalak, and the Triad Writers Group.
Debra’s plays have been produced throughout North Carolina and elsewhere. She won a North Carolina Arts Council playwriting scholarship in 1997. Variations on a Dream was selected as one of Burning Coal Theatre’s New Works series; What You Inherit won the Carrboro ArtsCenter’s New Plays Rising award; and Like Candlelight Draws Smoke was produced at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women through the North Carolina Writers’ Network Outreach Program.
Debra has taught many creative writing workshops for children and adults, including in Durham’s Creative Arts in the Public Schools program, at High Point University’s Phoenix Festival, in libraries, for writers’ groups, and for Our Stories in Focus, a public arts and history collaboration sponsored by the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro and the UNC Humanities Program.
REGISTRATION IN ADVANCE IS REQUIRED AND SPACE IS LIMITED!
Okay, lots of good stuff happening:
Tomorrow is the Soul Collage and Writing Workshop. Judith Behar, Donna Anthony, Kim Goldstein and myself will be facilitating. Cost is nominal. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll put you in touch with Judith.
Monday, June 17, is Monday Night Poetry at the Central Branch of the Greensboro Public Library.
Jean Rodenbough is the featured poet at Tate Street Coffee House next Saturday night, June 22, at 7pm. Come out and hear Jean and have a coffee or something sweet. There’s an open mic to follow if you’re so inclined!
On Sunday, June 23, WWOT Critique happens at Deep Roots Market. Sharon Burkitt is facilitating. Thank you, Sharon!
June 25, Andy Irwin’s workshop on Humor, Wit & Storytelling. Greensboro Public Library, Central Branch, 6:00pm.
Whew. I probably forgot some.
Read. Write. Love. Perform. Support the local arts. Be nice to each other.