African-American Writers’ Alliance

Hello, my dragons and dragon-lovers,

Occasionally, I plan to share information regarding literary and artistic organizations that I feel deserve more widespread acknowledgments. For that purpose, I would like to introduce you to an organization I have found through the grapevine: the Seattle-based African-American Writers’ Alliance (AAWA).

AAWA is a collective of Seattle writers of African descent that provides an informal and supportive forum for new and published writers. They host literary events, workshops, weekly readings and more in the surrounding Seattle Area.

Randee Eddins founded the organization in 1991, where she encouraged an exchange of ideas through the written word. In a mutually supportive setting, writers listened and shared their work without censure. AAWA has monthly meetings (Saturdays, Columbia City Branch of the Seattle Library, library opening until noon). For up-to-date information, please check out their website and consider becoming a member of this wonderful organization.

If you know of any other writing organizations in Washington or anywhere on the planet, please let me know to by commenting down below.

Thank you for reading and, as always, may you have peace, love, and pancakes my literary dragons!

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Ang Pagkatao ng Pilipino

Hello, my dragons and dragon lovers!

I will be one of six readers for an event celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage.

The topic of the reading is Being Filipino and what it means to be Filipino.

If you are in the Seattle area on May 19th, please stop by. The event is free and will include an open mic at the end.

I hope to see all you lovely writers and readers there!

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

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Happy National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration around the world, with readers young and old marking the importance of poetry in our culture and lives. There are many ways to celebrate poetry (reading, writing, going to poetry events, carrying a favorite poem around with you, etc.) and one of my favorite resources to explore this month, Poets.org, has a list of creatives activities to do during April.

One of their suggestions is to carry a poem in your pocket or share some of your favorite poems with your friends.

Now, having read a lot of poetry books in my days as a graduate dragon, I have a large horde of poems that I call my favorites. However, limiting the list to Rosie’s to 10 Poems for 2016, seems too … limiting. I am a dragon writer, after all, and as such I would be embarrassed to show off only 10 gems when I could display 10 treasure chests.

Without much ado, I present to you, A Dragon’s Top 10 Poetry Books:

the_lorax

The Lorax taught me that you can tell a story, a sad and thoughtful story, through music. I didn’t know, as a kid, why the music came out of everyone who read the Lorax aloud to me, but the music came all the same. This was my first introduction to narrative poetry.

47

I know, I know, technically this is not a poetry book. But there are enough memorable poems here to make my list. Also, I did my undergraduate thesis on the poems held inside this treasure chest. Nonsense poetry that hides depth and meaning while teaching the reader how to read … Lewis Carroll was a genius.

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From Lewis Carroll, I found my way to Edgar Allan Poe, writer of the infamous “Raven.” Enough narrative poem. I became hooked soon after this. Poetry began as necessary to me as water.

112204

It was in High School that I came to love this poet. Something — about her — struck — me — deeply.

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I found myself craving songs with meaning in my high school life. Songs that changed history and then I found Hughes. “Dream Deferred” still rings in me like an unfinished song or a tune caught in my throat.

148317

I am cheating here because 1) Carlos Bulosan is a treasure all on his own and 2) for some reason I cannot find a full complete collection of his works on line. I can copies of his poems scattered about my files and I keep America is in the Heart by next to my Bible.

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AUDRE LORDE, ENOUGH SAID, MOVING ON!

light

“here yet be dragons”
so many languages have fallen
off of the edge of the world
into the dragon’s mouth. some

where there be monsters whose teeth
are sharp and sparkle with lost

people. lost poems. who
among us can imagine ourselves
unimagined? who

among us can speak with so fragile
tongue and remain proud?

9781613762066

FOR ALL THAT IS HOLY, BUY THIS BOOK! I was so inspired by Ms. Carmen Giménez Smith that I even wrote her a Facebook fan letter.

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I already reviewed this one, but, as with all the books in this list… READ IT IF YOU LOVE POETRY, FANTASY, AND THOUGHTFUL DISCUSSIONS! … cough… roar…

I hope you enjoyed this list and the books found within. What are your favorite collection of poems? Who are your favorite poets? Please comment down below.

As always, peace, love, and pancakes!

First Poetry Reading in Washington

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Hello my Lovelies!

After a long four months of settling into my new home, finding a bed, assembling evil Ikea furniture, etc …  I knew I had to find where local writers and poets hang out and meet each other. Through the website, MeetUp, I was able to find several poetry events in and around the Seattle Area.  Tonight, I went to the February Poetry Night even at Tsuga Fine Art & Framing. The owner, Ken (whose last name escapes me like so many nouns) and his wife host the event at 7pm on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

Tonight, the feature poet was Francie E. Walls. As her biography states, Ms. Walls has worked as an English teacher, college librarian, library director and professional photographer. Her poems appear in the book, Writing Across Cultures: A Handbook on Writing Poetry and Lyrical Prose, and magazines such as Pontoon, Arnazella, PoetsWest Literary Journal, and the RedWing Anthology. She has traveled around the United States and to Africa, Cuba, England, Wales, Ireland, Europe and the Middle East.

But, most of all, her poems are beautiful.

She opened the night with a theme and a goal — she was taking us to places we have never been before.

And she did. Vivid, poignant, expressive, and moving, Ms. Walls’s poetry often kept me from taking notes. The first poem, “Chrysanthemum Cafe” plucked me from my notebook and sat me into a lovely cafe with a tea called blue people. She wrote about deserts and circus and child birth and death with such a deft hand that I wondered if she had speaking from first hand experience.

Ms. Walls set the mood for the night and each poet that read afterwards was a joy. Many of the poets were established (published) writers. Talia Jin, a young poet, performed a spoken word piece called “Cigarettes” and read her poem “Sound of my Planet,” which was inspired by the sounds of planets as recorded by Nasa. Terry Bush, like many of the older poets, spoke about the desert and the lack of rain (while it was raining outside). He also read a beautiful Valentines Day poem, which was dedicated to his wife.

Kevin O’Conner read several love poems. In one there is an equation 1 + 1 = ∞ when you are in love. A line that stood out was “What does math have to do with love?” I enjoy his wit and his honesty.

There were many other poets and writers of note at the event. If you are ever in the Bothell, WA on the 2nd Saturday of the month, stop by this event.

I do plan on attending again.

Until next time, my lovelies.

Peace, love, and pancakes.

 

NaNoWriMo

Hi all! Rosie, here, reporting from ye olde laptop with a special announcement. This is the first Monday of NaNoWriMo! I’m already about 7,000 words into the event and wanted to update you find folks with that bit of info. Periodically, I will update this blog with an update as to how many words am I in. The goal is 50,000 by the end of the month. That’s roughly 1, 667 words a day. After completely 47 rough drafts of poems for this year (not counting classroom poems and random freewrites), I’m feeling confident that at the very least I’ll end November with the beginning of a novel.

Let’s see, in other news, I’ve been submitting word to various places around the Bay Area and I’ll update you on that progress as I hear back from them.

Thank is all, for now.

As always, keep on writing.

 

A New E-Zine Appears and This Weekend in the Literary Scene!

Today, I am proud to announce the launch of Gesture Zine, a poetry E-zine edited by my old classmate and good friend Matthew Sherling. I encourage all those who love literature (especially poetry) and who wish to see new and emerging writers, to check out the first issue ASAP.

In other literary news, three big events are happening this weekend.

First off we got Word World 2012, a literary reading series #1 this Friday, March 30th between 7pm and 10pm. More info below. Be there or be a four sided polygon!

Word World 2012
a literary reading series

~Come join California College of the Arts’ MFA in Writing graduating class~

CCA
Timken Hall
1111 8th Street
SF, CA

Free and open to the public

Reception follows

More info: 415-551-9237

Reading on March 30th:

Jeff Von Ward
Jessica Chrastil
Fia Maxwell
Jason Jimenez
Erin Heath
Tony Dimitry
Steven Trull

Second event this week is the Saturday Night Special at Nick’s Lounge in Berkeley, CA. 7pm. I often make an appearance at the open mic here, and hopefully (schedule pending) I won’t fail to show this night!

For more info, please see below.

March the month of Pi, Women, the Equinox, and assassination. Change is coming. The theme for our March 2012 (optional) writing challenge is: “BLOODY”

We’d love to hear your poems and stories and comedic sketches on our theme (or any topic). As ever, there will be some ridiculous prizes …to celebrate your creative efforts.

Our March features are: Toaster & Vernon Keeve III

14 open mic slots.

First come first served. Sign-up starts at 7pm and closes when it fills up or when the reading starts, so get there early if you want to read!

Each reader will have 3 minutes maximum.

Saturday, March 31, 2012
7 – 9:30 pm

Nick’s Lounge (21+)
3218 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA
1 block South of Ashby BART
between Fairview St & Martin Luther King Jr Way

FREE!
But bring CASH if you want to buy drinks

Hosted by Hollie Hardy & Tomas Moniz

Please help us out by joining our fan page, where you can also find more details and photos from past events:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saturday-Night-Special-an-East-Bay-open-mic/112174188880786?sk=info

Bios:

Toaster is an artist/ organizer/ educator from Chicago’s north side, who at this point cant figure out what that means.
Getting his first start with Young Chicago Authors, Toaster began performing and writing regularly. Participating in both its Saturday writing program as well as its poetry competition “Louder Than A Bomb,” he learned quickly the importance of a recognizable name and good social skills.

He has had his own chap book “Floating Heads” published through “Watch the Steps Press” as well as many literary anthologies. He has performed on many stages like the “Metro”, “Victory Gardens” and “The Vic”.

More recently, Toaster has expanded his repertoire and ventured into mural and visual art. After painting “The Neo Futurists” and participating in local mural art projects, Toaster began creating and selling his art while teaching through after school programs. After traveling to perform and paint in Brooklyn, he moved to San Francisco to continue his art, community work and performance poetry.

Vernon Keeve III (V.) is a neophyte to the Bay Area. He hails from the skeletal clutches of the American South: Fredericksburg, Virginia to be exact, and now resides in the western ventricle of Oakland. V. writes his experience in poetry, fiction and theater. He is currently earning his MFA at California College of the Arts and has plans of being an educator.

His permanent goal in life is to inspire people to use their passions to make a difference and to tap into the GOOD that all humans have access to.

JDX described him best when she said, “You talk about painful subjects with a glow on your face and a sparkle in your eye.”

LAST (but hardly the least!) is Pinay Lives & Voices. This event promises to be amazing. It will be a night of storytelling, poetry, and celebration all in the name of Women’s History Month. I am personally excited because one of my favorite local poets, Barbara Jane Reyes, will be reading there! Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity!

Philippine-American Writers & Artists (PAWA)
Sponsored by the Oakland Asian Cultural Center presents

PINAY LIVES & VOICES
an afternoon of Pinay literature and storytelling, in celebration of Women’s History Month!

Sunday, April 1, 2012
3:00pm-5:00pm

Free and open to the public!
Please consider making a donation to support our ongoing programs:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=THJ4W9JV98BT6

FEATURED PINAY ARTISTS:
Vangie Buell
Barbara Jane Reyes
Camille Robles
Rina Ayuyang

For more information, please contact Herna Cruz-Louie, Programs Manager at herna(at)oacc.cc or call (510) 637-0455.

Visit Philippine-American Writers & Artists (PAWA) online at:
http://www.pawainc.com/

Writer Advice’s 7th Flash Prose Contest

CALLING ALL WRITERS!!!

WRITER ADVICE announces its Seventh Annual Flash Prose Contest. Mesmerize us with your best short fiction or memoir up to 750 words. Deadline: April 18. First prize: $150. Fee: $12 for processing only or $22 for detailed evaluation. Visit www.writeradvice.com for complete guidelines and link to Submishmash.