Williams and Halus @ Poets on the Porch 2015

This is the sixth in a series highlighting poets reading at Poets on the Porch 2015 to be held on July 11th @ 1 p.m. at Ryerss Museum and Library, 7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111. Ryerss sits atop the hill at Burholme Park.

Kimww1Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, PhD  (Cultural Anthropology), M.A. kimmika(Anthropology), MFA (Theater), Graduate Certificate) Women’s Studies, B.A. (Journalism); is an Associate Professor of Urban Theater and Community Engagement in the Theater Department at Temple University. The author of Through Smiles and Tears: The History of African American Theater (From Kemet to the Americas) (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2011); The Secret Messages in African American Theater: Hidden Meaning Embedded in Public Discourse” (Edwin Mellen Publishing, 2006) She is a recipient of the 2013 Associate Provosts Arts Grant; 2008 Seed Grant, 2003 Provost’s Arts Grant; 2001 Independence Foundation Grant, the 2000 PEW fellowship, and1999, Daimler-Chrysler National Poetry Competition. Williams-Witherspoon is a contributing poet to 26 anthologies and recipient of a host of awards and citations. You can read the poetry of Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/s14-kwilliamswitherspoon.html

Gene HalusGene Halus, A native of the Lawndale neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa., He is an Associate Professor of Politics at Immaculata University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from LaSalle University, he graduated with a double major from the department of History and Political Science, his Masters of Art and his Ph.D., from the Department of Politics of the Catholic University of America. Halus has been a community/social activist in the United States and Ireland. He has written several op-ed pieces for various newspapers including the Souderton Independent and the Lancaster Eagle Gazette. He has written articles on topics such as German-Americans of Northeast Philadelphia and Resurgent Ethnicity: Reconsidering Ethnicity, Whiteness, and Assimilation; At Frankford We Stand!: The Mobilization of Euro-American Ethnic Consciousness in Philadelphia Neighborhoods and Changes in City Government; and Fair Housing/Fair Lending. Halus is working on a new poetry collection titled Perkiomen using the Perkiomen Creek as the focus of the cycle of poems. His most recent book is Irish Americans: The History and Culture of a People, co-authored with William E. Watson released in November of 2014. You can read the poetry of Gene Halus in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/w15ghalus.html

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Poetry in the News

NEWS

Donald Hall: With a lot of poetry comes lots of bad poetry  http://www.unionleader.com/article/20150621/

NEWHAMPSHIRE02/150629934&source=RSS#sthash.alDlibFe.dpuf

Introducing Swaziland’s Most Prominent Poetry Movement

https://globalvoicesonline.org/2015/06/21/introducing-swazilands-most-prominent-poetry-movement/

Aryeh Sivan, iconic Israeli poet, dies at 86

http://www.haaretz.com/life/books/.premium-1.662088

Lifelines: Reuniting with Roethke through poetry

http://www.record-eagle.com/news/lifestyles/lifelines-reuniting-with-roethke-through-poetry/article_40a0d61c-80f9-5edc-814e-50ed1a64c820.html

No art without poetry: Kanayi

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/no-art-without-poetry-kanayi/article7327936.ece

 

Coming this July- The 21st Edition of The Fox Chase Review

Trail at Pennypack Nature Sanctuary

Trail at Pennypack Nature Sanctuary

The Summer 2015 Edition of The Fox Chase Review our 21st, is in production and will appear on line this July.

Poetry by: Simon Anton Diego Baena, Kevin Brophy, Michael DeMarco, Gil Fagianella, Ananya S Guha, Michelle Grottola, Maria Keane, Adrian Manning, David P. Miller, Michelle Myers, Carlos Reyes and Laura Madeline Wiseman.

Fiction by: Sterling Brown, Joseph Crossen, Jean Davis, and Nancy Sherman.

http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/

New Youth Poet Laureate Named in Philadelphia

jones  by ELIZABETH ROBERTSON Staff Photographer philly com

From the Mayors Office

Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Helen Haynes, Chief Cultural Officer, and Poet Laureate Frank Sherlock, announced David Jones as the City’s third Youth Poet Laureate during a ceremony at City Hall. Mr. Jones’ term will begin immediately and run through May 2016.

“The City recognizes the impact that poetry can have on the positive development of young people. Poetry can foster a life-long love of reading, make our students better writers and improve their ability to find deeper meaning and think critically,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “It is important that we get our children interested in art and culture at an early age, and the youth poet laureate can play an important inspirational role in reaching that goal.”

The role of Youth Poet Laureate was established by Mayor Nutter in 2013 under the direction of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE) to complement the City’s Poet Laureate program, and to give a young person an opportunity to develop and showcase his or her talents in poetry with the guidance of an experienced poet.

After a nomination process, the Poet Laureate Governing Committee selected three finalists: David Jones (West Philadelphia High School), Jada Elder-Wilkerson (Girls’ High School of Philadelphia) and Shirmina Smith (Academy at Palumbo). The members of the Poet Laureate Governing Committee and Poet Laureate Frank Sherlock worked together to make the final selection.

The Youth Poet Laureate will be mentored by Poet Laureate Frank Sherlock, as well as his successor, whose term will start in January 2016. In his newly appointed position, Mr. Jones said he hopes to receive guidance not just on the structure of his poetry, but how to further incorporate life experiences into his work. He will encourage his peers to react to the local, regional and national events that affect the city’s youth using poetry.

“We were pleased to see the caliber of talent displayed by the applicants for the position and look forward to helping David grow as a poet while inspiring his fellow youth,” stated Helen Haynes. “As the City’s first male Youth Poet Laureate, we are excited for the new perspective – and much needed voice – that he will bring to the position. We hope that Jada and Sabrina will continue to be part of the City’s efforts to increase the visibility of poetry in the city”

Myers and Vilayphonh @ Asian Arts Initiative – June 19

From The Asian Arts Initiative

arts inti

Michelle Myers and Catzie Vilayphonh of Yellow Rage

Please join us for a very special Family Style Performance Showcase & Open Mic to celebrate the end of our 5th Anniversary Season!

Family Style Performance Showcase & Open Mic

Friday, June 19

Doors open at 7pm

Show starts at 7:45pm

$5-$10 Sliding Scale Admission at the Door

Asian Arts Initiative – 1219 Vine Street – Philadelphia, PA 19107

On the web:

http://asianartsinitiative.org/

 

 

 

Reece and Heins @ Poets on the Porch 2015

This is the fifth in a series highlighting poets reading at Poets on the Porch 2015 to be held on July 11th @ 1 p.m. at Ryerss Museum and Library, 7370 Central Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111. Ryerss sits atop the hill at Burholme Park.

russRussell Reece has had stories and essays published in Memoir (and), Crimespree Magazine, The Fox Chase Review and many other print and on-line journals. His work has appeared several anthologies most recently Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, released in 2012. All That Glitters, released in 2013 and Someone Wicked released in 2013. He has received two Best of the Net nominations and was a finalist in the 2012 William Faulkner/ William Wisdom Creative Writing Contest.  He placed first in the Delaware Press Association Annual Communications award in poetry and a 2015 fellowship from The Delaware Division of the Arts. Russ is a University of Delaware alumnus and a co-host of 2nd Saturday Poets in Wilmington, Delaware. He lives in Bethel, Delaware in rural Sussex County along the beautiful Broad Creek. You can read the poetry of Russell Reece in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/w14rreece.html

benBen Heins is the author of two chapbooks of poetry: Cut Me Free (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2014) and Greatest Hits & B-Sides (Vagabondage Press, 2012). In addition to teaching first-year writing at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and Rowan University, he is an active member of the South Jersey Poets Collective. You can read the poetry of Ben Heins in The Fox Chase Review at this link: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/a14bheins.html

Sum and Substance by K Pankajam

sumAuthorspress, New Delhi, 2014

ISBN 978-81-7273-962-1

Review by Shernaz Wadia 

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This is a collection of poems written in forthright, simple language. The poems have an undercurrent of morality but Pankajam does not write like a preacher or someone who believes her destiny is to change the world. It remains for the reader to glean the pearls from between her words and lines. She writes quietly, reflectively, spraying quotidian subjects – Bus Journey, A Surprise Visit, Signboards, My City Seldom Sleeps, Rain Skills, Before The Ink Dries – with freshness and vibrancy.
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Resolutions will immediately resonate with the habitual resolution makers. Many will ‘rewind’ with the poet and ‘think of the debt I could not pay, the promises I could not fulfill’  She takes us relentlessly through each month of the year to finally wind up where we started, with “a fresh list for yet another year”.
She finds Faith everywhere from a plain sheet of paper to everything in nature. It is ‘in our expectation of a daybreak after pitch-dark nights, while our existence next moment/seems beyond prediction.’  
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She writes lucidly about the Indian customs, rituals and ethos she is a part of. (The Pipal Tree, Vishukkani, Hopefully…, Gruhapravesham) Nor does she shy away from what might be termed ‘superstition’. In Stains (Pg. 33) she visits childhood memories of her grandfather’s quirks.  Language of Childhood bemoans the loss of innocence and voices the universal desire for a return to it while Second Childhood compassionately revives the memory of an uncle who had slipped into dementia.
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 When the world is tooting gender equality and women of substance are feted, her women-centric poems stop us in our tracks and compel us to take a look at a different reality. ‘Morning Blues, Yielding… ‘You Are (Not) a Working Woman’, is the dismal tale of every homemaker, whose relentless toil is taken for granted even though she works herself to the bones. 
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Inching slowly, she saunters towards the bed
And slithers into the waiting arms. He murmurs:
“Thank God you are not a working woman!”
Her day continues…
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‘Solitude’s Whimper’ is one poem that shatters our complacency. It shames us out of our apathy as we stare with a dumb ache and with “the walls bleed silently”
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If a philosophical vein peeps through poems like The Journey, A Little Secret, The Ultimatum…, the poet’s humour drips from poems like ‘A Surprise Visit to a Bachelor’s House’.  I couldn’t help but smile at ‘A Momentary Impulse’ a poem most will be able to relate to
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No sindhoor on the parting line/a milky path to the kingdom of love/that kindles his passion to leap a bit.
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In ‘An Orchestra’ she becomes ‘a song in the concert’. In Muse-Inspired she says,
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Salty breeze from Bay of Bengal….give rebirth to my sunken moods/ raises my spirit to its meridian splendour/and soaks my soul in the pavilion of passions.
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Some subjects have been written about endlessly, but they don’t lose their poignancy. Life Is a Circle is a heart-wrenching letter from a parent in an old age home which concludes with the lines
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I taught you all about life
maybe not about relationships
and I write to say:
Don’t tell your son I am here.
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Another evergreen subject for poets is Mother. Pankajam’s ode to her’s is ‘You Visit Me in My Sleep’.
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In my sugared memories of the past,
your face blooms like a lotus that meditates
unfolds at sunrise, upright,
with flawless beauty and virgin purity.
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In Sum and Substance Pankajam serves us a varied fare which is appetising, appealing and satiating. There is a sprinkling of nature poems, love poems, poems that throw a search light not only on society but on her inner realm. We are carried along on her words as she questions, wonders, dreams, empathises, hopes and muses.

 

 

Shernaz-Wadia3– Shernaz Wadia, a retired teacher, lives in Pune, India. A free-lance writer, her articles, short stories and poems have been published in many online journals and literary magazines like Muse India, Boloji, Kritya and The Enchanting Verses etc. Her poems have been anthologised in Poets International, Roots and Wings and Caring Moments. Shernaz is in the process of publishing her poems in a book titled Whispers of the Soul.. She has also co-authored a book of poems titled “Tapestry”, with Israeli poetess Avril Meallem. It is an innovative form of collaborative poetry writing developed by the two of them.