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Friday, September 26, 2014

POET PROFILE

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ALFRED ISLAY WALDEN was born a slave in 1847, in Randolph County, North Carolina. He was the son of a slave woman by the name of Ruth. His father, William D. Walden, was a free man who was highly respected in the community.

Walden was gifted with innate abilities in math and language, which expressed themselves even before he was able to read. These blessings of mental math calculations, and the formulation of random verses, was discovered by his master who often showed Walden's talents off to his contemporaries, and referred to him as a poet.

In 1867, after 18 years of slavery in North Carolina,Walden, who was threatened all of his life with blindness because of nearsightedness, was nevertheless   determined to learn to read and to become a minister. During the winter of that year he traveled to Washington, D.C. on foot and supported himself by selling poems and giving lectures.

He published his first book of poems Miscellaneous Poems in 1872 and a second edition in 1873 to help finance his education.

Walden enrolled in Howard University on a scholarship and earned his degree in 1876.

In 1877 he published Sacred Poems, again as a means to pay for his education.

 In 1879 after completing 3 years at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Walden was ordained to the ministry, becoming one of the first Black graduates to achieve that distinction.  

Walden returned to North Carolina and organized his own congregation. He died there in 1884 and was buried in the churchyard at Strieby Congregational Church.


To read a comprehensive bio of Walden , Google Search his name.

To sample his poetry log on to poetryfoundation.org and poemhunters.com


Thursday, September 25, 2014

POETRY CHALLENGE 19

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CAN YOU HANDLE IT?


                                             PUT YOUR-SELF IN THIS PICTURE


Write a poem describing the situation that you are facing and trying to communicate.

TAKING CHALLENGE 18

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...AND WHEN WE ARE OLD


an ancient proverb
from across the atlantic
long before the
middle passage
tells us
it takes a village to
raise a child
meaning
we must all pull
together through thick
and thin through rain                  
and raging storms to
raise our children
in the way
they should go
so when we become
advanced in age and
grow from son to
father to grandfather when
the color of our hair
changes like the seasons
from black to silver to white
we can rest assured
of living out our
life in peace

WRITING YOUR FIRST POEM

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     The best way to write your first poem is to just do it. There are no magic formulas, secret incantations, or special recipes to help you out. Writing your first poem is about putting pen to paper and getting it done, the old-fashioned way, writing it down....READ MORE ezinearticles.com/?expert=james_c_dudley

THIS JUST IN...

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AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS
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On Friday, 9/26 from Noon - 2 pm, The Emily Dickinson Museum Poetry Discussion Group*** opens it's season with their first meeting which will explore "Metaphors of Enclosure and Concepts of Self in Emily Dickinson's Poetry."

***The group meets every third Friday from September thru May (except December).

Further details are available @ emilydickinsonmuseum.org

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NEW YORK CITY
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===== On Saturday, 9/27 @ 11 am
POETS HOUSE presents a workshop for children entitled Our Earth, Our Sky. This workshop will explore the magic and mystery of poetry. Children will write poems inspired by the earth and sky. Then their work will be celebrated through narration, music and mime. Each child will take their poems home in an earth/sky box.

For more info log on to poetshouse.org

Thursday, September 18, 2014

POETRY CHALLENGE 18

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CAN YOU HANDLE IT?
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 Use the following word group to write a poem:  grandfather, village, silver, rain. 

TAKING CHALLENGE 17

Newspaper headline taken from the Columbus Dispatch on 9/11/2014
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MISPLACED PRIORITY


just thinking
where i
would be today
certainly not destitute
with a sorrow that
won't quit
if
i only knew then
what i know now                                                 would have
taken the back door
out of your life
running like i just
stole something valuable
you not who i thought
you were
not worthy
of worship

THIS JUST IN...

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NEW YORK CITY
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POETS HOUSE presents Back to School: Workshops, Classes & More.

Sign up for a class this fall and rediscover your life and language.

Choose from 6 weeks, 3 weeks, or a 1 day workshop + a Special Workshop For Teens.

These workshops and classes are open to all writers - no applications needed, but registration is required.

LOG ON TO poetshouse.org FOR DETAILS


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

POETIC BIRTHDAY

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BORN ON THIS DAY
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1883 - WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS, Poet/Writer, in Rutherford, New Jersey.


Williams received his primary education in Rutherford, until 1897, at which time he studied in Paris and New York City.

In 1902, having passed a special examination, he was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 1906. He did internships at a few hospitals,and eventually studied advanced pediatrics.

Although his primary occupation was as a family doctor, Williams had a successful literary career as a poet and writer. He started writing poetry in high school, and published his first book of poems in 1909.

Williams is strongly associated with the American modernist movement in literature and saw his poetic project as distinctly an American one; he sought to renew language through the fresh, raw idiom that grew out of American culture.

He sought to invent an entirely fresh and uniquely American form of poetry whose subject matter centered on everyday circumstances of life and the lives of common people.

In his later years, Williams mentored and influenced many younger poets, including a most dynamic relationship with fellow New Jersey poet, Allen Ginsburg.

 Williams had an especially significant influence on many of the American literary movements of the 1950s.

He has received numerous awards and honors for his literary achievements throughout his life.

The Poetry Society of America continues to honor William Carlos Williams today, by presenting an annual award in his name for the best book of poetry published by a small, non-profit or university press.




For more comprehensive info on William Carlos Williams, please Google search his name and read all relevant entries.

To read his poetry log on to poets.org

Thursday, September 11, 2014

POETRY CHALLENGE 17

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CAN YOU HANDLE IT?
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Write a poem using a headline from today's newspaper as your title.

TAKING CHALLENGE 16

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
(FOR MOTHER)


at twilight i spy
a morning star
way up high
sparkling like a
diamond afloat
in the sky
it was
jade or aqua
sometimes reddish
standing out among
the luminaries
of heaven
dancing around
them
climbing above        
them
as it were
a sight to behold like
nothing my
eyes has seen before
was it
could it
be her
that star
was mother
twinkle twinkle like
no other
i wonder

THIS JUST IN:

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

On Thursday 9/18 @7PM

Graywolf Press  invites you to celebrate their 40th Anniversary with an evening of poetry readings from Claudine Rankine, and others.

Rankine, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica , has published several poetry collections. In 2005 she was awarded the Academy of American Poets Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement. Her most recent book is Citizen.

Other poets scheduled to appear are Katie Ford and Matthea Harvey. A reception and book signing will follow.

ADMISSION IS FREE!

For details log on to poetryfoundation.org
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PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

 On Thursday 9/18 @7pm

The Poetry Society of America presents it's National Series on THE VOICE OF WOMEN IN AMERICAN POETRY. The series pays tribute to the immense achievement of a wide range of poets: Emily Dickinson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Wanda Coleman, Sylvia Plath, Emma Lazarus, and Adrienne Rich.

Distinguished contemporary poets will celebrate their lives by discussing their influence and reading poems of their own in tribute.

ADMISSION IS FREE

This event is co-sponsored by the Pasadena Central Library.

For further info log on to poetrysociety.org
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BROOKLYN,NEW YORK

On Sunday 9/21 @10am

THE BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL is the largest free literary event in New York City. It will present an array of literary stars and emerging authors.

Poets appearing this year will include the likes of Mark Doty, who won the National Book Award for poetry in 2008, and is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and Ohio's own Rita Dove. (For bio info on Dove see the blog post POETIC BIRTHDAY on this site 8/28/14.)

ADMISSION IS FREE

For a full calendar of events log on to brooklynbookfestival.org


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

POETIC BIRTHDAY

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BORN ON THIS DAY
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1934 - SONIA SANCHEZ, poet/writer, in Birmingham, Alabama.

She has a B.A. in Political Science from Hunter College, and has completed postgraduate work at New York University.

She has written and published more than a dozen books of poetry, as well as, numerous plays and books for children.

Sanchez was a very influential figure in the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Arts Movement of the 60s, during which time she formed a writer's workshop in New York City's Greenwich Village, attended by, among other luminaries, the notable poet, Amiri Baraka.

She was a pioneer in developing Black Studies courses in California, and was the first to create and teach a course based on Black women literature in the United States.

Sanchez has taught as a professor at 8 universities and has lectured at over 500 college campuses. She has read poetry in Africa, the Caribbean, China, Australia, Europe, Nicaragua, Canada, and Cuba.

She is currently a poet-in-residence at Temple University.



To read her complete bio and a sample of her poetry google search her name
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1950 -  James Dudley, poet/writer, in Bennettsville, South Carolina.

He has a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the College of New Rochelle, and a M.S. in Special Education from City College of New York.

In 1969 he attended the  State University of New York at Albany, being among the first Black students to integrate that school.  As a member of the Black Poets Workshop in 1970, he published his first poems in their inaugural magazine, "Blacksphemy."

Dudley works as a freelance writer and poetry blogger/teacher and is currently working on his first collection of poetry.

You can read his condensed bio, and a sample of his writing and poetry by scrolling on this blog, or click on iwrotedat.wordpress.com


Thursday, September 4, 2014

POETRY CHALLENGE 16

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CAN YOU HANDLE IT?
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Write a "celestial" poem. 

TAKING CHALLENGE 15

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE DARK SIDE


the truth is
the light
that people profess
to want yet
as a rule
cannot handle for
it couples with                                  
responsibility which
they don't want
even if it does
set them free
let them keep
the bondage
of darkness
of ignorance
for it's safer
in their mind to
not know
it absolves them
of action for
in the dark
it's easier to hide