Friday, October 26, 2018

SDWI Unheard Voices Reading and Writing Workshop: Resist, Rebuild, Perform

Crisis! Today’s troubling headlines, articles, and Tweets can be overwhelming! What to do? Come listen, rebuild, write, perform, and share with us. At tonight’s Unheard Voices Reading (Friday October 26), the fabulous Sandra Hunter reads from Trip Wires (Leapfrog Press, 2018), a collection that personalizes global-scale catastrophe by taking brief looks into the everyday lives of young people around the world from Columbia to Afghanistan to Glasgow and beyond. 

A teacher and avid supporter of women's causes, Meliza Bañales celebrates her new non-fiction book, Adventure Awaits You in Hell: A Survivor's Manifesto (Ladybox Books). 

Tania Pryputniewicz celebrates the anthology, America, We Call Your Name: Poems of Resistance and Resilience (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2018). Audience participation encouraged for a lively discussion

Link to more information:  Unheard Voices Reading

Saturday’s Unheard Voices Writing Workshop with the same three writers has a triple focus: generate, revise, perform! Roll up your sleeves and come join us, again at San Diego Writers, Ink.

Link to more information: Unheard Voices Writing Workshop: Resistance, Resilience, and Rebuilding

*Fee: $30 member, $36  nonmember. Course feel includes a copy of Sandra Hunter's story collection, Trip Wires.

Related Link:

Sandra Hunter on the San Diego Writers, Ink blog:  Sandra Hunter on Trip Wires, Trippings, and Assumptions

Instructor Bios:

Sandra Hunter will read from Against the Stranger, one of the stories in her new collection TRIP WIRES (Leapfrog Press, June 2018). The collection personalizes global-scale catastrophe by taking brief looks into the everyday lives of young people around the world, from Columbia to Afghanistan to Glasgow and beyond. TRIP WIRES earned praise as “a beautifully written collection, both poetic and melancholic. Deeply moving, and often grim and uncomfortable in their confrontations of unimaginable tragedies, each story evokes a bold, emotional response,” according to Katie Asher (Foreward Reviews, May/June 2018).

Meliza Bañales will read from her new non-fiction book ADVENTURE AWAITS YOU IN HELL: A SURVIVOR’S MANIFESTO. From her teaching to her activism, all of her work in speaking up — shouting out — has been in support of women’s causes. Meliza says, "Just remember… someone is [always] going to dislike you for being too honest — or not honest enough. But better to be too honest, because the people that really appreciate it will find you.” This is Meliza’s honesty without mercy.

SDWI Poetry Instructor and contributor Tania Pryputniewicz will read from the newly released anthology, AMERICA, WE CALL YOUR NAME: POEMS OF RESISTANCE AND RESILIENCE (Sixteen Rivers Press, September 2018). Born in response to the 2016 Presidential election, the anthology combines voices of poets from across America–from red states and blue states, high schools and nursing homes, big cities and small towns–with the voices of poets from other countries and other times. From Virgil and Dante to Claudia Rankine and Mai Der Vang, from Milton to Merwin, from Po-Chiu to Robin Coste Lewis, these voices, now raucous, not muted, now lyric, now plain–join together in dissent and in praise, in grief and alarm, in vision and hope.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tarot for Joy: The Two of Cups

Tarot for Joy met today to write to the Two of Cups. I video recorded the introduction to the card and the Tarot writing prompt for the Two of Cups to give you an idea of how the class runs (view Tarot for Joy: Two of Cups on YouTube here). Each week with the zoom invite I send out a photograph of 12 versions of the card of the week. To see the variety of expression from each artist always moves me so deeply. It is such a helpful visual reminder that our experiences of any situation in life are highly individual, even though we may have universal points of connection, such as the heart, such as the longing for love. But how it feels coursing through my body is going to be different than how it courses through yours; how I perceive love and joy manifesting in my life is unique to my circumstances and soul, and I love to hear how love and joy manifests in the lives and souls of others. 

This is a drop-in weekly online "show up and share" class meant to help us anchor in the present moment using the Tarot to connect to our joy through writing. Please feel free to pass on the video link to anyone you think might benefit. We are making our way through the deck one card at a time; we meet every Tuesday over Zoom. Here is the full course description: Tarot Tuesdays returns with Tarot for Joy. Next week we write to the Three of Cups. We'd love to have you.

Pairing Poetry with Photographs: Songs of Survival

I'm flying to Chicago tomorrow to be part of Songs of Survival, a night of poetry, dance and music to celebrate the one year anniversary of the MeToo movement (the event is Thursday, October 18, tickets here).  I am blessed to have the support of my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie (gift of her photographs) and my father Stephen (gift of his music). I will be bringing both images and music to Chicago to perform at Awakenings Gallery. Here is a post on my main website about the process of pairing lines of poetry meant to inspire healing and hope with photographs. Ultimately, I couldn't land on just one image: Two Views of Healing: Songs of Survival.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Awakenings: Songs of Survival, Chicago

Good morning beautiful sisters and brothers…many of us are at odds watching the fight played out across our Tv screens, over the radio, over tweets and soundbites, regarding whether or not to believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against a Supreme Court nominee our senators just voted through this weekend.

Turning to the face the heat of the sun, regardless of outcomes, I’m celebrating the way women are coming forward to voice their stories emboldened by Dr. Ford so that all of us, men and women alike, can heal. This summer when I applied to be part of an event in Chicago, Songs of Survival, I had no way of knowing we would be embroiled so heavily in the present conversation. Along with other performers (dance, music, poetry) I’ll be reading, “Peer Counselor,” a poem that is really my thank you letter to my peer counselor in college for the way she helped me see my story in a kinder light (kinder towards myself); isn’t that one of the core challenges? Self-love?

I hope this week finds you taking some tiny action towards loving yourself from journaling to reaching out to a friend or a counselor, registering to vote, deciding to run for office, or sending one of your helpers a thank you letter, poem, or drawing. How we need one another to grow and get back to joy; how we blossom regardless of what befalls us like moonflowers under nightfall.
If you are in Chicago, come out to celebrate the anniversary of the MeToo movement with us at Awakenings Gallery. Songs of Survival is a performance event, the fourth of its kind at Awakenings, featuring originally composed or re-envisioned music, poetry, and dance that is for, by, and about survivors of sexual violence. Join us on Thursday, October 18th for an evening of performance. Doors open at 6:30 and the show will begin at 7:00. More information here for Songs of Survival.

Tarot for Joy

Want to connect more deeply to joy? Work your way through the Tarot deck one card per week? We meet over video call and write to connect our experiences of lived joy to each card. We start tomorrow, October 9, with the Ace of Cups in celebration of the many forms of love, especially self-love. This is a lovely drop-in online group that meets every  Tuesday at 11 am PST.  You can visit my Wheel of Archetypal Selves Facebook page and IM me there for more details or contact me through my main website; here’s the full course description, Tarot Tuesday Returns with Tarot for Joy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Unmasked Kicks Off a Beautiful Conversation

Kathleen, Renata, Lisa, Barbara, Tania, and Marcia at SOMOS
…between men and women regarding sex and intimacy. I am newly returned this weekend from New Mexico where we were blessed to read in Taos (at SOMOS) and Santa Fe (at Op.cit), six of us, in celebration of the anthology, Unmasked: Women Write about Sex and Intimacy After 50 (Weeping Willow Books). Given the polarized climate we find ourselves in at present (with Ford/Kavanaugh hearing leading to an FBI investigation this week) and my own stress-level triggered by the ongoing public conversation around sexual assault (see last week’s post if you wish), I was grateful to let down and laugh with my fellow readers and audience members as we shared poetry and prose about the range of ways we express ourselves when it comes to sex.

Tania at Op.cit Santa Fe
I also loved questions we fielded from men and women in the audience about how we can foster avenues for intimacy and ways we can view our ability to love one another through previously unimagined lenses. What portals have we never sought out before that might lead us to greater bliss? What unmapped and undiscovered ways of connecting might we explore at the edges of the familiar, known ways of relating? May the conversation blossom in person and in future books.

Pictured above are contributing author and co-editor Kathleen A. Barry, PhD, contributing authors Renata Golden, Lisa Rizzo, Barbara Rockman, yours truly, and co-editor Marcia Meier. We were blessed with some coverage by the Taos newspaper in the article Nothing to Hide that gives you a window into the process behind the anthology’s creation. You can order a copy of Unmasked at  Weeping Willow Books. And if so inclined, we'd love it if you leave us a review on Amazon or Goodreads. 

Poetry News

The Write Like You're Alive 2018 anthology, from Zoetic Press, is available for download for free here: WLYA 2018.

I love Zoetic Press for many reasons, but especially for their 30-day challenges. I create new work and meet new authors, as I did this past August when I had the chance to read at Bookshow in LA with Adrian Ernesto Cepeda, Laura Reece Hogan, Wendy Zimmer, Kevin Ridgeway, Joe Iraggi, Mathieu Cailler and Ashley Perez.

This year’s 30 day-challenge became a way for me to write poems for my mother (we lost her in January of 2018). You can find one of those poems for her here in the WLYA anthology; “Duck” appears on page 61. Gratitude goes to Lise Quintana and Kolleen Carney! 

And here’s your word cloud preview at a glance of the work included in the anthology:

Belle Plaine     heroin     fox     gossip     gunshot     puppetry     staples     dragon fruit         weddings     fever     spelling bee     lemonade     magnets     arcade     psychic     transgression     renovation     matriarchy     office     Oklahoma     rainbow     wheelchair     lavender     icepick     Apollo     baseball bat     shrine     power     homestead     talons     guitar     bees     Dan     workshop     insect     toes     bus     Miffy     teeth     subway     witchery     discontent     reefs     nuns     envy     torpedoes     Persephone  

Poetry and Tarot Writing Classes

There's still time to sign up for Poetry Basics (we start tomorrow, Wednesday, October 3) or to join Tarot for Joy (we start next Tuesday, October 9 at 11 am). My online classes promise a deep dive in community with joy, compassion, love, laughter, and the serious work of writing and coming to know oneself in good company.