Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November Sunday Kind of Love: Yvette Neisser Moreno book launch

    November Sunday Kind of Love 
                                   featuring
                       Yvette Neisser Moreno &
                          Teri Ellen Cross Davis

   

      
          

Sunday November 18, 2012
          5-7pm

           Busboys and Poets
           2021 14th St. NW
          Washington, DC

           Hosted by:
            Sarah Browning & Katy Richey
        $5 (online or at the door)
         As always, open mic follows!

  
Join us on Sunday November 18th as Yvette Neisser Moreno launches her new book! Grip, winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award, is her first book of poetry and we are excited to have her feature at November's Sunday Kind of Love. Yvette will be joined by fabulous local poet Teri Cross Davis, Poetry Coordinator of the Folger Shakespeare Library. 

We look forward to seeing you there, and celebrating these long time Split This Rock activists!

Yvette Neisser Moreno's first book of poetry, Grip, won the 2011 Gival Press Poetry Award, and in 2012 she was the first runner-up for the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. Her translations from Spanish include South Pole/Polo Sur by María Teresa Ogliastri and Difficult Beauty by Luis Alberto Ambroggio, and she recently founded the DC-Area Literary Translators Network (DC-ALT). With a specialization in the Middle East, she has worked as an international program coordinator, writer, editor, and translator, and has taught at GW, Catholic University, The Writer's Center, and other institutions. Yvette serves on Split This Rock's programming committee and leads the ongoing campaign to get more poetry reviews in the Washington Post Book World and other newspapers.
 
Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the poetry and lectures coordinator at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. Her poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Beltway Quarterly, Torch, Natural Bridge and Gargoyle, as well as anthologies including Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade and Poetic Voices Without Borders 2. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Cave Canem Foundation and the Soul Mountain Writer's Retreat. She resides in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband and two children.
 

Co-Sponsored by Busboys and Poets
&
Split This Rock

For more information:
202-787-5210

Friday, October 26, 2012

Poem of the Week: Celeste Doaks

Celeste Doaks  

American Herstory       

   
Tell them it's always under attack. Tell them there's no cure
for the disease, or answer to the riddle. Tell them you asked many
before you, some who won, some who lost.

You consulted Assata, Roe vs. Wade, Harriet and Jocelyn Elders
to no avail. Her words on contraception twisted into a bitter pretzel.
The bits broken off, used to destroy her.

Tell them its always under attack, its predators everywhere. They lurk  
behind Mississippi clinics or around Georgetown blocks dressed
in blue uniform. Tell them you have the cure, somewhere at home,

deep in your cabinets, mixed in a mason jar, Don't tell them
it consists of breast milk, dreams, butterflies, civil rights marches,
burned bras, a piece of Madame CJ Walker's hair, prayers,
Ameila Earhart's drive, hot-water cornbread, and Sally Ride's fearlessness.

Lie to them, tell them it's rosemary oil, then bottle it. Sell it
to every woman in America who will drink it. Then watch all
the piranhas disappear.

 
-Celeste Doaks   

Used by permission.      

Poet and journalist Celeste Doaks received a 2012 Lucille Clifton Scholarship to attend Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Her journalism has appeared in the Huffington Post, Village Voice, Time Out New York and many other publications. Her most recent poetry is forthcoming in Tidal Basin Review and Bayou Magazine. Doaks received her MFA from North Carolina State University, and currently teaches creative writing at Morgan State University. You can follow her at @thedoaksgirl on Twitter.

Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!

If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.    

Split This Rock
www.splitthisrock.org
info@splitthisrock.org
202-787-5210

Friday, October 19, 2012

Poem of the Week: Carmen Calatayud

Carmen Calatayud    
  
Commitment Otra Vez      

...........for R.V.       

Some generations ago,
you were a Zapatista
inside your great-grandmother's
womb, black eye sockets of
revolution, carrying roses
with the pink blown out,
dando gritos in earshot
of the Americas.

But now your doubt
is strewn across the room
like petals from dead maravillas,
even in this space you rent
where spiritual warriors
pray for your country
and you can finally sleep
through the night.

Listen, amigo de los desamparados,
this is your time, again,
beyond gut-level fear
and black and white film:
The explosions just keep coming,
and you are chewing on history,
and never let it be said
that all you could do was cry. 

  
-Carmen Calatayud  

Used by permission.
From In the Company of Spirits (Press 53, 2012)   

Carmen Calatayud's first poetry collection, In the Company of Spirits, was published in October 2012 by Press 53. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, Gargoyle, PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art, and the anthology DC Poets Against the War. She is a Larry Neal Poetry Award winner, a runner-up for the Walt Whitman Award and recipient of a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellowship. Born to a Spanish father and Irish mother in the U.S., Calatayud works and writes in Washington, DC.  

Carmen will launch In the Company of Spirits as part of Split This Rock's Sunday Kind of Love Reading series this Sunday October 21, 5-7pm at Busboys and Poets (14th & V location). Details here. Reading with her is poet and local literary favorite, Fred Joiner. Hope to see you there! 
         
Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!

If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.    

Split This Rock
www.splitthisrock.org
info@splitthisrock.org
202-787-5210

Friday, October 12, 2012

Poem of the Week: Stephen Zerance

Stephen Zerance  
  
Skintight    

   
My father hands me gifts he bought Christmas Eve:
an extra-large broadcloth and thirty-four waist khakis.

I dress different from the boys at school. My shirts fall
at my navel; my jeans are skintight.
I am to wear the outfit or my clothes will be ripped apart--

the neighbors are talking. No deals, no exceptions.
We are all there: my mother, my sister on the couch, my father
urging, Put them on. Put them on.

I strip in the bathroom with my back to the mirror.
The shirt hangs to my knees, the pants slide on buttoned.
My face is hollow. My skin--deaf, as the audience,

the family await me outside, my mother knocking,
Put them on for your father.

When I step out my mother will be silent. My sister--gone.
My father will clap his hands. He will look me in the eye, ask me:

Do you feel like a man?

  

-Stephen Zerance 

Used by permission.


Stephen Zerance is a recent MFA graduate of American University. He has previously appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Bloom, Knockout, Chelsea Station, Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, Lambda Literary Review, and MiPOesias. He resides in Baltimore, Maryland and is at work on his first book.  

Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!

If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.    

Split This Rock
www.splitthisrock.org
info@splitthisrock.org
202-787-5210

Open Call for Poem of the Week Series

Open Call for Poem of the Week Series

Split This Rock began the Poem of the Week program in October 2009 as a way of publicizing the poets who were to be featured in the 2010 festival. We have since continued Poem of the Week--post-festival and in the off years--by featuring poems by poets who were registered participants in Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2008, 2010, and/or, 2012.

We are happy to broaden the call and accept work from any poet writing in the socially engaged vein, festival participant or not.

 
Poem of the Week sends one poem per week on a social issue to a wide audience: Split This Rock's list serv and Facebook group (now totaling over 3,000 nationwide, combined), and the national and international networks of the Institute for Policy Studies. We also post the poem here on the blog. We encourage everyone who receives the poem to forward and post it widely, so that it reaches a broad public.

Please send us poems for consideration. Guidelines are as follows:


· Please send up to three short poems (poems of 40 lines or under work best) as a single email attachment in Word to: info@splitthisrock.org. The subject should read: "[Your last name] POTW submission." 

· Include, in the cover e-mail, your full contact information (name, address, phone, email address) a bio, up to 75 words, and an author photo.

· Poems may have been previously published in a book, chapbook, or paper journal, but not on the web, please. If previously published, you must own the rights to the work. 
Please include the citation, including the web address of the publisher, so we may link to it.

· Poems will be featured on a rolling basis. 

· We will contact you if your poem is accepted to confirm details, and may request additional information at that time.

Many thanks.  We look forward to reading your poems!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Poem of the Week: Merna Hecht

  
  Merna Hecht
  
Special Effects   
        
In tribute to Abdi Sami, filmmaker, peacemaker, and poet; July 22, 2012, Aurora, CO, Batman movie, the morning after


This morning I am remembering you, how as honored guest
you talked with my students who had recently arrived in America
from refugee camps where borders are stacked with blood and bullets.

Remembering when you told them you were a founder
of Dream Quest, winning academy awards for special effects,
how their faces remained blank,
until you spoke of the film you made
in the land of your birthplace, Iran,
after the earthquake, and a man you met in a cemetery,
how with no special effects, but because of grief
he looked older than the crumbled stone, the rubble,
how the two of you wept together.

This morning you and I would weep together
because last night in America, with its monstrous appetite
for special effects and its hairline border crossings
between reality and horror, thirty minutes into the latest blockbuster,
a young man with gas mask, explosives
and loaded guns went on a killing tirade.

My gentle friend, you loved to create
films daring with special effects, but if I could reach for you
on the other side, I know you would stand with me
when the young men and women who came here as you once did
from where war raged, would ask us to explain what happened
in real time, in real life, after midnight, in America, and what would we tell them?

I have no words, no story, to meet the moment.
I am less a stranger to your untimely death,
or an imagined place where the dead might drift,
or a shot zooming on a war-torn border,
than familiar to my own country. I am drowning in the deep
pools of permission given by the big money, the big screen, the big guns,
the President and the pundits who will not say the dark night has risen
even as the semi automatic was fired and the hair dyed red
and the Joker lost his mind, and for several moments
no one was certain where stood the border between the shadow and the light.
  

-Merna Hecht  

Used by permission.


Merna Hecht is a poet, nationally recognized storyteller and teaching artist. Her work has appeared in Kaleidoscope, Out of Line, Drash: Northwest Mosaic, Teachers & Writers Collaborative Magazine, among others. She has received a National Storytelling Network Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling and a National Storytelling Community Service award. She teaches art and social justice classes at the University of WA, Tacoma and directs the Stories of Arrival Youth Voices Poetry project with refugee and immigrant high school students in Tukwila, WA. She has just completed a a book about using storytelling and poetry with children and teens who are grieving life changing losses.    
         
Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!

If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.    

Split This Rock
www.splitthisrock.org
info@splitthisrock.org
202-787-5210

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October Sunday Kind of Love: Carmen Calatayud book launch with Fred Joiner


October
Sunday Kind of Love
featuring
Carmen Calatayud &
Fred Joiner 

  Fred Joiner  

Sunday October 21, 2012
   5-7pm

Busboys and Poets
2021 14th St. NW
Washington, DC

Hosted by:
Sarah Browning & Katy Richey
$5
As always, open mic follows!
 
Join us on Sunday October 21st to hear the fabulous poetry of Carmen Calatayud and Fred Joiner, as they feature at this month's Sunday Kind of Love.

Hot off the press, Carmen will launch her new book and first published poetry collection, In the Company of Spirits.Carmen will be joined by local literary favorite, Fred Joiner, an editor of the Tidal Basin Review. Come experience the poetry of these talented poets.



Carmen Calatayud's first poetry collection In the Company of Spirits was published in October 2012 by Press 53. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Borderlands: Texas Poetry ReviewCutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, Gargoyle, PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art, and the anthology DC Poets Against the War. She is a Larry Neal Poetry Award winner, a runner-up for the Walt Whitman Award and recipient of a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellowship. Calatayud is a poet moderator for Poets Responding to SB 1070, a Facebook group that features poetry and news about Arizona's immigration law that legalizes racial profiling. Born to a Spanish father and Irish mother in the U.S., Calatayud works and writes in Washington, DC.

Fred Joiner is a poet/artist/curator living in Washington DC. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in CallalooBeltway Poetry QuarterlyFingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora, Gargoyle, Mosaic Literary MagazineWarpland: A Journal of Black Literature and Ideas and in other publications. Fred has read his work throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area and in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he is working on a long term multidisciplinary collaboration and exchange between Northern Irish artists (courtesy of Belfast Exposed Archives and Gallery) and Washington DC poets. He is a curator of literary and art-related events including the American Poetry Museum's INTERSECTIONS Reading Series, Hillyer Artspace's HOME Series, the Phillips Collection's Voices Series and others. Joiner is also the literary editor the peer -reviewed scholarly hip-hop journal Words, Beats and Life and the Tidal Basin Review. 

Co-Sponsored by Busboys and Poets
&
Split This Rock

For more information:
202-787-5210