Send contributions to: ChickenBones: A Journal / 2005 Arabian Drive / Finksburg, MD 21048— I became aware of Rudy Lewis labor of love a few short months ago during a visit to Kalamu ya Salaams e-drum listserv. As soon as I saw the title of the journal I knew it was about Black folks, and the power of the written word. A quick click took me into a journal thats long on creativity, highlighting well-known, little known, and a little known writers, and commitment to the empowerment of Black folks. I contacted Rudy to ask if hed consider publishing some of my work. His response was immediate, and a couple of days after Id forwarded some poems to himthey were part of ChickenBones. What I didnt know was that this journal has been surviving for the last five years with very little outside financial support. . . If we want journals like this to thrive we need to support them with more than our website hits, praise, and submissions for publication consideration.
Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection’s “lyric brilliance” and “political impulses [that] never falter.” A New York Times review stated, “Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we’re alone in the universe; it’s to acceptor at least endurethe universe’s mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith’s pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the books first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant.” Life on Mars follows Smith’s 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet’s second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans. The Bodys Question (2003) was her first published collection. Smith said Life on Mars, published by small Minnesota press Graywolf, was inspired in part by her father, who was an engineer on the Hubble space telescope and died in 2008.
Somebody has to tell the truth sometime, whatever that truth may be. In this, her début full collection, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie offers up a body of work that bears its scars proudly, firm in the knowledge that each is evidence of a wound survived. These are songs of life in all its violent difficulty and beauty; songs of fury, songs of love. ‘Karma’s Footsteps’ brims with things that must be said and turns the volume up, loud, giving silence its last rites. “Ekere Tallie’s new work ‘Karma’s Footsteps’ is as fierce with fight songs as it is with love songs. Searing with truths from the modern day world she is unafraid of the twelve foot waves that such honesties always manifest. A poet who “refuses to tiptoe” she enters and exits the page sometimes with short concise imagery, sometimes in the arms of delicate memoir. Her words pull the forgotten among us back into the lightning of our eyes.Nikky Finney / Ekere Tallie Table
Passion for the Nation is what comes out of Sekous poems at a first glance and at a deeper reading. The book is a selection gathered from eleven of Sekous poetry collections between 1978 and 2010. Rodríguez is an independent Cuban academic, writer, and essayist. He has been a researcher at Casa de las Américass Literary Research Center and founded the literary journal Anales del Caribe (1981-2000). María Teresa Ortega translated the poems from the original English to Spanish. A critical introduction, detailed footnotes, and a useful glossary by Rodríguez are also found in the book of 428 pages. The collection has been launched at conferences in Barbados, Cuba, and Mexico.
Rodriguezs introduction to Pelican Heart refers to Dr. Howard Ferguss Love Labor Liberation in Lasana Sekou, which is the critical commentary to Sekous work that identifies three cardinal points in his poetics. I would add as cardinal points: Belief or Driving Force of people in political processes, like his political commitment to make St. Martin independent, as the southern part of the Caribbean island is a territory of the Netherlands, while the northern part is a French Collectivité doutre-mer.Sara Florian / Lasana Sekou
Poet Lucille Clifton was a mentor, friend, and teacher to scores of writers in Maryland and around the country. Clifton served as Poet Laureate for the State of Maryland and was Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received the National Book Award for her poetry collection, Blessing the Boats (2000). Clifton wrote more than 16 books for children. She served as trustee of the Enoch Pratt Free Library from 1975 to 1984.Join us for this celebration of the life of Lucille Clifton. Poets from Baltimore and around the state will raise their voices to honor the memory of Clifton’s life and works. We invite you to bring your favorite Lucille Clifton poem to share. Schedule: (click on the location to see map) Central Library Thursday, Jun 24, 2010 (6:30 p.m.) PrattLibrary
Winners receive a statue and a cash prize. This years event also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, founded in 1990 by novelist Marita Golden and bibliophile Clyde McElvene as a resource center for writers, readers and supporters of African American literature.PublishersWeekly
Well-known for young adult novels (The Shadow Speaks; Zahrah the Windseeker), Okorafor sets this emotionally fraught tale in post apocalyptic Saharan Africa. The young sorceress Onyesonwuwhose name means Who fears death?was born Ewu, bearing a mixture of her mother’s features and those of the man who raped her mother and left her for dead in the desert. As Onyesonwu grows into her powers, it becomes clear that her fate is mingled with the fate of her people, the oppressed Okeke, and that to achieve her destiny, she must die. Okorafor examines a host of evils in her chillingly realistic talegender and racial inequality share top billing, along with female genital mutilation and complacency in the face of destructive traditionand winds these disparate concepts together into a fantastical, magical blend of grand storytelling
Psychedelic Literature is pleased to announce that the Summer 2010 issue of Black Magnolias Literary Journal is now available. This issue features essays by Dr. Agnieszka Lobodziec (University of Zielona/Poland), Carl Schinasi (Miles College), and Shelia Bonner (Belhaven University), poetry byRudolph Lewis (Editor of ChickenBones: A Journal) and Nathan Harper aka Urban Raw (Jackson State/Mississippi State) and fiction by Tony Robles (author of two children’s book and editor of POOR Magazine) and Katrina Byrd (Playwright in Residence for The Center Players). To purchase a copy or view the complete table of contents and cover art, go to Psychedelic Literature.com/Black Magnolias
Black Magnolias Literary Journal is a quarterly that uses poetry, fiction, and prose to examine and celebrate the social, political, and aesthetic accomplishments of African Americans with an emphasis on Afro-Mississippians and Afro-Southerners. We welcome pieces on a variety of African American and Afro-Southern culture, including history, politics, education, incidents/events, social life, and literature. All submissions are to be made by e-mail as a Word attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org . Each issue costs $12.00, and a years subscription is $40.00.
is about devastation and mourning, about the failure of humanity to act humanely, about the politics of poverty and race, but it is also about hope and healing. The poets give voice to the rainbow that comes after the storm and the revival of spirit that comes out of the depths of tested faith. All of them share a willingness to see beyond their sorrow to reinvent the spirit of “Laissez les bon temps rouler!” Though human suffering shaped the beginning of this project, the result of it is a morning of hope and inspiration
ChickenBones: A Journal has invaded my Sunday School class.
Last week, I took a copy of the essay, The Black Church Is Dead, from ChickenBones, to class at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. Brother Warren read it out loud, and we all discussed it. We are members of a progressive black church, but we weren’t always. We have had other experiences, and some not always so positive/ pleasant/nurturing. Cornel Westmy Cousin Westcalls the author of The Black Church Is Dead one of the finest new public intellectuals on the horizon, and he most certainly is, Eddie Glaude, I hope I have the spelling of his name. I just wanted you to know that ChickenBones continues to provide sustenance for constituents far and wide. Its impact upon the black community is most definite.Sandra L. West
How US Energy Policy Got MilitarizedThe association between “energy security” (as it’s now termed) and “national security” was established long ago. President Franklin D. Roosevelt first forged this association way back in 1945, when he pledged to protect the Saudi Arabian royal family in return for privileged American access to Saudi oil. The relationship was given formal expression in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter told Congress that maintaining the uninterrupted flow of Persian Gulf oil was a “vital interest” of the United States, and attempts by hostile nations to cut that flow would be countered “by any means necessary, including military force.” To implement this “doctrine,” Carter ordered the creation of a Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, specifically earmarked for combat operations in the Persian Gulf area. President Ronald Reagan later turned that force into a full-scale regional combat organization, the U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM. Every president since Reagan has added to CENTCOM’s responsibilities, endowing it with additional bases, fleets, air squadrons, and other assets. As the country has, more recently, come to rely on oil from the Caspian Sea basin and Africa, U.S. military capabilities are being beefed up in those areas as well. Alternet
Sundiata MemorialsA special Memorial for Sekou Sundiata takes place on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 (his birth date), at Tishman Auditorium, New School University, 66 West 12th Street, exactly from 6pm to 8pm, with poets, musicians, family and friends. . . . African Voices email@example.com is looking for poems and short comments from friends and fellow artists who were influenced and inspired by Sekou Sundiata. Publisher Carolyn Butts and Editor Layding Kaliba are looking to publish as many dedications to him as possible; therefore, no submission should be longer than 500 words. African Voices also wants to include photographs to accompany the dedications All submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than midnight, August 20, 2007, in order to include materials gathered in the very next issue. Interested parties may submit materials via email and/or call African Voices at 212.865.2982.
Say it Loud: Poems about James Brown. Edited by: Mary E. Weems, and Thomas Sayers Ellis. We grew up on James Browns hit me! When he danced every young Black man wanted to move, groove and look like him. Mr. Brown wasnt called the hardest workingman in show business because he wasnt. Experiencing a James Brown show was like getting your favorite soul food twice, plus desert. His songs, like black power fists you could be proud of and move to at the same time. When Mr. Brown sang make it funky we sweated even in the wintertime. Losing him was like losing somebody in our family. This is a shout out for poems about the impact James Brown had on our lives. Poems that will help people remember, honor, and celebrate his legacy. Dont be left in a cold sweat, send us your old and new James Brown poems today.Submission Guidelines: 3-5 Unpublished and/or published poems with acknowledgement included. No longer than 73 lines Deadline: December 31, 2007 (Receipt not postmark) Send hard copies along with a Word Document and short bio on a CD to: Dr. Mary E. Weems / English Department / John Carroll University / 20700 North Park Blvd. / University Hts., Ohio 44118 / Send via e-mail attachment (Word Documents Only) to: email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org
When Music is a Poet’s Tool: Tame turmoil. Transform all the bile-flavored anger and anxiety into words. Vent. Review the outburst to discover the pattern the turmoil never told you it had. Reshape the pattern into stanzas or lyrics, dramatic monologues, and narratives. Polish. Repolish. Publish. There are times when poems must respond to natural disasters and subsequent pandemics to the reflux acid of war, racism, genocide. At those times, it is only normal for poets to let the turmoil roll. If you want a poem rather than the droppings of a vatic pigeon, you must dance in a music that takes you to the other side of natural disaster and national tragedy.Jerry Ward, Jr., “The Katrina Papers,” DrumVoices, Spring-Summer-Fall 2006
Congratulations to E. Ethelbert Miller— Poets & Writers is thrilled to announce that the three recipients of its 2007 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award are E. Ethelbert Miller, Francine Prose, and Susan Shreve. Established in 1996, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, which is presented at P&W’s annual dinner, recognizes authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. Honorees are nominated by a committee composed of past winners, other prominent writers, and the Board of Directors of Poets & Writers. A Poem for RichardIt Must Be Lester YoungNew York: St. Vincent’s Hospital