Tuesday, June 09, 2009

your june annogram

Sugaring reviewed in Melusine
If you haven’t seen my chapbook, Sugaring, read this insightful review. Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom, a graduate of the prestigious Johns Hopkins writing program, offers an amazingly on-target exploration. The review is part of Kihlstrom’s debut journal, Melusine or Woman in the 2lst Century. You can also find my work this month in J Journal and Amoskeag.

Prairie Fire Poetry Reading
What a pleasure to read at Peter Chelnik’s Prairie Fire Poetry Series on May 7! Poets Chris Graff, Patricia Carragon and I read to more than 30 people. DeeAnne Gorman sang “There will never be another you,” accompanied by Bob Feldman on sax. Peter also welcomed 16-year-old Juliette Baker and 17-year-old Jake Samuels who read work; and 12-year-old Calvin Baker who wrapped up the evening with Shakespeare.

Finding the Rooster” at Thirteenth Street Repertory Company
Playwright Terence Patrick Hughes’s “Finding the Rooster” depicts a family unraveling from the death of a son in war, and in near allegory, turns to literature to heal them. Kathy Neville Brown gives a powerful performance as the alcoholic mother who is barely aware of what is happening to her remaining son, and Kevin Hauver is magical as her wacky war-hero brother who both inspires and saves his nephew.

Learning to See Poetry Reading
Participants in Greenburgh Poet Laureate Brenda Connor-Bey’s Learning to See poetry writing workshops will read their work tomorrow, June 10, at the Greenburgh Public Library, 6-8:45 p.m. Valerie Griffith, Sarah Bracey White (at left) and Brenda will offer introductory remarks, and there will be refreshments at this free event.

Washington Heights Chapbook Festival
The final chapbook festival event will be a Bookmaking Workshop for Children and Their Families with artist Dindga McCannon on June 20, 11 a.m-1 p.m. The kids will make books from simple materials, including their writing and drawing. This free event will be at the Fort Washington Branch, New York Public Library, 535 W. 179th Street, between Audubon and St. Nicholas Avenues.

Writers Under the French Occupation
Between Collaboration and Resistance: French Literary Life Under Nazi Occupation,” at New York City’s 42nd Street Library, documents that literary vacuum that descended on France during its Vichy government (1940-1944). Excerpts from diaries, poetry, letters, newsreels and movies reveal how France’s most celebrated writers struggled to survive the untrustworthy regime. A sobering exhibit—through July 25—that reminds writers to savor our political freedom.

Movie meditation: Star Trek
When the Star Trek series appeared 1966-1969, it seemed like the world was falling apart: There were riots, looting and fires in urban areas; we were bombing the Vietnamese; civil rights marches spoke to more unrest; women were burning bras and college students protesting war. I was nine years old, and on Fridays, I could count on a team of sane and talented astronauts to bring peace and order to our galaxy.

Yes, they would have conflicts. They had weaknesses, strengths. They hated people and had love affairs. Relying on mutual trust and humor, they could find solutions to sophisticated challenges facing other worlds and their own. I felt safer in their company than anywhere else—certainly more than that 1972 morning when I saw a Times photo of a Vietnamese girl running naked from a napalm blast.

When the USS Enterprise returned to the big screen in this latest movie, I felt my eyes well—and later as the young characters uttered familiar lines that we would come to expect during the series’ three years. I realized the starship personalities were an intimate part of my personal history, like family members, role models, neighbors—people I knew and could depend on during a complex time.

Four decades later, I help organizations promote diversity programs. The message: People working together from different backgrounds create better products and services. They’re more creative. They have more fun. In this regard, Star Trek was the first diversity program: Kirk, Bones, Spock, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov saving planets, saving lives and giving hope to a nine-year-old girl on Friday nights that humans and others could, after all, create something beautiful and enduring—like community or peace.

'Round the Net
I am grateful for these links sent by:

· Fast Company on the amazing new park in Chelsea built on an elevated railroad

· Kathy Neville Brown, who is starring in this web soap opera July 11

· Isabelle Fuller for these tips for a beautiful life

· Mary Ladd for this awesome version of “Stand by Me

· Meredith Trede for the Geraldine R. Dodge blog

· Barbara Dickinson for this June 17 free webinar with Kenny the Monk

· Linda Simone for why right-brainers will rule the world

· John McCray for his film, “Cracks,” starring Geico Caveman John Lehr, Justine Bateman and John.

Live long and prosper,