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Friday, July 29, 2011

Voting for Spotlight Poetry Contest


Here's your chance to vote for your favorite poet or your favorite poem. I know it may be difficult to choose because they were all so wonderful, but the time has arrived where we must. I would especially like to thank our poets for sharing their wonderful talent with us. It has truly been a delight to read and spread the word of these artistic and inspring poets. I wish you the very best in your endeavors and when those books get published, cause I know they will, please drop us a line so we can stay connected and continue to follow you on your journey.

Best wishes to you all and good luck!

P.S. I won't be choosing the winner. I won't be voting AT ALL. It is up to you the followers of this blog to choose a winner, so if you have a favorite, champion him or her and get people to vote. I can't wait to see who wins. I'm so excited and giddy with anticipation.

Voting will take place on July 29th, July 30th and July 31st ending at midnight July 31st. Winner will be announced on Monday, August 1st. The winner will receive $50 if they reside within the United States. If the winner is international, they will receive a $50 credit at the Book Depository.

Click the this FORM to cast your vote.

Thanks again and good luck!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nikki Giovanni Poem Spotlight Poetry

Here is one of my favorite poems by Nikki Giovanni. It speaks to me in such a profound way. I hope you enjoy it.



Mothers by Nikki Giovanni

the last time i was home
to see my mother we kissed
exchanged pleasantries
and unpleasantries pulled a warm
comforting silence around
us and read separate books
i remember the first time
i consciously saw her
we were living in a three room
apartment on burns avenue
mommy always sat in the dark
i don’t know how i knew that but she did
that night i stumbled into the kitchen
maybe because i’ve always been
a night person or perhaps because i had wet
the bed
she was sitting on a chair
the room was bathed in moonlight diffused through
those thousands of panes landlords who rented
to people with children were prone to put in windows
she may have been smoking but maybe not
her hair was three-quarters her height
which made me a strong believer in the samson myth
and very black
i’m sure i just hung there by the door
i remember thinking: what a beautiful lady
she was very deliberately waiting
perhaps for my father to come home
from his night job or maybe for a dream
that had promised to come by
“come here” she said “i’ll teach you
a poem: i see the moon
the moon sees me
god bless the moon
and god bless me”

i taught it to my son
who recited it for her
just to say we must learn
to bear the pleasures
as we have borne the pains
----------------------------------------------------

Legacies by Nikki Giovanni

her grandmother called her from the playground  
       “yes, ma’am”
       “i want chu to learn how to make rolls” said the old   
woman proudly
but the little girl didn’t want
to learn how because she knew
even if she couldn’t say it that
that would mean when the old one died she would be less   
dependent on her spirit so
she said
       “i don’t want to know how to make no rolls”
with her lips poked out
and the old woman wiped her hands on
her apron saying “lord
       these children”
and neither of them ever
said what they meant
and i guess nobody ever does

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What poem makes you think about your mother or grandmother?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Spotlight Poetry Contest Day 6

Today we have a wonderful and extremly gifted poet. Her work is a delight to read. I know you'll enjoy it. And don't forget this is the weekend the poets need you to vote for your favorite poet from the Spotlight Poetry Contest. On Friday, I'll have a voting form posted and each follower can vote for their favorite poet. So take some time and get reacquainted with all the poets from July so you can remember which poems you loved the most.


And to the poets, it's time to network and get your fellow followers and friends to vote for you. Only followers of the blog can vote. And I will be checking. So as long as they follow the blog, they can vote. They can follow by GFC, Email or RSS Feed. The winner will receive $50 if they are a U.S. resident or $50 for The Book Depository.


Thank you to all the wonderful people that sent me emails, prayers, cards and special thoughts this week. I truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I need you all to help me spread the word about the poetry contest and the voting that will take place this weekend. I will be out of town this weekend to bid farewell, so I won't be able to tweet or link as often as I normally would without internet access. So if my blog family could come together for me and help me out by linking the voting post this Friday by Facebooking, Tweeting, Digging, posting on Stumble Upon or other social sites, I would truly, truly appreciate it.


Thank you so very much.


Good luck to all the poets and please don't forget to leave encouraging words or thoughts for Chantel A. Jonson. Have a wonderful week.
-------------------------------------------------------


Writer of poetry for more than 25 years and most recently children's books and science fiction. Works as a dispatcher and currently attending classes at the University of Phoenix. Enjoys reading, learning, and sharing the beauty of the imagination. She has published several books of poetry. Including Thoughts, Desires, Passions: A Poetic Collection and Passionate: A Collection of Poetry. Stay tuned for her newest book, Cascades: Poetic Empathy.

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A New Man by Chantel A. Jonson

Your spirit is like a song to me
Easy, soft beautiful words
caressing away my tensions
Replacing the motions of bittersweet
I calm myself in your company by the river
Not a word as waves become our melody
The things my heart wants to give to you
Softly the words shape the path of your fingertips
strumming the shrill of my trickling resolve
Along the nape hairs rise and fall to your rhythm
Kisses that pound the shore
Craving from your touch so much more
Will you sing to me as we love
Guide the words to pierce tenderly
Fluent language our body's will hum
I'll close my eyes to release the moan
Delicious is the score
Every sweet rise and ever sinking note
Swaying, floating ever so delicately
Teach me the words
of the song you sing to me



Monday, July 25, 2011

Tribute to My Grandma, You Are My Friend

Posting on my blog has been a little sporadic the last several days, I've had a lot going on. And I know today is suppose to be a post of my last interview with Nikki Giovanni, however, I want to dedicate today's post to my grandmother that passed away a couple of days ago. She was a delightful hoot, but I think that's what everyone loved about her. She was at one time my primary caretaker as a child. So it's really hard to say goodbye. But she was more than a caretaker, she was a wonderful grandmother and she was my friend.

So in honor of my grandma, I am dedicating this video as my tribute to her. Heaven just got another angel and I now have another guardian angel looking over me. Have a joyful, joyful dance with Jesus grandma, shake a leg and tail feather for me.

Love always,
Your granddaughter and forever friend,
Lena











Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Free Books For Children: We Give Books



We Give Books is a free website that enables anyone with access to the Internet to read free children's books and put them in the hands of children who don't have them, simply by reading online. Simply choose the charity you want to read for and then select the books you want to read. For each book you read online, they donate a book to a leading literacy group on your behalf. So, it's like Free Kindle books for kids, what a spectacular program. And every time your child reads a book, a free book is then donated to a charity that provides books to children in need of books across the globe.


To get started: Choose the literacy organization your online reading will support. Since launching We Give Books in April, they've shared books with a host of great non-profit organizations serving young people across the globe.


Choose to support Room to Read, for example, and your reading at We Give Books will help add books to libraries for young people around the world. Select Jumpstart for Young Children and your reading will help build Jumpstart Reading Libraries in pre-school classrooms across the United States.

Helping to share books with others is a simple way to make a difference. One of their aims is to encourage your child to experience the power that reading brings. As you review the growing list of non-profit organizations from which you can choose, consider taking time to talk through the goals of each charity and your reasons for selecting the one you do. And share with your children; reading makes them feel more powerful and helpful than ever.



  • Just select a book from the digital library for FREE and start reading. Once your book is selected you can choose an organization on whose behalf you wish to read for.


  • The book you select appears in a special reading window, and you can page through it exactly as you would if you were holding it in your hands.


  • When you finish reading, you need only to confirm your effort to let them know it's time to share another hardcover or paperback book with a child in need. Read as many books as you like, as many times as you like.


  • Every campaign has its own donation goal. Once a campaign you've supported reaches its goal, they'll send you and your child a personalized email, thanking you for all your effort.

Simple and easy. A way to encourage children to read and a way for them to feel like they are personally helping other children to read as well. I think it's a great program and worth checking out. They also have reading contest where kids can win actual copies of books and win We Give Books t-shirts. 

Hope you enjoy. Please spread the word if you like. Have a safe and happy weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spotlight Poetry Contest Day 5

It's has been a busy week. I went to the AWC Writers' Conference last weekend and I needed to decompress so I didn't post my favorite Nikki Giovanni poem yesterday. I didn't post anything yesterday. I was having a zen moment and I enjoyed it. Somedays you have to take it and be in the moment and not worry about the excess or the white noise trying to get you to overwhelm yourself. I've learned to listen to the inner me and when it's time to chill for a moment, I chill. But today is a new day and all is well and I have my favorite Nikki Giovanni poem as well as another poet that is now entered into the Spotlight Poetry Contest. I hope you enjoy both.

Please make sure and leave a special comment and let Ms. L.C. Arrington know what a wonderful job she did.

Have a happy Wednesday.

Blessings!

_____________________________________________





My Sister and Me by Nikki Giovanni

Chocolate cookies
Chocolate cakes
Chocolate fudge
Chocolate lakes
Chocolate kisses
Chocolate hugs
Two little chocolate girls
In a chocolate rug

No one can find us
We're all alone
Two little chocolate girls
Running from home

Chocolate chickies
Chocolate bunnies
Chocolate smiles
From chocolate mommies
Chocolate rabbits
Chocolate snakes
Two little chocolate girls
Wide awake

What an adventure
My, what fun
My sister and me
Still on the run
Still on the run
My sister and me
Still
On the run

_________________________________________________


L. C. Arrington (poetic alias L-A-Quent) has always had a love for poetry and writing. She is a spoken word artist, has contributed as a freelance writer for various online magazines, has been featured in this years 15th annual Moonstone Arts Poetry Ink, has had numerous speaking engagements and recently has released her first book entitled “Prescriptions of a Poet: Remedies of the Heart”. In addition to writing she enjoys staying active in the community and is also involved in youth mentorship programs. http://www.honestly-speaking.org/    http://www.facebook.com/laquent.poet
 


Frustrated


Frustrated by my circumstances.
Frustrated by things that are beyond my control.
Feels like I'm Sailing a ship on dry land,
Drinking sand to quench my thirst.
Flying a kite underwater,
Lighting a candle with no wick,
Reading with my eyes closed,
Screaming with my mouth shut.
Floating against the pull of gravity.
I gasp for air. Inhaling to push air out, exhaling brings it back in again.
Up is down, left is right, wrong is...still wrong.
Eternity is ephemeral.
Frustrated by my circumstances
Frustrated by things that are beyond my control.
Everything is contradictory to my belief, therefore if I'm frustrated then I must be on the brink of
Fulfillment. I welcome fulfillment
I take it firmly in my grasp
Grateful for what I’ve experienced and never missing what I’ve never had

____________________________________________

What did you think of the two poems? I enjoyed them both because I could relate to both. What are your thoughts?



Monday, July 18, 2011

Interview with Poet Nikki Giovanni Part 3

Goodmorning everyone. Here is part 3 of my interview with Nikki Giovanni. If you've missed any of the previous interviews, please go to the Author Interviews tab and you will find the previous two interviews. Also, don't forget to check out the Spotlight Poetry contest entries. They are doing such a spectacular job. I have really been enjoying the poetry they have submitted. If you still want to enter, there is still time. Just go the Spotlight Poetry Submission tab and follow the guidelines to enter. And please spread the word, we want as many poets as possible to have the opportunity to share their work and have a chance at winning the prize.

Blessings!



Nikki Giovanni Interview
I’m going to give you four words; can you give me a poem that best represents each attribute? For instance, if I say surrogate, I might think of the poem, The Aunt by Mari Evans.

Love:
Bicycles
Desire:
Love Poems
Pain:  
Acolytes
Hope: 
All of my poems are about hope.

You have written several books of poetry for children? How do you get children interested in poetry and how can we inspire our youth to be more empowered?
Well, you know children are not stupid. And I think you have to approach them as intelligent beings. And I m really thrilled that they have enjoyed the books that I’ve written. But I approach children like anything else, like they are intelligent. And you approach them as intelligent. I think I am a pretty good story teller, but one of the reasons I am is that the stories are true.  I’m sharing something with them, something that they not only need to know but enjoy getting to know. And that’s black or white. That doesn’t matter. My book Rosa, has been well received all over the community, kids like it, white kids like it, black kids like it, and I wanted to share Mrs. Parks as I knew her. I think kids will read if we give them the books.

So true.


What are your thoughts about the segregation of books by African American writer’s in book stores?
Well, you know, that’s been a controversy. Because you say segregation, and other people call it categories, but I don’t read for example… umm…what is that stuff… I don’t read murder mysteries, so I’m glad there is a section on murder mystery, cause I don’t have to go to it. And I don’t read it anymore, I use to read a lot of science fiction when I was much younger, I don’t read it anymore. So I’m glad there is a section on science fiction. I read poetry and I’m glad there is a section on poetry.  And I read a lot of black American authors, so I’m glad when I walk into a bookstore, I don’t have to go through everybody that ever wrote, to find what I’m looking for, I don’t think of it as segregation, I think of it as categories.

That’s a good way of looking at it.
In a previous interview you mentioned that Fredrick Douglass had input into Abraham Lincoln’s administration. Are you currently working on a project to educate readers about that relationship and the influence Fredrick Douglass may have had on the Emancipation Proclamation being signed?

I have written the book, it’s called An American Friendship: Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass and the book is out. I have not done any additional work to that. No.

----------------------------------------------------

Stay tuned to the final conclusion of my interview with Ms. Nikki Giovanni next Monday. You know she will have something interesting and insightful to say.

What did you think of the interview today? Do you agree with Ms. Giovanni about the segregation of African American books in bookstores? Are they simply categorized or are books segregated in bookstores?

What poems comes to mind when you think of love, desire, pain and hope?


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spotlight Poetry Contest Day 4



I am so overjoyed at the outcome of support for these poets. I"m excited and thrilled to see so many people appreciate it and welcome them. What a joy that is. Every time I got a notification that someone commented, it puts a smile on my face. So I'm hoping all of you have smiles on your faces as well.  If you'd like to catch up on some of the previous contestants and their poetry check out Day 3 of the Spotlight Poetry Contest  Or you can check out Day 2 of the Spotlight Poetry Contest. And of course, you may check out Day 1 of the Spotlight Poetry Contest.  Those previous poets still need encouragement and support as well, so please if you have time, drop a few words and let them know you read their work and you enjoyed it.


I will try to update my Free Books list by the weekend. I have a writer's conference to attend all weekend, so I'll be playing it by ear. But I hope to have tons of fun and you know I'm going to tell you all about it when I get back. I pray all of you had a prosperous week and will have an enjoyable, safe weekend.



Now, on to business, today we have two new poets to spotlight. Mr. Albert-Sam Adedayo Olofinnika and Fiordaliza Charles. Please welcome them to the Spotlight Poetry Contest. Woohooo!


*******************************************************

Albert-Sam Adedayo Olofinnika is an educator, entrepreneur and author. I am also a poet and write mostly for children. I have chosen to write for children because they have capture my heart and I want to help them discover through my writings that the world is a wonderful place. I want to offer them resources for tough times and entertainment to bring joy into their lives. You can check out some of my works on:



Lovely Rhymes
Sweet Rhymes
Albert Olofinnika Facebook   


********************
It’s a Tiny Universe by Sam Adedayo Olofinnika


It’s a small world you know?
Maybe you once had some friends or folk
That you could have helped or saved; but didn’t,    
Thinking you’d have another chance someday,
But sooner or later, they were gone,  
It’s a tiny universe.


Sometimes; might want to do a soul some harm,
Thinking you two never will see again,
But you might want to give a second thought,
Because you never can tell friend,
Someday, somewhere, you might just run into him,
It’s a tiny universe.


What if sometimes you stand afar?
Wanting to throw a stone into the marketplace,
Never allow your emotion to overwhelm,
For you never can tell its destination,
Don’t you think it could strike a kin?
It’s a tiny universe.


Sometimes, the deed of kindness done,
And the heart of love shown
Do come back in manifolds from that man,
And most times from ones you never knew,
Of a truth it pays to act right and be good,
It’s a tiny universe.

****************************************************


Fiordaliza Charles attended Bronx Community College and graduated in May of 2008 as she accomplished an associate in Paralegal Studies. She was given a perseverance award for her diligence and commitment towards attaining an Associate’s degree under extremely difficult circumstances. Fiordaliza has been a published author since November of 2009 and she loves to write, she has published six poetry books and a novel thus far her latest poetry anthology is entitled “The Poetic Lounge” Vol. 1 in this book she helps to promote 20 of the greatest poets from all around the world. Fiordaliza is also the CEO of T.P.L project, a website where the mission is to promote poets and other positive businesses. She is always looking forward to helping others and her future goal is to become a youth counselor and to continue making a difference in the community.



To learn more about this author please visit

Fiordaliza Charles Website
To Buy Can I Tell You a Secret
To Buy My Poetic Heart
Fiordaliza's TPL Project on Facebook
Find Fiordaliza on Twitter

***************************************************

I've Given by Fiordaliza Charles

I've given you
More than I could describe
Something you can't
See
Smell
Embrace
or
Touch
A piece of heart
I've given you
Something you could
Feel
See
Smell
and
Taste
My sweet nectar
I've given you
Something you could
Read
Thoughtful
Happy days
a
A love letter
I've given you
Something you can't replace
Beautiful
Special
Lovely
and
Sent from above
A child
I've given you
Something that is
True
Peaceful
and
Full of love
My soul

But I still have not figured out
what it is that you want


***********************************************************

Thanks again to the poets for their submissions. Please remember it will be up to you, the readers to vote for the winner at the end of July. For rules and guidelines, or to submit your own poetry please visit the Spotlight Poetry Submission section. Good luck to you all!

*****************************************************************
Please leave comments and praises for our poets. Some have never written poetry before and so we want to be an encouragement to them as they venture on their poetry and literary journey.



Tell us what you thought about today's poets,  could you relate?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spotlight Poetry Contest Day 3



Good day everyone. It's day 3 of the Spotlight Poetry Contest and we have two more poets debuting today. I think they are wonderful additions to the contest. So please leave a comment and show them some love and support. Don't forget to check out their websites, blogs, etc. Also, there is still time to participate, just go the Spotlight Poetry Contest tab for more details.

Did you read this week's Part 2 interview with acclaimed poet, Nikki Giovanni? If you haven't, please go check it out, she had some really interesting things to say. I think you will enjoy it or at the very least go hmmm?

Have a safe and happy week. Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the next set of poets in the contest, they need your love and support too. And don't forget last week's poets as well. And feel free to share this poetry contest with your friends and followers; it's free exposure and another added notch on their networking resume they can add.



Enjoy!

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A former corporate attorney and government relations/health policy executive, Jill-Elizabeth walked away from that world (well, skipped actually) and toward a more literary life (equally challenging, but infinitely more enjoyable).  If you enjoyed this poem, please visit her at Jill-Elizabeth.com, the official home of All Things Jill-Elizabeth – that is, all of the teehees, musings, rants, book reviews, poems, writing exercises, and witticisms of her burgeoning writing career.

Jill Elizabeth Website
Jill Elizabeth Goodreads
Jill Elizabeth Facebook
Jill Elizabeth Linkedin

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 In An Instant by Jill Elizabeth

What does it mean, to truly love –
To find the person you are meant to find?
The one whose life fits yours like a glove,
Who turns two ones into a matched set, a two of a kind.

Suddenly a rosy-red sunset, a flash of lightning in brilliant blue-white,
The grace of a soaring flight of birds –  
These things take on new meaning when you know it’s right;
Clichés are magically no longer just banal words.

They represent the wonder and amazement, the awe, the bliss
Of all that you feel.  The words themselves are no longer the point –
All that matters is the hope, the spark, the kiss,
The touch of the divine, whose spirit deigned to anoint.

It happens in an instant; the Other suddenly is the central part.
From just a piece they have become the very fabric of your heart.
 
*****************************************

Charron Monaye never dreamed of being an acclaimed writer, but when she connected with 912 James Street Production, from Douglasville, Georgia in the winter of 2009, her words were heard. Under this independent label, she wrote soulful ballads such as Better with Me, Lonely Days and Just Friends. In 2010, she connected with ML the Truth of 100 Drums Productions, LLC and wrote some of her favorite ballads, "I Apologize" and "Commitment", which appear on his latest CD entitled, "The Truth". In October of 2010, she networked with Londa B. of Purposeful Publishing and Media Services and decided to publish her thoughts, feelings, and emotions in her 1st proclaimed book of poetry entitled, "My Side of the Story". Charron discusses her experiences and emotions regarding relationships, love, heartbreak, parenthood, family, African - American heritage, and overcoming life's trials. This book is not just her testimony, but it is her own advice manual for all.

Watch Youtube interview
Youtube Book Trailer
Email: charron.monaye@gmail.com
Purchase Book: submissions@purposefulpubandmedia.info


***********************************************

Survival by Charron Monaye

My strength shows my struggle
My bloodshed shows my battles
My broken bones show my determination
My smile shows my pleasure in spite of
My pain shows that I am still human
My broken heart shows that every one isn’t true
My imperfections show that I am not perfect
My drive shows that I keep it moving no matter what
My corns show there is no stopping me now
My determination shows that I “Can’t stop, Won’t stop”
My testimony shows that my life isn’t much different from yours
My beauty shows that I come from a line of elegance
My sexiness shows that I am a woman
My timberlands show that I am not ghetto, but straight hood
My divorce papers show that I did give love a try
My pot belly shows that I am a great mother
But
The mere fact that my life hasn't stop
Shows that I have Survived!!!!!! 


**********************************************

What did you think of the poets today? Could you relate to what they were speaking about?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Favorite Nikki Giovanni Poem, All Eyez on U

Hello everyone. I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday. Here is another one of my favorite Nikki Giovanni poems, it was written in honor of Tupac Shakur, entitled "All Eyez on U."

If you didn't get a chance to read Nikki Giovanni's Interview Part 2, please do so. Leave a comment and let us know what you thought about the interview. I would like to get more renowned poets and writers, but we have to show them so love. I enjoy them, I hope you do too, so please leave a comment and let them know you do too. If you haven't joined the Spotlight Poetry Contest, there is still time to do so, just got the Spotlight Poetry Submission tab for more details.


Enjoy and have a blessed day!






"All Eyez on U" by Nikki Giovanni

as I tossed and turned unable to achieve sleep unable to control anxiety unable to comprehend why
2Pac is not with us
if those who live be the sword died be the sword there would be no white men on the earth
if those who lived on hatred died on hatred there would be no KKK
if those who lived by lies died by lies there would be nobody on wall
street in executive suits in academic offices instructing the young
don’t tell me he got what he deserved
he deserved a chariot and the accolades of a grateful people
he deserved his life
it is as clear as a mountain stream as defining as a lightning strike
as terrifying as sun to vampires
there were those who called it dirty
gansta rap inciting there were those who never wanted to be
angry at conditions but angry at the messenger who reported:
your kitchen has roaches your toilet is over flowing you basement has so much water the rats are in the living room your house is in disorder
and 2Pac told you about it
what a beautiful boy graceful carriage melodic voice sharp wit intellectual breadth
what a beautiful boy to loose
not me
never me
I don’t believe east coast west coast
I saw them murder Emmett Till I saw them murder Malcolm X
I saw them murder
Martin Luther King
I witnessed them shooting Rap Brown I saw them beat LeRoi Jones
I saw them fill there jails I see them burning churches
not me
never me
I do not believe this is some sort of mouth action
This is some sort of political action and they picked well
they picked the brightest freshest fruit from the tallest tree
what a beautiful boy
but he will not go away
as Malcolm did not go away
as Emmett Till did not go away
your shooting him will not take him from us
his spirit will fill our hearts
his courage will strengthen us for the challenge
his truth will straighten our backbones
you know, Socrates had a mother
she too watched here son drink hemlock
she too asked why
but Socrates stood firm and would not lie to save himself
2Pac has a mother
the lovely Afeni had to bury her son
it is not right
it is not right that this young warrior is cut down
it is not right for the old to bury the young
it is not right
this generation mourns 2Pac as my generation mourned Till as we all mourn Malcolm
this wonderful you warrior
Sonia Sanchez said when she learned of his passing she walked all day
walking the beautiful warrior home to our ancestors I just cried as all
mothers cry for the beautiful boy who said he and Mike Tyson would
never be allowed to be free at the same time who told the truth about
them and who told the truth about us who is our beautiful warrior
there are those who wanted to make him the problem
who wanted to believe if they silenced 2Pac all would be quiet on the ghetto
front there are those who testified that the problem wasnÕt the conditions
but the people talking about them
they took away band
so the boys started scratching they took away gym
so the boys started break dancing the boys started dancing the boys started rapping
cause they gave them the guns and the drugs but not the schools and libraries
what a beautiful boy to loose
and we mourn 2Pac Shakur and we reach out to his mother and we
hung ourselves in sadness and shame
and we are compelled to ask:
R U Happy, Mz Tucker? 2Pac is gone
R U Happy?



What is your favorite Nikki Giovanni poem? And what poem do you remember most by Ms. Nikki Giovanni?





Monday, July 11, 2011

Nikki Giovanni Interview Part 2

Good day everyone. Today is part 2 of my interview with renowned and acclaimed poet, Nikki Giovanni from June 14, 2011. If you would like to read part one, please go to Nikki Giovanni Interview Part 1 to catch up. We still have two more interviews after today, each interview will be posting on Monday for the entire month of July. And don't forget to check out the Spotlight Poetry Contest also going on for the entire month of July. If you would like to participate, please go to Spotlight Poetry Submission for more details. Also, please enjoy the poets from last week, Poetry Contest Day 1 and Contest Day 2, that have already been selected for the poetry contest. Please leave a comment and let them know how well they each did.

Enjoy the interview.





Nikki Giovanni Interview Part 2


Tupac Shakur's birthday is in two days. (It was at the time of this interview). You wrote a poem about Tupac, titled, "All Eyez on U" and you even got a Thug Life tattoo, what motivated you do do so?

He was a genius. And a wonderful young man. I think he was deliberately misunderstood. And I think that his death was a great loss.

I agree. It really was.


After the Virginia Tech Massacre, you created two beautiful poems that mourned the tragedy of that event, but also offered words of encouragement to students to stand tall and brave. Those poems were released in a book of poetry entitled Bicycles: Love Poems. What does the bicycle represent?

Bicycle are about trust and balance. That's all a bicycle is. When you get on a bicycle you have to balance and you have to trust that if you keep paddling  you won't fall. And that's what life is and that's what love is.

True. Very true.

Well, it's been what five or six years now? None of the students are still here.


They've gone on.

Yes, they've graduated and moved. Sure. This is America. There is a tragedy someplace everyday in America. Everyday somebody is getting killed because some fool has a gun.


Is poetry born out of anger, grief, love or a combination, or perhaps something all together different?

Poetry is an emotion. It comes out an emotional awareness. I wouldn't begin to try to say what brings poetry forth.


You stated previously, that losing your father is different than losing your mother, can you explain?

Probably not. But usually when you lose your father, you have your mother. But when you lose your mother, you only have your brothers and sisters, or sometimes you're by yourself. But it's a major change.


You've experienced a lot of grief with the passing of your father, your mother, your sister, and even the loss of your lung. How does this affect your poetry without having it all pertain to sadness and loss?

I don't think that it's sad. Death is apart of life. And our health in the modern world. everybody has got, well not everybody, I don't mean each and every....people come up with cancers all the time. I'm very fortunate that I'm alive. I've got good medical care and I'm a big fan of medical care. And this is apart of life, life was never what you saw on television.


What do you think about America having a black president and a black first lady? Do you think as African Americans we've made it to the hilltop and brought Martin Luther King's dream to fruition?

NO. I don't think so. This hasn't anything to do with King's dream. King dreamed of a just world. And I don't think we can look at this world that we are living in and see that it's just. America is fighting four wars. I dont' see the justice. We are still holding people in Guantanamo and we are still outsourcing torture and we're sending in drones to kill people. I voted for Barack Obama, this first time. I will not vote for him again. I'm bitterly disappointed that He has not lived up to his promise at all.


If you had a chance to meet President Obama, what would you tell him?

I don't have any reason to think I would have a chance to meet Obama, anymore more than George Bush, any more than any of the other presidents, so I can't think like that. And the color of his skin doesn't change that. The president has to stand for something. And I don't care what color of his skin is. And Barack Obama has refuse to do so.

________________________________________

Stay tuned for Part 3 of my interview with Nikki Giovanni next Monday. You don't want to miss what else she has to say.

What did you think of Ms. Giovanni's interview?




Friday, July 8, 2011

Today I Will Be Changing Design of Blog

Hello everyone. You are not seeing things. Yes, my blog is going through a metamorphosis today.

I just wanted to let you all know I will be changing the layout of my blog today. My website is about to debut and I want my blog to be cohesive with it, so with that, some changes are on the horizon. So please bare with me as I tinker, change, modify and rearrange my blog. Hopefully, I'll be done by tonight, maybe tomorrow. I just pray, I don't end up right where I started. Which has happened before, scared to let go of the old. So keep your fingers crossed for me.

P.S.

All the post will be just as before, so please feel free to browse around and make comments on post.

Don't forget to check out Spotlight Poetry Contest. Please, stop and let our wonderful poets know what a great job we did.

See ya on the flip side. :-)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spotlight Poetry Contest Day 2

It's day 2 and there is still time to submit your poetry to the Poetry Spotlight and Contest. Also, if you haven't checked out Part 1 of my interview with Nikki Giovanni, please feel free to do so. Part 2 will post this Monday, July 11th, so stay tuned for that. You don't want to miss what she has to say about rapper Tupac Shakur, The Virginia Tech shooting and the poems she wrote for the memorial. 


Now, today I have two poets in the spotlight to add, which automatically places them into the contest. I really enjoyed their poems and I'm sure you will too. This contest has poetry for everyone's taste and preferences, so I'm very pleased and delighted with the submissions.


So, without further adieu, please shower these poets with some love and support, welcome Kimeko Farrar and Cindy Schuerr.


______________________________________


Kimeko Farrar is a writer, poet, spoken word artist, and fiction author. She specializes in her own genre of suspense flash fiction. Samples of her literary work can be viewed on her blog at Chick Under Construction.
She has also shared the stage with renowned poets Tasha Jones, Urban Light and Jay White. She is a contributing author for charity anthology, "Oil and Water...  and Other Things that Don't Mix", published December 2010, titles included "Tomboys and Peach Chiffon" (short story) and "Reconciliation Procrastination (poem). She is also a contributing writer for the blog, Oil and Water Don't Mix. Twice featured in Morning Erection's Poetic License section during National Poetry Month 2011 for "Sunday Morning" and "Baby Queen". Segments of "The Revolution Ain't on Blu-ray" spoken word performance used in 2011 episode of Beacon's TV (Huntsville, Al). Seasoned host of a variety of functions including open mics, book releases, cd releases as well as motivational and diversity seminars.

Follow Kimeko on Twitter
Her Facebook Page
Blog Chick Under Construction
Email Kimeko for Speaking Engagements



Look at Me by Kimeko Farrar


In motion
The span of my hips
The curve of my thighs
The arch of my back
The flesh of my calves
Evoke emotion
He notices
Eyes of sparkling espresso
Heart shaped lips and midnight blue curls
A bended wrist upon my chin
A mind in contemplation
Visually infatuated
He listens
To the whisper of my giggle
The sweetness of my cry
The intensity of my moan
The octave of my song 
Time is borrowed from reality
Roles are played
Be a freak in the bed but a lady in the street
Cook and clean and only be seen
Never whine, complain, nag or ask for anything
I’m superwoman without appearing to be
Waiting on the prize I exhaust myself
I reach out to him for help, out of character
I ask for his words of comfort with modest expectation
I forget something important, he is bothered by it
I de-cape to be regular and vulnerable but he says I’ve changed
Truths are revealed
Perfection estranged
The pedestal on which I'm perched is cracked and leaning
Its strength is temporary and cannot sustain the fullness of who I really am
Aspirations, hesitations, and trepidations spill over and expose themselves
I was perfectly made and beautifully flawed when we met
I didn’t pray for him to save me but to know me deeply
And he would have 
If he had done more than just look at me

____________________________________________

Cindy Schuerr, originally from Chicago, Illinois makes her home in the small town of Princeville, IL. She is a lover of books and her desire to write started as a young girl. Cynthia enjoys writing fiction and poetry. She has a short story published in the anthology “12 Days 2009” and is a regular contributor at Chicks in Lit. She is currently writing a trilogy called A Sentimental Journey. Her blog The Heart of Writing, is where you can find bits and pieces of what defines her.



Join Cindy's Facebook Page
Cindy's Twitter Profile
Chicks in Lit
The Heart of Writing


Challenges by Cindy Schuerr


When challenged with adversity
Strength becomes our friend
For without it, we will surely see
The beginning to an end

End of what? You may ask
Let me tell you, now
Our bubbly spirit, loving heart
And all else that may follow

We are not, meant to be
The beaded shell they see
A shine that comes from the glow within
Is what is meant to be

When in doubt of this truth
Look into your heart
You will see the answers there
Indeed, you are very smart

So, be strong even though
Life seems sometimes hard
You have all you need to know
You are who you are






Stay tuned....cause we aren't done yet. I have more poets to come and open their hearts to you. So check back and stay tuned.



The link for the contest is Spotlight Poetry Contest and you can post the banner as well, which I have also included. It's not too late to enter your poetry. So go ahead and do it today, slots are filling up quick.























Don't forget to let the poets know what you thought about their wonderful poems today. You can also check yesterday's post for Day 1 of the Spotlight Poetry Contest and the poets that were spotlighted as well.
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I am a writer, filmmaker, wife and a mom of five beautiful, intelligent, quirky kids. This blog is for writers, aspiring writers, filmmakers and movie lovers. Bringing you my favorite books, films and photos, as well as giveaways and updates on my journey. I'm currently in the process of producing my first short film from my collection of short stories titled, If I Had My Way. The first story to be filmed will be Tandarin Drive. My award winning book, If I Had My Way, is available now. You can purchase a copy at Amazon.com and BN.com. You may contact me via email at: blog@lenasledge.com

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