Monthly Archives for March 2016

Tasha Goldberg The voice of Fireweed…and a story of Platinum

There is a spectrum of truth stretching across the canvas of human awareness. The question is not of what exists, but where does our focus lie? Music, poetry and art answer that question for us, underscoring and highlighting what matters most. Tasha Goldberg is a traveling reporter for negotiations on sustainable development for the United Nations and consultant of sustainable strategies for international businesses. As a trained herbalist and experienced tarot card reader, she is drawn to the mystical aspects of culture in addition to the political and social fabric. As a hula dancer, Tasha has studied the embodiment of storytelling for over a decade in the Hawaiian islands. Her love of music and collection of vinyl has taken her on adventures of discovery, meeting the people and places that tend to the fires of tradition. Traveling the world, she delights in tracing the connections, building bridges.

The voice of Fireweed…and a story of Platinum Alaska

 

It hasn’t been long since we arrived….

 

 

I came because I was called. When I arrived, I came as one of many.

 

 

We woke up to a soft rumbling that echoed in arctic vibrations. The disturbance of the equilibrium held in the thin, open… vast arms of tundra spirit is excrutiating to ears in the ethers. Hearty as our extended family has become, our world remains painfully sensitive. The whimper of change intensifies in its delivery, and slight manipulations reverberate sharply within our world without walls.

 

 

We caught the message in its height of frenzy ….the brave big wave rider crouching deeply in the barrel ….a hero on bended knee. This was the call that begged us to release our seed and dispatch our presence with the art of affection and science of solution.

 

 

The ones with five fingers call us many names, guttaral tones that began as a warning and opened the back of the throat, closing with resolution:

Cheeee s gal dd, Ciilqaaq, Almaruat….

Fireweed, willow weed.

These words are attempting to wrap our features into syllables, and for that gesture of acknowledgement, we bend easily when they walk past us. For those who study us closely, our actions inspire blood and bone to respond as do rock and sediment. We are, simply, who we are. We will always be who we are and if you hold us in the light of a strobing magnifying glass or under the hot wet tundra sun, you will see the same thing…if you look that is.

 

 

As natural sirens, our presence is the alarm of a fire under the surface. To the west, over the coursing Bering Sea, across the stretch of Russian territories and throughout the mountains of Tibet, there are those who speak of our quality of cool, understanding our elemental offerings. We arrived to confront the bully, the icy hot whippings that pushed over sheets of loamy tundra soil and revealed the bareness of earth without its hood. We came to dress the wounds from rips in the epidermis of earthly skin, the exposed rawness scraped by the sharp arctic wind, sun and snow. This quivering, breathing but onlt agonizingly so, rattling fire…this was why we came.

 

 

We were not the only ones that sensed the change. The seeping wounds opened a portal to what was underneath.

 

 

In the nature of man, the revelation of glistening golden chunks seduced temptation. The temptation was not to witness the poetry, it was for ownership.

Desire aflame in the chests of flesh built mechanical towers of arms.

The soul compass smeared in the grease of greed distorted the path to follow the spark, the glistening spark. High-flying birds sighed warnings, they saw from the sky what was already under way. The heavy steps of mechanical arms, trailing smoke .. moved in quickly and efficiently, erecting portable destruction units, willing to tear down all in the way of the coveted embrace. The hunt was on. Blasting through layers that lasted lifetimes without ever being touched. The fervor for another glimpse, for a chance to touch and hold a simple reminder of mystery, a talisman to take back to the world maze of money and hope for the grace of cosmos to re-enter life and bring with it the majesty of mystery.

 

 

On the first stroke of discovery, the search thickened and the fleet grew and so came the second fire.

 

 

Our seed settled, and we spread out our lace over the scalding earth. In the alchemy of ecology, we held ourselves directly over the heat and opened, and we allowed the outside world to come inside. Absorbing the heat of destruction, we shifted creation. Repeating our prayers our pep talks our prayers, we dance into billowing willows leaves. Our willingness to give without ever releasing our tap to source is our strength, and when the whipping winds return, cutting through the alley carved by the river en route to the sea, we stand strong, bending deeply..but never breaking. Young mothers weeping from their eyes and not their breasts come to us for counsel. We share our nature with them, instructing them to extract our likeness in the element of fire.

 

 

The endless nourishment can be deterred easily when one comes to take what has not been offered. Without apologies, we can shake a man into convulsive spasms when he plucks at at our growing strength. Only, later in the summer, when the sun has lulled our tribe by rocking back and forth on the horizon without ever setting, I feel the sheen of my own inner juice begin to boil. I know now that I am ready to begin to release my blooms.

 

It hasn’t been long since we arrived….

 

I came because I was called. When I arrived, I came as one of many.

Continue Reading

Jamarr Hall DYING BREED

Jamarr Hall, a Philadelphia native, 23 years old, he is an International Poetry Slam Champion of Brave New Voices – 2011. He has been featured in Live Arts Philadelphia Fringe Festival, PhillyCam Mentor / Mentored Program and several movie shorts. With the release of his new project Hall Pass he brings to us the visuals for Dying Breed DIVE IN!!

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Francine J. Harris Play Dead

“This book talks smack. This book chews with its open mouth full of the juiciest words, the most indigestible images.” -Says Evie Shockley of the highly anticipated second collection of poetry from Francine J. Harris. check it out for yourself.

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

James Franco

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

In the offingmag poem by Deniz Arslan BLACK

Deniz Arslan is a Turkish-speaking writer living in Berlin. He translated many works of fiction including Virginia Woolf’s collected short stories. He has an MA in economics, but he works as an editor and translator.

‘Aiming at my conscience with the blackest of her eyes’

DIVE>> 

Continue Reading

Lies, love, matte, and money: Conversation with Jenny Zhang

“Jenny Zhang is a writer of fiction and poetry, among other things. Years ago, I found her work through her writings forRookie Mag about growing up in early 90s Queens and Brooklyn, after immigrating to the states from Shanghai when she was five. No doubt, I was drawn to her writing by sheer fascination with how shit-obsessed it was, detailing the filthly and rotten, the dregs culture, which she has called “the highest form of decadence.” Besides her long list of bylines as a freelance writer (one of her many sources of income), under Jenny’s belt is one book of poetry and a non-fiction chap-book:Dear Jenny, We Are All Find and Hags. She also has a collection of short-stories scheduled to be published with Random House in 2017. Currently, Jenny is traveling in California, leaving lovely and enviable treasures of her trip on Instagram making us squint our eyes for signs of what she might be working on next.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

In Guernica: Twentieth-First Century By Samuel Amadon

Samuel Amadon is the author of Like a Sea and The Hartford Book. His poems have appeared recently in The New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, jubilat, Lana Turner, and elsewhere. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of South Carolina, and edits the journal Oversound with Liz Countryman.

“My eyes soften at what feels//a tender moment, but then I find I read it wrong,/it’s formal, professional, an exchange/of gray-blue tones. I’m holding my hands//in the air above the keypad of an ATM machine,/unsure of my next move.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

NEPANTLA INTERVIEWS: Rickey Laurentiis & Carl Phillips

“In the following interview poets Rickey Laurentiis and Carl Phillips discuss Ferguson, outsiderness, literary responsibility, and each other’s newest collections of poetry! Rickey Laurentiis is the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, newly released from University of Pittsburgh Press. Carl Phillips is the author of Reconnaissance, newly released from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in Summer 2015. Carl Phillips teaches at Washington University in St. Louis, where Rickey Laurentiis completed his MFA.”

Continue Reading

How a Country’s Land Shapes Its Language

“What accounts for how discrepant these languages sound? Ian Maddieson, a linguist at the University of New Mexico, had a hunch that the differences were not purely coincidental. He and a colleague, Christophe Coupe, analyzed more than 600 regional dialects around the world by topography, weather, and climate. Their findings, presented last November at the 170th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), claimed that the variations among the dialects exhibited a phenomenon previously only seen in birdcalls and other animal noises—acoustic adaptation. Put simply, acoustic adaptation maintains that the land where a language is born is also instrumental to how it evolves.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Families of Choice Are Remaking America

“More than a century of statistical scrutiny tells us that any link between singlehood and asocial behavior, including suicide, has been vastly overstated, if one exists at all. And yet the stereotype persists. In our own research on the perceptions of single people, my colleagues and I presented study participants with pairs of near-identical biographical profiles, differing only in marital status. Participants routinely judged the married people as kinder, more loyal, and more caring. They tended to view the singles as shyer, lonelier, and more selfish.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

The Protest Poets

“Just as the Dark Room Collective began to come apart in the mid-nineties, the poets Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady were preparing the relay. Derricotte moved to New York City in 1967 at the height of the Black Arts Movement, but her introspective style and concern for gender made her an outsider to a movement that was intensely preoccupied with asserting an often quasi-paramilitary virility. She began publishing collections of poetry in the late 1970s, and Eady, roughly a decade her junior, published his first in 1980.”

 

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Kimiko Hahn elected President of the Poetry Society of America

“Poetry is not a business, but nurturing and promoting it in our attention-deficit society certainly is, and Ruth Kaplan, with grace and skill, has devotedly served the PSA and its energetic and innovative engagement with this good work on behalf of poets and the art. In her nine years as board president, the board, under her expert guidance, has evolved into a stronger and more diverse entity.  Thankfully, she will be staying on the board so we can continue to benefit from her insight and dedication. I am honored to succeed Ruth.  She has set a high standard which, I hope to meet.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

One Pause Poetry’s MP3 Project

“Begun July 2011, the One Pause Poetry mp3 Project is a national digital resource for teachers, students, readers, and listeners. Each poet is asked to record and submit three mp3 files to the site: one poem of his or her own, one by another poet, and one poem for kids. It is our hope that this project will expand to include all schools and styles of poetry.”
Continue Reading

Nature Writing by African-American Poets

Join contributors to “Black Nature,” the First Anthology of Nature Writing by African-American Poets including the writers Harryette Mullen, Ed Roberson, Evie Shockley, Natasha Tretheway, Camille Dungy and Al Young. They read from their work and participate in a discussion on the literary and environmental issues raised by the new anthology.

DIVE>>

 

Continue Reading

IS SPOKEN WORD POETRY AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR ADDRESSING POLITICAL ISSUES?

“Here in Africa, only a very few people are able to truly appreciate poetry. Perhaps, if more people were aware of how much it affects their lives daily, they would be more willing to pay attention it. How about we explore the political advantages of poetry for just a bit? For strong issues like feminism, colonialism, government, gender bias as well as religious and ethnic bias, poetry is not only making a strong impact but it also serves as an outlet for a sort of deux au machina, something poetry lovers will tell you is real. “As a Nigerian poet, I would say our prevalent economic and political issues have given me material I need to call people’s attention to societal ills using sarcasm and verses,” says JB Mairubutu, whose pieces usually revolve around major political and social events.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Contest sparks revival of national enthusiasm for poetry

“Chinese poetry can be dated back to the 11th century BC and was once the most popular literary form. As well as the great classical poets, like Li Bai (701-762) and Du Fu (712-770), Chinese emperors, generals and political leaders like Li Yu (937-978), Cao Cao (155-220) and Mao Zedong (1893-1976) also wrote poetry. Nowadays the spread of the Internet and new technology has made it easier than ever before for poets to disseminate their words and to find appreciative audiences. On university campuses in China young poets are keeping the form alive.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

A Radical Poet in the Age of Google and Guantánamo

“The poem Sutherland is reading is the third of his “Odes to TL61P,” which were written between 2010 and 2013, and which are described on his publisher’s Web site as “a devoted love song to the now obsolete product ordering code for a bygone Hotpoint washer-dryer.”

 

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

In Support Of: A Statement Against Abusive Behavior in Our Creative Community

“We acknowledge that, even in the instance of the statement below, when men make a collective vocal stance against injustices that women have been, for a long time, living with and speaking out against, privilege allows us an audience. Therefore, to those reading this statement: this should in no way be treated as the center of a conversation. We are also aware that abuse amongst men and people with male privilege is common in our community, and although that is not this statement’s focus we do acknowledge its importance.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Campbell McGrath Takes On a Century of History in Poetry

“I’m sitting in my office now, and there are boxes and boxes of books that I’ve been reading, history books, all kinds of stuff. I didn’t know anything about Picasso — that’s one of the reasons I started there. I knew I’d write a poem about Elvis. But I had no idea I wanted to write poems about Picasso. … I thought I’d write about Ernest Hemingway, but I never did never write about him. Part of it I planned, and part of the time, the book directed itself as voices showed up.”

 

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

FURIOUS FLOWER III: SEEDING THE FUTURE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN POETRY

“Furious Flower III: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry (2015) offers the unprecedented opportunity to watch thirty-two of today’s leading African American poets reading from their work and discussing the critical issues shaping this vibrant poetic tradition. Its four video volumes compile close to five hours of highlights from the landmark national poetry summit sponsored once a decade by the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University, the country’s only academic venue devoted to the study of African American poetry.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez

“BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez offers unprecedented access to the life, work and mesmerizing performances of renowned poet and activist Sonia Sanchez who describes herself as “a woman with razor blades between my teeth.” A leading figure in the Black Arts Movement and inspiration to today’s hip hop spoken word artists, Sanchez for over 60 years has helped to redefine American culture and politics as an activist in the Black, women’s and peace movements.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

The Tenderness Trap: Robyn Schiff and the Poetry of Ordinary Terror

“But a poem is a place where conscious and unconscious thought, reality and dream, fact and symbol all jostle for attention on the same busy stage. A poet goes where the language leads: this kind of vulnerability is both exhilarating and scary. It is at once incompatible with the strictures of domestic life and a condition of the poet-parent’s sanity.”

 

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

How Poetry Helped Marcelo Hernandez Castillo Speak Out on Immigration

“Growing up undocumented, Castillo said that fluency in English — and, later, poetry — were the tools with which he could protect against deportation. Writing was “a way to kind of offset any questions or any suspicions about my documentation status,” he said. “By way of fear, along came poetry.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

The Bizarre Trial of a Poet in Myanmar

Weeks after Saungkha posted the poem online, I went to see him in a holding cell, where he was handcuffed to a police officer and awaiting trial for defamation. Saungkha, a slim man with boyish features, told me, through a translator, that he did not think his words would stir up so much trouble.

 

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Tongue Tactics: 9 Afro-Latino Poets Who Get Radical On The Mic

“In a climate currently riddled with anti-immigrant and anti-black rhetoric, poetry for many serves as a form of self-preservation, a way to make sense of identity and an opportunity to set the stage for experiences constantly being put under erasure.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Latino Poets Honor Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta at Smithsonian

“One Life: Dolores Huerta” will highlight the significant role of this Latina leader in the California farm workers movement of the 1960s and 70s. This eleventh installment in the “One Life” series is the first devoted to a Latina. It will illuminate Huerta as the co-founder, with Cesar Chavez, of the United Farm Workers (UFW), and highlight her position as the union’s lobbyist and contract negotiator.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

THE HUGHES BLUES: On the Minimization of Langston Hughes’s Legacy as a Master of Modern Poetry

“All of this is to note that, along with Whitman, Dickinson, and Frost, Hughes is arguably one of the few marquee names in American poetry. Yet there remains a curious sense that Hughes’s poetry has never received the respect it deserves among the art’s cognoscenti. Certainly, race and racism are key factors in explaining why so few critics have championed Hughes’s poetry over the decades.”

 

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

The Road Not Taken: There’s No Turning Back

“For the poem undercuts any simple cliché about self-assured decision-making. In earlier stanzas the narrator admits that he didn’t actually see much difference between the two diverging roads. They were both worn “about the same,” and “both that morning equally lay / In leaves no step had trodden black.” Furthermore, the poem is titled “The Road Not Taken,” not, as it is often mistakenly called, “The Road Less Traveled.”

 

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Advanced Sentiment: On Eileen Myles and the Transparency of Fame

One of Myles’s earliest influences was Andy Warhol, so it makes sense that she seems to be approaching the sudden spike in her celebrity with a mixture of bemusement, scholarly curiosity, giddy enthusiasm, and Zen detachment.

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Will Giles- Prescribed Fire

2015 National Underground Poetry Individual Competition winner Will Giles from Honolulu, Hawaii has made a name for himself on the slam scene… check out his performance of ‘Prescribed fire’ and you ll understand why Will Giles is a poet to watch for. Video provided by button poetry Continue Reading

Continue Reading

Then Come Back: The Lost Poems of Pablo Neruda

Copper Canyon Press put together a kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ to publish the Lost Poems of Pablo Neruda. Neruda, Nobel Prize winner in Literature was a Chilean poet and Diplomat known for his passionate love poems  and political writings was once called ‘the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language’…. Check out the kickstarter to reserve your copy or pre-order at amazon.

 

 

Continue Reading

Continue Reading

A Statement Against Abusive Behavior in Our Creative Community

Launch of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence Against Women and Girls, held in Protection of Civilians Site 3 in Juba. The theme for the day was "From Peace in the Home to Peace in the Nation, Make Education Safe for Girls in South Sudan." Here, UNPOL Officers with the Gender Child and Vulnerable Persons Protection (GCVPP) Unit sing songs and danced with children gathered for the event.

“We write in public defense of all those in this and other literary and artistic communities who have been subjected to such treatment, and those who’ve been silenced by the fear of backlash. We believe that the right to create without fear is fundamental, and must be upheld by the community.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Poetry of Resistance

“The first time the Tucson Weekly talked with Chicano poet and teacher Francisco Alarcón he was on fire—a poet-warrior inspired by what took place on April 20, 2010, when nine Latino students chained themselves to the Arizona State Capitol’s main doors in protest of SB 1070, the state’s racial-profiling “papers please” law.

That was the beginning of Poets Responding to SB 1070, a Facebook forum that allowed hundreds of poets—well-known and emerging—to voice protest over the law and then later HB 2281, the state’s anti-Mexican-American studies law that dismantled Tucson Unified School District’s classes and department.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Poet Martín Espada’s Tribute to His Father and His Legacy

“As Espada puts it, those who fail to “become the river” keep the momentum going that carries others to the completion of a goal. That’s a sentiment he brings forward in the poem “How Could We Have Lived or Died This Way,” in which he addresses the current wave of black citizens killed by white authorities.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Identity and the Avant-Garde

“Yet the avant-garde cannot claim any easy association between innovative language and movements for justice. The political views of early modernists varied, encompassing war and fascism as well as peace and equality.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Talk to Me: On the Nature and Purpose of Spoken Word Performance

“Unlike a theatrical play, or even a technically minimalist concert, the physical requirements for a spoken word event are scant: a room, a microphone (or not), and a group of people willing to listen. That’s it. It takes no more than that to organize a spoken word event, whether it takes place in a theater, a bar, or a living room.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading

Report from the Field: STATEMENTS AGAINST SILENCE

“The following sample of de-identified disclosures are from women who have experienced traumatic interactions with a respected literary arts community member. In the recent weeks, we have learned the extent of his violations — a system of disturbing sexual and professional misconduct within and beyond learning spaces.”

DIVE>>

Continue Reading