Poet Spotlight: Judy Sorum Brown

This is part of a series highlighting some of the poets anthologized in Poetry of Presence. We thank the poets for providing the material. Today we shine the spotlight on Judy Sorum Brown.

 

POP spotlight Brown

 

Short bio: I am a poet, speaker, writer, and educator whose work focuses on leadership and the nature of change. I have designed and facilitated leadership programs and retreats for symphony orchestras, urban libraries, manufacturing plants, public schools, the federal government and those who serve elders. Along with several leadership books, I have authored three volumes of poetry, The Sea Accepts All Rivers & other poems, Simple Gifts and Steppingstones.

Thoughts about mindfulness and poetry: Those of us who are poetry lovers often collect poems that are particularly powerful reminders of the experience of being in the moment. This collection, that I am honored to be apart of, brings many examples of that kind of poetry together. If we open it to any page, it will be a resource to our path toward greater mindfulness and presence.

Website and social media:
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Barrows’s “Lessons from Darkness” Nominated for Pushcart

anita

Our publisher Grayson Books has announced the nominations for this year’s Pushcart Prize from among the authors and poems they’ve published in 2017.

We’re very happy to share the news that they’ve nominated a poet from Poetry of Presence: Anita Barrows for “Lessons in Darkness.” Congratulations, Anita! Well done!

The Pushcart Prize is a prestigious American literary prize published by Pushcart Press honoring the best “poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot” published in small presses over the previous year.

Kudos to the other Grayson Books Pushcart nominees for 2017:

James Finnegan: “Jacket” from Laureates of Connecticut: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (Ginny Lowe Connors & Charles Margolis, editors)

D. Walsh Gilbert: “Which Tattoo Identified My Brother?” from Ransom by D. Walsh Gilbert

H.K. Hummel: “Elizabeth Eckford’s Walk Toward Central High School” from Forgotten Women: A Tribute in Poetry (Ginny Lowe Connors, editor)

Kerry Rawlinson: “Number 99” from Forgotten Women: A Tribute in Poetry (Ginny Lowe Connors, editor)

Alexandrina Sergio: “Every Breath” from Laureates of Connecticut: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (Ginny Lowe Connors & Charles Margolis, editors)

Poet Spotlight: Lydia Whirlwind Soldier

This is part of a series highlighting some of the poets anthologized in Poetry of Presence. We thank the poets for providing the material. Today we shine the spotlight on Lydia Whirlwind Soldier.

 

POP Spotlight Lydia

 

Short bio: I’m Sicangu Lakota, born in Bad Nation on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. An enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a Lakota speaker, I’m a poet, nonfiction writer, business owner and recognized craftswoman. Holding a Master’s in Education Administration from Pennsylvania State University, I also worked in education for thirty years. My collection of poems, Memory Songs, was published in 1999 by the Center for Western Studies.

Chicago Tribune Reviewer Says Our Anthology “Stirs the Soul”

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The illustration accompanying the online review.

Barbara Mahany has just penned a review of Poetry of Presence in her roundup of soulful books for The Chicago Tribune. Already online, the review will also appear in the paper’s Arts & Entertainment Section on Thursday.

“The power of poetry,” Mahany writes, “is its capacity to sneak up from behind and pry open the heart. Or the soul. It’s in that unanticipated moment when the truth of the poem rushes in and packs its indelible wallop. That’s when a poem, for some of us, becomes a prayer.” Read the rest of her column here.

We’re very grateful to Ms. Mahany for approaching us about including our anthology in her roundup. As if we would ever have turned her down!

Poet Spotlight: John Brantingham

This is part of a series highlighting some of the poets anthologized in Poetry of Presence. We thank the poets for providing the material. Today we shine the spotlight on John Brantingham.

 

POP spotlight brantingham

 

Short bio: I’m the author of seven books of poetry and fiction including The Green of Sunset. I’m currently working on a poetry collection about living in nature. I direct creative writing at Mt. San Antonio College, near Los Angeles, California.

Fun fact: During the summer months, my wife Ann and I live off grid in a van in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks where we teach art and poetry in free week-long seminars.

Website and social media:

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Poet Spotlight: Kimberly Blaeser

This is part of a series highlighting some of the poets anthologized in Poetry of Presence. We thank the poets for providing the material. Today we shine the spotlight on Kimberly Blaeser.

 

POP Spotlight Blaeser


Short bio:
Writer, photographer, and scholar, I’m the author of three poetry collections—most recently Apprenticed to Justice; and editor of Traces in Blood, Bone, and Stone: Contemporary Ojibwe Poetry. I’m a professor of Creative Writing and Native American Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and also serve on faculty for the Institute of American Indian Arts low rez MFA. I was Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2015-16. An enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, I grew up on White Earth Reservation.

Fun fact: My current project is an evolving collection called Ancient Light, which includes ekphrastic poetry, photography, and a form for which I coined the term picto-poems—intersecting layers of text and image inspired by Native American pictographs and ledger art. The pieces bring my nature and wildlife photography together with poetry to explore intersecting ideas of Native place, nature, preservation, and spiritual sustenance. It is my hope that these images will invite reorientation as they blur the lines between place and spirit, between image and voice and being. Here is one sample from that collection.

Website and social media:

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Videos: Enjoy the videos below. On the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Facebook page you can also hear me read my poem “Manoominike-Giizis.”

 

SoCalPoFest to Feature “Poetry of Presence” Ensemble Reading

The second annual Southern California Poetry Festival (SoCalPoFest) will be held on October 28th and 29th on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College, one of the largest junior colleges in Southern California.

Some highlights of this year’s event include readings by out-of-towners Kaveh Akbar, Rachel McKibbens, and Maggie Smith; a reading under the canned stars in the Randall Planetarium featuring local luminaries; professors and students reading from the grad programs at USC, Chapman, Cal State Long Beach, and UC Irvine; an ensemble reading of poets featured in the new anthology Poetry of Presence, including special out-of-town guest, Barbara Crooker; and so, so much more. There are approximately sixty local and visiting poets participating in this year’s event. Read the full schedule, or learn more bout this year’s participants.

Tickets for the event are free to the public; however, the planetarium reading includes a $3 admission fee, which goes towards its upkeep as well as their public outreach events. The most direct way to order your tickets is to visit our Facebook page, which you can do by clicking here. We’d love it if you could spread the word to the poetry lovers in your circle.

–submitted by Sonia Greenfield
Editor, Rise Up Review
Co-Director, Southern California Poetry Festival

Poet Spotlight: Carolyn Locke

This is part of a series highlighting some of the poets anthologized in Poetry of Presence. We thank the poets for providing the material. Today we shine the spotlight on Carolyn Locke.

POP Spotlight Locke

Short bio: I live in Maine and am a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College. I am the author of Always This Falling (2010), Not One Thing: Following Matsuo Basho’s Journey to the Interior (2013), and The Place We Become (2015).

Thoughts on mindfulness and poetry: Mindfulness poetry offers the gift of grounding, gratitude, and inspiration for living and writing. It reminds me of what’s important.

Website and social media:

Where are you reading?

Lucie A., from Sydney, Australia, sent us these lovely photos with a delightful message: “Your beautiful book made it all the way to Sydney, Australia. I absolutely love it. I read it very slowly … and the poems give me lots of peace, inspiration and joy. Thank you so much. Sending you a few photos from the places where I have been reading….”

Thanks so much, Lucie, for your support of the book and for your beautiful message and photos.

Now we’re wondering: Where are you reading Poetry of Presence? Drop us a note or send us a photo or video. We know you’re reading all over the U.S., and also in Dubai, India, South Africa, Ireland, England, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium….

Contributing Poet Named Berkeley Poet Laureate

Image result for Raphael Jesús González

We’re proud to share the news that contributing poet Raphael Jesús González has been selected as the first Poet Laureate of Berkeley, CA. Congratulations, Raphael!

“I will not wear my laurels lightly
in honor of the belovèd city
to praise when it serves justice,
to protest when it does not.”

You can read Raphael’s acceptance poem in its entirety, in both Spanish and English, on his blog.