The Back Story
I am a medically retired (disabled) elder and the mother of a married son who is very dear.
Writing has been a life-long pleasure as both vocation and avocation. I started writing on-and-off for publication at seventeen when my first poem was published. While I set out bound for fiction writing – and I did some of that – my jobs required writing press and promotional materials, sales proposals, grant proposals, RFPs, board items, speeches and position papers. While these assignments are not the stuff of dreams, I still preferred to write than do anything else.
I am a former feature writer and columnist as well. I specialized in content about business, social services, employment and vocational training, and career development. I also worked in employment and training providing direct services to clients and ultimately working as an analyst, analyst supervisor (youth, refugee and welfare-to-work programs) and supervisor of a full-service one-stop career center created under the Workforce Investment Act in 1998.
The Blogging Adventure
I began blogging shortly after I retired as a way to maintain my sanity and to stay connected to the arts and the artful despite being mostly homebound with uncertain health. I started – quite by accident – focusing on poetry, which lends itself well to the sound-bite world of the blogosphere. It is an unexpected delight and the great gift of my maturity to be able to focus at last on one of my great loves.
I am a member of Second Light Network of Women Poets (SLN).
The Bardo Group and The BeZine
In 2011, with the help and support of talented bloggers and readers, I founded The Bardo Group, a virtual multi-cultural arts and humanities collaborative, because I feel that blogging offers a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters and not as “other.” We are devoted to peace/nonviolence, inclusion, sustainability, and social justice.
Together with Bequine Again, we publish The BeZine, an eZine with a new theme each month and of which I am the managing editor. (We started The BeZine in October 2014.) Each year in September we host a virtual event for 100,000 Poets for Change, a global effort by poets and writers, musicians, artists and photographers and friends in solidarity for peace, sustainability and social justice. We also make quite a deal out of interNational Poetry month every April. Last year we partnered with Second Light Network for this event.
Sheffield poet and member of The Bardo Group Core Team, John Anstie, wrote this abbreviated mission statement:
“. . . at its core is a spiritual aspiration for the moral (and perhaps literary) high ground – and that is not, in any shape or form, intended to be an arrogant position – it is, above all, the fact that it is the mission of the Group to present a pan-religious, non-partisan, de-polarised, maybe even universal picture of humanity and the challenges we face . . .”
This quote from Core Team Member Michael Dickel‘s poem Mosquito included in his recently published chapbook, War Surrounds Us (Is a Rose Press, 2015), incidentally captures the spirit of The Bardo Group’s effort:
“. . . that hope must
still remain with those who cross
borders, ignore false lines and divisions…”
What we seek is to virtually cross borders, to move beyond simple connectivity (linking) to virtual proximity (nearness and relationship based on affinity). Our full mission statement is HERE.
“Good work, like good talk or any other form of worthwhile human relationship, depends upon being able to assume an extended shared world.” Stefan Collini (b. 1947), English Literary Critic and Professor of English Literature at Cambridge
© words and photographs, Jamie Dedes
Please note interviews of interest:
- “Petrichor Rising” and how the Twitterverse birthed friendships that in turn birthed a poetry collection, an interview with John Anstie
- The Poet as Witness: “War Surrounds Us,” An Interview with American-Israeli poet, Michael Dickel.
Update: September 7, 2015