Posted in poetry event, poetry reading

HEADS-UP SACRAMENTO AREA, , Ronald Brady reading from “The Gimpy Monologues” – ten poems and then open mic

14440607_1157047901022406_2251488916257930475_nOctober 7, Friday at 7 PM
Stellar Studios
23rd Street, Sacramento, California 95816
10 Poems 1 Evening… Published writer will share and tell all in an up close reading..The laughter and Joy of being GIMPY

Captain Gimpy, a.k.a Ronald Brady, is the author of The Gimpy Monologues and a writer of poetry. Born with a physical disability called cerebral palsy, he has known the wheelchair and the invisible social messages that it conveys to people for a good chunk of his life. With sharp wit and emotional honesty, Captain Gimpy seeks to turn the topic of disability into an open dialogue that involves all people of society.

Admission : Donation
Beverages: YES

Posted in Poem/Poetry, Wednesday Writing Prompt, writing prompt

Your Mother, a poem … and therein lies your Wednesday Writing Prompt

"The wound is the place where the light enters in." Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

your mother

a tattered memoir in sepia tones
hanging on the wall of your office
a tiny plump sparrow of a woman
by a lone stone cottage
toothless, poor old thing
a warm shawl pulled to cover her head
an apron, worn shoes
from a time long past
from another world
my Turkish grandmother
what was her name?
you never said
i never asked

– Jamie Dedes


My paternal grandmother never made it to the United States and died before I was born.  I remember my father mentioning her only once and saying that when his father died he was sad that his mother never wore colors again. She only dressed in black. In some times and places, it’s customary for women to wear only black after the death of a husband – not just for a mourning period, but for the rest of their lives.

A sepia photograph of her hung in my father’s office.  I knew she was his mother and never thought to ask her name or to ask about her life.  That’s something I regret. Because of this I think, she comes to mind more often than the only grandparent I ever knew, my mother’s mother, Adele.

Write a poem, creative nonfiction piece or fictionalized account of a grandparent or other relative.  Perhaps there is a mystery – something specific you wish you knew and had asked about – or perhaps there’s something you wish you’d done with him or her.

© 2016, poem, prompt and illustration, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

Posted in General Interest, Poem/Poetry, poetry history, Writers/Poets



“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” Joseph Brodsky

Well life happened – as it usually does until it doesn’t – and I missed Banned Book Week, September 25- October 1 – but it’s never too late to ponder banning and the unreason that often leads to it. One of the more humorous examples is:

How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes

If you have to dry the dishes
(Such an awful boring chore)
If you have to dry the dishes
(‘Stead of going to the store)
If you have to dry the dishes
And you drop one on the floor
Maybe they won’t let you
Dry the dishes anymore

– Shel Silverstein from A Light in the Attic (Harper Collins, 1981)

I wouldn’t blame you if you are surprised to think that a work by the recipient of a Golden Globe Award, an Academy Award and two Grammy Awards would be banned. Consider also that Shel Silverstein’s books have been translated into thirty languages and have sold over twenty-million copies. He may have written for children but adults are enamoured of his writing too. So why was A Light in the Attic banned? According to Cunningham Elementary School in Wisconsin, Shel’s book would encourage children to break dishes in order to avoid having to dry them. Apparently some people are missing a funny bone.

Ginsberg’s Howl was famously condemned as obscenity. Publisher Lawrence Ferlighetti and City Light’s Bookstore Manager Shig Murao were arrested, Ferlighetti for publishing obscene literature and Murao for selling it.  There was a protracted and very public trial. Ultimately, it was determined that the book was protected under Freedom of Speech. The judge also pronounced the book “not obscene.” Here is a clip Howl, a movie about the trial. James Franco plays Allen Ginsberg.

If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to click through to the site to view the video.

Not too long ago we celebrated the life and work of Gwendolyn Brooks.  In this video she reads her poem We Real Cool and explains why some chose to ban it …


Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was withdrawn from libraries for “explicit language. Six poems from Les Fleurs du mal by French poet Charles Baudelaire were considered an insult to public decency.  Baudelaire and his publisher were fined and the poems suppressed. The Roman poet Ovid’s Ars Amatoria – essentially a relationship guide in a series of three books compossed in elegiac couplets – was considered “licentious.”  Some speculate that Ovid was banished from Rome for it.

Some poets suffer worse than banishment, banning and fines.  PEN America reports HERE (scroll down) on writers and poets around the world who are on trial, imprisoned or murdered for the perspectives revealed in their work. Such poets often remind us of social injustices that remain simmering but unaddressed in a back corner of our minds. They create awareness of current injustices and inspire us to act. They call on us to hold ourselves and the powerful to account, often pointing out the ways in which we are complicit. That these poets and their work are found so threatening is a testimony to the power of words. There’s some solace in that.

© 2016, Jamie Dedes; illustration in the public domain


Posted in poetry event, poetry reading

LATE BREAKING NEWS: Poet Michael Dickel, Artist Jerry Ingeman, Musician Dean Severson, Together in St. Cloud, MN

14352557_10154503776649076_1666780004516352472_oWednesday, October 5 at 6:30 PM – 8 PM in CDT
Cream City Tattoo Gallery, 11 6th Ave N, St Cloud, MN 56303-4746, United States

Music— 6:30 Dean Severson doing guitar
Words—7:00 Michael Dickel doing poetry

American-Israeli poet Michael Dickel will read from his collection of poetry, War Surrounds Us, while surrounded by the Surreal Deal show of artist Jerry Ingeman —whose work graces the cover of the collection and will be on display. Jerry and Michael might chat a bit about art, poetry, and the meaning of life. Or not. Book will be available for purchase and autograph. Michael will also read one or two works from his forthcoming book, The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden.

• Poem and analysis by Vivian Eden: Haaretz, Israel. Poem of the Week Recycled Violence: The World Has Gone Mad Again. (online:
Review and interview by Jamie Dedes: The Poet by Day— The Poet As Witness: “War Surrounds Us,” an interview with American-Israeli Poet, Michael Dickel (text:
• Interview by Laura Shovan: Author Amok: World Poetry Series (text:
• Interview by Laura LaMarca: Johntext United Kingdom (text:
• Interview by Ilene Prusher, Let’s Get Lit: “War Surrounds Us” on TLV1.FM (podcast:

Posted in Death/Dying

An apricot rose in memory …

apricot-nectar-may-16-21-opt-2-jpg“When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” Henri J.M. Nouwen, Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian

Said goodbye to another friend on Friday afternoon. The rose is for him. 

Posted in The Sunday Poesy

SUNDAY POESY: Opportunities, Events and Other News and Information



Opportunities Knocks

VERITY LA welcomes “submissions from all writers, whether you’re emerging or established. Our mission is to publish as many new writers as possible, so even if you don’t yet have a publishing track-record we’re eager to hear from you. Read on for more on how to submit, including what we do and don’t publish, and what you can do so we might just fall head-over-heels with your work.”  Submit short fiction,  nonfiction, poetry and art. Details HERE.

THE BeZINE theme for the October is Rituals for Peace, Healing, and Unity. If you would like to submit something, please send it to If you are new to The BeZine, please include a short bio. Or, if you’ve been published with us before and you have an update to your bio, go ahead and pop it along. Terri Stewart (Beguine Again and The BeZine) is the lead for the October issue. The deadline for submissions in October 10. Please read the zine and submission guidelines before submitting.

FJORDS REVIEW is published twice a year and features book and art reviews and essays. It also publishes creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, flash fiction and translations. There is a reading fee and payment is copies. Submission Guidelines and other details HERE.

THE HUFFINGTON POST OffTheBus submission guidelines are HERE.  “OffTheBus (OTB) is a citizen-powered and produced presidential campaign news site sponsored by the Huffington Post and NewAssignment.Net. Inspired by Timothy Crouse’s “Boys On The Bus,” an account of the 1972 contest between Nixon and McGovern that chronicles a campaigns’ ability to manipulate the press and orchestrate campaign coverage, OTB was founded to better presidential campaign reporting. The project depends, in large part, on its on-the-ground citizen reporters and on cutting-edge distributed reporting techniques.”

THE SATURDAY EVENING POST accepts submissions for Nonfiction, Fiction, Lighter Side, Cartoons and Post-Its Jokes.  Details HERE.

THREE DROPS FROM A CALDRON “an online journal for poetry and flash fiction (or any hybrid of the two) involving myth, legend, folklore, fable and fairytale. There is no deadline on web journal submissions. Details HERE.

SHENANDOAH, a publication of Washington & Lee University, is open for fiction through November 18 and or poetry from October 1st through December 18. Details HERE.

FORBES MAGAZINE advice on how to submit a guest post to them HERE.

ROOM invites women to submit fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art. This is a paying publication. Details HERE.


Opportunity Knocks

ISLAND VERSE STORY LAB, Creative Writing Literacy, Verse Poetry Prizes “are awarded to honor a poet’s chapbook. Winners are selected from a competitive pool of manuscripts by nationally recognized poets and the Island Verse editorial board. Winners will be published within the Island Verse Editions Chapbooks of Maine Series.” Deadline is November 30, 2016. Details HERE.


POETRY READING, STONYBROOK, NEW YORK ~ hear the poetry of Russ Green and Douglas G. Swezey, including a recorded poem by David Whyte! Saturday, October 8 at 11 AM – 1 PM in EDT, All Souls Episcopal Church, Stony Brook61 Main Street, Stony Brook, New York 11790.  The Facebook page for this event is HERE.

MICHELLE BITTING AND EWA CHRUSCIEL, SAN RAFAEL, CA Hosted by Marin Poetry Center, an evening of poetry, light refreshments, and lively company. Michelle Bitting and Ewa Chrusciel will read from their recent books. Doors open at 7:00, reading begins at 7:30. Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission, San Rafael. $5 non-members, $3 members, students are free.Thursday, October 20 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

THE CROSS BORDER NETWORK FOR JUSTICE AND SOLIDARITY, KANSAS CITY, MO presents Women of Resistance tomorrow Monday, October 3, at 7 p.m. at the Black Archives of Mid-America.


RITA DOVE AND ROBIN COSTE LEWIS, NEW YORK, NEW YORK Thursday, October 13 at 8 PM – 10:30 PM in EDT Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y 1395 Lexington Ave, New York, New York 10128 Tickets Available HERE.

Rita Dove’s newly published Collected Poems is “an absolutely astounding body of work,” wrote the Los Angeles Times. “The lyric beauty of her poems makes them unforgettable; their deep knowledge of history and its ongoing consequences makes them permanent.”

Robin Coste Lewis won the 2015 National Book Award for Voyage of the Sable Venus, her first collection of poetry. “Altogether new, open, experimental and ground-breaking, Lewis privileges real life in all its complications,” wrote Claudia Rankine.

BILLY COLLINS AND BARBARA HAMBY, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, Thursday, October 6 at 7:30 PM in EDT, Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave, New York, New York 10128, Tickets Available HERE.

Billy Collins’s new book of poems is The Rain in Portugal. Collins is joined by Barbara Hamby, whose latest collection is On the Street of Divine Love: New and Selected Poems. “Her poems are wild, outspoken, seriously funny, motor-mouth rambles that take us through hoops of association to places both unexpected and unimpeachable,” wrote Collins.

KEYNOTE POETS OF SACRAMENTO, CA  presents an evening Mariam Ahmed and Open Mic, Friday, October 14 at 7 PM – 10 PM Stellar Studios 202 23rd Street (23rd and C), Sacramento, CA





14463159_558672104322694_2211120892025752443_nWe’ve almost put a wrap on 100TPC 2016 and we’re nearing the end of the year. It’s time to start thinking about possible themes:
* for 100TPC 2017 and
* for the monthly themes used for The BeZine.
You are invited to suggest themes of global significance and having to do with sustainability, social justice and peace. Leave your suggestions in comments below. The core team will review them and make final decisions. Thank you for your participation, support and interest in making this a kinder world through the connections, information and concerns shared through 100TPC and The BeZine. The zine is an interfaith multicultural and multinational effort. We are sisters and brothers and citizens of the world. May peace prevail.


NAOMI BALTUCK (Writing Between the Lines, Life from a Writer’s POV, Naomi Baltuck, and contributing writer to The BeZine) just started a travel column for My Edmond’s News (Seattle Area). If you’re a fan of Naomi’s blog, storytelling and features in the zine, you know she’s a world traveler … and nobody does it better than Naomi.  Check out her new column Traveling Light: Where We Live. Naomi’s Amazon page is HERE.


SECOND LIGHT NETWORK FOR WOMEN POETS announced its winners for Long & Short Poems by Women 2016 HERE. (Scroll down the page.)

SEPTEMBER 27TH WAS THE ANNIVERSARY OF T.S. ELIOT’S BIRTH. Here he is reading The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.  Thanks to Silva Merjanian (Rumor, Cold River Press, 2015 – recommended). If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to view the video.

I think this is absolutely lovely and just had to share it. Wendell read one of his poems and that is followed by a musical rendition.


Submit your event, book launch and other announcements at least fourteen days in advance to Publication is subject to editorial discretion.

Posted in Poem/Poetry


Ascent of the Blessed, Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516), Early Netherlandish Painter
Ascent of the Blessed, Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516), Early Netherlandish Painter

The road to the hospital lies under the weight of fog.
Perhaps that’s as it should be, all things considered.

I’m tempted to fuss with speculations and similes,
though it might be unwise, maybe even unkind,
to say that road is like a passage leading to salvation,
the undoing of cardiac arrest, then I’d have to
knock on wood in my mother’s way, not to jinx it,
not to jinx raising Lazarus from his hospital bed –
The quality of resuscitation is the quality of a mercy,
which might not show itself this day, so we pray.

We wonder, does consciousness survive brain death?
Will he come back from over the brink like a drunk
from a binge, ready to swear-off his bad habits,
suddenly enamored of Christ, whom he’d forsaken?
Will he change from his tech job to a confession
of sins and martyr himself in social services ~
a nouveau-saint of the died-and-came-back genus,
kin to those other types of marketers, not to be rude…

But it is a stretch, though I’d be happy if he survives
and over-brims more Light into our darkness. Amen.

© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Illustration in the U.S. Public Domain

Posted in Poem/Poetry


Lebanese shortbread cookies stuffed with figs, dates or walnuts (the original fig newton???)
Lebanese shortbread cookies stuffed with figs, dates or walnuts (the original Fig Newton???)

The year we shaped our lives in the redwood forest,
you brought a wounded salamander inside to heal.
We gathered woodsy things, thistles and pinecones.
We made rose-hip syrup, dried the last of the herbs.
I decorated the cabin in an ensemble of earth tones,
a spicy blend to match the fires you built in the hearth
and the scent of the East in the ma’amoul baking. Our
seasonal hibernation was swathed in sweets and books.
Our winter warmed on the gold-dust of our dreams.

© 2016, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; photograph, mamoul: biscotti libanesi, by fugzu under CC BY 2.0 license

Posted in Poem/Poetry, Wednesday Writing Prompt, writing prompt

the century of possible peace, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt


the century of possible peace

after Muriel Rukeyser’s “Poem”
I lived in the century of world wars and
into the century of “hot spots” and “conflicts,”
those isolated regions of hostility and battle, of
choreographed shows of military cliché and the
violent disaffected eruptions of the marginalized

Every day is an homage to some insanity
Media reports are conveyed with facile intensity
by hyperkinetic journalists – they deliver easy
and ominous conclusions based on seemingly
recondite facts, quickly moving to celebrity
gossip and other insipid topics . . .

I have lived in two centuries of wars
I know what it is to be exhausted by the
vain posturing of the ruling class and
the tired protestations of tribal unity and
supremacy based on accidents of birth

I know what it is to imagine peace across
the circumference of one small blue ball
in a Universe of inestimable size and breadth
I know that darkness can descend with the
speed of light and that love is more than an
anchor and that hope keeps our dreams alive

I have lived into the century where the world is
grown small, where the peacemakers are tireless
and perhaps enough hearts have grown large …
sometimes I think I am living in the century
where peace is as possible as war

– Jamie Dedes © 2013 poem, the century of possible peace and 2016, photographJamie Dedes, All rights reserved

I lived in the first century of world wars.
Most mornings I would be more or less insane,
The newspapers would arrive with their careless stories,
The news would pour out of various devices
Interrupted by attempts to sell products to the unseen.
I would call my friends on other devices;
They would be more or less mad for similar reasons.
Slowly I would get to pen and paper,
Make my poems for others unseen and unborn.
In the day I would be reminded of those men and women,
Brave, setting up signals across vast distances,
Considering a nameless way of living, of almost unimagined values.
As the lights darkened, as the lights of night brightened,
We would try to imagine them, try to find each other,
To construct peace, to make love, to reconcile
Waking with sleeping, ourselves with each other,
Ourselves with ourselves. We would try by any means
To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves,
To let go the means, to wake.
I lived in the first century of these wars.
– Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser (1913 – 1980), American poet and political activist. Some consider her the greatest poet of her generation. Adrienne Rich has said of her, “Rukeyser was one of the great integrators, seeing the fragmentary world of modernity not as irretrievably broken but in need of societal and emotional repair.” You can read more about this poet HERE.
© 1968, Poem, Muriel Rukeyser, The Speed of Darkness (recommended)



Literary allusion is a device by which a writer refers – directly or indirectly – to an individual, an event, or a work of art or of literature. We use this to connect our text to the greater world and the experiences, emotions and ideas that are the common human condition. In the poems above, the subject is war and the way the news of it is delivered and reacted to. I allude to Muriel Rukeyser’s Poem (it’s below mine) in the first line of my poem with “I have lived in the century of world wars.” I feel as she did and echo her observations and emotions in my own way and from the perspective of my own time.

Choose a poem that you very much relate to. Use one line of it in your own poem and explore the subject from your time, place and perspective.