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Sunday, May 29, 2011

SUNDAY RALLY DISPATCH: JP News, Views, Interviews, and Events

Sunday Rally Dispatch is a collection of news updates of interest to our poet-blogger community members.  Your contributions from your area of the world, your activities, or your interests are welcome. Please forward them to Jamie Dedes of Musing by Moonlight at jamiededes@rocketmail.com. Contributions are subject to editorial discretion and space constraints. Feedback welcome.

ON THIS DAY in 1917 the American poet, writer, and teacher, Kate Harrington died. She was born in 1831. Harrington was the child of a playwright and the wife of a poet. She was the anonymous author of Emma Bartlett, or Prejudice and Fanaticism, which was a fictional rebut to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and exposé of what Harrington perceived as the hypocrisy of Know-Nothingism. Know-Nothingism (1840s and 1850s) was not one of America's shining moments or movements. It was a revolt against the immigrant flow of German and Irish Catholics into the United States. These populations were regarded as being hostile to the mainstream, majority Protestant population. In addition to poetry, Harrington wrote children’s books and educational primers. This poem was written for a Chicago jubilee. It is the only one I could find by her.

Lake Michigan by Kate Harrington

While thousands throng each crowded mart,

And gaze around in mute surprise,

I turn with an adoring heart

To thee, fair mirror of the skies.

Yet not in silence can I pour

My full heart out, fair Lake, to thee,

So, humbly kneeling on thy shore,

I chant thy praise, my Jubilee.
continued HERE 

ABOUT SAMER (SAM) EL ABED (CERCA TROVA, Latin for Seek and You Shall Find): The first thing that grabbed my attention on Sam’s blog was the peaceful header, a wonderfully gentle poetic promise right there. The next was the juxtaposition of a Latin blog-name with his Arabic name and the “somehowpersonal” that is his URL. It all combined to intrigue. Moving on and reading Sam’s short -  sometimes pungent, often sweet poems – always delightfully illustrated – I was hooked. I visit as often as time allows. I’m pleased to introduce Samer El Abed on Dispatch today…

JAMIE: Your blog is distinguished by posts of striking photographs followed by short poems, which consistently ring with authenticity. How did your style evolve? ...out of a specific philosophy or poetry or simply organic for you?
SAM: It all started as experimentation; or, I might say an evolvement. In my earlier posts of either poetry or short stories I didn’t use any images, but as I became more involved in writing I wanted to explore a new presentation, mainly the use of images that accompany my words.
Poetry to me is a pure state or as someone once commented “It just happens”, so my writing starts within then it is materialized into words. Later I chose images either from the web or from my own, which would somehow relate to the theme.
My poems are a pure personal reflection. The words come first and with them I draw my own imagery, whereas the images I use are there to give a visual enhancement. The images I use are not an inspiration but a presentation.

JAMIE: What subjects are most important to you, most move your poetic voice?
SAM: Human nature is my motivation as well as my inspiration; to me everything revolves around it, the way we react, think, feel, the whole spectrum of “Man”. And in that I usually go deep within my own self and try to voice out my reflections or reactions on different issues in life such as fear, love, death, beauty, happiness, pain, suffering…etc. Within us exists an endless universe that is waiting for us to explore.                                                                                
JAMIE: When did you start writing and why? What poets have most influenced your style?
SAM: My educational background as well as my professional one is pretty far from literature. I studied business and work in marketing and sales. So my writing was mainly done through my studying days. It was mainly for academic purpose. Yet in my study years I was exposed to all kind of literary works both in Arabic and English. Poetry, philosophy, history, psychology …etc, were all part of my curriculum and were all an influence. To me all are integrated. The influence I got from Freud is as important as that of Lord Byron, the same goes for Shakespeare and Al-Farabi (Alfarabius).

JAMIE: What poets do you read and admire most?
SAM: To be honest my reading habits have quite fallen since I started my career. Through my study years I did a lot of reading in Arabic and English. I can’t say that I have a single preferred poet because everyone presents to me a different view of life, which is again a reflection of human nature. But to name a few of whom I was more interested in, it would be Omar Al Khayyam, Lord Byron, Nizar Qabbani, Jubran Khalil Gibran, and Edgar Allan Poe.

JAMIE: In the About on your blog, you say you have found some answers in music and poetry. Please expand on that.
SAM: To me music and poetry are the ultimate means of expressing feelings. A well-written song or a musical piece is an inspiration just like a great poem. In reading Al Khayyam I found that human quest for the knowing the meaning of life, of death, the reason of our existence as well as perching and in listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali khan, I am transcended to the beyond. In reading Jubran Khalil Gibran I am floating in the universe and when I am listening to Leonard Cohen I am in touch with human suffering, feelings and fears. Music and poetry are the two faces of the same coin “Pure human nature”.

JAMIE: How long have you been blogging and what spaces does it fill in your life?

SAM: In the coming month of July it will be a year since I started blogging. In my personal life I am a private person and in that I do repress a lot of my feelings that in return causes major stress in me. Blogging gave me a beautiful freedom to let go. I am able to put my feeling of whatever nature down into words that I can share with others without constraint. Blogging gave me the ability to communicate more my feelings and beliefs, and it introduced me to this world of poetry, where I had the privilege of meeting great talents with whom I am developing beautiful friendships.

Thank you, Sam. I share your enthusiasm for Gibran and Cohen and am delighted with your mention of them in your interview along with such fine poets, generally less known among Westerners, from Central Asia, the Lebanon, and Syria, which helps to honor the diversity of our poetry community.  Poem on …

COLOR IS A HALLMARK OF BECCA GIVENS’ BLOG (On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea). The header on Becca’s home page is a photograph of a stunning stained glass window bright with color and light. Then check out her pages: Animal Talk, Becca’s Art, Favorite Quotes, Kitchen Love, Photos, Surprises … and she’s full of the latter, producing one of the more eclectic blogs in our community. Here’s what Becca has to say …

JAMIE: Your blog is quite a multi-interest blog and that is just one of its delights. What made you decide to do all in one instead of separate blogs for each? You do touch on this a bit in your About, but perhaps you'd expand on it here.

BECCA: When I started On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea, I barely knew what a blog was much less what it entailed. I am a bit computer challenged. When my friend, Pat from Sources of Inspiration, offered to set up the blog for me, I accepted with much appreciation. She asked me questions and went to work creating it. Since she knew what material I had offer, she divided my interests into pages for me. I cannot imagine trying to juggle different blogs. Having it all together gives the observer/visitor a better feel for who I am and what I am trying to accomplish with my small niche in the blog world.

JAMIE: You talk about "creativity rehab.” How'd it start and how's it going? How long have you been doing it?

BECCA: About two years ago, after the death of my dad, I took a personal inventory and decided I needed to make some changes in my life. I felt stifled and dry inside. I did not know who I was or my purpose. I mean, I knew I had a life purpose, but at the time, I couldn’t’ figure it out. A close friend suggested increasing my involvement in creative projects. I laughed and said “but I am not creative.”  She remarked “then find something.” I thought about it and tried several things, but I wasn’t happy with the outcome of any of them. It seemed the more I thought about it, the more frustrated I became, until it almost became an obsession.  Apparently, I was trying “too hard” to be creative. So I decided to change my outlook and direction. I thought if I am “creativity – challenged”, then I need to find “creativity rehabilitation” measures to change the outcome.
            About a year ago, I was invited to participate in an international community with activities focusing on gratitude, intuition, self-awareness, growth, and transformation. I connected with like-minded individuals with whom it became easy to share thoughts, ideas, and goals. Through this group, I found the beginning of the path with a partial road map for the road I was destined to travel. I became more aware of who I was, why I was here at this time, and steps I needed to walk through to improve. A turn of events prompted me to start painting with watercolors and writing Haiku.  In fact, these two specific activities helped launch my blog with substance.

JAMIE: You've been involved now with Jingle Poetry for some time. Does it help? How so?

BECCA: I love the Jingle Poetry!  The community is very welcoming, supportive and encouraging. The weekly prompts through Monday Potluck and Thursday Rally have exposed me to a diversified assembly of poets. I have become more familiar with a variety of styles of traditional and non-traditional poetry, prose and short stories. Participating on a regular basis allows for continued growth as well as increases traffic to your site.

JAMIE: You do quite a bit of writing and you visit and comment on a fair number of blogs. How do you organize yourself and keep from getting overwhelmed? Do you have any rules for yourself?

BECCA: Initially, I visited many different blogs to get a feel for the blog world, what it had to offer, and to become more comfortable.   As my blog has blossomed and readership has increased, I’ve had to put more structure to my visits and the extent of my participation. When I participate in a hosted event, I try to visit the other poets who contribute. I divide my reading throughout the week, in-between writing, posting and returning visits.

JAMIE: You seem to delight in short poems and haiku. True? Why? Do you write longer poems?

BECCA: Yes, Jamie this is true. I prefer to use the short forms as an act of self-discipline. It is a challenge to convey a specific message in a limited number of words and/or syllables. It teaches me to be concise and not ramble. It tends to parallel my real life as well. I have either a short answer or a long answer, rarely anything in-between.  There have been a few occasions my creative muse would not let me get away with a short version.

JAMIE: When did you start writing poetry? What inspired you to start?

BECCA: I have only been writing in earnest since I started On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea. Prior to this, I started “playing” with it during the summer 2010.

JAMIE: Please tell us about one or two of your favorite poets and why you favor them.
BECCA: One or two? This makes a difficult task. My first would be Pat Cegan of Source of Inspiration. She provides daily inspiration that nurtures, brings joy, uplifts and/or opens my eyes into another state of awareness of myself and our connection with the Divine; the common thread among all of us. If I want to laugh, all I need is to read the latest edition of  Rainforest News and see what the redheaded imp is professing! I always walk away feeling lighter in spirit. I would like my blog to embody similar reaction from my readers. When this is accomplished, my heart soars. 
Thanks, Becca, for your delightful blog and for sharing your unique perspective, which is something I know readers will appreciate as much as I do.  Blog on …

Big Sur
FILMING POET JACK KEROUAC’S BIG SUR: He was know as the King of the Beats and his book, Big Sur, often takes a back stage place relative to On the Road and Dharma Bums. Big Sur, though, illustrates the person Kerouac was after the dreams that are the highlights of his other books became tarnished. Now a film version of Big Sur is in the making, If you are interested, you can follow the filming in progress HERE.  [The Beat Museum, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.] 
Quotable Kerouac:
"I want to work in revelations,
       not just spin silly tales for money
I want to fish as deep down as possible
       into my own subconscious
    in the  belief that once that far down
everyone will understand because they are te same
        that far down." Jack Kerouac
CAMP NaNo: I’m not quite sure how I became the point person in the Jingle Poetry Community for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but it seems I have. Thanks to Olivia and a few others for alerting me to this new event, Camp NaNoWriMo. I wasn’t really paying attention. I have a lot going on in my personal and poetic life and am still refining the novel I worked on last November. I don’t know anymore than the rest of you at this point, and I am not a spokes-person for NaNo. It does indeed look like there is going to be a summer fiction-writing event. The exact dates and nature of the event have yet to be posted on the site. At this point, it would appear the NaNo folks are in fund-raising mode. So support if you can and continue to look for updates HERE.  I’m guessing, but I think about 20-25 of us participated last year, most of whom I didn’t become aware of until after the fact. 

MANY THANKS to RiikaInfinity (Deadly Butterfly Betrayal) for our new Jingle Poetry theme, cheery and appropriate for this time of year.  RiikaInfinity is a twenty-year-old artist and writer from Singapore. She created her website in June 2010 and has been blogging continuously ever since. Riika writes poetry and, using Photoshop, creates and manipulates images to go with the poems. MORE
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BLUEBELL BOOKS, WEEK TWO, SHORT STORY SLAM is still open. You can link in your story and read those of others HERE

JP is on Face book. Link to us HERE.
Link to Jingle Poetry on Twitter HERE.
Please email news announcements to Jamie Dedes at jamiededes@rocketmail.com. Please forward photograph or illustrations and include all necessary links.
Thank you!


Butterflies of time said...

This despatch was so informative. I loved reading more about Becca and Sam-both of whom I admire!Thank you Jamie.

Elizabeth Johnson said...

Thanks for compiling this week's dispatch, and for all the work you do every week. I absolutely LOVE the new theme! It's graceful and streamlined, and a quite readable. Beautiful job, RiikaInfinity!

Jingle said...


what a charming Sunday dispatch.

I've read about Becca, Glad to see her journey to self-discovery and enjoyment........

Riika is a true artist, love this NEW theme blog template.

Bluebell Books Twitter Club said...

Thanks for the shout out 4 Short Story Slam...

Awesome Job!


The Poet said...

Due to the time constraints of work, I don't always have time to read all the information that comes my way.

It's nice to see/learn a little about the person behind the words.

Excellent diapatch, Jamie!

Thanks also to RiikaInfinity for the new theme. It's spot on for welcoming spring.

Victoria said...

Wow, Jamie, this Dispatch is full of good stuff. Loved the Interviews with Sam and Becca. And Riika...great job with the theme. It feels like summer even though we have SNOW here...surrounded by white in the foothills.

Domain registration india said...

Informative post and thanks for sharing this great stuff.