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2017/05/25

Hessler Street Poetry Contest -- The Aftermath -- The Bard Newsletter #13.5

Hessler Street Poetry Anthology 2017
Buy it Here! (link coming soon)
Greetings!
(click any pictures to make them bigger)


Azriel Johnson (photo by Anita Keys)
Just a short word about the amazingness that was the Hessler Street Poetry Contest!

The lighting was fairly bad for photography, but people tried anyway. I personally did a little, then gave up, but encouraged others with better cameras to try.
 
The lighting was not a deterrent to the poetry shared. Our judges had a difficult time putting together the winners after a good hours worth of poetry.  We had poets from all over Ohio and beyond participating and the inspiration ran wild.
Christine Howey (photo by Geoffrey A. Landis)

Mary Turzillo (photo by Geoffrey A. Landis)
The venue: The Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern was gracious to host us and we appreciated the space. Pretty soon the lighting didn't matter and we all just enjoyed the poetry.
The judging drew to a close and in my hand were the winning envelopes. Third place: Keely Aaliyah with her poem: I am a Soldier. Second place was Devlinbleu Chambers with his poem: Environmental Super Nova.
Azriel Johnson (photo by Anita Keys)

Keely Aaliyah and Devlinbleu Chambers (photo by Indigo Orion)
At last, after the perfunctory delays to increase the drama, I revealed the 1st place prize...
 
TWO WINNERS!!!!

Vince Robinson with his poem: Star Struck,
AND Christine Howey with her piece: I Was a Male Impersonator for 40 Years.

Keely Aaliyah, Christine Howey,
Vince Robinson and Devlinbleu Chambers
(photo by Geoffrey A. Landis)
A special thanks to Mac's Backs for giving me and Writing Knights the chance to put together this anthology. Thanks to all the contributors to the anthology. Thanks to ClevelandPoetics Blog for helping cover this event. Thanks to the Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern for providing the space. And the greatest thanks of all to the Hessler Street Fair for continuing year after year to bring artistic and creative joy to the Cleveland Area.

We hope to see your entry next year!

Azriel Johnson
Director of Writing Knights Press

2017/05/11

The Wayward Sword: #RESIST

The Wayward Sword:

#RESIST


...words are your weapons
ready... 

...make your art alive and dangerous
aim...
...it is our job to initiate the change 
we want to see in the world
 fire...
...burn systems of oppression down!!!!

POETRY: Pieces between 4 and 100 lines (if you throw 100 lines down, it better be damned compelling)
Form Poetry, Free Verse, Free meter, Song Lyrics, whatever Inspires Resistance, we want it!

PROSE (fiction/nonfiction): Pieces between 100 and 500 words. RANT with a purpose, tell a story about Overcoming Adversity, beseech people to take up arms Against Injustice.

This is your forum to meet a global audience and generate global awareness!

IMAGES (300 dpi, jpg): protest signs, acts of artistic justice, nature boring her way through man's attempted control of earth, whatever you can think of to exemplify resistance!

Consider combining images and words in a single submission.

Submission Accepted:
    May 15, 2017-June 30, 2017

No Shame by Azriel Johnson

Don’t be shamed by terms like twig –
twigs are pieces of trees –
like mighty oaks standing
as guardians of the souls of mankind.
You can make my heart pound
through my skeleton
like Atalanta running a marathon.

Like majestic eagle women
soaring like thunderbirds –
rising from the ashes
of those who have tried
to burn them down –
casting shadows on lesser men
afraid of the matriarchy
shattering their precious egos.


Don’t be shamed by terms like thunder thighs –
cause those that use it with derision
forget that the seasons are punctuated
by forces of nature’s mating calls –
like powerful bison roll across the prairie –
like Paul Bunyan’s ox –
Babe I lose my breath
and turn blue without you.


Like fertility goddess totems
from the cradle of society –
descended to Victorian ages
of wide hips singing all the men’s ships –
standards of beauty shift –
like earth mother’s flesh
wrapping folds of herself
causing rocky erections
lasting billions of years.


Don’t be shamed by femininity.
Two souled people have been revered
by our ancestors since the dawn of cognition.
You are true healers
because you can understand all aspects of humanity,
because you ARE all aspects of humanity.
You have the force of Scylla and Charybdis
as you tear apart normalcy
and devour every scrap of life you can.


Your transition is one of reality –
mythological in proportion –
our shamanic journeys lead
through your example of perseverance
and distortion of normal to find the truth.

Don’t be shamed by terms like bitch.
That just means you’re standing up for yourself.
Like slut, that just means you’re bold in seeking your desires –
like cunt the holiest of holes,
armor, sheath, protector, essence and life bringer.
And for Aphrodite’s sake –
never –
ever –
be shamed by the term…
woman.


Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst by day, a serial writer by knight, curator of amazing poetry for Writing Knights Press and always looking for new experiences. He can be contacted personally at azrieljohnson@live.com.

2017/05/10

The Frayed Edge of Memory by James Croal Jackson




$8.00 USD
Chapbook (plus Free PDF)

$0.99 USD
E-Book (PDF)
Excerpt
a week ago we soared through the sky
with all parts intact and fully functional.
I didn't need to look out deep, endless windows
we will never have the biology to fly, no matter
our construction, no matter the fantasy of the air-
and the air is a fantasy you breathe easy and pure
descend slowly on telephone lines beyond reach
to know what I am made of will never be enough.
About the author:
James Croal Jackson is a writer, filmmaker, and
musician born in Akron, Ohio. He rediscovered his love for poetry while working in the film and television industry in Los Angeles. He is the winner of the 2016 William Redding Memorial Poetry Prize via The Poetry Forum in his current city of Columbus, Ohio. This is his first chapbook. Visit him at jimjakk.com.
Publication Date:
May 10 2017
ISBN/EAN13:
1546495215 / 9781546495215
Page Count:
44
Language:
English
Related Categories:
Poetry / American / Asian American


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The Wayward Sword: The Hero Dies in This One

The Wayward Sword:

"The Hero Dies in This One"


...Super Powered Vigilantes, Masked Crimefighters, Gods, Mutants, Aliens, Sports Stars, Musicians, Lovers...
Winners, the Triumphant...
Heroes...
What if no matter how hard they tried, they just couldn't win?
The odds, completely in their favor and they fall....
Only one enemy can defeat anyone...
It is Death.

Looking for:
Non/Fiction between 500 and 1500 words;
or
Poems between 4 and 100 lines;
or
Graphic Novel/Comic between 1 and 5 pages (8" x 10").

Remember: The piece must end with the death of the main character(s).
Also: the publisher will ask for an additional contribution after the initial submission.

Consider combining images and words in a single submission.

Submission Accepted:
    April 1, 2017-August 1, 2017