Keep Moving, Friday Live with Erin Soros, Lorraine Currelley Honored

Keep Moving

By Carmel Mawle

I’ve got a lot to learn. That’s one of many reasons I’m so grateful for our Writing for Peace advisers. They come from different backgrounds, surviving personal hardships, war, and genocide. But rather than being defeated, they have grown in empathy and wisdom from those experiences. From life’s brutalities, they have crafted art and lives that serve as an inspiration to young writers and all of us in our Writing for Peace community. I am grateful that they don’t hesitate to give me their thoughts.

Recently I share a “Bored Panda” article on our Facebook page. It included 35 “feel-good” images of police marching with protesters, police taking a knee at the demonstrations, protesters preventing crimes and, in one case, protecting an officer who was separated from his group. My reaction to this post was similar to most of our readers who responded with likes and hearts and shares. It was encouraging to see what looked like progress.

And then I received the first message from an adviser with concern about this post. She had seen one of the pictures circulating on right-wing pages. Although she honored the sincere actions of the protesters, she wondered if some might view the image of black protesters protecting a white police officer as underlining white supremacy’s assumption that African Americans should sacrifice themselves for white Americans. She invoked Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

She made a good point. I contacted several other friends and advisers and heard reactions ranging from discussions of systemic oppression and the police as an enforcement arm of the oppressive state, to one in all capital letters warning that many of those pictures were staged. I took the post down because it seemed to cause pain more than promote peace. As it turns out, at least one of the officers who took a knee in front of the protesters had been guilty of police brutality himself.

A member of our Writing for Peace family after a recent protest.

What is true: We are protesting the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd and countless victims of the institutionalized and systemic genocide of black and brown people.

Writers for Peace are marching, working to Get Out The Vote, writing and calling their representatives, and creating resistance art that promotes truth. While some of us are unable to physically join the protests, we are working toward a more just world in other ways. We will continue to learn and grow, and keep moving forward.

And we will continue to be patient with ourselves and each other in this journey. We will give each other the benefit of the doubt in the knowledge that we are all doing what we can.

Stay safe and well. Be careful out there.

 

Carmel Mawle is founder of the nonprofit literary organization, Writing for Peace, and has served as Editor-in-Chief of DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts since 2013. A Pushcart Nominee, her short stories, essays and poetry have been published in literary journals and anthologies, including Smokelong Quarterly and KNOTS Literary Magazine.


Writing for Peace News

Friday Live Reading Series

This Friday, June 12th, at 8pm EDT, Erin Soros will read from her work and give a short craft talk about her Lyric Essay process. Please help spread the word, and join the reading here.

868 2770 4845.

Erin Soros is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University where she is researching psychoanalytic conceptions of psychic energy and psychosis as a response to trauma.  She has published fiction and nonfiction in international anthologies and journals, including Short Fiction, The Iowa Review, The Indiana Review, Exile Literary Quarterly, Geist, Prism, West Coast Line, Fiddlehead and enRoute, and her stories have been produced for the CBC and BBC as winners of the CBC Literary Award and the Commonwealth Award for the Short Story.  Her academic articles weaving psychoanalysis, philosophy and autobiographical narrative have appeared in such journals as differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural StudiesThe Journal of Intercultural Studies, The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, and The Canadian Journal of Women and the Law.  New work has appeared in Literatures of Madness, published by Palgrave Macmillan, and in Women and the Psychosocial Construction of Madness, Lexington Press. Soros has been a visiting writer at four universities, most recently as the Harper-Wood fellow at St. John’s College at the University of Cambridge, a position that funded travel to learn from Inuvialuit oral history in Canada’s Western Arctic.  She was also a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto where she researched correspondences and tensions between Indigenous and settler understandings of the mind.  She has received a Fulbright Award, the Governor General’s Gold Medal, and two teaching awards, including Columbia University’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Read one of her lyric essays here.

Congratulations to Adviser Lorraine Currelley

Lorraine Currelley, Executive Director for the Bronx Book Fair and Poets Network & Exchange is the State of New York Bronx Beat Poet Laureate 2020-2022. The award was bestowed by the National Beat Poetry Foundation.

Read the full article here.

Call for Submissions: Resistance

The Summer Issue of DoveTales, An International Online Journal of the Arts will be published on August 1st, 2020. Our guest editor is Brad Wetzler. His theme is “Resistance.” Reading period will close on June 15th, 2020.

Read the complete guidelines here.

 

Young Writers Contest

The 2020 Young Writers Contest is closed. Results will be announced here on July 1st, 2020.

Copyright © 2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

May 29, Friday Live with Veronica Golos, A W4P Reading Series

Join the May 29th Writing for Peace Friday Live Reading with Veronica Golos

On Friday, May 29th, at 8pm EDT, Veronica Golos will read from her latest book of poems, Girl, published by 3: A Taos Press. We hope you’ll invite all your friends and join us on Zoom to ask your questions and hear Veronica Golos read her work. You can purchase her book by contacting her at veronicagolos@yahoo.com.

Connect to Veronica Golos Reading Here

Meeting I.D. 827-5887-0958 Password: 690434
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82758870958?pwd=djY3NUZlZ1hpZ3RjL1VSRnV4YnRXUT09

Learn more about Veronica Golos’ latest book, GIRL.

Phillip Richards Review “In Girl, Golos makes use of the conventions and motifs of the fairy tale to translate its realistic subject matter into symbolist levels of meaning. Her narrative turns inward, producing an autobiographical tale reminiscent of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s early essays ‘Nature’ and ‘Self- Reliance,’ Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, and Adrienne Rich’s middle-period collections, Diving into the Wreck and The Will to Change. Girl gives us not a factual history, but an extended poetic myth of an evolving inner self and political consciousness.” Read Entire Phillip Richards Review Here.

GIRL: A Review by Gary Worth Moody “No other poet inhabits persona as completely as does Veronica. GIRL is a masterpiece of shifting linguistic space and time. The space of the narrative defies topology. Time becomes rhythm becomes JAZZ. The music morphs from species to species.The lyric becomes prayer, becomes rant, becomes, an evolutionary triptych. Every gender on the planet should go buy this book and read it, to each other, to their lovers, to their daughters, to their sons, to their parents, to their husbands, to their wives, to their priests, even to their shamans, There are truths inside. INSIDE EVERY WOLF IS A GIRL.” Read entire Gary Worth Moody Review Here.

You can purchase her beautiful book by contacting her at veronicagolos@yahoo.com.

About Veronica Golos

Veronica Golos is founding co-editor of the Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, former poetry editor for the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, and core faculty at Tupelo Press’s Writers Conferences. Golos is the author of four poetry books, GIRL (3: A Taos Press) awarded the Naji Naaman Honor Prize for Poetry, 2019 (Beirut, Lebanon); Rootwork (3: A Taos Press, 2015); Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press, 2011), winner of the 2011 New Mexico Book Award, translated into Arabic by poet Nizar Sartawi; and A Bell Buried Deep (Storyline Press, 2004), co-winner of the 16th Annual Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, adapted for stage and performed at Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA. Golos has read or lectured at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, Hunter College, Juilliard School of Music, Regis University, University of New Mexico, Diné (Navajo) Technical College, Kansas State University, Transylvania University, and Colorado (Pueblo) University, among others. She lives in Taos, NM, with her husband, David Pérez.

Veronica Golos’ fourth poetry book, Girl, deepens her impressive command of utterance and dialectic. Lifting off the page, the poems execute with precision the internal, deep prayered world of Girl and the outer, harsh unprayered world. The poems articulate both the inability to express oneself and the refusal to do so as an act of self-hood and rebellion. Alternating voices rub against the sensual life: the splendid mane of horses, leaving the body for a night sky, the dive into green waters. Golos’ use of poetic and visual form, prophesy, fairy tale, and myth captures a delicate vulnerability in a threatening world. Her poems invoke a frisson of daughtermotherhood—an arc of loss and reunion. Girl reminds us of the intelligence of childhood: perceptive, gifted, imaginative—a communion between hope and ache.

Golos’s poems are included in The Poet’s CraftAnnie Finch, Editor, 2012, University of Michigan Press; Collecting Life: Poets on Objects Known and Imagined, 3: A Taos Press, 2011, and in journals including Spillway, Meridians, Drunken Boat, Orion, Cimarron, Contemporary World Literature, Sin Fronteras, Verso (Paris), Poetry (London), Rattle, World Literature Magazine Spring’s Forum.

Translated Poems from Vocabulary of Silence have appeared in over 24 journals and publications throughout the Middle East including (Syria), www.nabee.awatf.com, www.saddana.com, (UAE),www.shenrayar.com/ar, (Iraq)   www.Alimbaratur.com  (Denmark) and Maqal (Kuwait).


Young Writers Contest – Enter to Win our $200 Grand Prize

Writing for Peace challenges young writers (ages 13-19) to expand their empathy skills by researching an unfamiliar culture and writing from the point-of-view of a character within that new world, while exploring social, political, and environmental pressures, and universal themes. The deadline for entrance is June 1st, 2020. There is no fee for participation. Writers, ages 13-19, may submit in one of three categories – poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. For more information, go to our Young Writers Contest Guidelines page.


Call for Submissions: Resistance

The Summer Issue of DoveTales, An International Online Journal of the Arts will be published on August 1st, 2020. Our guest editor is Brad Wetzler. His theme is “Resistance.” Reading period will open on March 16th, 2020, and  close on June 15th, 2020. Read the complete guidelines here.

 

Copyright © 2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

May 15, Friday Live with Wang Ping, A W4P Reading Series

An earlier post went out with the incorrect date.  Please note the reading is this coming Friday, May 15th.

This Friday, May 15th, at 8pm EDT, Writing for Peace welcomes poet and activist Wang Ping in the second of our Friday Live Series. Join us on Zoom to hear Wang Ping read from her new book, My Name Is Immigrant, and ask your questions as a part of the Writing for Peace community. 

Meeting I.D. 862-8000-5860  Password: 230669
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86280005860?pwd=S2tQOEpsaWdDSHJaRStST0hkZVg4QT09

About Wang Ping

Writing for Peace Adviser Wang PingWang Ping was born in Shanghai and grew up on a small island in the East China Sea. After three years farming in a mountain village, and with little prior formal education available, she attended Beijing University. In 1985 she left China to study in the U.S., earning her Ph.D. from New York University.

Her previous books include three collections of poetry, The Magic Whip, Of Flesh & Spirit, and Ten Thousand Waves; the cultural study Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China (Eugene M. Kayden Award for Best Book in the Humanities); the novel Foreign Devil; two collections of fiction stories entitled American Visa (NYC Public Library Award for the Teen Age) and The Last Communist Virgin (Minnesota Book Award for Novel & Short Story and Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies for Poetry/Prose); a children’s book of Chinese folk lore, The Dragon Emperor; and a book of creative nonfiction, Life of Miracles along the Yangtze and Mississippi (AWP Award Series Winner for Creative Nonfiction). She is also the editor and co-translator of the anthology New Generation: Poetry from China Today, co-translator of Flames by Xue Di, and co-translator of Flash Cards: Poems by Yu Jian.

Wang Ping is also a photographer and multimedia artist. Her exhibitions address global themes of industrialization, the environment, interdependency, and the people. She currently lives in St. Paul, MN, and is a professor of English at Macalester College and founder of the Kinship of Rivers project. Visit WangPing.com and KinshipOfRivers.org for more information.

Praise for Wang Ping

“Wang Ping has had a fascinating life between China and the United States. Meeting her for the first time in person was an impressive experience and my admiration for her only grew. Her work with rivers and with other aspects of the landscape is totally refreshing, and her broad intelligence, delightful political wit and poetic vision expands understanding of the American nation.”

— Gary Snyder, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the American Book Award


Young Writers Contest – Enter to Win our $200 Grand Prize

Writing for Peace challenges young writers (ages 13-19) to expand their empathy skills by researching an unfamiliar culture and writing from the point-of-view of a character within that new world, while exploring social, political, and environmental pressures, and universal themes. The deadline for entrance is June 1st, 2020. There is no fee for participation. Writers, ages 13-19, may submit in one of three categories – poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. For more information, go to our Young Writers Contest Guidelines page.


Call for Submissions: Resistance

The Summer Issue of DoveTales, An International Online Journal of the Arts will be published on August 1st, 2020. Our guest editor is Brad Wetzler. His theme is “Resistance.” Reading period will open on March 16th, 2020, and  close on June 15th, 2020. Read the complete guidelines here.

 

Copyright © 2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

Friday Live with Wang Ping, A W4P Reading Series

This Friday, May 15th, at 8pm EDT, Writing for Peace welcomes poet and activist Wang Ping in the second of our Friday Live Series. Join us on Zoom to hear Wang Ping read from her new book, My Name Is Immigrant, and ask your questions as a part of the Writing for Peace community. 

Meeting I.D. 862-8000-5860  Password: 230669
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86280005860?pwd=S2tQOEpsaWdDSHJaRStST0hkZVg4QT09

About Wang Ping

Writing for Peace Adviser Wang PingWang Ping was born in Shanghai and grew up on a small island in the East China Sea. After three years farming in a mountain village, and with little prior formal education available, she attended Beijing University. In 1985 she left China to study in the U.S., earning her Ph.D. from New York University.

Her previous books include three collections of poetry, The Magic Whip, Of Flesh & Spirit, and Ten Thousand Waves; the cultural study Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China (Eugene M. Kayden Award for Best Book in the Humanities); the novel Foreign Devil; two collections of fiction stories entitled American Visa (NYC Public Library Award for the Teen Age) and The Last Communist Virgin (Minnesota Book Award for Novel & Short Story and Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies for Poetry/Prose); a children’s book of Chinese folk lore, The Dragon Emperor; and a book of creative nonfiction, Life of Miracles along the Yangtze and Mississippi (AWP Award Series Winner for Creative Nonfiction). She is also the editor and co-translator of the anthology New Generation: Poetry from China Today, co-translator of Flames by Xue Di, and co-translator of Flash Cards: Poems by Yu Jian.

Wang Ping is also a photographer and multimedia artist. Her exhibitions address global themes of industrialization, the environment, interdependency, and the people. She currently lives in St. Paul, MN, and is a professor of English at Macalester College and founder of the Kinship of Rivers project. Visit WangPing.com and KinshipOfRivers.org for more information.

Praise for Wang Ping

“Wang Ping has had a fascinating life between China and the United States. Meeting her for the first time in person was an impressive experience and my admiration for her only grew. Her work with rivers and with other aspects of the landscape is totally refreshing, and her broad intelligence, delightful political wit and poetic vision expands understanding of the American nation.”

— Gary Snyder, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the American Book Award


Young Writers Contest – Enter to Win our $200 Grand Prize

Writing for Peace challenges young writers (ages 13-19) to expand their empathy skills by researching an unfamiliar culture and writing from the point-of-view of a character within that new world, while exploring social, political, and environmental pressures, and universal themes. The deadline for entrance is June 1st, 2020. There is no fee for participation. Writers, ages 13-19, may submit in one of three categories – poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. For more information, go to our Young Writers Contest Guidelines page.


Call for Submissions: Resistance

The Summer Issue of DoveTales, An International Online Journal of the Arts will be published on August 1st, 2020. Our guest editor is Brad Wetzler. His theme is “Resistance.” Reading period will open on March 16th, 2020, and  close on June 15th, 2020. Read the complete guidelines here.

Copyright © 2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

Pandemic Solidarity, Friday Live Series, and Resistance Swag

A word on pandemic solidarity. After weeks of missing loved ones, strained budgets and toilet paper shortages, sterilizing everything that comes through the door, and (for many) homeschooling, it’s natural to be tempted to let our guards down. Dear writers for peace, we hope you’ll stay strong and continue to practice social distancing. This too will pass, and with it’s sorrows and horrors, there will be new insights that guide us on our individual paths as writers. Stay safe, and together we’ll persevere, refine our craft, and emerge on the other side with increased power of the pen.

To that end, Writing for Peace has started a new Friday Live Reading Series on Zoom. Hear extraordinary writers read and discuss their work in a casual community environment that encourages your questions and participation. Our first Friday Live Reading was last Friday with E. Ethelbert Miller. You won’t want to miss our next Friday Live Reading with poet and activist Wang Ping on May 15th, at 8pm (EDT). She’ll read and discuss her new book, My Name Is Immigrant and answer your questions. The Zoom links and passwords will go up on our calendar and you’ll find all that information in our post next Monday.  Be sure to check frequently as our Friday Live line up takes shape. Also, find the event invite on our Facebook page and let us know you’re coming. We hope to see you and hear your questions at all our readings!

2020 Upcoming Friday Live Readings, 8pm EDT

May 15, Wang Ping

May 29, Veronica Golos

June 12, Djelloul Marbrook

July 10, Stephen Kuusisto

July 24, Martín Espada

August 21, R. L. Maizes


Writing for Peace Swag

In honor of our coming Resistance DoveTales, we’ve created a line of T-shirts, hoodies, and bags with the resistance protest sign you’ve seen at marches. Social distancing may prevent us from marching shoulder to shoulder for a little while, but the resistance continues. Check them out at our new Writing for Peace Swag store. And thank you for supporting Writing for Peace.


Copyright © 2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

Friday Live with E. Ethelbert Miller, A W4P Reading Series

Announcing our new Friday Live Reading Series!

Beginning on May 1st, at 8pm ET, with E. Ethelbert Miller, Writing for Peace will host a reading of extraordinary poets and writers every other Friday evening in Zoom. It will be a chance to not only hear our guests read, but also ask your questions as a part of the Writing for Peace community.  This Friday, E. Ethelbert Miller will read from unpublished work as well as from his latest book, If God Invented Baseball.  You can purchase his book through Simon and Schuster here. We hope you’ll invite all your friends and join us this Friday!

About E. Ethelbert Miller

E. Ethelbert Miller is a writer and literary activist. He is the author of two memoirs and several books of poetry including The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller, a comprehensive collection that represents over 40 years of his work. For 17 years Miller served as the editor of Poet Lore, the oldest poetry magazine published in the United States. His poetry has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Miller is a two-time Fulbright Senior Specialist Program Fellow to Israel. He holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from Emory and Henry College and has taught at several universities.

Miller is host of the weekly WPFW morning radio show On the Margin with E. Ethelbert Miller and host and producer of The Scholars on UDC-TV. In recent years, Miller has been inducted into the 2015 Washington DC Hall of Fame and awarded the 2016 AWP George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature and the 2016 DCMayor’s Arts Award for Distinguished Honor. In 2018, he was inducted into Gamma Xi Phi and appointed as an ambassador for the Authors Guild. Miller’s most recent book If God Invented Baseball, published by City Point Press, was awarded the 2019 Literary Award for poetry by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Join the Writing for Peace Friday Live Reading with E. Ethelbert Miller

When: Friday, May 1st, 2020, from 8-9pm ET
Where: Meeting ID: 841 3395 3865, Password: 545964

Connect to E. Ethelbert Miller Reading Here


Young Writers Contest Deadline Extended

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Writing for Peace Board of Directors has decided to extend the deadline for our 2020 Young Writers Contest to June 1st.

Enter to Win our $200 Grand Prize

Writing for Peace challenges young writers (ages 13-19) to expand their empathy skills by researching an unfamiliar culture and writing from the point-of-view of a character within that new world, while exploring social, political, and environmental pressures, and universal themes.

  • The deadline for entrance is June 1st, 2020.
  • There is no fee for participation.
  • Writers, ages 13-19, may submit in one of three categories – poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. Ages are counted from the entry date, and entrants are required to show proof of age (those images are never shared publicly).
  • Winners and published finalists will be asked to submit an author’s photograph and biography. We encourage you to explore the past winners’ pages on our website to see the types of information and pictures authors share.
  • The contest is open internationally, but all submissions must be written in English and submitted with the completed form. Both American and British English are accepted.

For more information, go to our Young Writers Contest Guidelines page.

Copyright © 2019 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

Not Alone, by Carmel Mawle

Not Alone

By Carmel Mawle

“If you’re writing or editing or working on a book right now, it may be incredibly difficult because the future is so uncertain, but every word you put on paper is an affirmation of the fact that there will be a future. It’s a profound act of faith.”  ~ Talia Lavin

How are you holding up during this Corona Virus crisis, dear Writers? I wanted to reach out to say, though we may be isolating, you are not alone.

I am heartened to hear the many ways our community is working to help each other. Writers are sewing masks and raising money to purchase protective equipment for those on the front lines. They are delivering food and pharmaceuticals to their at-risk neighbors. And they are advocating for each other, sharing information about the virus and ways we can disinfect our groceries and mail.

While we likely share common fears, this crisis will affect each of us uniquely. For some, the isolation further compounds struggles with anxiety and depression, and some, with children and other family members home, have lost the quiet time when they did most of their writing. Remember to take care of yourselves, as well as others. Take time for daily prayer and meditation, listening to the music that reminds you of the miracle of this consciousness we share, eat for nutrition and joy, read books that nurture your happiness, take a nap. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Ultimately, writing is a solitary act. It could be that putting pen to page has prepared us for this Covid-19 isolation in ways many others are not. Those of us who are naturally introverted may even thrive in this solitude. If you are fortunate enough to find increasing energy during this time of quiet, I know you’ll remember to reach out to friends who are struggling.

Whether or not the challenges of writing for peace are greater, your words and wisdom are needed now more than ever in our lifetime. I hope you are all preparing your work for our Summer DoveTales. Continue to speak out, advocate, and resist.

Below are some emergency numbers. Take care of yourself. We’ll get through this. You’re not alone.


Dial 211 for United Way Hotline

A free and confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources they need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Our advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in more than 200 languages. All calls are free and confidential.


Be safe and well. And keep in touch.

Carmel Mawle is founder of the nonprofit literary organization, Writing for Peace, and has served as Editor-in-Chief of DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts since 2013. A Pushcart Nominee, her short stories, essays and poetry have been published in literary journals and anthologies, including Smokelong Quarterly and Shake the Tree Anthology.

 

Thanks to Adviser Dinty W. Moore for sharing Talia Lavin‘s perfect quote (above).

Copyright © 2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

RESISTANCE: Brad Wetzler on Guest Editing Our 2020 Summer DoveTales

I’m honored to have been chosen to edit the summer edition of DoveTales, which will be published on August 1st.  While serving on the board for the past two years,  I’ve  seen Writing for Peace  grow into a mighty force for peace on this precious planet.  Not only does the organization publish important new and established voices dedicated to creating a more peaceful world, but, through our youth writing programs, we plant the seeds for the next generation of writers who will be forced to face new and more complex world issues.

As a theme for the volume,  I’ve selected  “Resistance.”  Why? Because, well, it’s time.  History’s greatest peacemakers, such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela, have taught us that peace is never passive. Sometimes those of us who love peace must do more than be living examples of peace. We must act, do, rise up, bang the gong, take to the streets. It’s obvious that now is one of these times. By any peaceful means necessary, we must resist the backdoor decisions and cruel acts of power-mongering politicians and corporate leaders who would create suffering for the world’s citizens, especially the vulnerable and powerless. We must use our voices and vast numbers to stop the madness and bring attention back to the one thing we all share in common: our humanity.

I’m looking forward to seeing the different ways our contributors interpret “Resistance.” I know we will publish thoughtful essays, articles, fiction and poetry, as well as art and photography that illuminates the path forward for us warriors of peace.  I can’t think of a more timely topic or a more important project to be part of.

Submit your work for our summer edition of DoveTales, Resistance, here.


A former senior editor and contributing editor at Outside magazine, Brad Wetzler is an author, journalist, and editor with twenty-plus years’ experience at the highest levels of publishing. His book, Real Mosquitoes Don’t Eat Meat, was published by W.W. Norton’s Countryman Press. He has written hundreds of articles and essays for top publications including The New York Times Magazine and The New York Times Book Review, Newsweek, GQ, Wired, National Geographic, Yoga Journal, Men’s Journal, George, and Outside.. His writing has been anthologized in the Best American Travel Writing series, Outside 25: The Best of Outside Magazine’s First 25 Years, and Traveler’s Tales. He penned Outside’s popular monthly Wildfile column and Universal Press Syndicate’s Adventuring column. He taught nonfiction writing as an associate professor of English at The College of Santa Fe and as a faculty member of The Book Project at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop. He’s given keynote addresses about writing at the University of Colorado Boulder, New Mexico State University, and other venues. He is the founder and lead book-writing coach at Memoir Academy and Nonfiction Academy. A certified yoga instructor, he teaches vinyasa yoga at Corepower Yoga in Boulder, Colorado. Brad holds a masters’ degree in journalism (magazine writing and publishing) from Northwestern University.


In other W4P News

2020 Youth Summit:

With schools moving online in response to the Covid-19 health emergency, many of our professors who are working very hard to prepare their classes and students for these crisis changes. As a result, the 2020 Youth Summit has been postponed until further notice.

Help Wanted:

Writing for Peace is looking for grant writers with experience in grant writing for literary and youth nonprofits. Contact us at mawlecarmel@gmail.com with “W4P Grant Writing” in the subject heading.

 

Copyright © 2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

W4P Book Review: My Name Is Immigrant, by Wang Ping

In keeping with our goal of developing empathy, compassion, and awareness through education and creative writing, Writing for Peace is encouraging expanded reading through our partnership with Poetic Justice Books.

My Name Is Immigrant

by Wang Ping

Hanging Loose Press. 2020. 130 pp. $18.00. ISBN 978-1-934909-66-9

reviewed by Robert Kostuck

 

Old Home

“The population of Chinese immigrants in the United States has grown nearly seven-fold since 1980, reaching almost 2.5 million in 2018, or 5.5 percent of the overall foreign-born population. Whereas in 1980 Chinese immigrants did not appear among the ten largest foreign-born groups in the United States, China in 2018 replaced Mexico as the top sending country. After immigrants from Mexico and India, the Chinese represented the third largest group in the U.S. foreign-born population of nearly 45 million in 2018.” (1)

Wang Ping’s tenth book resonates with some of her previous themes, opened once again for deeper and wider exploration. The immigrant experiences are here, alternating with the cockleshell picker stories, all presented like random flowers that together form a bouquet. The title piece winds backwards and forward through time. The immigrants are generations of family, communicating with letters, envelopes, stamps. The charge is an electric current running with a branching blood line, and Wang finds her place among the many who left China and those who returned.

At sixteen, my father ran away from his widowed mother, to fight the Japanese. “I’ll come back with a Ph.D. and serve my country with better English and knowledge,” I pledged at the farewell party in Beijing, 1986.

Back from America, my mother furnished her apartment on the island, bought a new one in a suburb of Shanghai, and is seeking a third in Beijing. “A cunning rabbit needs three holes,” she wrote to us, demanding our contributions. They swore, before boarding the ship, that they’d send money home to bring more relatives over; in return, they were promised that if they died, their bodies would be sent back home for burial. I drink American milk—a few drops in tea. I eat American rice—Japanese brand. Chinese comes to me only in dreams—in black-and-white pictures. My mother buried her husband on the island of the East China Sea, where he lived for almost fifty years, after he ran away at sixteen, from his old home on the Yellow Sea. (“Lao Jia | Old Home”)

And those who lack the money, means, or connections. Here Wang gives a voice to those who are dispossessed. One feels her reaching out to embrace everyone who seeks a safe haven. Her research is evident in her poetic storytelling. Here, truly, form follows function. In an earlier book she brings forward the named and the unnamed. What’s missing in the American immigrant/migrant discussion is this lack of names. When experience is generic it becomes amorphous and gray, and unfortunately, boring. It becomes something we can scroll past, only registering the thought, Just another statistic. Stories are about people.

In this new book she gives out as many names as she can, for when experience is generic it becomes amorphous, gray, and generic.

Jakelin Caal Maquin was seven years old from Guatemala. She developed fever soon after she was separated from her father at the border. Within thirty-six hours, she died of cardiac arrest, brain swelling and liver failure.

Seventeen days later, Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, an eight-year-old boy from Guatemala, died of cardiac arrest, brain swelling and liver failure within thirty-six hours, soon after he crossed the border. (“Buried on Christmas Eve”)

an empty wave
ten thousand voices
broadcast the pain
please, oh please call our names
Chen Xinhan, Zhen Shimin
even if you can’t say them right
Lin Guoshui, Chen Dajie
even if you don’t know our origin or age
Wang Xin, Huang Changpin
please, oh please call us
raise our shadows from the moss
be gentle as you call our names (“Calling Ghosts from the Golden Venture”)

In pieces like “How To Cross the Line,” “An Immigrant Carol” and “Hui Jia | Circling Home” she all too briefly limns vignettes from her own past. Spaced throughout the book the author’s story blends with the immigrant stories of China, Syria, Guatemala, Honduras,

At fourteen, I left home on the big island of the East China Sea. I worked in a fishing village, for the one-in-a-million chance to go to college. I never returned. Three years later, I left the village to study English in Hangzhou. I never returned to the island. I left Hangzhou for Beijing University. My college dream came true at twenty-two. I left China in 1986, to pursue my Ph.D. at NYU. I never returned. “Go back home!” Americans scream, from streets, colleges, social media. Still, I never went back. I drift farther away from Weihai, my lao jia, carrying that old earth in my dreams. (“Hui Jia | Circling Home”)

 

Cockleshells

“The Morecambe Bay cockling disaster (Chinese: 拾貝慘案 Shí bèi cǎn’àn, “cockle-picking tragedy”) occurred on the evening of 5 February 2004 at Morecambe Bay in North West England, when at least 21 Chinese undocumented immigrant labourers were drowned by an incoming tide after picking cockles off the Lancashire coast.

David Anthony Eden, Sr., and David Anthony Eden, Jr., a father-and-son from England, had unlawfully hired a group of Chinese workers to pick cockles; they were to be paid £5 per 25 kg of cockles, (9p per lb.), far less than the typical local rate at the time.  The Chinese had been imported unlawfully via containers into Liverpool, and were hired out through local criminal agents of international Chinese Triads. The cockles to be collected are best found at low tide on sand flats at Warton Sands, near Hest Bank. The Chinese workers were unfamiliar with local geography, language, and custom. They were cut off by the incoming tide in the bay around 9:30 p.m.” (2)

Wang Ping has touched on the Morecambe Bay disaster before, notable in Ten Thousand Waves, and here she intersperses the body of her current book with vignettes told in the voices of those who died. Interestingly, David Anthony Eden, Sr., and David Anthony Eden, Jr. who hired the workers were cleared of any charges involved in these deaths.(2) In researching this disaster this reviewer found an archival website of jokes and alleged witticisms centered on these deaths.

Again, by giving names to the deceased Wang manages to bring each individual into focus. While we may not be able to see them as clearly as in a photograph, still, we can at least see a real person.

We pat the sand, we pat the san
Teasing cockles to the cold surface
We dig, we pick, we break our back
Bagging cockles for two pounds
They say we can return
When the bag is full (“Cockle Pickers: Wu Hongkang”)

Every night since I left home
I’ve been folding a boat
To rest my aching bones
How thin is the paper
Paler than winter (“Cockle Pickers: Chen Aiqin”)

The lichee tree we planted is blossoming
White flowers hide under dark green
The first moon comes and goes
But I haven’t returned as promised (“Cockle Pickers: Lin Guohua”)

The water is up to my chest
The boss got the time wrong
I can’t get back in time
This is my last call from the sea
Oh darling, can you hear me
Through raging waves
Washing me to the bay? (“Cockle Pickers: Guo Binglong”)

To not forget this tragedy is this poet’s calling. Through these memories she is able to establish a framework that shows how immigration is never smooth and does not always have a happy ending. She brings this forward in her writings about named contemporary migrants, showing how the tragic lines began long ago – even before Morecambe Bay – and bring us to the present. Central America, Syria, North Africa, the stateless Rohingya and Kurds—the list is finite but daunting. According to the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, “The number of international migrants globally reached an estimated 272 million in 2019, an increase of 51 million since 2010.”(3)

Many flee repression, ethnic cleansing, drug wars, and genocide. Wang’s messages in the Cockle Pickers poems is that we should remember that migration is not an anomaly but an ongoing crisis. Can we open our arms, even a little, even for a short span of time? Can we practice acknowledgement, acceptance, and respect? Can we open our hearts? Can we share? We can. We will.

There is a homily that addresses this never-ending movement of people across the globe, and how we can honorably respond: “When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a bigger fence.”

(1) https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/chinese-immigrants-united-states

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Morecambe_Bay_cockling_disaster

(3) https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/international-migrant-stock-2019.html


Robert Kostuck is an M.Ed. graduate from Northern Arizona University. Recently published fiction, essays, and reviews appear or are forthcoming in the anthologies Everywhere Stories, Vols. II and III, Manifest West, Vol. VI, and DoveTales Vols. IV—VII; and many print and online journals including Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Southwest Review, Louisiana Literature, Free State Review, Zone 3, Saint Ann’s Review, Bryant Literary Review, Concho River Review, Flyway: A Literary Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Silk Road, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Crab Creek Review, Takahē Magazine, Roanoke Review, EVENT, and Tiferet. He is currently working on short stories, essays, and novels. He lives near an ocean; his heart belongs to the Chihuahua and Sonora deserts, and certain parts of Nova Scotia.

 

Copyright © 2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

E. Ethelbert Miller Joins W4P, and Other Exciting News

E. Ethelbert Miller Joins Writing for Peace

“Peace is linked to harmony, our relationship between people as well as with nature. Peace might be linked to calm and stillness but it is also fluid. It is always something we should be moving towards. Peace is also the measurement of the heart and the capacity to love. Our desire but failure to find the ‘strength to love’ is often why peace is so difficult to maintain.”

~E. Ethelbert Miller, Writer, Literary Activist, Writing for Peace Adviser

Writing for Peace welcomes E. Ethelbert Miller to our Panel of Advisers. Mr. Miller is the Featured Writer in our current DoveTales Online, and brings a wealth of experience to our panel through a lifetime of literary activism.

E. Ethelbert Miller is a writer and literary activist. He is the author of two memoirs and several books of poetry including The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller, a comprehensive collection that represents over 40 years of his work. For 17 years Miller served as the editor of Poet Lore, the oldest poetry magazine published in the United States. His poetry has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Miller is a two-time Fulbright Senior Specialist Program Fellow to Israel. He holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from Emory and Henry College and has taught at several universities.

Miller is host of the weekly WPFW morning radio show On the Margin with E. Ethelbert Miller and host and producer of The Scholars on UDC-TV. In recent years, Miller has been inducted into the 2015 Washington DC Hall of Fame and awarded the 2016 AWP George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature and the 2016 DCMayor’s Arts Award for Distinguished Honor. In 2018, he was inducted into Gamma Xi Phi and appointed as an ambassador for the Authors Guild. Miller’s most recent book If God Invented Baseball, published by City Point Press, was awarded the 2019 Literary Award for poetry by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

In W4P other news~

Looking Ahead to Summer 2020 DoveTales

Brad Wetzler has agreed to be our Guest Editor for the Summer edition of DoveTales Online, published on August 1st. A former senior editor at Outside magazine, Brad Wetzler is a writer, journalist, and editor best known for his magazine feature stories and essays. His work has appeared in respected publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Wired, GQ, Men’s Journal, Best American Travel Writing, and Outside, where he is a current contributing editor. Stay tuned for more details!

Exciting Writing for Peace Book News

Congratulations to Writing for Peace Advisers Veronica Golos, Djelloul Marbrook, Wang Ping and Patricia Jabbeh Wesley on the publication of their latest books! These wonderful advisers continue to challenge and inspire us through their work. Watch here for coming reviews and please support their work by purchasing their books and/or asking your local librarians to make them available to their patrons.

Adviser Veronica Golos, Girl

“Once, several years ago, on the mesa between Tetilla peak and the Santa Fe River gorge, I saw what I believe to this day was a wolf running. I believed at the time the creature was male. Now I am certain there was a girl inside. This new conclusion because I have finished reading (and studying) Veronica Golos’s wonder, entitled GIRL from Andrea Watson’s 3: A Taos Press. No other poet inhabits persona as completely as does Veronica. GIRL is a masterpiece of shifting formal and free space and time. This is the creation of a master linguistic geographer. The space of the narrative defies topology. Time becomes rhythm becomes JAZZ. The music morphs from species to species. The lyric becomes prayer, becomes rant, becomes an evolutionary triptych. Every gender on the planet should go buy this book and read it, to each other, to their lovers, to their daughters, to their sons, to their parents, to their husbands, to their wives, to their friends, to their confessors, to their shamans, There are truths inside. “INSIDE EVERY WOLF IS A GIRL.”  ~Gary Worth Moody

Adviser Djelloul Marbrook: Lying Like Presidents, New & Selected Poems, 2001-2019

Governments are prone to becoming sinkholes of lies. Sometimes whole societies are swallowed by them. “Lying Like Presidents,” the title poem of prize-winning poet  Djelloul Marbrook’s new and collected poems, is a meditation in cantos on this horrific history. The work explores how our minds rewrite and invent memories to light our footsteps towards the kind of persons we aspire to be. The lies we tell ourselves, the poet says, can transfigure our lives—or the opposite.

Here is an opportunity to savor the breadth and depth of this surprising poet in one volume. No library should be without Lying Like Presidents.

 

Adviser Wang Ping, My Name is Immigrant

“Bleeding dreams and hungry ghosts move about Wang Ping’s latest collection, building up deposits of rage, shame and sometimes mercy. Her truth telling emerges from a deep well, describing the movement of people and the stories, the hope, and the desire they carry with them across deserts and oceans, over walls and through every barrier. The age-old question remains, with sharp clarity in these pages⁠—who among us decides who is allowed in, accepted, celebrated?” ~M.L. Smoker, Montana Co-Poet Laureate

Adviser Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, Praise Song for My Children, New and Selected Poems

“Patricia Jabbeh Wesley is unequivocal about the uses of poetry, of her poetry—she is determined to trade in truth, in the power of experience, in the beauty of language to alarm and delight and in the challenge she willingly bears to be an instrument of witness and articulation for her people—for Africa, for women, for the lovers of poetry. In Praise Song for My Children, we encounter a poet at the height of her skills and at the height of her clarity about the world and what things must be spoken into it. But we are blessed to be given an insight into how she arrives at this place of power—it is a remarkable selection of some of the most urgent poems to emerge out of the wars of Liberia. Here is work of incredible joy, deepest lamentation, and necessary hope. It is a sure testament.” ~ Kwame Dawes

Dear readers and writers for peace, we encourage you to purchase all your books from Poetic Justice Books, a like-minded business that donates a portion of their proceeds to Writing for Peace. Thank you for supporting an Independent Book Seller and Writing for Peace, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Writing for Peace Employment Opportunity

Writing for Peace is looking for grant writers who have experience working with literary and youth organizations. For more information, please contact us at mawlecarmel@gmail.com with the subject heading W4P Grant Writing.

Keep the faith, keep speaking out, and keep writing for peace!

Copyright © 2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.