On Monday, writers submitting their work to be considered for our “Resistance” edition of DoveTales found that our Submittable account had been closed before the June 15th deadline. Apparently, we received so many submissions that we exceed a maximum that we weren’t aware of. The problem has been remedied, and the deadline has been extended to June 20th. We apologize for the inconvenience. Read our full guidelines here.
Friday Live Reading Series
Adviser Lyla June Johnston
Every other Friday, Writing for Peace hosts an hour long reading and discussion on Zoom. It’s casual and conversational, and we always learn something that inspires us in our own writing. Our next reading will be on June 26th with Lyla June Johnston. An adviser since 2013, Lyla June Johnston is an Indigenous musician, scholar, and community servant of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre presentation style has engaged audiences across the globe towards personal, collective and ecological healing.
Social historian Vincent Harding often felt it was best to describe black history as being much like a river, flowing toward freedom and the delta of democracy. The challenge we face today is how to navigate this river. Our inability to do this too often leads us to compare historical incidents and movements to one another. We see a protest or a riot and we immediately compare it to the 1960s. Why should one be surprised by police brutality in the black community? Hasn’t there always been one historical moment flowing into the next?
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 Studies, The 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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Craft, Annie 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.
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.
Wang 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.