I want to dedicate this post to all women, irregardless of whether they’ve been written up in the pages of history books. Women, by their mere existence, create history that is unforeseen and untold every single day that they live and breathe~ so for all women, let me say, Happy Women’s History Month!
The novelist, Virginia Woolf wrote in her famous essay, A Room of One’s Own, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Viewed in a broader sense, the essay could reference any author’s need for poetic license and the personal liberty to create their art.
The artists I’ve chosen to honor for Women’s History Month, in essence, created from a room of their own. The “room” for the most part were of their own choosing, but sadly, one young girl had no say in the literal sense. Nonetheless, these women (and many more) craved out an impressive body of creative works that became a historical legacy.
Maya Angelou had me at I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. She was brutally raped as a little girl and only shared this secret with her brother, Bailey. When her uncles found out, the molester was killed. Maya did not speak for 5 years, blaming herself for the molester’s murder.
A 13-year-old Jewish victim of the Holocaust… Anne Frank went into hiding from the Germans with her family and another family for two years in a small annex above the office where her father once worked. It’s reported that Anne, her mom and sister died in the concentration camps and only her father would survive to publish her diary, written while in hiding.
Anne wrote in her diary that she wished her writings to live on in life. How prophetic her words were.
Nikki Giovanni has often been called a “Revolutionary” poet. All I know is her writing are often based on fact and it is those poems that touches the sensibilities of a nation of readers, including myself. A prolific writer, activist and highly guarded educator, Ms. Giovanni is currently a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech.
My very favorite of her many works includes: Those Who Ride The Night Winds, poems about the mass murders of young black boys in Atlanta totaling more than 29 young children killed. Ms. Giovanni poems, in my opinion, are a loving eulogy to the memory of those children. If you haven’t read any of Nikki Giovanni’s work, you are missing out on one of our greatest literary contributors.
I read Pearl S. Buck’s, The Good Earth in High School. The book introduced me to another culture and people with a different way of living. Although American, Ms. Buck lived in China for a while and associated with Chinese culture and tradition. I was impressed by the humanity of The Good Earth as it relates to a country’s change affecting regular people.
In another life, I opt to come back as Lorraine Hansberry! Not only was she the first African-American woman playwright, she was the first woman of color to have a play produced on Broadway! A Raisin in the Sun was inspired by Poet Langston Hughes poem, Harlem that asks, ” What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the Sun?”
Ms. Hansberry’s play would later inspire Nina Simone’s song, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black!” You know what they say, “The Play’s The Thing.” Lorraine Hansberry was the “ish” and sadly, gone too soon… The playwright died of pancreatic cancer in 1965. Sheer Brilliance!
Here’s a special clip for y’all 🙂
When Alice Walker was a little girl, she was playing in the backyard with her brothers, one of whom accidentally hit her in the eye with one of the pellets from his BB gun ( I remember those. My brothers got them for Christmas) . That accident never stopped Alice from living her dreams. One of the biggest dream in history was:
I’ve had several books from these historical women on my bookshelf, in what I can only describe as a stationary library for many years and felt that I could never part with any of these great works, but, alas, I have and I don’t regret passing them along (donations) to new readers and creatives and curious children who just might dare to dream 🙂
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I know that the works of these and other women history making artists are sitting on your bookshelf, vying for a little Women History Month love shout… Please share a few of your fave with us.
Writer’s quote for today:
“Only I hold the pen that will write the story of my life.” Tia Kelly
Happy Friday creatives! I’m always one for honing your writing & learning skills while following your passions. I love to write and I have no problem writing in several genres. Some genres where my work yielded recognizance and monies over the years included:
Poetry: Winning 2nd & 3rd cash prize and publication in The Illinois Vanderpool Poetry competition. (defunct)
Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize: Placed as Quarter Finalist for 2015 and on their Quarter-Finalist and Semi-Finalist lists for 2016
Placed in a first Short Story finals list in The McDonald’s Short Story Literary Competition judged by actor Terry Crews. I went in search of this competition recently to find that sadly its defunct.
Short Story selected and published in The Independent Authors Index. My story is titled Technicolor Love. Look closely, you’ll see the purple cover:)
One of my first personal short stories was accepted and published in the book, When One Door Closes; Reflection for women on life’s turning points. Y’all can check that out on my blog sidebar.
I’ve also entered and won a cash prize in a best article competition, and in a name that website competition for a women’s organization. I’ve placed in the Women’s Advantage (15 women’s wisdom) Calendar three times where my business quotes were chosen from among 5000 submissions.
My songs entered in the Song of The Year Competition won suggested artist in 2005 and Runner Up in 2012. Over the years, there have been numerous blog guest posts, paid freelance-writing.com articles and feature columns in newspapers and magazines under personal development, health, relationship and celebrity news.
I’m not saying you have to get down like I have in testing the waters of different genres, but my personal advice to writers would be; do not allow your creativity to become staid and boring. Don’t be that creative in Langston Hughes poem who laments about ” a dream deferred”.
My purpose book for women, Unleash Your Pearls, is finally at the publishers and due for launch sometime in 2016. I’m anxiously waiting to see the cover and to share it with you guys! In the meantime, here’s what I’m working on for submission in my final 2015 competition:
DRINKING GOURD CHAPBOOK PRIZE GUIDELINES:
Winner receives $350 prize money, publication by Northwestern University Press in Fall 2016, 15 copies of the book, and a featured reading. Results announced in March 2016.
Judging will be conducted by a panel of senior minority poets and scholars assembled by the Northwestern University Poetry and Poetics Colloquium.
Poets of color who have not previously published a book-length volume of poetry. Simultaneous submissions to other contests should be noted. Immediate notification upon winning another award is required. Winner must be available for a reading in Chicago in January of 2017.
Reading period begins January 15, 2016. Manuscripts must be postmarked by December 31, 2015. To be notified that your manuscript has been received, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard. The winner will be announced on March 15, 2016.
• Complete submission form to be included with manuscript packet.
• Send two copies of a single manuscript. One manuscript per poet allowed.
• Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive notification of results.
• Author’s name should not appear on any pages within the manuscript.
• Manuscript must be typed single-sided with a minimum font size of 11, paginated and 25-35 pages in length.
• Manuscript must include a table of contents and list of acknowledgments of previously published poems.
• Manuscript must be unbound. Use a binder clip—do not staple or fold. Do not include illustrations or images of any kind.
• Manuscripts not adhering to submission guidelines will be discarded without notice to sender.
• Due to the volume of submissions, manuscripts will not be returned.
• Post-submission revisions or corrections are not permitted.
$15. Enclose check with submission, made payable to Northwestern University.
Direct packet to:
Northwestern University Poetry and Poetics Colloquium
Drinking Gourd Prize Chapbook Series
University Hall, Room 215
1897 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
Attn: Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb
Great contests right? It’s all gravy 🙂 What’s your final creative contribution for 2015? Now, don’t keep us in suspense.
I admit it, I sometimes take a musical trip back down memory lane leading to my Southern roots. Not all memories were good ones, for sure, but music always fills the heart and lifts the spirit.This post came about from last week’s introductory post, highlighting the famous singer, musician and author, Mr. Charles Wright who tweeted his thanks. Way cool:)
|A BIG thank you to @C50something for talkin about my new book & my song “Looking For An Ugly Woman”! Read more here: bit.ly/1N8efN3|
Come on, groove with me a while 🙂
Hurt was Johnny Cash last song before his death- introspective and sobering.
Okay, so these are just a smidgen of my country favorites. Hope y’all like the Saturday selections. What are some of your favorite childhood song memories?
Here’s the writer quote for today:
Just as a good rain clears the air, a good writing day clears the psyche.” — Julia Cameron
“A drop in the bucket followed by continuous drops will eventually fill the bucket.”
Happy Friday artists! I’ve done PR for a few years now and I’ve helped to promote and bring attention to several artists work as a result. If you ask me how this all started, I couldn’t give you a definitive answer. Perhaps it’s my season for sowing.
I’m committed to bringing awareness to artists and creatives whose authentic passion for doing great work shines through.This artist hails from Liverpool. I selected her work from a list of several artists sent by Andrea Lynch of Blue Soap Music, to feature on the blog today.
A budding lyricist myself, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this artist and songwriter’s music with American audiences. Enjoy!
What are you passionate about that benefits others?