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Fiction by Norwegian Women

Friday, March 30, 2012

                                           The Breath of the World
Sallie Council McBride

On Tuesday, my mother died.  Sallie Council McBride.   She received hospice care in our home and she died there where love and her legacy reigned.  She was a southern gal, who knew the splendor of words.  To the very end, pushing through the weight of morphine and retreating organs and through the haze of her dementia and her clear knowledge of her imminent death, my mom still clung to poetry.   And even when she recited her favorite poems like Langston Hughes’ “The Negro Mother” with no sound and a mouth heavy with a dead tongue, she spoke of poetry’s true power;  to recognize, to celebrate and to redeem.   

Ode to Sadness                                                                               

by Pablo Neruda

Sadness, scarab
with seven crippled feet,
spiderweb egg,
scramble-brained rat,
bitch's skeleton:
No entry here.
Don't come in.
Go away.
Go back
south with your umbrella,
go back
north with your serpent's teeth.
A poet lives here.
No sadness may
cross this threshold.
Through these windows
comes the breath of the world,
fresh red roses,
flags embroidered with
the victories of the people.
No entry.
your bat's wings,
I will trample the feathers
that fall from your mantle,
I will sweep the bits and pieces
of your carcass to
the four corners of the wind,
I will wring your neck,
I will stitch your eyelids shut,
I will sew your shroud,
sadness, and bury your rodent bones
beneath the springtime of an apple tree.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Body Electric

Photographer Jeff Harris

This week I want to profile examples of people who use photography to document stories of human endurance, particularly when the physical body begins to fail.  Here is photographer Jeff Harris and his story: Click the link below:

Monday, March 12, 2012


Edwidge Danticat


Date:   Saturday, March 17, 2012
Time:  4:30 to 6:30pm
Place:  Church of The Advocate
1801 W. Diamond Street
Philadelphia, PA  19121

Edwidge Danticat has captivated audiences ever since her debut novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, in 1994. She rose to national prominence after Oprah Winfrey selected the book to be apart of the prestigious Oprah Book club in 1998. Danticat continued to enthrall her readers with follow up novels, "Krik, Krak" and "The Farming of Bones."

Edwidge Danticat has been selected as the One Book, One Philadelphia author for it's 10th anniversary and in celebration of her selection and rare Philadelphia appearance, Art Sanctuary will host an afternoon of conversation, performance and sharing with the beloved author.
Danticat's latest book, a collection of essays entitled " Create Dangerously: An immigrant artist at work" is the One Book selection. In a discussion moderated by well-known cultural activist and arts advocate April Silver, we will look at the role of the immigrant artists in the arts and cultural community and in their own respective communities.

 Book sales and signing immediately following the program.

 Admission is free, but we encourage you to register to guarantee seating:

 For more information email us at or call 215-232-4485    

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Finishing Line Press Poets Read at Philadelphia's Musehouse

Finishing Line Press was represented in grand fashion last night at one of Philadelphia’s premiere literary centers- Musehouse.   FLP poets Donna Wolf-Palacio, Karen McPherson and I, Octavia McBride-Ahebee, read from our respective collections.   Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno, the director of Musehouse, was a warm and wonderful host.  And we sold many books.  Bravo to you, Leah, for bringing life to our work.

Photo Credit- Mona Washingtom-Musehouse Director Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno and Octavia McBride-Ahebee; 2nd Photo FLP poets Octavia McBride-Ahebee, Donna Wolf-Palacio and Karen McPherson

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Octavia McBride-Ahebee to Read at Musehouse

Original Photo by Laura Elam-Octavia McBride-Ahebee

     I had a blast spending Valentine’s Day reading love stories at the Moonstone Arts Center.  This event was sponsored by the National Black Authors’ Tour and hosted by the incomparable Maurice Henderson.  I’ll be reading on Saturday, March 10, 2012, at 7:00 p.m., along with other poets from Finishing Line Press  at :
 Musehouse; A Center for the Literary Arts
7924 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA
Phone: 267-331-9552
Do come out and support this event.

The Transformation of a Drug Capital: the Medellín Poetry Festival

Listening to Poetry in the Rain- Medellin, Colombia
How the Medellín International Poetry Festival helped transform a troubled city into a world capital of poetry.

Medellín, Colombia, a city once notorious for being the epicenter of the cocaine trade, is reinventing itself as a global center for the living word. The Medellín International Poetry Festival was founded in 1991, when the streets of Medellín were at their most precarious. Organizers envisioned the Poetry Festival as a form of cultural resistance--a venue for cultivating peace and a protest against injustice and terrorism, including state terrorism. Over the past 21 years the festival has established itself as the largest of its kind in the world. Since its inception more than 1.000 poets from 159 nations have come to Colombia, where more than 1.200 poetry readings have been held in 32 cities across the country. The festival was one of the recipients of the 2006 Right Livelihood Award, widely known as "The Alternative Nobel Peace Prize.” This short film documents some of the readings from the 2008 festival and highlights performers talking about the use of poetry as a tool for promoting peace and justice.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

OBIT: Lous Reyes Rivera May 19, 1945-March 2, 2012

Louis Reyes Rivera Known as the Janitor of History, poet/essayist Louis Reyes Rivera has been studying the craft of writing since 1960 and teaching it since 1969. The recipient of over 20 awards, including a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2003), a Lifetime Achievement Award (1995), a Special Congressional Recognition Award (1988), and the CCNY 125th Anniversary Medal (1973) --each of which were given in recognition of his scholarship and impact on contemporary literature-- Rivera has assisted in the publication of well over 200 books, including Adal Maldonado's Portraits of the Puerto Rican Experience (IPRUS, 1984), John Oliver Killens' Great Black Russian (Wayne State U., 1989), and Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam (Crown Publishers, 2001), co-edited with Tony Medina.
An internationally recognized literary figure with translations of his work appearing in the Russian, Latvian, Spanish and Italian languages, Rivera has been consistently viewed by many as a living bridge between the African and Latino American communities. He has distinguished himself as a professor of Creative Writing, Pan-African Literature, African-American Culture and History, Caribbean History, Puerto Rican History, and Nuyorican Literature, and has taught these courses at such institutions as SUNY@Stony Brook, Hunter College, College of New Rochelle, LaGuardia College, Pratt Institute, and Boricua College, among others. As well, he has completed the translation of Clemente Soto Veléz's Caballo de Palo/Broomstick Stallion, and was presently working on the collected poems of Otto Rene Castillo of Guatemala, Por el bien de todos/For the good of all.
Over the past 28 years, his essays and poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Areyto, Boletin (Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter), The City Sun, African Voices, and in several award-winning collections: In Defense of Mumia; ALOUD: Live from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe; Of Sons And Lovers; and his own Scattered Scripture, for which he received the 1997 Poetry Award from the Latin American Writers Institute.
Since 1996, Louis Reyes Rivera hosted a reading series in Brooklyn, 1st & 3rd Sundays Jazzoetry & Open Mic @ Sistas' Place (where he continues to conduct a writing workshop), and has appeared in Jazz clubs and festivals with The Sun Ra All-Stars Project, Ahmed Abdullah's Diaspora, Ebonic Tones, the James Spaulding Ensemble, and his own band, The Jazzoets. He appeared on the Peabody award-winning HBO show, DEF POETRY JAM, and was heard every Thursday, at 2pm, on radio station WBAI (99.5 FM) hosting PERSPECTIVE (streamed at archives).
Louis Reyes Rivera
Source: Neo-Griot