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Fiction by Norwegian Women

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Meet Ghanaian Painter Gabriel Eklou

Love, 76 x 89 cm, 2004
Gabriel Eklou

          Bravo to Safia Dickersbach and her efforts, through her production company Showcase, to give international exposure to artists creating on the African continent.  Her first project focuses on artists from Ghana and their work is indeed eclectic, exquisite and immediately engaging.  I am now a fan of Gabriel Eklou’s work. Check out some of his paintings and the video interview of him with Dickerbach.  


Legacy, 102 x 102 cm, 2004

Baobab in the wind, 102 x 127 cm, 2013

Here is the link to the video interview:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Living in the Time of Breast Cancer

Yellow Medicine Review Fall Issue 2013
Yesterday I had my annual mammogram. It is unnerving and shocking to think that in this country, with all of its vast wealth and medical advances, that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for African-American women and that the breast cancer death rate is 60 percent higher for African-American women than their white counterparts. Have we ever considered, too, about how other women around the world, particularly those with minimal or no access to quality health care- how do they cope with breast cancer?

I have a poem in the current issue of Yellow Medicine Review; A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought.   It is called Homesick Spirits and it is about a traditional healer, in a village setting, in Cote d’Ivoire, trying to deal with the onslaught of a seemingly new phenomenon taking rest in women’s breasts-which of course is breast cancer.

Buy this issue, read the poem and perhaps think about how you can initiate some small change for a huge problem. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Toni Morrison and Rita Dove to Join Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez at Drexel University

Toni Morrison by Henry Leutwyler

"Sonia Sanchez will celebrate the end of her term as Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate with an inspirational night of personal stories, readings and live music at an event entitled “Conversation and Song: Walking the Laureate Road,” hosted by Drexel University and First Person Arts.
Rita Dove

Sonia Sanchez by Laylah Amatullah
Joined by her friends, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and former Poet Laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize-winner Rita Dove, Sanchez will lead a conversation on what it means to be a literary luminary, the intersection of poetry and prose and how their work impacts their personal lives. Internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist and composer Ruth Naomi Floyd will perform throughout the evening."

The event will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. in Drexel University’s Main Auditorium (3141 Chestnut St.). Tickets are $35 and are available for purchase online. Discounted tickets are available to First Person Arts members for $28 and to Drexel students, faculty and staff for $5 with a valid Drexel ID. For questions about tickets, please contact Jacqueline Rios at 215-895-6910 or

* Source- Drexel University/Events

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Happy Birthday to Thelonious Monk !

Happy Belated Birthday to Thelonious Monk! The best way to keep his legacy alive is to share him with young folks. Mysterious Thelonious by Chris Raschka is my favorite book to introduce the little ones to Monk.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bertrand Russell's 10 Commandments of Teaching

I love these!!!!  ...and so do my little ones !

Bertrand Russell's 10 Commandments of Teaching

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Welcome The 2013 National Student Poets

Photo by Lawrence Jackson 
Here are the new 2013 National Student Poets, of which one is my daughter, Sojourner Ahebee.  These wonderful poets were recently- Sept. 20, 2013-received in the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama, who is the honorary chair of The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.  Featured in the photo with Mrs. Obama are the 2013 National Student Poets Michaela Coplen, Sojourner Ahebee, Nathan Cummings, Louis Lafair and Aline Dolinh.  

The 2013 National Student Poets at Their Appointment Ceremony in Washington, D.C. 

           Here is a link to learn more about the National Student Poet Program:
Here are the 2013  National Student Poets with U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey 
at a Library Congress event in honor of the 2013 National Book Festival. Sept. 20, 2013
Photo Credit- D. Cummings

The 2013 National Student Poets on the balcony outside of the
Poetry Room of the Library of Congress- Photo Credit- D. Cummings 

 Sojourner is representing the Midwest region because she attends boarding school in Michigan.

Supporting partners of the National Student Poets Program include President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services and Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. 
                                      The 2013 National Student Poets with writer Joyce Carol Oates 
                    at the 2013 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.- Photo Credit- D. Cummings