Posts Tagged ‘poem’

First African American woman to publish a book of poetry

Phillis Wheatley was born in West Africa (Gambia or Senegal, 1753. About age 7 she was sold to slave traders and taken to Boston. Her book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, was published in 1773. She was emancipated in 1773, married in 1778, and died in 1784.

On being brought from Africa to America:

Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
“Their colour is a diabolic dye.”
Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain,
May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.

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Princess Enheduanna, the daughter of King Sargon of Akkad, lived in Ur more than four thousand years ago and wrote in Sumerian, using cuneiform, a series of wedges that formed an alphabet. (a thousand or so years before Homer) She became High Priestess of Inanna, the Goddess of Love.

Five of her works survive and have been translated into English. Her most well-known work, Nin-me-šara or The Exaltation of Innana, deals with palace intrigue. The other four are hymns: In-nin ša-gur-ra or Inanna…. (translation of second word not provided).  n-nin me-huš-a or Inanna and Ebih. The Temple Hymns. And lastly, Hymn to Nanna. (only 20% of the tablets have been translated so we may see more of her work) Photo is of Innana, not Enheduanna.

Sample of a hymn translated by Betty De Shong Meador

Temple Hymn 7
The Kesh Temple Of Ninhursag,The Lofty
High-lying Kesh
in all heaven and earth you are the form-shaping place

spreading fear like a great poisonous snake

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Green River Writers met at the Kavanaugh Center in Crestwood, Kentucky from Thursday, January 22 to Sunday, January 25. About 20 writers from Ohio and all over Kentucky met to critique each other and to participate in writing exercises. They helped me with a YA fantasy, Osiris Must Die, and a poem, “Hey, Little Snowflake.”


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The Clear Creek Writers will accept entries between September 1, 2014 and January 4, 2015. Winners will be announced before the end of January. Two Categories:

PROSE   – fiction – maximum 1500 words

POETRY- any form – any length – any topic

Only one entry per category will be accepted. Entry fee per category, $10 for non-members; $5 for members. Prizes for each category – First $100, Second $50, Third $25.

Complete Rules: http://clearcreekwriters.org/new-contest-for-2014/


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Just finished the Green River Writer’s Summer Writing Retreat, Kavanaugh Center, Crestwood KY. About 25 writers from Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Louisiana met over a four-day period.

They helped me with my YA thriller, Osiris Must Die, and “Ma’at’s Grace,” a prayer for my Osiris Must Die. They also critiqued a poem, “And the Lakes Shall Give up their Dead.”


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My list includes spec writers other writers don’t claim, but I will.

  1. Mr. Forgotten: Albert Payson Terhune wrote Lad, A Dog. I read the collie’s adventures when I was a kid. It predated Lassie. It made me realize animals had dignity. If you accept that animals have human-like feelings then you can accept aliens from outer space and robots as main characters.
  2. Ms. Poet: Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote a long poem, “The Ballad of the Harp Weaver.” She wrote many other poems of the supernatural. Her poetry takes me out of Normal Mode into Spec Mode.
  3. Mr. Fireplace: I visualize Washington Irving sitting in front of a colonial fireplace, telling stories like “Headless Horseman” and “Rip Van Winkle.” How many spinoffs of these 2 tales are there? What would Halloween be without him?
  4. Mr. Steampunk: I didn’t understand steampunk, until someone said to me, “Jules Verne.” Need I say more? A serious dude who predicted computers and far more than just a huge submarine or balloon adventures.
  5. Mr. Pirate: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island fascinated me as a kid. I was convinced secret treasures lurked everywhere. Astronauts landing on a distant planet, bring me back to this story. Jekyll and Hyde was an early science fiction story that has been retold a million times.
  6. Just call him Professor: Sherlock Holmes was Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous character, but Professor Challenger was the character for a series of science fiction stories. The most famous one was The Lost World. Hollywood is still mining it.
  7. Really old guy: I don’t know for sure, but I suspect Homer made up the Iliad and the Odyssey. He called them old tales, because bards weren’t allowed to make up new ones. After 3,000 years, his stories are still going strong.What can I say?
  8. Sir, to you: When I was a kid, I loved Peter Pan. Heck, I still like it. Novelist/playwright Sir J. M. Barrie also wrote Mary Rose, which Alfred Hitchcock unsuccessfully tried to make into a movie.
  9. Strange Dude: H. P. Lovecraft wrote about Cthulhu and Necronomican. He was an unabashed racist and possibly mentally ill, but his writing has been very influential, especially with Stephen King. I like him and dislike him, which would probably make sense to him.
  10. Wild Child: Oscar Wilde not only wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray, but he wrote at least 2 books of fairy tales. I’m not sure I’d read them to my little ones, but Oscar certainly lived up to his name.

    Now you know what inspires/scares me!

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The Kentucky State Poetry Society adult poetry contest is an open contest with the exception of the Chaffin/Kash Award category, which is reserved for KSPS members.

TO DOWNLOAD THE 2014 KSPS ADULT CONTEST BROCHURE: http://www.kystatepoetrysociety.org/Contests.html

2014 Deadline August 1!


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I am a little late, but it’s never too late to read your favorite poetry or write your own poetry. (This month, I have done both)
Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.



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I am the the contest Chairman for 2014, but this is my personal category.

There will be about 18 categories, but this is the only children’s category (so far). You do not have to be a member or live in Louisville. The tentative deadline is August 31, 2014. No publication. The entry fee is $3. Details will be at greenriverwriters.org

 #4 Suzanne Suddeth Memorial Prize—Prose or Poetry

Prose or poetry (rhymed/metered or free-verse) written for children 12 years old and younger, 500 words or less.

Prizes – 1st: $30, 2nd: $20, 3rd: $10

Sponsor: Charles Suddeth

I am a member of Midsouth SCBWI and Green River Writers.


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I am re-posting this because I have been told there are few entries so far. 

Send your entries between January 3, 2014 and deadline is March 15, 2014.

Category for Poem is:  “BUG ON THE WALL”

First Prize: Poetry $100, 2nd $75 and 3rd $50.

PROSE- The category is Half Empty, Half Full

First Prize: Prose $100, 2nd $75 and 3rd $50.

I have nothing to do with this contest, but some of the writers are also Members of Green River Writers. For the rules and details please click on this link:


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