The signature angst of our time was profoundly expressed in the poems submitted for WOMAWORDS Literary Press June 2020 edition, Imaging Life After COVID-19, offering women poets an opportunity to write about their experience of the pandemic and their vision of or for the future. The universal trauma wrought by this virus, invisible and silent and pouncing with madness and mendacity, brings us to a place we’d like to forget but never will. Our world is charged. Our lives are changed. We embrace with yearning the better memories from our past. We are trapped in the present, making the best of it. We find it hard to envision a future undominated by this moment. It was difficult to select just ten poems from among the many submitted. There was not one unworthy poem. I’m honored to read them, to read the bios and get introduced to some fine new-to-me poets (whether or not selected for publication here), and to be chosen by Mbizo Chirasha to edit this edition of his heart-child, WOMAWORDS Literary Press. The edition goes up late. I offer my apologies to poets, to readers, and to Mbizo. The honor of this work came at a complex time for me. I had another zine to publish and also found myself dealing with a hospital stay and debilitating complications from chronic and catastrophic lung-and-heart health issues. Having said that there is nothing like poetry to help us heal the trauma of the catastrophic illnesses we may suffer individually or from the shared trauma of the current pandemic.
Amazingly, WOMAWORDS continues Conversations with both prominent and rising women artists, activists and writers that inspire their communities through various projects. As per our principle, we value excellence, dexterity and prowess. We are overjoyed as usual to feature prominence and profile greatness. The WOMAWORDS eDitor, Mbizo CHIRASHA met with prolific Vision Therapist , prominent Mural Artist and Poet PATRICIA TRAVIS, the most exciting about her artist gigs is versatility, she switches from being a poet to a musician and fuses her writings with community intervention errands while she also use her Vision Therapist expertise to heal children and the elderly who are visually impaired. WONDERFUL. We are gratified to welcome you into the CONVERSATIONS STUDIO, Iconic human being Patricia Travis, Aluta Continua- blurb by WOMAWORDS eDitor, Mbizo CHIRASHA.
MELISSA BEGLEY# brews yet another hair-harrowing and nerve shredding poetically packaged hybrid memoirs. The rhythm abound is astounding and head busting. Her verbal bravado is mesmerizing. And this heart- scalding memoir is classic as the paradox and humor become preservatives to enrich this literary brew. Storyteller par excellence. Begley’s memoirs carry harsh realities and shattering experiences from her tender years into her tussling. The heart stabbing sexual abuse to her soft -innocent plum in her tender life by a ravenous and uncouthed biological brother evokes salty tears in the eyes of the reader. Harsh realities. And the writers voice is pregnant with boldness and bravery that defines the iron lioness within her spirit as it carries scars of her tumultuous life ordeal. We have a myriad of torrid, untold stories hidden in the heart caves of many, vulnerable in from dust villages of Nyamapanda to the heart of favelas in South Americas and streets of Chicago. The writer poet chronicler in Melissa Begley traverses with us without much farce. We gasp and choke as we tread along the twists and turns of her mind boggling and traumatic live trends. Melissa Begley is a trailblazing film story. She is her story. Her story unravels the realities and complexities of the ordeals of young girls and women as they groan under the yoke of chauvinism and sexual barbarism. WOMAWORDS is overjoyed to feature such boldness, bravery, wit and dexterity. MELISSA BEGLEYS Writings compliments her role as our #DAUGHTERSOFTHEEARTHPROJECT Fundraising Coordinator. The Project was delayed by the menacing COVID 19 lock downs. We are resuming the # Daughters of the Earth Project in the next two weeks. ALUTA CONTINUA (WOMAWORDS EDITOR-Mbizo Chirasha) *
LIVE LITERATURE CURATOR AND PEN WIELDER* Kolkata International Poetry Festival* Bina Sarkar Ellias (b. 1949) is a poet, fiction writer and art curator. She is also founder-editor-designer-publisher of International Gallerie, the award-winning global arts and ideas journal since 22 years. Her book of selected poems FUSE, was taught at Towson University, Maryland, USA, and has a Chinese edition. Her poems have been translated into French, Greek, Spanish, Arabic and Urdu. Her recent book of ekphrastic poems ‘When Seeing Is Believing’ has just been launched. She has received a Fellowship from the Asia Leadership Fellow Program, Japan, 2007, the Times Group Yami Women Achievers’ Award, Bombay, 2008, and the FICCI/FLO, Calcutta, 2013, Award for Excellence in her work.
When grazing through the sestina verses of this our prolific poetic figure , SMEETHA BHOUMIK. You must be sure to carry a calabash of fresh coconut milk . Her poetry is more than a refreshment . It is a literary beverage . The metaphor transfigures and cleanses us into a new beings and then summoned into the holy earth of literary redemption . A revolution! Bhoumik's traverses with forth and back within the spirit-land of word. The irony is the truth that spikes .Spikes that slash through the arteries of the wicked .As her pen spews purified venom and undiluted vitriol in her clarion for peace against war- makers and trouble -mongers.