Poetry – River And Sound Review http://riverandsoundreview.org/ Sat, 25 Sep 2021 10:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://riverandsoundreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/river-and-sound-review-icon-150x150.png Poetry – River And Sound Review http://riverandsoundreview.org/ 32 32 New Haven University professor writes poetry about prison life https://riverandsoundreview.org/new-haven-university-professor-writes-poetry-about-prison-life/ https://riverandsoundreview.org/new-haven-university-professor-writes-poetry-about-prison-life/#respond Sat, 25 Sep 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://riverandsoundreview.org/new-haven-university-professor-writes-poetry-about-prison-life/

Dr Randall Horton is Professor of English at New Haven University, who teaches creative writing and specializes in African-American, post-colonial and prison literature genres. Horton himself contributed to these genres, with books of poetry and memoirs.

His most recent book, published in 2020, is “{# 289-128}: Poems” (The University Press of Kentucky). He received a 2021 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, an organization focused on multicultural literature.

Horton will be attending the Connecticut Literary Festival at Real Art Ways in Hartford on October 23. He will also be doing a reading on campus at the Seton Art Gallery on November 8 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in conjunction with an art exhibition. about containment.

The title of the book is the number Horton received from the Maryland Department of Corrections when he was jailed after years of involvement in the drug trade.

“I titled the book because I wanted to license it, to show that no one has control over me. This number follows me to this day, but I control my own narrative,” Horton said during from a phone interview. “If I want to talk about the criminal justice system, what better poetic way is there than using my number? He takes the story from their hands and puts it in mine.”

Horton extracted his personal story from previous books, the “Hook” memoir and the “Pitch Dark Anarchy” poetry book. A new thesis, “Dead Weight”, will be published next year.

By telling stories of his youth, his imprisonment and his redemption – in the form of three college degrees, several literary awards, a professorship and mentorship of young offenders, activists and writers in the making – Horton does not seek revenge. He even states on his website that he is “the only full professor in the United States of America at a university or college with seven felony convictions.”

He just wants to tell his story in the hopes that someone can relate to it.

“People may think there was a big miscarriage of justice, that my incarceration was a bad thing. I do not do this case. I made terrible choices. I’m not hiding it, ”he said.

“I never asked for sympathy. I mean, I’ve been through something and hey, listen to what I have to say, you might learn something, ”he said. “I want to use myself as an example that if someone makes terrible decisions, there is always a way to come back.”

Horton grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. He attended Howard University, but didn’t finish because his criminal lifestyle took over. “I just got caught up in something,” he said. “Coming from Birmingham, which was so restrictive, I was taking risks. But trying to find myself, I got lost.

This way of life came to an end when Horton was sent to prison for eight years. The sightings from these years form the first part of “{# 289-128}: Poems”. While in prison, while accepting his guilt, he encountered many inmates who were not guilty. His poem “Animals” tells their story:

“The cells are chock full of culprits

who pleaded although very innocent

7 sounded better than 25 in a row “

He also tells stories of people destroyed by their time indoors in “Nothing As It Seems”

“Juvenile judged as real adult questions

the authority kind enough and by magic disappears

make a broken boy irreparable.

The physical and spiritual boredom of prison life is recounted in “The Making of {# 289-128} in Five Parts”:

“At one point, the repetition sets in:

hard-boiled egg, flour, white bread, bland coffee

for breakfast reminders

what has become of you {# 289-128}

a non-being from where

escape or liberation is a fairy tale.

The second part of the book describes the life of Horton after his release from prison. Horton could roam the city for inspiration, but sometimes life could be just as bleak:

“People refuse to see who of what I am

since before post-racial. I am tagged:

armed, dangerous, known to pack,

dark & ​​hyphen, the typecast

commemorated in perpetual fear.

In this segment, Horton writes about a particular element of the black experience that occurs too frequently in the outside world: “A Primer for Surviving a Traffic Stop”:

“If you’re sitting in the car, stay calm.

stop. position the hands

at eleven and three, suppose

it will not go well. recall

brown, bell, martin …

the facts will be poorly remembered: he

rushed, seemed to have—

a bulge, poorly dressed,

reached. a large metallic object—

… take a deep breath and get ready

for the approaching figure “

Horton admitted that “it was a little sad that I had to write about this”, but he still felt obligated to do so. “It’s just about paying attention to what’s going on in the world,” he said.

He did not let himself be stopped by these indignities. After his release, Horton received a bachelor’s degree from the University of District Columbia, a master’s degree in fine arts from Chicago State University, and a doctorate. in poetry and poetry by SUNY Albany.

His writing has garnered much praise. He has received the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award, the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction, and a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature.

In addition, he acts as a mentor. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Pen Prison Writing Program of Pen America, served as a poet in residence for the Civil Rights Corps in Washington DC, is a member of the performance group Heroes Are Gang Leaders. He goes to detention centers for adults and minors across the country to lead workshops.

Like when he was inside – he wrote “a book could save my life after the lockdown” – reading and writing saved him. Horton recalled the mentorship of Bunnie Boswell, a case manager who worked with him in prison.

“She told me that after I got my time, I should keep writing. She thought there was something in the way I wrote. No one ever told me that I could be a writer, ”he said. “I got it. I took it to heart. That’s what kept me sane.

For more details on Horton, visit randallhorton.com.

Susan Dunne can be reached at sdunne@courant.com.

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Write love letters and love poetry at the Nelson Workshop – Nelson Star https://riverandsoundreview.org/write-love-letters-and-love-poetry-at-the-nelson-workshop-nelson-star/ https://riverandsoundreview.org/write-love-letters-and-love-poetry-at-the-nelson-workshop-nelson-star/#respond Fri, 24 Sep 2021 21:00:00 +0000 https://riverandsoundreview.org/write-love-letters-and-love-poetry-at-the-nelson-workshop-nelson-star/

Writer Rayya Liebich will help you write love poetry, love letters and love stories on September 25 at the Touchstones Museum. Photo: Submitted

Write love letters and love poetry at the Nelson Workshop

Touchstones Nelson Presents LOVE in the Time of COVID with Rayya Liebich

The last in the LOVE in the Time of COVID series will take place at the Touchstones Museum on September 25 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with local artist and poet Rayya Liebich.

Stationery, envelopes, pens and stamps will be provided to create beautiful old-fashioned love letters for your modern loves. Who wouldn’t want to receive an envelope full of love in their mailbox? All materials will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their favorite papers and pens.

LOVE in the Time of COVID is a three-part series, spanning three Saturdays in September, featuring deep dives into the concepts of love poetry, love letters and love stories.

To register, send an email to programs@touchstonesnelson.ca. The number of places is limited to 25 people per session. For more information on events and exhibits, visit www.touchstonesnelson.ca.

LOVE in the COVID-era unfolded alongside two new exhibits at the Touchstones Museum: Alone Time / Queer Portraits by JJ Levine and Kootenay Pride: We Love a Parade!

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Woman from Howell NJ twice wins $ 100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize https://riverandsoundreview.org/woman-from-howell-nj-twice-wins-100000-ruth-lilly-poetry-prize/ https://riverandsoundreview.org/woman-from-howell-nj-twice-wins-100000-ruth-lilly-poetry-prize/#respond Fri, 24 Sep 2021 09:01:05 +0000 https://riverandsoundreview.org/woman-from-howell-nj-twice-wins-100000-ruth-lilly-poetry-prize/

Patricia Smith has spent her life showing skeptics how entertaining poetry can be. The success of the Howell resident proves that it can also be lucrative.

Last week, Smith won the $ 100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Lifetime Achievement Award that ranks among the most distinguished accolades in American poetry.

“It’s fantastic,” she said of the accolade. “I think the most exciting thing that turns me on the most is when it comes to poetry, I didn’t have the academic foundation that a lot of people think of with poetry. I learned about poetry by being on stage and doing it.

A four-time winner of the National Poetry Slam, an annual performance competition that began in 1990, Smith also won the Kingsley Tufts Prize for Poetry of $ 100,000 in 2018 for “Incendiary Art,” a collection of poems about the violent death of ‘Emmitt Till and other African American men and women.

Howell's poet Patricia Smith recently won the Ruth Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award for Poetry of $ 100,000.  She is pictured in her home library.  Howell, NJ Thursday September 23, 2021

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Another collection, “Blood Dazzler”, focused on the human and environmental toll of Hurricane Katrina.

The purpose of these tragedy-inspired works, Smith said, is “to fill a void we have in terms of teaching history.” Landmark events like Katrina and 9/11 are barely covered in textbooks, as a generation born after they took place begins entering college. She tries to impress this on students in her side job as a professor at Princeton University and Staten Island College.

Howell's poet Patricia Smith recently won the Ruth Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award for Poetry of $ 100,000.  She is pictured in her home library.  Howell, NJ Thursday September 23, 2021

“Patricia writes about things that are really necessary but heavy in society and she really encouraged me to go there too, to be courageous,” said former student Luke Johnson, a published poet. “My art really took off after that.”

But for Smith, a native of Chicago who has lived in Howell since 2009, the best way to communicate the power of poetry is through oral performance.