Watch the May 2017 Poetry Readings

Performed by Val Cole and Becky Shrimpton

The Great Willow, by Kourtney D. Cooper

The Fourth Month, by Gloria D. Gonsalves

THE BALLAD OF JOHNNY RAY SIXPACK, by John Ervin

King Cormac, by Inis L. Fal

Disease S U, by Darrell Herbert

Clap your hands, by Raphaëlle YOKOTA

BYWORD: A Nation Called out of Their Name, by Makabi

ROCK ON, MAMA by Tammi Croteau

JUNIOR (IN MEMORY OF), by James R Adams II

Let Your Soul Fly Free to Heaven, by Aurora Jean Alexander

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Reading: ROCK ON, MAMA by Tammi Croteau

Performed by Becky Shrimpton

Get to know the poet:

What is the theme of your poem?

Home Without Walls is about love without limits, the kind so strong that oceans and time zones can’t lessen it. It’s the story of two sisters who grew up in different countries but never stopped loving one another.

Rock On was written for the Rockin’ Moms of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network. They support each other without question, through all the hopes and fears, joys and disappointments.

What motivated you to write this poem?

Home Without Walls – I was looking for inspiration for new material, so I posted a “Who Inspires You” contest on my Facebook site, http://www.facebook.com/cantbringmedowntlc. Amy Igama told me about her sister Cristy and the unconditional love they shared that recognized no boundaries, and the poem played in my head like a song all night. I woke up and wrote it in one draft in about 15 minutes.

Rock On – I was looking for inspiration for new material, so I posted a “Who Inspires You” contest on my Facebook site, http://www.facebook.com/cantbringmedowntlc. Janessa Gross commented that she was inspired by Jen Jacob, founder of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network. Having met both of these moms and followed their kids’ journeys for the past several years, and watching the DSDN grow since it’s very beginning, I knew this was a story that needed to be shared. Rock On is currently being recorded as a song by Veronica Torraca-Bragdon.

How long have you been writing poetry?

Since I was able to hold a pen and paper, back in the days when typewriters still existed!

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Natasha, the little girl who is the subject of my book, Natasha and the Christmas Wish. She’s living in an orphanage in Russia, while the American family that planned to adopt her continues to fight to complete the adoption process due to the Russian ban on American adoptions several years ago. I would love to let her know how very loved she is, and how hard so many people are working to try to bring her home.

What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I have a background in music, and an interest in theater, so the connection between the written word and the spoken word is really magical to me. I like to experience the sounds of the words that play over and over in my head while I write.

Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes. I’ve self-published three books so far – two poetry/short story collections and one children’s book, Natasha and the Christmas Wish. I’ve got several projects in the works with Civin Media Relations, helping people with disabilities to share their stories, and also three novels waiting to be finished. I’ve co-written songs with Veronica Torraca-Bragdon, and completed a screenplay that I would love to see on the big screen one day!

What is your passion in life?

People and connections. Seeing the magic when all the reasons why start to appear and things come together as they were meant to be all along.

Poetic Excerpt from BYWORD: A Nation Called out of Their Name, by Makabi

Performed by Becky Shrimpton

Get to know the poet:

What is the theme of your poem?

Taking ownership.

What motivated you to write this poem?

Honor of my Israelite heritage.

How long have you been writing poetry?

7 years

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

My Great Grandfather.

What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

To use a different format to expand my art and audience.

Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes, Scripts, Screenplays. Songs, Books.

What is your passion in life?

The creative arts.

Poetry Reading: Let Your Soul Fly Free to Heaven, by Aurora Jean Alexander

Performed by Becky Shrimpton

Get to know the poet:

What is the theme of your poem?

You could call the theme of this poem “heartache”.

What motivated you to write this poem?

‘Let Your Soul Fly Free to Heaven’ is a poem written after the breakup from a man I truly loved. I was extremely depressed at the time and writing to express my feelings turned out into a few very special poems. I love how the rhythm of this poem is very regular and I still think this is one of my best.

How long have you been writing poetry?

I started writing poetry in my teenager years, stopped in my late twenties and picked up writing poetry a few years ago.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

I would wish I could have dinner with Barry White. He was not only an excellent singer with a unique voice but as well a fantastic composer and songwriter. I would have loved to ask him for a few secrets on songwriting.

What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I know how it sounds when I read my poems… I felt seeing someone else reading it and find out if I still like the way it’s written.

Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I write novels and novellas, mostly. I’m intensely working on my pre-novel novella right now and I hope very much it won’t take too long anymore to have it published.

What is your passion in life?

I do have several passions – but my most important passion is writing. This is what I want to do.

Poetry Reading: ROGUE WAVE, by Joanne Van Leerdam

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Get to know the poet:

What is the theme of your poem?

The theme of ‘Rogue Wave’ is living with and surviving the challenges life throws at us. Everyone faces challenges that turn life over and make us wonder what’s coming next. This poem will also have additional depth for anyone living with a chronic illness or a condition, especially depression or anxiety – they can go through this kind of experience every day, sometimes more than once a day.

What motivated you to write this poem?

‘Rogue Wave’ is a poem that comes from my own experience of life as a person who lives with both depression and chronic conditions. It frequently feels like the wave of life is dumping me hard, but even when it does spit me onto the sand, I have survived.

I wrote this poem to encourage those in similar situations through knowing that they are not alone and someone else feels the same way they do, but also to enlighten those who haven’t considered what that can be like.

How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve been writing poetry for years, and got published for the first time last year.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

William Shakespeare. I love his work, and have so many questions!

What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I believe in my work, and I want to see it reach people and move them. I think that’s what any poet wants.

Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

In addition to my poetry, I have one book of short stories about encountering challenge and change called ‘New Horizons’, and a one-act play for teens called ‘The Shakespeare Omelette’.

What is your passion in life?

Obviously, poetry is one of my passions. I’m also passionate about helping my students be the best that they can be and pursue their own passions in life, too.

Poetry Reading: HOME WITHOUT WALLS, by Tammi Croteau

Performed by Becky Shrimpton

Get to know the poet:

What is the theme of your poem?

Home Without Walls is about love without limits, the kind so strong that oceans and time zones can’t lessen it. It’s the story of two sisters who grew up in different countries but never stopped loving one another.

Rock On was written for the Rockin’ Moms of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network. They support each other without question, through all the hopes and fears, joys and disappointments.

What motivated you to write this poem?

Home Without Walls – I was looking for inspiration for new material, so I posted a “Who Inspires You” contest on my Facebook site, http://www.facebook.com/cantbringmedowntlc. Amy Igama told me about her sister Cristy and the unconditional love they shared that recognized no boundaries, and the poem played in my head like a song all night. I woke up and wrote it in one draft in about 15 minutes.

Rock On – I was looking for inspiration for new material, so I posted a “Who Inspires You” contest on my Facebook site, http://www.facebook.com/cantbringmedowntlc. Janessa Gross commented that she was inspired by Jen Jacob, founder of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network. Having met both of these moms and followed their kids’ journeys for the past several years, and watching the DSDN grow since it’s very beginning, I knew this was a story that needed to be shared. Rock On is currently being recorded as a song by Veronica Torraca-Bragdon.

How long have you been writing poetry?

Since I was able to hold a pen and paper, back in the days when typewriters still existed!

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Natasha, the little girl who is the subject of my book, Natasha and the Christmas Wish. She’s living in an orphanage in Russia, while the American family that planned to adopt her continues to fight to complete the adoption process due to the Russian ban on American adoptions several years ago. I would love to let her know how very loved she is, and how hard so many people are working to try to bring her home.

What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I have a background in music, and an interest in theater, so the connection between the written word and the spoken word is really magical to me. I like to experience the sounds of the words that play over and over in my head while I write.

Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes. I’ve self-published three books so far – two poetry/short story collections and one children’s book, Natasha and the Christmas Wish. I’ve got several projects in the works with Civin Media Relations, helping people with disabilities to share their stories, and also three novels waiting to be finished. I’ve co-written songs with Veronica Torraca-Bragdon, and completed a screenplay that I would love to see on the big screen one day!

What is your passion in life?

People and connections. Seeing the magic when all the reasons why start to appear and things come together as they were meant to be all along.

Poetry Reading: DEATH BOUTIQUE, by Lionel Walfish

Performed by Becky Shrimpton

Get to know the poet:

What is the theme of your poem?

Satirical look at a funeral home

What motivated you to write this poem?

Just a bit of fun with a few rhymes.

How long have you been writing poetry?

I’m not really a poet. Write a few on occasion.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Patricia Highsmith (my favorite author)

What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

Thought it would be fun to have this read aloud.

Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I am a short story writer (many have appeared on WILDSOUNDfestival.

What is your passion in life?

Just trying to live it to the fullest.

Poetry Reading: Clap your hands, by Raphaëlle YOKOTA

Performed by Val Cole

Get to know the poet:

What is the theme of your poem?

– Siblings.

What motivated you to write this poem?

– The need to let things go and the hope it would help others to do the same.

How long have you been writing poetry?

– Ten years, on and off.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

– Orson Welles.

What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

– I love film, too, and I’m really looking forward to hearing poetry read out loud by actors.

Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

– Feature film screenplays and fiction short stories.

What is your passion in life?

– People. I love watching happy people.

Poetry Reading: Disease S U, by Darrell Herbert

Performed by Val Cole

Get to know the poet:

What is the theme of your poem?

The theme of my poem deals with feelings of indifference.

What motivated you to write this poem?

My motivation for writing this piece stemmed from a multitude of experiences.

How long have you been writing poetry?

I have been writing poetry ever since I was five.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

I would have dinner with Kurt Cobain.

What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

My influence to submit my poetry to get it performed by a professional actor was due to the fact that none of my published poems have been read by someone outside of myself.

Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Unfortunately, I don’t write short-stories. But, I do write songs for other musicians.

What is your passion in life?

My passion in life is expressing myself freely in an attempt to empower those who feel powerless.

Poetry Reading: King Cormac, by Inis L. Fal

Performed by Val Cole

Get to know the poet:

What is the theme of your poem?

The theme of my poem is about an ancient king of Ireland named Cormac, who reigned for forty years and was renowned as both a brave and honorable king, and beloved among his loyal friends and subjects. Story tells that at some time King Cormac turned away from the pagan deities prevalent in ancient Ireland, and became a Christian, for which he was hated by the heathen Druids and priests. My poem is woven around that story, from the perspective of a modern admirer, and one who aspires to the same destiny of leading an honorable and courageous life.

What motivated you to write this poem?

The courage and dignity with which this King of Ireland both reigned his people and lived his own life inspired me to write this poem.

How long have you been writing poetry?

I suppose you could say I have been writing poetry all my life, though the occasions may have sometimes been few and far between 🙂

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

If I could sit down and have dinner with one person, I think it would be Princess Tamar (Tea) Tephi, another fascinating historical figure from ancient Ireland, who was very similar to King Cormac in that she, too, had a Judeo-Christian faith, though she was brought up with it and did not have to ‘convert’ as it were.

What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I decided to participate in this contest for two reasons: one being that this poem is very near and dear to my heart, and I would like to share it with others. The other reason is that this poem will also be featured in my upcoming historical-fiction, adventure novel ‘The Kurgan’s Secret: Lost In The Kingdom of Moesia’, which I am planning to publish very soon, and I thought that having it performed by a professional actor would be a wonderful way to spread the word!

Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes, I write mostly historical-fiction adventure novels. I began writing my first book ‘When the Lion Roars’ when I was 17 years old, and self-published it 3 years later. I am currently preparing to publish the sequel, which I hope will eventually blossom into a 4-5 book series. I also occasionally write short stories and funny stories, which I share on goodreads.com.

What is your passion in life?

Probably the most difficult question of all to answer succinctly, my passion in life as a writer is to make the past come to life before people’s eyes, and hopefully to inspire them with true history and what it means for all of us.