BRIDGES NOT WALLS

Bridges Not Walls Logo

BRIDGES Not Walls – sponsored by Los Norteños, Juan Alonso-Rodriguez, and The Raven Chronicles. February 28, 5-7 pm, Juan Alonso-Rodriguez Gallery, 306 S. Washington St,. #104, Seattle.

In the interest of building bridges, not walls, in the current climate of distrust, fear, and uncertainty, we invite you to participate in a modest cultural experiment. Juan Alonso-Rodriguez, visual artist and gallery owner, has invited us to present a literary evening in his Front Room Gallery on February 28, 5 – 7 pm.

Writers will work mostly in pairs. Given ten minutes, they can split the time and each read original work for five minutes, collaborate on a new creation that uses all ten minutes, or choose a third person or party to use their time. Song, poetry, prose, and theater are invited.
 How well do you share?  Who’s voice are you displacing by insisting on your own? Who should be in Juan’s front room who is, for some reason, denied access?

Readings/Performances by:

M.C. Kathleen Alcalá

Elena Camarillo / Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs

José Carrillo / Carmelo Gonzalez

Jim Cantu / Marta Sanchez

Anita Endrezze / Maiah Merino

Break: Jacque Larrainzar, music presentation

Catalina Marie Cantú / Robert Frances Flor

Raul Sanchez / Kathleen Alcalá

Phoebe Bosché / Anna Bálint

Donna Miscolta / Carletta Carrington Wilson

Words From the Cafe Reading

Elliott Bay Book Company,
1521 10th Ave,
Seattle, Sunday, March 5, 3-5 pm.

Join us for another great reading from Anna Bálint‘s class at the Recovery Cafe. Cohosted by Tod Marshall, current Washington State Poet Laureate.

WORDS FROM THE CAFÉ, An Anthology (Raven Chronicles Press) edited by Anna Bálint. A group reading, co-presented by Tod Marshall, Washington State Poet Laureate, 3pm, Sunday, March 5th.Every Friday at Seattle’s Recovery Café, people struggling with addiction or mental illness or homelessness come together in Anna Bálint’s Safe Place Writing Circle to write and share writing. Here they discover their own unique voices and ways of shaping language to write stories and poems as part of reclaiming their lives. Words from the Café, a book/cd compilation, introduces us to voices from some of the most marginalized members of society.

“Gritty details are, perhaps, to be expected in an anthology of poems gathered from a group of writers who come together in recovery. What’s so astonishing about this collection is the range of emotions and the quality of the writing: joy and grief, exuberance and ennui, as well as a host of other emotions, all dwell together in this compelling book…Words From the Café reminds us that every day is a challenge to find our best selves and that art—poetry, story, song—can connect us.” –Tod Marshal

Words From the Café, An Anthology: what readers are saying!

Gritty details are, perhaps, to be expected in an anthology of poems gathered from a group of writers who come together in recovery. What’s so astonishing about this collection is the range of emotions and the quality of the writing: joy and grief, exuberance and ennui, as well as a host of other emotions, all dwell together in this compelling book. I’m glad, too, that the editor decided to feature some voices and give readers several works from so many different writers; each of these features (and there are so many good ones: Hirsch and Torres, Nguyen and Ybarra) gives us just a little more insight, a little more connection with the imagination behind the writing. From editor and teacher Anna Bálint’s wonderful introduction through each of the cutting vignettes and memorable lyrics (and the quality production from Raven Chronicles Press), Words From the Café reminds us that every day is a challenge to find our best selves and that art—poetry, story, song—can connect us.

—Tod Marshall, Washington State Poet Laureate, 2016-2018, He is the author most recently of Bugle (2014), which won the Washington State Book Award in 2015.

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Words From the Café gives us the chance as readers to sit with interesting companions, have a cup of coffee, and listen to their stories. It’s a transformative process for our companions and for us. For our companions there’s the change that happens when people feel heard, respected; and for us, there’s the change that happens when we open our hearts to our own vulnerability, to life. What a comfort. We don’t have to go down that unhappy path of isolating ourselves from others, from pain, or from our own feelings. We all need a safe place. Thanks to Anna Bálint, Safe Place Writing Circle, Recovery Café, and Raven Chronicles Press for this book.

—Richard Gold, founder and executive director of the Pongo Poetry Project and author of Writing with At-Risk Youth: The Pongo Teen Writing Method.

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As I read and listen to Words From the Café (Raven Chronicles Press), I find myself entering not only into the lives of others through their poems and prose, but into a whole range of physical, cultural, philosophical and psychological territories some of which look and feel and smell very familiar and some not. Territories like RECOVERY, Food, Trauma, Mental Illness, Spirituality, Art, Addiction, Memory, Age, Prison, Public Assistance, Death, and COMMUNITY. Twenty-two writers with good strong voices, ten of whom are featured allowing the reader to firmly step into their shoes and walk a while. When people feel safe, they can start to explore new territories within themselves. And sometimes they discover the poet, the writer, the artist inside. Recovery is serious life business, but there is also a lot of humor coming out of so much of the work here, which I appreciate especially during these difficult times. Megan McInnis writes, “It’s possible that art, music, and literature have brought me closer than anything else, besides acid, to understanding spirituality.” Many thanks to Anna Bálint, founder, editor and facilitator of the Safe Place Writing Circle, and to the Recovery Café for creating the space for this important work. We are all the better for it.

—Martha Linehan, chemical dependency professional, OPS (Organization for Prostitution Survivors)

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Speaking plainly, Words From the Café is a recovery program knocking on the door of mainstream American culture. Editor Anna Bálint has shaped an anthology that breaks down conventional definitions and boundaries. This anthology builds character and energy, writer by writer, making its credibility as it proceeds. There’s no room for fancy talk in recovery that works, perhaps that’s why so many in American culture fear it. And Higher Power? What is that? Literature, too, needs its allies. Literature finds them in the Sister/Brother siblings of Higher Power and Recovery. These alternate realities combine in the empirical world breaking out from under cover. They witness. Words From the Café is a book that speaks and testifies.

—Jim Bodeen, carries a notebook and camera, and follows a split discipline, exploring the poem and liberation theology. “I’m interested in people whose lives cross borders where the borders may or may not be geographical. I’m interested in the poem of witness and testimony.”

Order on our website http://www.ravenchronicles.org/shop/
$14.99, and receive a CD with readings by the ten featured readers.

Or purchase a copy at OPEN BOOKS or Bulldog Press in Seattle’s University District, or at BookTree in Kirkland; or on Amazon’s website.

SoulFood Coffee House: March 16, 2017 — Raven Chronicles

Raven Chronicles is a Seattle-based literary organization established in 1991. It publishes and promotes work that embodies the cultural diversity of writers and artists living in the Pacific Northwest and other regions. It publishes two print magazines each year (summer and winter), and original work on its website. This reading features prose and poetry, and maybe a surprise or two.

Reading for Raven Chronicles are Anna Bálint (poetry), Robert Francis Flor (poetry), David Halpern (stories), Paul Hunter (poetry), and Maliha Masood (fiction).

https://sites.google.com/site/soulfoodpoetrynight/future-readings/march-16-2017

Anna Bálint is the author of Horse Thief, a collection of fiction that was a finalist for the Pacific Northwest Book Award. She has taught at El Centro de la Raza, Antioch University, and Hugo House. She is a teaching artist with Path With Art and Recovery Café in Seattle.

Robert Francis Flor was raised in Seattle’s Central Area/Rainier Valley. Several of his poems were published in anthologies: Voices of the Asian American Experience, from the University of Santa Cruz, and Where Are You From?, Thymos Book Project, Oregon. His chapbook, Alaskero Memories, was published by Carayan Press (2016).

David Halpern completed his Master’s degree at Brown University, and worked as a political writer and screenwriter for a decade before switching to a career making comic and wildlife flipbooks. He works as a Washington State Park Ranger, and writes with humor about the not-always-funny act of aging.

Paul Hunter’s work has been published in seven books and three chapbooks. His first collection of farming poems, Breaking Ground, Silverfish Review Press, was reviewed in the New York Times, and received the 2004 Washington State Book Award. He has been a featured poet on The News Hour.

Maliha Masood was born and raised in Pakistan. She is the author of travel memoirs Zaatar Days, Henna Nights: Adventures, Dreams, and Destinations Across the Middle East (Seal Press, 2006) and Dizzy in Karachi: A Journey to Pakistan (Booktrope Editions, 2013). Her work has been featured on NPR and PBS.

Raven’s Pushcart Prize Nominations for Work Published in 2016

The editors of Raven Chronicles nominate the following writers for their work published in Raven Chronicles, A Journal of Art, Literature & The Spoken Word,  Vol. 22, Celebration issue, July, 2016:
1. Christine Clarke, “Twenty”— poem, pg. 54.
2. Nancy Flynn, “Gift Event for Our New Gilded Age”— poem, pg. 73.
3. Dawn Karima, “Homecoming Celebration on the Fifth of July”— prose-try, pg. 48-49.
4. Kevin Miller, “On Jane’s Table Everything’s…— poem, pg. 63.
5. Jesse Minkert, “Basket Weaver”— poem, pg. 33.
6. Armin Tolentino “Watching My Son Bloom into
Summer”— poem, pg. 100.

WATCHING MY SON BLOOM INTO SUMMER, poem by Armin Tolentino

His mossy crotch stains the shower floor green
and the drain is clogged with wet clumps of grass.

My boy unfolds into fronds of fern as he slowly sheds
any semblance of me. I’m losing his face through bark

and branches. His hair fluffs with pollen
and his armpits secrete a nectar so cloying

his room is filled with bees. He no longer speaks,
just stares out the window, lusting for sun.

I lie and tell him I understand, that it’s natural,
but my voice is lost through miles of forest.

I don’t know what to get him for his birthday.
I place a basket beneath his outstretched arms

and together we celebrate his falling leaves.

—Armin Tolentino


Armin Tolentino (poem, Back Cover) received his MFA at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. His poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, Ellipsis, and Backwords Press. He was a 2014 Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship recipient, and hopes one day to earn a Guinness Record for the world’s loudest clap.

Published in Raven Chronicles, Vol. 22, 2016.

Art at the Hopvine Pub, Nov. 1-Nov. 27. Reception Nov. 3rd.

Hopvine-fall-winter_poster-2016

Curated by Les Morely;
Co-sponsored by Raven Chronicles.

Hopvine Pub, Capitol Hill Neighborhood,
507 15th Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98112

 


John Dlouhy, “Lost Time,” Digital Prints. 11/1-11/27/16. Artist Reception: Thursday 11/3 at 7:00 pm

Dlouhy sifts through art historical references for images that resonate and then processed these images with digital tools to achieve a layering that speaks to memory, distortion, pattern and color.

And (this is a double exhibit):

Maggie Murphy, “Sea Knots,” Linocut Relief and Reduction Prints. 11/1-11/27/16. Artist Reception: Thursday 11/3 at 7:00 pm

Murphy’s process involves developing personally-charged, symbolic images, or, sometimes, images that provide spiritual refuge. These intricate prints are created using a multi-layered, multi-plate process and reductive printing methods.


Daniel Michael Viox, “On Nature, Time and Patience,” Acrylic on Wood. 12/1-12/31/16. Artist Reception: Thursday 12/8 at 7:00 pm

Viox is inspired by patterns of nature, geological formations, precious stones, topographical maps, and satellite imagery of the earth. He believes in the transformative power of art, myth, and metaphor.

 

2 Poems from WORDS FROM the CAFE

2 poems from Words From the Cafe, An Anthology,
Edited by Anna Balint, Raven Chronicles Press, 2016
ISBN 978-0-9979468-0-2, 202 pages, $14.99

Ocean
by Esmeralda Hernandez

In the heart of the city
if you listen carefully
you can hear the cries of humanity.
Each night I lie in my bed at the shelter
not knowing who will enter,
with no telling what will happen

I have seen a sea of faces of homeless women.
As I make my way through that sea
I get to know some of them, gently pushing
my way, I make my own wave.

Some waves move forward to find land.
Some waves fold long before reaching land.

Like many, I’ve walked
through a sea of tears, yet still felt
God’s gentle push, to remind me
that His love is wider than any ocean,
and whenever I weep He turns it into love.


Cry and Transform
by Taumstar

5 A.M.
Walk briskly.    Will rain.
The ego is anxious.
The ego wants no change.
But change has already occurred—
an exercise in love,
picking up and going forward.

At the same time, sadness.
Feel older. Accomplishments?
Not everyone gets to accomplish much.
Gratitude.
Thanksgiving.
Going to a back and spine doctor—
they are not so quick to prescribe.
Started doing yoga, again.
No longer able to sweep, prune, saw, hammer.     No heavy lifting.

Learn/unlearn.
No longer get to drive.
Must think about
mobility = long term ability.
The little stuff more hard . . .
Cry and transform.

Raven Chronicles Journal Vol. 23: Jack Straw Writers Program, 1997-2016

js-writers-collage-smallercover-js-writers-collage-2016RAVEN CHRONICLES PRESS & 

JACK STRAW CULTURAL CENTER

present

A Reading & Reception

for

Raven Chronicles Journal Vol. 23:

Jack Straw Writers Program, 1997-2016

November 18, 2016

Friday, 7:00pm., Free,

Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E., University District, Seattle

MC Kathleen Flenniken

Readings by:

Joan Fiset, Donna Miscolta, Deborah Woodard, David Halpern, Suzanne Bottelli, Mercedes Lawry, Elizabeth Austen, Kathryn Hunt, Janee J. Baugher, James Reed, Maliha Masood, John Burgess, Jourdan Keith, Laurie Blauner, Doug Nufer, Wendy Call, Sharon Cumberland, Rachel Dilworth, Bill Carty, Martha Clarkson, Harold Taw, Sharon Hashimoto, Josephine Ensign, Margot Kahn, Martha Breiner, EJ Koh.

Raven Chronicles Press is indebted to our 2016 co-sponsors for partial funding of our programs: Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture; 4Culture / King County Lodging Tax; ARTSWA/Washington State Arts Commission with NEA project support; and Jack Straw Cultural Center / Joan Rabinowitz, for co-sponsoring Raven readings, and for unflagging support for writers, literary groups and music artists. And all Raven subscribers and donors.

Contact Information: ravenchronicles.org

206.941.2955, editors@ravenchronicles.org, Mailing address: 15528 12th Ave. NE, Shoreline, WA 98155

A Reading & Reception, Celebrating a new book & CD: Words From the Café, from Raven Chronicles Press

Cover photo: Ginny Banks
Cover photo: Ginny Banks

RAVEN CHRONICLES PRESS & JACK STRAW CULTURAL CENTER
present

A Reading & Reception, Celebrating a new book & CD:

Words From the Café

with MC/Host Anna Bálint

October 7, 2016, Friday, 7:00pm., Free

Jack Straw Cultural Center, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E. University District, Seattle

Readings by:

• Johnnie Powell

• Taumstar

• Angel Ybarra

• Bang Nguyen

• Megan McInnis

• Tamar Hirsch

• Donald W. Butler

• Steve Torres

• Esmeralda Hernandez

• Mary Jo El-Wattar

Every Friday at Seattle’s Recovery Café, people struggling with addiction or mental illness or homelessness come together in Anna Bálint’s Safe Place Writing Circle to write and share writing. Here they discover their own unique voices and ways of shaping language to write stories and poems as part of reclaiming their lives. Anna’s 2015 residency with the Artist Support Program at Jack Straw, and funding from 4Culture, made it possible to capture some of the magic that takes place each week in Words From the Café, a book/CD compilation. These are voices that need to be heard. Their literary diversity and range of human experience fly in the face of prevailing stereotypes of some of the most marginalized members of our society.

Thanks to Recovery Café, 4Culture, Jack Straw Cultural Center and Raven Chronicles for making this program possible. Contact Information: ravenchronicles.org

206.941.2955, editors@ravenchronicles.org, Mailing address: 15528 12th Ave. NE, Shoreline, WA 98155