A Note from Mel

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The Next Verse Poets Mixtape Volume One: the 4 X 4 June 9, 2016

Filed under: Art & Culture,Art - The Product,Melanie Henderson — anotefrommel @ 10:00 am

The Next Verse Poets Mixtape
Volume One: the 4 X 4

featuring: Melanie Henderson, Fred Joiner, Lisa Pegram & Enzo Silon Surin

 

The Next Verse Poets Mixtape 4 x 4

 

$12.00

5 x 7 | 62 pages | Poetry

ISBN 978-1-941604-02-1

Publication Date: June 15, 2016

THE NEXT VERSE POETS MIXTAPE is a poetry sampler of ethnographic significance. 4 poets represented by 4 poems each offer insight into the shared experiences of black Americans in today’s political and social climate. Poems such as “Notes to a Little Black Boy”, “Seven Ways of Looking at Black Flowers”, and “How to Nullify a Super Hero” speak loudly about negotiating the delicate promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In addition, poems like “Lamb & Vodka”, “Drum Lesson”, “Nostalgia”, and “Once, When We Were Not Gods” highlight place and its lingering presence in our beings in ways that are akin to us all. These poems, both layered and plain, coax reverence as each poet explores the intricacies of the familiar.


This collection will be printed as a limited edition of 250.
The first 44 copies ordered will include four bonus tracks (1 additional poem per poet) as an homage to soon to be outgoing 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

 

PRE-ORDER BY JUNE 15 AND GET FREE SHIPPING.

Don’t forget to BOGO: Buy One and Get One, for a friend 🙂

 about the next verse poets
 

New Publisher on the Block! Cherry Castle Publishing

cherrycastle

I joyfully took on the role of Poetry Editor for an exciting new press, Cherry Castle Publishing.

 

Cherry Castle Publishing, LLC is one of America’s newest and most energetic publishers of great literature—a press where words grow mighty trees. It is a press that honours the vibrant multicultural voice of American literature, one book at a time. Our fundamental commitment is to practice literary equality and to embrace work that is informed by the social, political and cultural vigor of our times.

 

The press has put out exciting new work, We Didn’t Know Any Gangsters by beloved DC poet Brian Gilmore, and “This” Ameri-can-ah by prolific poet Curtis L. Crisler.

 

Truth Thomas, the founder of Cherry Castle Publishing, delved into children’s literature with the amazing protagonist, Mya, who challenges the images and morality standards fed to her by her television in My TV is Not the Boss of Me.

 

New work is forthcoming from the press, including the exciting anthology, Songs for a Passbook Torch, which will include works by varied poets and writers in honor of Nelson Mandela’s freedom-fighting legacy.

 

Stay abreast of this fresh new publisher’s news and publications at: http://www.cherrycastlepublishing.com/index.html.

 

In love and poetry,

 

Melanie Henderson

 

 

P.S. We continue to accept submissions for the Mandela Anthology. If you have a gem or two or three that addresses the tough beauty of this ancestor, feel free to send. Check the guidelines below.

 

We are looking for poetry and short essays that:
(1) honor Nelson Mandela’s freedom fighting legacy (first and foremost);
(2) offer tribute to Winnie Mandela for her related activism, and all appropriate others active in the anti-apartheid struggle;
(3) shine light on the past and present fight for racial justice in SA (particularly in the context of police brutality);
(4) shine light on the profound similarities between police brutality in SA under the height of Apartheid, and current race-based police brutality in America.
Songs for a Passbook Torch, edited by award-winning poets, Truth Thomas and Melanie Henderson, is scheduled for publication when all the type is right. Payment will be in the form of one contributor’s copy.

Send your work as a SINGLE attachment (.doc; .docx; .rtf; PDF). Submit up to five previously unpublished poems and essays (honoring a 3,000 word limit) to:

SONGSFORAPASSBOOKTORCH@GMAIL.COM

Please direct questions to editor@cherrycastlepublishing.com
THE SUBMISSION PERIOD FOR THIS ANTHOLOGY IS CURRENTLY OPEN-ENDED. Decisions for inclusion in the anthology will be made on a rolling basis

 

 

 

Review of Elegies for New York Avenue @ The Big Ideas by Brian Gilmore December 6, 2011

Filed under: Art & Culture,Art & Politics,Art - The Product,Melanie Henderson — anotefrommel @ 5:30 pm

Everyone who grew up in Washington D.C. (myself included) seems to live near one of the avenues named after a U.S. state. For me, it was South Dakota Avenue, a residential thoroughfare of schools, libraries, gas stations, and single family homes, of little significance, except our mischief.  Washington D.C. poet, Melanie Henderson salutes her avenue in her debut collection of poetry, “Elegies for New York Avenue.” (Read more…)

 

Exhibit: (Un)Lock It: the Percussive People in the Go-Go Pocket by Thomas Sayers Ellis August 5, 2011

(Un)Lock It: the Percussive People in the Go-Go Pocket by Thomas Sayers Ellis

Opening Reception, August 5th, 6-8pm

Exhibition Dates: August 5 – October 7

The Gallery at Vivid Solutions

 2208 MLK, Jr. Avenue S.E., Washington, DC 20020

(202) 365-8392

 

“Go-Go is a non-stop, vernacular dance music unique to Washington, D.C. and the Pocket is the percussive conversation between or beneath Go-Go grooves and songs. This photography project takes its title from a term “Lock It” used by the Go-Go community to describe a perfectly played (or locked) Go-Go Pocket. The goal of the Pocket is Home Rule and its anthem is “Bustin’ Loose,” Chuck Brown’s classic call for “The Bridge.” In a city as Capital as Washington, this work is a percussive attempt to reclaim the pictorial power of photography for D.C. residents, the folk who (as Walt Whitman once wrote) “do the real living and dying in this land.””

 

Gypsy & the Bully Door (Capital Fringe Festival) July 20, 2011

Ocean Ana Rising Inc.

presents

Gypsy & the Bully Door

Written by Nina Angela Mercer/Directed by Eric Ruffin

 

 

 

“Sara – fortune teller & member of the “We Bomb Truth Over Lies” graffiti movement – is haunted. The City eats its residents, exiling their spirits to Sara’s apartment, while Go-Go & its Mayor BirdMan funk eternal.”

 

The Warehouse

645 New York Avenue N.W.

Washington, DC 20001

Contact: 866-811-4111

Tickets: $17

 

Showtimes:

 

Tuesday, July 12th, 10:00 pm

Thursday, July 14th, 7:45 pm

Saturday, July 16th, Noon

Tuesday, July 19th, 7:45 pm

Friday, July 22nd, 6:00 pm

 

[American Journal] by Robert Hayden May 2, 2011

here among them     the americans     this baffling
multi people     extremes and variegations     their
noise     restlessness     their almost frightening
energy     how best describe these aliens in my
reports to The Counselors

disguise myself in order to study them unobserved
adapting their varied pigmentations     white black
red brown yellow     the imprecise and strangering
distinctions by which they live     by which they
justify their cruelties to one another

Read more…

Excerpt courtesy of Poets.org

 

After “For Colored Girls:” When a Black Man Tells a Black Woman’s Story November 6, 2010

This was my first time seeing a TP production in theatre, but I watched his other stuff on DVD. Somebody I knew always had one (or ten) of his DVDs. I am particularly turned off by hype and was never moved enough by the content of the previews to spend dollars. But this time, a trusted creative writer’s work, “For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf” was behind the hype. Had to see for myself.

Good or bad?  I guess how it was depends on how much salt you take with— do you want Ntozake Shange or Tyler Perry? Can there really be a happy medium? Maybe. The Shange moments shine, though there is plenty Perry in this movie for better or for worse.

Nevertheless, the acting was awesome though I couldn’t wait for Janet’s scenes to end. The green contacts she wears somehow limits access to her character and distracts from her already tampered-with beauty (though I love the new hair cut). I loved hearing the poems come from Rashad’s and Divine’s mouths like small flowers. The poetic delivery was superb.

On the other hand, there is the typical down-low brother (that is not in the original choreopoem) and has been done over and over again in nearly half of black movies over the past 10 years. I won’t go into detail so as not to spoil, but the fashion in which the DL brother is introduced to this film is not fresh or ground-breaking enough to break from original script; I don’t think it helped the movie one bit.

There are scenes that are hard for anyone to watch, but more so, for a mother. I resented these parts a bit and I could not keep my face dry. Extremely painful. I kept asking Perry (as if he was sitting next to me in the theatre), sensationalist or purist in intent? Was it necessary to go that far and at who’s expense?

For high points, the cast. Great choices. Awesome execution.

Low points, 1) some content didn’t match with the time. The 70s struggled with the 10s; 2) an overly-sensational scene here and there; 3) brothers depicted with no dimension (in a book about women); and 4) Tyler Perry’s typical PSA moments showed up somehow anyway.

I will say, this production is clearly no slap-stick Madea. I guess “good” or “bad” is not descriptive or accurate enough. For those who haven’t seen it, see it for yourself—listen to the poetry. Some worthy moments. Some less worthy.

Mel