Humanity: the new edition

Humanity by Paloma Press 2018

Forthcoming this summer: HUMANITY – an anthology featuring practitioners/students in the fields of environmental science, public policy, decolonization and multicultural studies, poetry, anthropology, medicine, music, theology, and history on their observations and vision of the human condition.

My piece “Until We Have Loved,” an essay about trying to save a tiny brown bat that won a national contest, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and singled out as one of the best essays in Selected Memories. the 2017 anthology by Hippocampus, is now being included in this new collection by Paloma Press.

“We believe in the power of the literary arts, how it can create empathy, bridge divides, change the world. We are committed to publishing works that honor the writer and elevate the reader. To this end, we strive to publish the work of authors who support a particular charity (e.g., organizations that take direct action in the areas of animal welfare, medical research, environmental protection, arts advocacy, or community development).” – Paloma Press editors

This announcement comes on the heels of emails from three other literary journals announcing the inclusion of four of my hard-worked pieces in forthcoming editions (yes, the world of writing also experiences “feasts or famines”); AND the recent publication of three new books by my emergent press, Beauty and Love Publishing.

All this = a resounding affirmation that the Written Word is Very Much Alive. (Hallelujah, put the smartphone down and pick that book back up!!)

A story of love and loss from Indonesia

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“A filthy drinking glass, used toothbrush, and crumpled tube of toothpaste lay on top of a simple cement capstone, their ordinariness heartrendingly poignant. I lit candles I had tucked into my pack earlier that morning, said a prayer, and remained by the graveside for several minutes longer, swatting mosquitos, racking my brain, trying to understand her choices.

How does a mother allow her child to disintegrate before her eyes?”

This excerpt, from my recently published essay “Photocopy” in the Spring 2018 issue of Sky Island Journal embodies one of the hardest stories I have ever tried to tell.

The true-to-life story comes from the years I lived, on-and-off, with my adopted tribe, the Tado. Like most extended families, ours is a complicated relationship, with a tremendous range of emotions that flame and flex and flame again.

When I first began workshopping this story in 2008 at the Grub Street Writing Center in Boston, it proved one of the more difficult pieces for me to write, and equally difficult for others to read. Ten years later, I’ve finally found the words, and a home, for an experience that continues to haunt me, with no easy answers. Writing and re-writing this story has deepened my empathy, and my conviction that if we remain silent about unpalatable truths, how can we ever grow, both as individuals and as a people?

Sky Island Journal is one of those amazing literary journals that choses to make all of its content FREE and open access: you can click through each of their issues to date, and download poetry, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction works in bite-size pieces (<1000 words) from throughout the United States and the world.

Sky Island Journal_Issue 4_CoverIssue #4 contains a tremendous diversity of poetry and prose to explore. My favorite poems include “Flying Fox” by Alison Thompson (Australia) and  “Joan of Arc Goes to the Gym” by Jarred Thompson (South Africa).

I encourage folks to spend some time reading and digesting the material, and sharing the pieces that most intrigued or moved you with someone else: let’s keep the power of the written word alive, and the conversation going.

Beauty & Love Publishing debut!

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A celebration of traditional culture.

Each book features a different aspect of biocultural diversity: Waterdog & the Love Charm, a delightfully mischievous tale told by Dry Creek Pomo Elizabeth “Belle” Lozinto Cordova Dollar (and edited by her great-niece Sherri Smith-Ferri) illustrates the close ties between nature and culture – and the perils of interspecies relationships (!!).

In Pomo Cradle Baskets: An Introduction, Redwood Valley Pomo master weaver Corine Pearce describes the history, wild-crafting, distinct styles and contemporary use of traditional cradle baskets. This book stems from her lifelong commitment to revive full-circle basketry through tending native plants in situ and providing cultural continuity.

The Beadwork of Stewart Wilburn commemorates fifty years of stunning artistry by a renowned Wailaki/Tolowa/Pomo/Wintu self-taught beader whose designs often come to him in dreams, and whose work honors and represents the people and wildlife of Northern California.

Buy the books on the Beauty & Love Publishing website.

Author events can be scheduled by contacting the publisher, Dr. Jeanine Pfeiffer at www.beautyandlove.org