Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Creative Cultural Solutions
Red, White & Bleu
July 2015

It's so easy to go all red, white, and blue during berry season. Check your local farmers markets.

Walking Tour of U Street, Howard U, and Shaw through the Literary Lives and Legacies of Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes

 Saturday, July 11 at 9:30 AM
Meet at Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

presented by Michon Boston Group with Busboys and Poets
Includes breakfast at Busboys and Poets, snack from Uprising Muffin Company, sherry tasting at Mockingbird Hill on 7th Street. 

Purchase tickets in advance on Eventbrite

Imagine two bright young writers Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes arriving in the U Street corridor and Shaw neighborhoods today as they did in the last century after World War I. These literary icons provide a thematic backdrop for this storied walking tour highlighting cultural and literary life along the U Street corridor, Howard University, and Shaw then and now -- times of great change in the capital city.
Zora, Langston & U includes food stops beginning with breakfast and a welcoming introduction at Busboys and Poets owned by Andy Shallal, mini muffins at Uprising Muffin Company owned by Donnie Simpson, Jr. located in the old bakery row section of Shaw; and to top it off a sherry tasting at Mockingbird Hill, one of several bars owned by Derek Brown on the same block.
Tickets available for 3 options/experiences:
  • Full tour from Breakfast to Sherry Tasting - $49 ($56 after July 4, 2015)
  • 1/2 Tour with Breakfast and Special Introduction - $28
  • 1/2 Tour with Walking Tour, stop at Uprising Muffin Company, end with Sherry Tasting at Mockingbird Hill - $28
10% discount for K-12 educators. Use promo code ED9674d

Organize an Ellington, Shaw & U "Jass" tour for your group, or an on-site "Tour at Your Door" (program). Find our more. Email events[at] or
call 202-939-0794 for information.

Special Thanks to
Ellington, Shaw & U Walking Tour
Food Stops Hosts

The new all-American. My idea of ballpark food. Add beer. National's Park, Washington, DC

If I could have dinner with anyone dead...
it would be Alexandre Dumas (1802 - 1870)
author of The Three MusketeersThe Count of Monte Cristo,
The Man in the Iron Mask, and numerous plays.
He was also a gourmet!

July 24 is Alexandre Dumas' (pere) birthday - 10 days after Bastille Day. Dumas had an appetite for many things. What can go on the Dumas birthday bash menu. Suggestions, recipes, and stories posted on my Dumas Tumblr website.

Michon Boston Group Ltd - creative cultural experiences and solutions to build strong community. For more information, call 202-939-0794 or contact Michon Boston, Executive Producer.  © 2015



Tuesday, July 7, 6:30pm

Santa Monica, CA


Mahogany Browne, Brynn Saito, and Richard Siken

As part of the Beach=Culture series, the PSA presents a reading and moderated discussion with an eclectic mix of acclaimed contemporary poets.

Co-sponsored by American Composers Forum, Los Angeles, The City of Santa Monica, and Red Hen Press.

Admission is free. Please make reservations online at or call (310) 458-2257.

Annenberg Community Beach House
415 Pacific Coast Highway 

Thursday, July 9, 7:00pm

Chicago, IL
The PSA continues its 2015 national series, A Celebration of International Poetry, at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago.

In this third installment, we will celebrate several emerging poets from Africa, Amy Lukau, Tsitsi Jaji, Ladan Osman, Viola Allo, and Warsan Shire, whose work has been recently published in the New Generation African Poets chapbook series, a publishing intiative of the African Poetry Book Fund. Co-editors Chris Abani and Kwame Dawes, along with APBF Editorial Board MemberMatthew Shenoda, will discuss the project and introduce the emerging poets, who will then read from their work.

Co-sponsored by the Poetry Foundation.
Poetry Foundation
61 W Superior St
Chicago, IL 

Thursday, July 9, 7:00pm
San Francisco, CA


Eliza Griswold
The Poetry Society of America continues its 2015 series, A Celebration of International Poetry, in collaboration with the American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco.

This installment features poet, journalist, and translator Eliza Griswold who will read from and discuss her book I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan. The event will feature readings of the original landays, as well as Griswold's translations, followed by a conversation with the translator about the significance of landays in contemporary Afghanistan, as literary objects and political tools of resistance, and a discussion, as well, about the challenges of poetry in translation and of bringing international poetry to American audiences.

Co-presented by the American Bookbinders Museum. 
American Bookbinders Museum
355 Clementina St
San Francisco, CA   

Tuesday, July 14, 7:00pm
New York, NY
with Abdul Ali, Patricia Smith, and Caroline Randall Williams
Abdul Ali is the author of Trouble Sleeping (Winner of the 2014 New Issues Poetry Prize).

Patricia Smith of numerous collections of poetry, most recently Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, which was awarded the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress.

Caroline Randall Williams is the author of  Lucy Negro Redux (Ampersand Books, 2015).

Co-sponsored by the Bryant Park Reading Room.
1065 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY  


The last few years I've been talking about the need for President Obama to visit a US Prison. Well, it looks like the Pope will do it first when he visits the US. God bless the Pope. We need to place more emphasis on prison reform. One way to do this is to keep the topic in the news. Watch how much media attention will follow the Pope when he goes behind bars. If Jesus had a PR agent we would still have photos of that Temple time. Now, will the Pope wash the feet of our "forgotten" sinners? Is there forgiveness after punishment or is it hell forever for too many of us?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

And tomorrow is July...

Things are starting to bloom around the house (see below). Today I completed all of my HR paperwork for a new position. I'm looking forward to working with my friends at the University of Houston-Victoria. I'l spend the next few weeks developing my memoir course. If you have creative suggestions for what to use, send tips and advice this way. I can be reached at:

A new book came in the mail yesterday - URBAN VOICES: 51 Poems from 51 American Poets edited by Joyce Brinkman & Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda.  Many of the voices in this collection are state poet laureates. My poem "We Embrace" opens the collection. This poem can be found near the DuPont Circle Metro in Washington D.C. It was written for the caretakers of people who died from AIDS. While writing this poem I thought of Chasen Gaver and Essex Hemphill and so many friends who died during the days of their youth.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Anu Yadav, actress, playwright, educator

10 years revisited
Performing Gentrification and Touring a Dream

Hello friends, family, and supporters,

Welcome to my new and fancy mailing list. I’ve upgraded.  I'll send emails a little more than once a year this time...
Next Tuesday July 7th  I am performing my solo show, ‘Capers, at the DC Hip Hop Theater Festival.  The play was based on the stories of DC public housing residents who protested the demolition of their neighborhood.  I debuted ‘Capers at the same festival 10 years ago!  If you are in DC or know someone who is, please come by!  it's FREE:)  We’ve invited the DC mayor’s office, community organizing groups, HUD and former residents, in a discussion moderated by dear friend and unicorn Jess Solomon of Art in Praxis.
I’ve written up some personal reflections about the show on my new fancy tumblr page.

July 15 – hosting a Fringe Cabaret on Comedy and Liberation (interested in performing?  Email me!)

July 16  Netroots Nation Conference, Phoenix, AZ
July 21 – ‘Capers, Phoenix,AZ
July 10-26th   “Out of Silence" short plays at Capitol Fringe, DC 
Aug 14-30  “Out of Silence” short plays at NYC Fringe
Nov 4-6  Meena’s Dream, Kerr Cultural Center, Phoenix, AZ
Nov 17  Meena’s Dream, Edmonds Center for the Arts, Edmonds, WA 
Jan 15  Meena’s Dream, Lake Tahoe, CA

Thank you for your support, and as always feel free to email me to share your work as well!

take care,
Anu Yadav
Copyright © 2015 Anu Yadav, All rights reserved.



Sometimes I feel I will never stop
Just go on forever
Till one fine mornin
I'm gonna reach up and grab me a handfulla stars
Swing out my long lean leg
And whip three hot strikes burnin down the heavens
And look over at God and say
How about that!

- Samuel Allen (Paul Vesey)


Maybe before we pursue more storytelling and conversations about race, we should embrace the importance of silence. The world is filled with noise. Bombings, shootings, insults and bad music (which might be another word for beheading) have a common tendency to be loud. Too often my ears hurt after being outside. In my 65th year I'm growing deaf from the noise without ever witnessing and understanding the beauty of silence. Deep silence. That way of listening to one's heart beating and connecting it to the pulse of the earth. Listening to silence is a step toward self-healing. Embracing it begins transition and transformation. We desire this but we talk too much about it. There is nothing to say about silence except acceptance.

Silence opens the door to listening. We all have a tendency to talk first and listen later. We interrupt when we hear things we don't like. We shout too often to be seen.
We cannot enter into conversations while having no skills in how to listen. Oh, and then comes the task of asking the right questions. This requires knowledge...

It seems we only skimmed the instruction manual in how to live together. Race relations is nothing but a table we can't seem to fix - maybe one leg is missing. Is it yours? Instead of what box did the parts come in - what box did you check?

There is too much rage in our society right now. A howl, a scream...
So many of our spoken words are filled with anger and complaint.

As I once wrote a few weeks ago - it's time to chop wood and wash hands.
Time to seek silence and discover prayer.

Listen before you speak. If you desire to talk then ask your heart for directions.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


This Sunday found me on the # 70 Bus going down to Petworth.  One of the pleasures of no longer working at Howard University is the absence of daily Fanon moments. I totally forgot what it was like to ride this bus route. I don't miss it. I write but I don't need to overdose from material. August Wilson once was asked why more black people didn't attend his plays.  His remark was, "black people have too much drama in their own lives."

I went out on the Lord's day only to see my friend David Nicholson. His new collection of short stories - FLYING HOME is out.  Nicholson who for many years was a book editor at the Washington Post also founded the Black Film Review. It was nice to see him and his lovely wife entering Upshur Street Bookstore this afternoon. David had a gathering of local literary stars surrounding him and listening to his reading. I sat behind Post reporter Jackie Trescott. It was nice to see David's publisher Rick Peabody in the audience.

Listening to David read from his book made me more aware of how good a writer he is. There are so many pages filled with beautiful, well crafted sentences. My ears fell in love and was upset when I had to walk back to the bus stop to catch a ride back up Georgia Avenue. The sky was gray - as gray and as beautiful as a line written by Ernest Gaines or maybe David Nicholson.


The baseball All-Star game will soon be played.  After it's over folks will turn to late July and the long hot days of August. There are going to be a few trades. The Nationals need to improve things in their bullpen. A nod to the standings right now offers big clues as to where the pennant races will be in September.

No way I see Kansas City or St. Louis not making the playoffs. Sad to see the Cubs playing almost as good as the Nationals and so far behind the Cardinals. The Wild-Card Cubs in the playoffs will be as much fun as Golden State taking it all in the NBA.

Look for a battle in the AL East between Tampa Bay, New York, Baltimore and Toronto. Even Boston could get hot and be the sleeper in that division. A hot contest.

How long can the Houston miracle continue in the AL West?

The Nationals need to keep winning. How far they can go this year might well be decided by how they do against the Dodgers in July (and then again in August). In fact the road trip in August (10th-16th) when they play the Dodgers and San Francisco - 7 straight games - with no rest - might be the Nats season.  Oh, and are you ready for those three games in St. Louis (August 31,Sept 1-2)?

If Harper hits 40 + homers, and the starting staff is more than hype - and the Nats make a trade or two for bullpen help - well just maybe - I'll see you in September at the ballpark. Big fun coming to The Yards.

Everyday robotics is beginning to change who we are.

Saturday, June 27, 2015



by Kehinde Bademosi

We first encountered Bademosi's memoir while working on a report documenting the effects of Nigeria’s repressive anti-LGBT laws. Bademosi writes about his life as a renowned Pentecostal preacher boy and exorcist, who fails to cure his twin sister of insanity or himself of homosexuality, until he finally comes out as gay. 
The red building gave the street its life. People traveled from faraway states across Nigeria to trade there. They sold marijuana. They sold bets. They sold sex. The patrons of Oke Koto dressed piously to cover up the obvious nature of their trades, but Kehinde knew what was going on. Or he thought he knew. And what he thought he knew enraged him.

Two Poems by Abdellatif Laâbi

translated by André Naffis-Sahely
she would pull her headscarf off / and strike the floor seven times / cursing the heavens and the Tyrant / I was in the cave / where convicts read in the dark / and painted the bestiary of the future on the walls


by Bree"In some part of your heart you love him. You know though that this is not the love that seizes your heart and sets it beating to a mad crazy tune. You are used to him; you understand him. You are grateful that he allows you to be bisexual. You start to think of life with a man. You lie on his chest and as you both doze off you decide that you can give up women."


How to Make a Bitch Give Up Beef

by Meena Kandasamy and Samita Chatterjee

A satirical take by poet-activist Meena Kandasamy and artist Samita Chatterjee on beef eating, caste politics, religion, and the violence that erupted at the 2012 Hyderabad Beef Festival in India.

A View from the United States: The PEN America Translation Committee

by Alex Zucker and Margaret CarsonThis is a fascinating time for literary translators into English, and a critical one. Where does the work of the PEN America Translation Committee fit into this changing landscape?



Gay Propaganda: Olga and Irina

edited by Masha Gessen and Joseph Huff-Hannon

"What country are we living in and in what year, when priests bless half- drunk nationalists that pelt people with rocks while the police look on and then load us into police cars? People break bottles on us."


The QBR Wheatley Book Awards Show at the 2015 Harlem Book Fair

Join the Harlem Book Fair in honoring the 2015 QBR Wheatley Legacy Award recipients, award-winning poet and essayist Nikki Giovanni and children's book illustrator and 2010 Caldecott Award winner, Jerry Pinkney. The music; the lights; the literary stars...Be there for a night to remember! RSVP now!
Copyright © 2015 PEN American Center, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this e-mail because you opted in to a mailing list at or PEN-sponsored event.

Our mailing address is:
PEN American Center
588 Broadway
Suite 303
New YorkNY 10012

Add us to your address book

Thursday, June 25, 2015

On March 23, 2010, I sat down at a table in the East Room of the White House and signed my name on a law that said, once and for all, that health care would no longer be a privilege for a few. It would be a right for everyone.

Five years later, after more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law and multiple challenges before the Supreme Court, here is what we know today:

This law worked. It's still working. It has changed and saved American lives. It has set this country on a smarter, stronger course.

And it's here to stay.

This morning, the Supreme Court upheld one of the most critical parts of health reform -- the part that has made it easier for Americans to afford health insurance, no matter where you live.

If the challenges to this law had succeeded, millions would have had thousands of dollars in tax credits taken away. Insurance would have once again become unaffordable for many Americans. Many would have even become uninsured again. Ultimately, everyone's premiums could have gone up.

Because of this law, and because of today's decision, millions of Americans will continue to receive the tax credits that have given about 8 in 10 people who buy insurance on the new Health Insurance Marketplaces the choice of a health care plan that costs less than $100 a month.

If you're a parent, you can keep your kids on your plan until they turn 26 -- something that has covered millions of young people so far. That's because of this law. If you're a senior, or have a disability, this law gives you discounts on your prescriptions -- something that has saved 9 million Americans an average of $1,600 so far. If you're a woman, you can't be charged more than anybody else -- even if you've had cancer, or your husband had heart disease, or just because you're a woman. Your insurer has to offer free preventive services like mammograms. They can't place annual or lifetime caps on your care.

And when it comes to preexisting conditions -- someday, our grandkids will ask us if there was really a time when America discriminated against people who got sick. Because that's something this law has ended for good.

Five years in and more than 16 million insured Americans later, this is no longer just about a law. This isn't just about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Today is a victory for every American whose life will continue to become more secure because of this law. And 20, 30, 50 years from now, most Americans may not know what "Obamacare" is. And that's okay. That's the point.

Because today, this reform remains what it always has been -- a set of fairer rules and tougher protections that have made health care in America more affordable, more attainable, and more about you.

That's who we are as Americans. We look out for one another. We take care of each other. We root for one another's success. We strive to do better, to be better, than the generation before us, and we try to build something better for the generation that comes behind us.

And today, with this behind us, let's come together and keep building something better. That starts right now.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama


Pope Francis will soon be here. It's time to raise the papal flag. Maybe one day we will be given the keys to heaven.

National Museum of Women in the ArtsblogTwitterFacebookInstagram
Super Natural
July 2015
NMWA's work extends far beyond Washington, D.C. Our 18 national and international committees, located in states and major cities around the globe, bring the museum's message to a worldwide audience. Most recently, 13 of the committees worked diligently with curators in their areas and with NMWA curators to create Organic Matters—Women to Watch 2015. Learn more about these outreach groups by visiting thecommittees section of our website.

The March on Washington Film Festival and the National Museum of Women in the Arts present Stories of Migration and the Civil Rights Movement: Conversation with Isabel Wilkerson and Joyce J. Scotton July 21, 6–8 p.m. in the NMWA Performance Hall. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson and renowned visual artist Joyce J. Scott discuss the impulse to migration for southern descendants of slaves.
March on Washington Film Festival
Gallery Talk: Daisy Makeig-JonesLiterary Event: TransformationsGallery Talk: Special Selections
Gallery Talk:
Daisy Makeig-Jones
July 8
Literary Event:
July 12
Gallery Talk:
Special Selections
July 22
Employed at the Wedgwood pottery company from 1909 to 1931, Daisy Makeig-Jones melded her vivid imagination and technical ingenuity to develop decorative china called Fairyland Lusterware.Kim Todd, author ofChrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis, presents a lecture on Maria Sibylla Merian's 1699 trip to Suriname in South America.Museum staff facilitate an interactive talk encouraging close looking and discussion about works on view in the special exhibitions Super Natural and Organic Matters—Women to Watch 2015.
View our online calendar for all of our upcoming events. Reservations may be required.
Banner image: Patricia Tobacco Forrester, Bronzed Roses (detail), 1991; Watercolor on paper, 40 x 60 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Promised gift of Steven Scott, Baltimore, in memory of the artist; on view in Super Natural

July 8 Gallery Talk: Daisy Makeig-Jones, Punch bowl, ca. 1929–31; Bone china with underglaze, luster, and gilding, 9 1/2 x 5 in.; Private collection; Photography by Lee Stalsworth

July 22 Gallery Talk: Polly Morgan, Systemic Inflammation, 2010; Taxidermy and steel, 51 1/8 x 44 1/2 x 44 1/2 in.; Photography by Tessa Angus
1250 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
Sent from the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Manage Email Preferences