Today marks the final day in Paul Brookes’ National Poetry Month Ekphrastic Challenge. It has been an honor and a privilege for me to participate in this project, and I am incredibly grateful to Paul, Jane, Samantha, Ali, Jay and Dai, for so much incredible art and inspiration. You can read and listen to the final poems here.
This month has been a wonderful learning experience for me. I learned that I am capable of much more than I thought. I almost backed out of the challenge, sure that I would never be able to write a poem every day for thirty days, but thankfully Paul helped me decide to stick it out. I am so glad that he did. It isn’t about whether or not I wrote good poems, but about dedicating a month to honoring something that I love, about learning from other writers whose voices are so rich and diverse, and about being part of something bigger than just my own words.
I was going to choose my favorite poem from each writer, and my favorite painting of Jane’s, but in going back through the month, I honestly couldn’t choose. Instead I invite everyone to look back through the month, look at the gorgeous paintings and read the beautiful poems, be inspired and maybe even write some pieces of your own. And if you have any favorites, I would love to know.
The artists that participated in April are:
Jane likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.
She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.Her website is: https://www.janecornwell.co.uk/
Paul is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge(Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls(Alien Buddha Press, 2018), Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), Stubborn Sod,with Marcel Herms (artist) (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). Forthcoming Khoshhali with Hiva Moazed (artist), Our Ghost’s Holiday (Final book of threesome “A Pagan’s Year”) . He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews.
Ali is a teacher, and writer with work published in a variety of places, from Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, to The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. She has a particular interest in the role of nature in literature, and is a champion of contemporary poetry in the secondary school classroom.
Here is Paul’s 2019 interview of her: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2019/12/28/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-ali-jones/ and you can find her book “Heartwood” here.
Samantha is an American poet whose work emphasizes emotional integrity and social justice. She is the author of several eBooks including, Learning from Pompeii, Coffee for Neanderthals, Disgracing Lady Justice and others, available on smashwords.com and its affiliates.Chapbook: Ebola (West Chester University Poetry Center, 2014)
Paul’s 2020 interview of Samantha
Jay is a Software Engineer by qualification, an accountant by profession, a budding Guitarist & a Yoga Sadhak at heart and a poet by his soul. Poetry intrigues him because it’s an art in which a simple yet profound skill of placing words next to each other can create something so touching and literally sweep him of the floor. He is 32-year-old Indian and stays in Mumbai. His works have appeared in the following places:
An ebook named “Pav-bhaji @ Achija” available in the Kindle format at Amazon.in The poem “Salsa; a self discovery” published in an anthology motivated by Late Sir APJ Abdul Kalam. The poem “High Caloried love” selected for an upcoming book “Once upon a meal” The poem “Strawberry Lip Balm” selected in the anthology “Talking to the poets” Four poems published in a bilingual anthology “Persian Sugar in English Tea” Vol.1 Two poems published in the anthology “Poets on the Run” compiled by RC James.His poems have made it to the PoeTree blog and front pages of PoetryCircle.com & OpenArtsForum.com. In free time, he likes to walk for long distances.
Here is my 2018 interview with him: https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2018/09/23/wombwell-rainbow-interviews-jay-Gandhi/
Dai is an ex social worker and a present poet. Image is all but flow is good too. So many interesting things… Published in Black bough Poetry, Re-Side, The Hellebore, The Pangolin Review. He will not stop.
Audio/Visual. @IntPoetryCircle #InternationalPoetryCircle Twitter
Paul’s May Challenge begins tomorrow and it sounds like it is going to be epic!!!