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Stories From the Edge of Blindness

In 2002, Retinitis Pigmentosa changed my life. This is my story of a slow approach to darkness.

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Ekphrastic

The Final Poems

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 Cornwell

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 Brookes

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 Jones

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 Terrell

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)

Website: poetrybysamantha.weebly.com
Twitter: @honestypoetry

Paul’s 2020 interview of Samantha

Jay Gandhi

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 Fry

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.

Twitter                  @thnargg

Web.                       seekingthedarklight.co.uk

Audio/Visual.       @IntPoetryCircle #InternationalPoetryCircle Twitter
#TopTweetTuesday

Paul’s May Challenge begins tomorrow and it sounds like it is going to be epic!!!

Between Chaos and Silence




Jane Cornwell is an extraordinary painter who has been inspiring me and a group of writers, selected by Paul Brookes to participate in his National Poetry Month Ekphrastic Challenge. As we head into our final week, I am filled with admiration for Jane and all of the writers who have taught me so much over these weeks in isolation. My huge thanks go out to Paul, Jane, Ali, Samantha, Jay, Dai, and our newest participant Megha.

Please check out todays post where you can read, and listen to, all of the beautiful poems inspired by this image.

At the end of the month, I will be posting my favorite poems from each writer and my favorite painting with all the poems written in response that painting. Thank you for taking the time to read and listen. I hope that all who are reading this are safe and well and home.

Warriors are Grown

My contribution to this months Visual Verse challenge went in a very unexpected direction.  It is one of those poems you write and have absolutely no idea where it came from.  If you would like to read it, you can do so here.

If you haven’t submitted your response this month, there is still time.  You can submit until the 15th of the month!

Shards of Cherry Blossoms

My contribution to this months Visual Verse challenge is, I think, an example of how uninspired my writing has been lately, but still I share…….I am truly not being self deprecating or looking for objections to my claim.  Sometimes you just know when things aren’t coming together, and I am simply in one of those stages.  This to shall pass.  On that note……makes you really want to read it, doesn’t it!!

If you would like, you can read it here.

Pedestals of Glass

It feels a bit strange to be dropping in, posting a bit of poetry and curling back into my solitude, but here I am doing just that.  Although I have been missing all of the amazing writing and support that comes from this strange and wonderful WP world, I am taking some much needed time to immerse myself in collections of poetry, by wonderful writers such as Steve Denehan (just started reading his collection and you should too), and trying to get inspired to write my own collection, while continuing to learn more about the craft of writing poetry.

All of that said, I can’t resist a challenge and even during my hiatus, I can’t keep myself away from Visual Verse and TLT.  This month’s Visual Verse image was very provocative and brought about some gorgeous writing from some of my favorite contemporary writers.  If you are interested in reading my contribution to the challenge, you can do so here.

If you haven’t participated in Visual Verse, give it a go next month.  It is super fun!

Memorizing the Words

My contribution to the July Visual Verse Challenge is up.

This month’s image was one that sent me reeling into a place of memory and nostalgia.  If you want, you can check out my poem, “Memorizing the Words”, and the entire first batch of amazing poems for the month.

 

Writing Exercises,Submission Opportunities and the Search for new Things to Read

It is the first of the month and new images will be up today for 2 ekphrastic challenges.

Visual Verse and Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge

There is also a Word Poem Challenge from Eclectica.  The deadline for this is Dec. 7, so a bit late notice from me, but totally fun and worth checking out.

Rattle and Eclectica both accept only poems for their challenges, but to Visual Verse, you can submit whatever form of writing you’d like.

I would love to know of any other similar challenges, if anyone has any they like.  Please feel free to leave a comment with some suggestions. And, if you submit to any of the challenges listed above, please let me know; part of the fun is reading how many different kinds of things the same image can inspire in other people.

I have been on the hunt for new poets and poems; a poet on a facebook group I belong to asked for suggestions from the group for Poets and books of Poetry that she could add to a wish list for the holidays, and I am totally stealing her idea.  If anyone has any poets or writers they really love, please let me know in a comment, so I can add them to my wish list.  It is going to be a bookish Christmas this year!

Diamond in a Vitamin Jar

My contribution to the November issue of Visual Verse has been published.  I have to add a caveat, once again, and say that I only had an hour to write this poem and it isn’t a masterpiece by any means, but the exercise is fun and interesting.   That said, my poem, “Diamond in a Vitamin Jar“, can be found on page 22.

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