Thursday, December 1, 2016

aaduna announces Pushcart Prize Nominees for 2017!



Here we go….

We suspect and are sensitive to the fact that some of you may not know the significance of the Pushcart Prize nominee process. While I can wax somewhat eloquently about the process as it heralds its 42nd annual celebration, I rather have you go to www.pushcartprize.com and read the official info.

While those of us who labor in the small press community wait for the annual nomination period, I suggest those unfamiliar with the prize, think of Oscar Award nominees. Think about the celebration and applause for those actors, actresses, directors, producers and others who have been nominated for outstanding work in film. This prize, the “Pushcart,” is the equivalent for small presses.

To achieve nomination is a special recognition; to achieve the status as a recipient of the prize can be career changing. While actual recipients will not be announced until April 2017, we encourage you to embrace, support, and read those poets and writers who are aaduna nominees, as well as the work of other aaduna contributors, and nominees from other small presses.

aaduna is pleased to officially announce and herald our PUSHCART PRIZE nominees:

 

For poetry, we recognize and applaud:

Prarthana Banikya (photo provided)




Prarthana Banikya for Lila Ronghang









Diana Andreea Gabor (photo provided)



 

Diana Andreea Gabor for stuck in post-graduation remnant space





Tyeastia (Tye) L. Green (photo provided)








Tyeastia (Tye) L. Green for My Heart Is Tender










 


For Fiction, we salute and cheer for

Braulio Canstantino (photo provided)








Braulio Constantino for Simple











Claudia Barbosa Nogueira (photo provided)


 

Claudia Barbosa Nogueira for Concrete, Inc.







Persecution Avenue (photo provided)


 


Persecution Avenue for Modernized Warfare










 




We celebrate all six nominees.


Please read or re-visit their work. Their contributions to aaduna are appreciated as are other aaduna contributors who made this year’s process much more difficult, challenging, and left us wishing and hoping that we could nominate more than just six individuals.


aaduna contributors continue to ROCK!




 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


aaduna-Inc aaduna-Inc  Visit regularly for updates !




Saturday, November 26, 2016

aaduna Revving Up for the Next Issue



With November Birth Day celebrations over (aaduna’s publisher and visual arts editor are November births along with the publisher’s daughter, granddaughter, and several mutual friends of bill and Lisa,) Thanksgiving prep and subsequent dinners now a thing of the past, and holiday shopping moving at its own pace, aaduna has finalized possible contributors for the fall issue. 


While we wait decisions on the availability of selected work, the next issue will continue and further expand the aaduna tradition of presenting multicultural, diverse and global writings. Comprised of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, and visual art, the fall edition will present work from foreign-born writers who now reside in the United States, with representations also coming from Argentina, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and several cities and vibrant residential locales in the USA including Auburn, NY!


Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for reading aaduna.

Also, feel free to make a donation on "Giving Tuesday" that will enable us to continue providing vibrant and dynamic words and eloquent art. Remember, aaduna is a non-profit and tax-exempt organization. Visit: http://www.aaduna.org/support-us/





 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


aaduna-Inc aaduna-Inc  Visit regularly for updates !


 

Friday, November 18, 2016

aaduna contributing writer nominated for New York State, USA regional award



aaduna published an advanced pre-publication excerpt from Merlyn Fuller’s book, The Merlinian Legend in our spring 2016 issue.


With a passion for weaving and constructing words effortlessly into themes of empowerment and change, Ms. Fuller has been recognized for her 2016 creative efforts. 





Merlyn Fuller (Photo Provided)

This year’s Central New York (CNY) Book Awards will be announced on Thursday, December 8th at the CNY Philanthropy Center, located at 431 E. Fayette Street in Syracuse, New York. The announcement of the awards will occur within an evening of conversation, food, wine, as well as book sales. (The Awards Reception is a fundraiser for the YMCA’s Downtown Writers Center, situated at 340 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY 132021.)

At Merlyn’s request, aaduna’s publisher, bill berry, jr., and visual arts editor, Lisa Brennan, will stand in for Ms. Fuller, who is under contract to be in another place on that evening, bringing joy and enchantment to children as Mrs. Claus!

Lisa and I are excited for Merlyn, and plan to represent her interests above and beyond expectations as evidenced by a wide, diverse range of photos of the event and appropriate networking on her behalf. 


Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

It is Time to Think and Decide…

 

"Election Day, November 8, 1864," Thomas Nast, Harper's Weekly, November 12, 1864



I had planned to post a blog with my sentiments about the aftershocks of the U.S. presidential election after November 8th (since “election day” is my Birth Day by the way.)  However, the current mood of America appears to coalesce around possible post-election violence if the wrong candidate wins; major schisms predicted in the very fabric of the democratic process, and a country severely divided.  So, here is what I have to say.

The United States as a democratic, diverse, and pluralistic society has a documented history of divisions.  The war between the States simply called the Civil War; racial disharmony that imprisoned Japanese Americans, denied African Americans civil and human rights, denigrated Vietnam military personnel, and years later LGBT people; the fight over women’s rights to control their bodies; the culture wars…perceived and real; the conflicts over the acceptance of refugees and current federal immigration policies; political conflict and governmental breakdown in Washington, DC,  and the insanity of disagreements over gun control…Americans are a distinct people who believe what they want to, when they want to, how they want to.  The United States gives its citizens the right to believe, embrace, and accept what is important to them and their families.  In our Constitution.  Pure and simple.  But is it?

After the attack of the World Trade Centers, all Americans found solace and strength in being one people…one goal…one country.  Many years later, especially after the too many months of 2015-16 presidential politics, the USA is a divided country…separate, unequal…angry…poised for the “revolution.” A weapons carrying country where it is legal to bring your gun into public places (in some States,) to display your means of “protection” and constitutional right as an American.  Intimidation? Safety? A wall against violence? A response to a criminal element?

So this is what I wonder. 

After whoever candidate wins, what happens in families, among friends, co-workers, friends on Facebook, and other social interactions where one’s favored candidate was different than the preferred candidate of a family member, friend, associate, co-worker, social media contact.  I have already noticed people on Facebook who are asking to be unfriended by all of those who support the candidate that they do not.  I have noticed that friends with opposing political viewpoints and favored candidates have started to drift apart.  I worry that armed conflict may become an actual reality…there is already talk of impeachment if the wrong candidate is elected on November 8th.


America is poised for two or more separate countries…divided within itself…poised to become the type of country that American military forces all too often have to intervene and occupy in order to bring some type of social order and peace.  Is that where we are headed?  Do Americans… do you want to go there? 

Maybe I am an alarmist, a cynic, more than jaded. 

Am I totally off-base in my assessment of what this country and its people can survive?  Can we as Americans really become greater…better…stronger…together?

Time will tell, as it always does.

aaduna will continue to try to bring diverse, multi-cultural creative voices, word and visual expressions to our reading public that will strengthen whatever America becomes over the next four years, either with an ease of self-expression or a struggle against an environment of singular thinking and lessening of the value of diverse and divergent voices.  

Time will tell, as it always does.    


~ bill
    



Thursday, October 27, 2016

A rare moment of personal sharing…to celebrate...to share.



 

Some people believe when there is physical death, the deceased spirit journeys through the physical world recounting its life; resolving what his or her life meant, and observing the aftermath as others deal with that person’s transition from one dimension to another one. Some people say that exploration requires a few months, others accept that this passage takes a year. 





My brother, Leonard, was cremated on October 13, 2015 after he lost his life in a tragic car accident on a darkened Florida roadway in mid-September of last year. After his year of exploration during which his cremains rested in a parlor room of our Auburn, NY home, as promised, Lisa and I laid him to final rest in a submersible urn on October 13, 2016. He was rested in an area of downtown Orlando, Florida where he spent time; trusted the people; enjoyed the environs of a park and lake, and where he celebrated the magnificence of life and his involvement in the complexities of humanity. On that afternoon...

 


Embracing his penchants for certain simple things, at 4 PM, we had Coronas at the Cantina on Wall Street, followed by rum and cokes at Waitiki.



 



Awhile earlier, around 3:30, we started his “Remembrance Celebration” with reflections about the past year (when we traveled to Orlando in 2015 to handle Leonard's affairs) at “the alligators and the fountain directly in front of the Orange County Regional History Center.”



After our round of libations at Waitiki, Lisa and I did a “Remembrance Walk” to Lake Eola Park; boarded paddle boats, and said our goodbyes as a double rainbow mysteriously appeared at the precise moment of his release near the Allen Memorial Fountain. 


  

Leonard loved cherry coke (when he stopped using alcohol) and chocolate cake. We had both that evening. 
 He loved chicken wings. We made sure we enjoyed that appetizer as we celebrated him for at least the next 24-48 hours while in Orlando.

With a life span from 1954 to 2015, Leonard was quietly laid to rest with actionable love and caring. And as his spirit was re-set free, I reflected on and recognized that other people were going through the normal activities of their lives...running, walking dogs, socializing, meditating, projecting heartfelt wishes while some other folks were going through life oblivious to, and not understanding that a giving presence, interaction, and personal commitment provides enriching evidence that then fully emboldens, strengthens, and expands just thoughts to a higher and more profound level of love.

After returning home, Lisa and I started to put into perspective the past twelve months.

Leonard was known to repeatedly turn off and on lights where he lived in a group home in Orlando. While his remains were in our home, Lisa and I eventually accepted the multiplicity of times when a lamp was on when we went to bed, and that same lamp was off in the morning. When that started I thought it was due to a possible night time power failure. But moving the light switch from on to off indicates something else. Eventually, we started to laugh at those occurrences and just said, “That’s Leonard.” My brother enjoyed joking; fooling around, and scaring people, but never in a malicious manner.

For our part, Leonard’s journey with us created new relationships.

We thank John and Stephanie Romano and Ashley Owen of Winter Oak Funeral Home who handled Leonard in 2015 and 2016…we appreciate you, and know that each of you will continue to share a piece of our hearts. Your caring was manifested in your support, understanding, and professionalism.

We appreciated having lunch with Valencia College professor, writer, and aaduna contributor, Tamara Madison and her husband and one of her sons where they heard about our story more completely then what Tamara heard when we visited with her on campus last year.

Ms. Miles…Lulu…part of our family…you helped make possible Leonard’s final resting through your gift of love and caring. And as you know, your spirit was felt through telephone lines as he was let go. The angels knew what they were doing at Washington, DC’s The Golden Temple restaurant back in the Seventies.

Simon and Loren, your wishes, love, and support buoyed our spirits as we let Leonard go. You continue to be family through joyous and challenging times. With Simon being my brother, I am blessed.
  


So, in closing, all that is left to say, is that a year ago, I retrieved from Winter Oak the clothes Leonard wore when he was killed. While his tee-shirt and hat were bloodied, those items were washed in Orlando and then again, when I returned to Auburn with his ashes. I promised his spirit that he would be laid to rest with me wearing his tee and hat. I did that for my brother while always transporting “him” in a blue (Leonard's favorite color) canvas travel bag that he purchased from a local Orlando department store a few days before he died because, as he told those who knew him, he was going on a trip. He never shared where he was going.


Moving on...

His tee exclaimed, “taking life with a grain of salt…FLORIDA” The visual adjacent to these words was an iced Margherita with a lime wedge and one of those paper cocktail umbrellas.

To say the least…

My life was enriched by Leonard’s presence and his willingness to open all facets of his existence to me. He made me a better person.

Since returning home from Florida, I continue to be drawn to a handwritten note from our son, Sean, (that is now on our refrigerator) that he wrote and left for us before returning to Hawaii where he lives and works:

Light is patient,
gradual, gentle,
shining, generous,
truth.

To give is to
      live.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

When was the last time you took your Pulse?


Do you remember how your spirit reacted immediately following, and then during several weeks after the World Trade Centers in New York City were destroyed with tragic loss of many, innocent American lives? Think about it. Recall your emotions. Now…

Did cultural, socio-political, economic, gender, or even political correctness issues make you pause and differentiate one loss life from another?

What was your Pulse like?

Moving on…

A few days after that unexpected attack on the United States of America, on an early Saturday morning, I made a wrong turn on my way from downstate to upstate NY, and inadvertently had the “opportunity” to drive through the World Trade Center devastation. I saw a ghost town with emergency service personnel and vehicles locked in isolation, fires still smoldering, and a manifestation of unnecessary destruction. I witnessed and felt a personal sense of loss and understood the evil that all too often lurks in some human beings who feel that their politics are fueled by, and religiously sanctioned by, taking the lives of people they never would know.

I was forced to measure and embrace my Pulse.

A while ago, Americans, supported by a majority of world cultures and global beliefs, had to put in perspective another dastardly act where the lives of 49 people were taken in a cowardly and despicable shooting in Orlando, Florida.

What was your Pulse then?

All too often, dark acts of violence are recessed to the farthest parts of our consciousness. However, I am one who believes that

Evil must be confronted in a conscious, deliberate, and non-forgetful manner.

What is your Pulse regarding Orlando United?!

What is your Pulse about other unnecessary attacks on police officers, African Americans especially Black males, the mentally challenged?

My Pulse?


Here it is in photographs from my last week’s trip to Orlando, FL. A purposeful trip to lay my brother's cremains to final rest after a year existing in my home.
  





"Upstate NY (Auburn) stands with you!  ~ 
bill berry, jr., Lisa Brennan, aaduna  October 13, 2016"





My two cents to you?

Keep a deliberate sense of your Pulse...do not forget...value what is important to your Pulse.

And respond accordingly. 

 
#orlandostrong
#pulse
#aadunalove




 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


aaduna-Inc aaduna-Inc  Visit regularly for updates !







Monday, October 3, 2016

Raising the Bar – Auburn Style, one note at a time




Music, in all its specific styles and genres, has a way of elevating the spirit and enabling listeners to move through various levels of emotion and feeling. Venues throughout Auburn, NY (located in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York) and the surrounding County villages and towns continue to provide a caliber of music that enables residents to align themselves to a favorite band, musician, or style while discovering others to follow and support. And every so often, there are those rare performances that enthralls and captivates, and witnesses understand they are part of a unique experience.


This past weekend was captivating.




Theater Mack...Friday evening, September 30... embraced the return of Omar Tamez (guitars,) Angelica Sanchez (piano,) Harvey Sorgen (drums,) and Peter Mack (bass.) Their performance was a brilliant display of contemporary jazz with its point and counterpoint, call and response, subtle and daring improvisation, soaring solos and toe-tapping exchanges as the musicians led and supported each other. For me, it was the level of playing that reminded me of Return to Forever, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, and the roster of visionary artists who recorded for ECM records back in the day.


Friday's Tamez/Sanchez/Sorgen/Mack performance challenged how we interpret the jazz idiom and then have the opportunity to immediately broaden our knowledge of the music. Simply, this concert presented another intriguing episode in the jazz lexicon of daring original compositions, and those musical charts were played out in Auburn, in Auburn!


Also on Friday evening, this virtuoso group released their newly minted CD, “From the Heart,” which was available for purchase ($10) with the proceeds going to the Cayuga Museum. Peter Mack arranged the performance and continues to bring world-wide recognized musicians to Auburn to make musical magic.


On Saturday evening, October 1 and again on Sunday afternoon, the music transitioned to another spectrum of vibrancy.


Rhythm in Motion and First Love Ministries presented, Dance to the Music: a Motown Rhythm and Blues Revue at Auburn Public Theater. This theatrical event highlighted and celebrated “soul music” and the influence of the Motown sound on vintage soul. And, if you missed it, the performers rocked the house. 



video



The stellar lineup was: Joe Whiting (sax and lead vocals,) Bernie McNabb (lead vocals) also featuring vocals by Anne Adessa, Robin Munn, and Julie Howard. The back-up band consisted of Bob Piorun on guitar, Ed Vivenzio on keyboards, Richard Howard on drums, and Fred Gibson, Sr. on bass guitar and vocals. Four dancers, Kathy Zamniak, Tricia Shine, Anna Post, and Ann Sullivan completed the cast. As with any popular music review, there were highlights after highlights.


Literally all the vocalists, especially McNabb, Whiting, and Adessa, brought their A-game and rocked the theater with many patrons dancing in the aisle and at their seats. Munn and Howard interpreted their performances with refreshing styles that respected and enhanced the original recordings.


The musicians provided the throbbing back-up and expertly crafted the party atmosphere with verve and exuberance one would expect from a festival of sound. Choreographed by Zamniak, the dancers (who gracefully put some old school dance moves into their routine) brought us back to the day when we strutted and moved to artists ranging from the Supremes, Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave and others.


Jack Hardy was M.C.; provided the historical context to each song; was the glue that moved the audience along a wonderful "Soul Train" railroad track of remembrances, and clearly established that this music has become the foundation for contemporary Neo-Soul and many other current pop performers.


So, if you live in Auburn or enjoy coming to the city, get out there support and enjoy the venues that bring us the music. There are extraordinary gems that do happen more times than not!



 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


aaduna-Inc aaduna-Inc  Visit regularly for updates !