Saturday, July 23, 2016

To try to publish or not…Duh? That is not even the question.


aaduna continues to pride itself on providing a publication platform for emerging writers and especially those creative folks who have not been published. Now, this position is not to suggest that we only publish emerging or new writers or that we consider non-publication as a factor in assessing work under our read and review protocols. In fact, we have had people submit work to us at the point where they have never been published, and by the time we seek to publish their work, a colleague publication has bestowed “published writer/poet” on those individuals before us. While we are disappointed when that scenario plays out, we understand that submitting work is a daunting, as well as fear-driven and anxiety ridden task. In addition to what the submitter experiences, all too often, “author publication fears” serve as the primary obstacle that limits the public’s eventual access to new, intriguing and inspiring work. And that is why Michael Mohr’s recent published piece is very important and a worthwhile and compelling read.

Michael Mohr (photo provided)


Mohr contributed two essays to aaduna’s winter-spring 2015 issue. But the purpose of this post is to encourage you to read his piece in the July 14, 2016 MASHstories edition. The title of his piece…”Understanding Literary Rejection” is a primer to those aspiring writers, emerging creative folk, and others that puts, in appropriate perspective, the publication process and why aspiring writers need to place their work into the dynamic vortex of external review. Please…


Enjoy Michael’s perspective, and if you want more of his unique analyses, please check out his essay, “Are You a Writer or an Author” in aaduna’s winter-spring 2015 issue.  Here is a brief excerpt from that particular Mohr piece:

Sitting at a round table at the front of the stage in Peacock Court, I turn around, gulping, and face her, face the woman who represents the separation between being a writer and being an author; between being successful and falling face-first on literary concrete; between signing a three book deal with Harper Collins and trying to self-publish my novel: the woman who has the ability to change my whole life.
            The woman I’m referring to is literary agent Elizabeth Kracht. The venue I’m referring to is The 2013 San Francisco Writers Conference.
            President’s Day Weekend I got up ridiculously early, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and left my studio apartment in the East Bay to trek across that hallowed body of water which divides Berkeley from San Francisco, to show up with 350 other writers and attend panels, talks, keynote speeches, classes, and, of course, Agent Speed Dating.
            A writer’s conference is terrifying. Editors, publishers and agents representing many, many firms are present. It is your job as a writer to approach these devils of industry and convince them to want your prospective project. Mine is a 60,000 word debut YA (Young Adult) novel which is somewhere between The Basketball Diaries and Dead Poets Society, mixed up with a good pinch of The Catcher in the Rye. Sound cliché and perhaps beating-a-dead-horse-ish? Well, it’s not. There’s a twist. The story is told through a protagonist neck-deep in punk rock rebellion; existential angst; intellectual questioning. Oh, Jesus: I’m pitching the novel to my reader. Christ! That’s what happens when the conference begins to infiltrate your mind.

That excerpt is from aaduna



Now, go to MASHstories for Michael Mohr’s latest essay, and reflect on “Understanding Literary Rejection.”  Share it with other aspiring writers.  There is no question about that action on your part.  No question.



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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 !  


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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

berry selected for poetry anthology…Brennan recognized for national leadership post.

Michael Lee Johnson, (photo provided)
Twice nominated 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry, Michael Lee Johnson recently announced that some of bill berry’s work will be included in the forthcoming poetry anthology “Dandelion in a Vase of Roses,” scheduled for release in late 2016. Johnson served as the anthology's chief editor.




Bill Berry reads his work at "Word", Theater Mack, Auburn, NY

While somewhat of a recluse in the world of publications and public readings, berry is thrilled that he will be represented in the anthology with three recent poems. He states, “The inclusion of ‘Gestures,’ ‘Tap Tap Tap,’ and ‘A soldier’ reflect my current mindset and signifies my ongoing exploration of themes associated with perseverance, dedication, conviction, celebration, and understanding.” 

Berry has previous publications, and has read at several venues including The Seward House Museum, a national landmark in Auburn, NY; Bill’s Place, a speakeasy/jazz club located in Harlem, NY; Cayuga Museum of History & Art’s Theatre Mack, and presented at “Words On the Verge,” a monthly reading series convened in Brockport, NY.   

We will announce when the anthology is available to the public.

***

Lisa A. Brennan & William E. Berry, aaduna


Lisa A. Brennan, aaduna’s visual arts editor and executive manager of administration and marketing was recently nominated for membership on the Board of Governors of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives (NANOE.)  bill berry was also nominated with both of them being cited for their work with aaduna.  Here’s the background info on the nomination:

Nominations were submitted to [NANOE’s nominating] committee from members of AFP, CFRE, AHP, ASAE, CASE, United Way, Nonprofit Associations, Industry Associations, and other community leaders.

The working group spent a full year compiling a list of prospective Governors. The working group compiled a final list of nominees in May 2016. This list was submitted to the Nominations Committee in June 2016. Nominees were notified July 7, 2016.



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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 !





Sunday, July 10, 2016

Of Grapes and Words…

 
Photo by Lisa Brennan, aaduna visual arts editor

The Finger Lakes region of central New York State offers residents and visitors a diverse variety of landscapes, innovative restaurants, visible stars and moon during crystal clear nights, breathtaking sun rises and sunsets, historical venues, exhilarating day trips, and varied wineries in addition to other attractions. And while this is not a tourist driven post, there is a keen motivation to focus on the ambiance and nuances of growing grapes and creating mature and exemplary wines. It is my sensibility that making wine is similar to the textures and complexities of penning poignant poetry. So, as I maneuver through that particular filter, think about vineyards and the processes of making wine, my thoughts naturally drift to the work of Nitin Lalit.  

Nitin Lalit (photo provided)
Nitin is a twenty-something poet approaching thirty who resides in Bangalore, India. aaduna gave him his first opportunity to add “published poet” to his personal landscape, and he brings a personal touch to his poetry; cannot separate his art from his essence, and continuously draws from experiences riddled with pain to learn from and draw creative directions from those experiences. I am sure most vintners can describe their wine making trials and tribulations in a similar fashion.

At this point, think about the complexities of how wine tastes, the color, texture, and how it enhances the wonders of life as you savor it. Now, think about the characteristics of reading a poem that grabs and captures your mindset and takes you on journeys of discovery and self-realization. I suspect your reflections may be the same...the dynamics of wine and poetry creation and execution.

Here is the opening lines from Nitin’s work in the spring 2016 anniversary issue of aaduna:


For Alisha
Walking past these headstones,
in this churchyard, I kneel, look back
at the little Presbyterian prayer
hall you used to frequent,
pristine white, with blue-cushioned pews,
its simple beige altar, grey steeple, little cross,
and a miasma of nostalgia seems rise from
the architecture, slowly creeping towards me,
the twilight complementing it. I read your epitaph,
“I’m grateful, and content now, as I was when I walked,”
it says, and I choke, holding back tears
because it’s true, I remember you holding
my hand when I was utterly despondent,
finding no beauty even in the simple things





I hope you finish reading Latin’s poem.


Visit: http://aaduna.org/spring2016/poetry/nitin-lalit/


Enjoy!


 *   *   *
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 !  


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Friday, July 8, 2016

The Season of Distrust



Caught in the vortex of taking lives


measured and intentional


all lives do matter 


tragically different degrees of compassion


conflicting values fueled by decades of in-bred

misunderstanding


hunted and hunters on all sides


clouding abilities to discern the complexities of being targeted


humanity erodes as fault is laid 


battling instances of coming together


ambushed from hidden places of darkness


face to face confrontation from places of darkness


murder knows no rationale 


comes in unexpected disguises 


coordinated by warped targeted deadly intentions


families caught in the dynamics of lost existence 


forever changed


answers eluding the questions


grief spreading 


seeping in cascading blots that don’t stop


won’t stop


anger becomes the purposeful unifier


love and compassion the barriers


is this Custer’s last stand?


In this season of distrust

     



William E. Berry, Jr.    © 2016






Thursday, July 7, 2016

Of a trombone, words, trumpet, lyrics, and words again…


video
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Band, Syracuse Jazz Fest, Onondaga Community College Campus, July 3, 2016



 
Often you hear the term “living legend.” I suspect that designation is reserved for those individuals who have built a stellar body of accomplishments that defy our ability to comprehend how any one person can reach that plateau of excellence. And all too often, that descriptive designation emanates from a small group of believers and then over time, that thinking and adoration grows to become regional, national, and eventually global.





Trombone Shorty (google image)
A musician and artist known as “Trombone Shorty” is a living legend in New Orleans, Louisiana known for his mastery of the trombone, trumpet, lyrics and old school dance moves. I saw him and Orleans Avenue, his back-up band, at the JazzFest held in Syracuse, NY this past Sunday where he closed out the two day music festival. As an early fan, on Sunday night, I marveled at his evolution as a performing artist; superb command of his instruments; leadership and direction of his band, and improved vocal command of his lyrics. If you do not know him, “google” him and become knowledgeable of his mastery because his presence is growing nationally. Now what does Trombone Shorty have to do with aaduna?


Austin C. Morgan (photo provided)
Austin C. Morgan is an evolving writer and aaduna contributor who is seeding his literary career to become a masterful writer, poet, and essayist. Like Shorty, he is willing to experiment and chart his own direction challenging established conventions while creating a dynamic body of work that captures the imagination and compels the reader to want more. Like Shorty, you can’t deny Morgan’s artistry and command of his craft even if he is not “your cup of tea.” Shorty probably is not everyone’s flava. However, both artists bring a creativity and imagination that is intriguing and exciting to witness.


Austin hails from Jasper, Indiana and represents more than a regional sensibility. His fiction encompasses unexplored sagas and historical adventures of meaningful characters who are rooted in the distant, exploratory past. And while each story is part of a larger literary initiative, each part stands alone as a testament to Morgan’s ability to construct and weave distinct stories that stimulate the imagination. And did I mention that he is an essayist?



Check out Austin's “Defending the Dead Art, or the Psychology of Literature-as-an Artifact” in the spring2016 anniversary issue of aaduna.


So, as the rigors and festivities of the Independence Day holiday weekend begins to settle in your memory banks, your task is to explore Trombone Shorty and visit (or hopefully re-visit) the writings of Austin Morgan:

aaduna summer 2014 issue"Julie Templeton and the Automatic Orchestra"

aaduna spring 2015 issue:  "The Embers of Dusk"


Read publisher bill berry's interview with Austin from aaduna archives, (October 27, 2014)    CLICK HERE   or visit

http://aaduna.org/summer2014/conversations/austin-morgan/ 


You will not be disappointed!



 *   *   *
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, July 2, 2016

The PiTCH…and we aren’t talking baseball!



Blasphemous, unimaginable, heresy…using a baseball term especially during the USA’s Fourth of July holiday weekend, which is a time for cook-outs, beaches, fireworks, baseball, music fests, and family visits. But we have good reason to “borrow” a baseball term especially when The PiTCH is its own entity in the Finger Lakes region of central New York State.



The PiTCH, in its 5th season, is the brainchild of The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival based in Auburn, NY. This stripped down, limited run theatrical experience gives “writers and composers an opportunity to let their ideas take root and grow…..the creative team behind a new musical will “pitch” their new show….” to an audience.




Joshua Katzker, PiTCH coordinator shares what an audience will see:

Joshua Katzker, PiTCH coordinator

You are going to see the writers themselves presenting a condensed version of their new musical. Staging, costuming, props, and sets will be minimal. The idea is for you to hear the dialogue, music, and lyrics without the distraction of big production values. After the presentation, we invite you to stay for a talkback session with the creative team. This is, after all, the point of The PiTCH: For the writers to hear feedback on their new musical so that it can continue to be developed.





aaduna’s publisher, bill berry, jr. and visual arts editor Lisa A. Brennan attended two (back to back) evening performances of “GUMBO,” a new musical with Music by Brett Macias and Book & Lyrics by Christina Quintana at Theater Mack in Auburn, a performance venue where aaduna has presented two of its fundraisers.



Here is the “About The Show” synopsis:




Facing the loss of his beloved wife, a newlywed doctor descends the floodwaters of the hurricane-ravaged City to free her from the devil and his soul-stealing underwater club, all the while discovering the magic of her hometown. GUMBO is a vibrant take on the Orpheus & Eurydice tale that explores the mythos of Hurricane Katrina through the heart and music of the great city of New Orleans.





The PiTCH performance included the creative team of Brett Macias (brettmacias.com) Christina Quintana (cquintana.com) and Steven Gross, music director (MusicalTheaterSongs.com)
(left to right) Christina Quintana (Book, Lyrics), William E Berry Jr,  Steven Gross (Music Director), Brett Macias (Music)


GUMBO radiates the flavor, nuances, spirit, and strong vitality of New Orleans and is a magical and inspiring piece of musical theater. Even with a limited three team performance, Macias, Quintana, and Gross embraced the audience and carried everyone along on this journey between two worlds filled with expectation, pathos, celebration, and renewal.

For those local to Central NY, the last performance of GUMBO runs this evening (July 2nd)


For tickets (315) 255-1785 or 1-800-457-8897 or fingerlakesmtf.com — at Theater Mack.
     




 *   *   *
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 !



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hiding and Revealing…without one, there cannot be the other.


While Greek muralist, Ino elects to exist in anonymity, his work permeates Grecian landscapes with his interpretations of classic Greek images. His creative work is recognized worldwide even as he hides his identity. His work is recognizable with his simple signature, “Ino” with the “o” darkened the way some contemporary election ballots are now completed in order to be counted. 


Man With No Name - INO Visual Artist - Video

https://youtu.be/1icXsF2t9Rs

aaduna elects not to hide its contributors in veils of anonymity. It is important for us to extol the work and personality of contributors…to bring to our readership the creative work and the person behind it in order to enhance the contributor’s path to reaching even larger audiences. Ino works “large” with grand fantastic murals that engulf buildings. aaduna works small with words and images that intrigue with a vibrant force to shape and influence the reader’s sense of her/himself in a moment…in a day…in a memory nestled in the corners of our psyche.

With that spirit of creative exploration, we present Yuge Zhou whose work is not limited by size or space.

Please go to www.aaduna.org and witness her cover visual image and follow the directions to view the video installation. Witness the fluidity of her installation, The diverse images of movement. The multi-faceted directions of her creative sensibilities. Read her bio. And if Chicago, Illinois, USA is in your future, then make sure you go see Yuge's work, "To afar the water flows,” a video projection onto relief sculpture in the Unfolded: Made with Paper exhibition (April 5, 2016–July 30, 2016) at the Chicago Design Museum.

Ino…Zhou…both artists are birthed by their desire to enhance and shape their environment and compel us to embrace their artistic journeys.

Yuge Zhou (photo provided)


Yuge is accessible. We can observe the glint in her eyes; hear the nuances of her voice as she shares her artistic vision; witness the lithe movements of her arms and hand gestures as she explains the expanse of her work.
We will continue to embrace and extol the complexity of Yuge's work and the images that she projects from her secret places even as we recognize those artists who bring us gifts from their hidden enclaves.


If you have been following aaduna, those of you may remember Yuge Zhou's digital photography, “Corruption of the modern Snow White” which graced the cover page of aaduna’s fall 2012 issue:


Photographer, Yuge Zhou "Corruption of the Modern Snow White," cover photo, aaduna fall 2012 issue. (c) 2012




 *   *   *
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 !