Featured Poem: Re-gifting

Rose Baldwin
Palm Springs Branch, California

 

The book was on a list
of poetry to read
of course I bought a copy
of such a famous screed

 

I gave it to my sister
she gave it to a friend
who gave it to her mother
who gave it back again

 

I gave it to the library
to lend and lend and lend
they sold in a bargain bag
I had it back again

 

I gave it to Goodwill
a bargain hunter there
scooped it off the shelf
then put it out to share

 

Susie picked it up from there
and she gave it to Lee
who gave it to his brother
who gave it back to me

 

Finally, I read it
the words were like a balm
stroking all my soft spots
rhythmic like a song

 

So touched was I, I said,
I have a real fine gift here
I wrapped it in nice paper
and gave it to my sister

 

Call for Art!

Active, associate and allied art professionals, you are invited to submit your work for publication in the Pen Woman and on the NLAPW website!

There is no submission fee, no deadline, and no limit to how often you may submit.

I cannot promise that your work will be published, but all submissions will receive serious consideration. All submissions will also be considered for the cover of the magazine.

We have the following opportunities for art members:

  • Featured Art on the NLAPW website (with or without a short article)
  • “In the Studio” article focusing on your process, accompanied by a few photos of work in progress and completed work.
  • Short article (with photo) about an individual piece of work.
  • Longer article (with photos) about a body of work, or your personal artistic journey or inspiration.

To submit:

Select your best work and email low-resolution digital images to arteditor@nlapw.org.  

I will request larger, high-resolution files if we decide to publish your work, and will provide help with writing articles, if needed.

In your email, please include:

  1.   Your name
  2.   Branch (please note: we can only feature the work of current members)
  3.   Your website URL
  4.   Image title, medium, size
  5.   A very brief statement about yourself and the artwork
  6. An article, if you are submitting one

If you have any questions, please email me at arteditor@nlapw.org. I’ll be glad to help.

By submitting your art to NLAPW, you give us permission to display your published work online at nlapw.org for the purpose of promoting NLAPW and our members.

Best wishes to you,

Lucy Arnold, Golden Gate-Marin Branch
NLAPW Art Editor

Featured Poem: The Making of a Widow

Mimi Paris
Boca Raton

 

The Emergency Room
numbers on the screen
keep on going down.
I head for the nurse.
She’s talking, laughing.

 

I tell her, “Look!”
Her face shows fear.
My heart beats fast
and I run back.

 

Stuff rolls in,
Lots of staff.
Room is packed.

 

Shouts heard:
“Try again!”

 

“Gone.”

 

Featured Art: Backyard Sunrise

"Backyard Sunset" painting by Lisa Rose

“Backyard Sunrise” by Lisa Rose, Vero Beach Branch (Florida)

18 H x 24 W soft pastel

“Backyard Sunrise” was created from an actual sunrise seen from the artist’s backyard in Vero Beach, Florida.

Lisa Rose studied design and environmental analysis at Cornell University and enjoyed a career of over 30 years as a residential interior designer. She gained national attention with features in prestigious publications including House Beautiful, House Beautiful Home Decorating, Florida Design, Interior Design, Maison Française, and Cosmopolitan. 

 

 

She was recently introduced to soft pastels and became inspired by the beauty of the natural landscape. This led to the creation of her first pieces with a delicate blend of representational art and a bit of abstraction.

Lisa Rose’s artwork can be viewed at www.lisaroseart.com.

 

 

Featured Poem: Plant

Lorraine Walker Williams
Southwest Florida Branch

 

To place, slip seeds into moist soil,
shutter from light, incubate and wait.
To plant is the first lesson in patience.

 

Plant, as a particular phylum and
species, ornamental, cleansing air,
bringing outdoors in. For Feng Shui,
a plant is a lesson in placement.

 

Plant, as in yourself on the couch,
a park bench, or a bumpy bus.
An attempt to be rooted in time and
space, a lesson in belonging.

 

Plant, an implant, something foreign,
a replacement or enhancement,
as in tooth or breast. This teaches
impermanence.

 

Plant includes the word plan—
Making and revising,
following or ignoring a plan,
a lesson in flexibility.

 

Plant words flowing and growing
from the hand of a poet,
the lesson of jasmine and plums.

 

The Future is WITA and NLAPW

 
In August, community members from diverse backgrounds gathered at Pen Arts, NLAPW’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, for “The Future is WITA: A Pen Arts Benefit Interest Meeting.” This call-to-action campaign seeks to encourage artists and advocates to become an integral part of the NLAPW’s evolution into a modern arts organization, spreading its reach to new generations of women who will continue to build on the NLAPW’s rich history and legacy.
 
WITA

Participants at the Pen Arts’ WITA strategy meeting

Noteworthy women and advocates attended the interest meeting, including Amy Bormet (host, WPFW 89.3; and founder, Women in Jazz Festival), Janea West (creator, GROWN the Web Series), Yacine Tilala Fall (GWU Corcoran Alumni and performing artist), Barbara Bennett (director, Q Street Fine Arts Gallery), Michael Blackwell (director of events, Golden Triangle), Elle Koon (author), and Liliana Dossola (NLAPW Pen Woman and poet).

 
The first strategy meeting was a success because:
  1. People showed up! Thank you to all who attended the meeting.
  2. 79% of attendees completed a survey to share their input about a possible fundraising event in the future. Creating a culture of feedback stimulates growth.
  3. There was unity in diversity. The group in attendance was cross-generational, cross-cultural, and cross-professional (as evidenced by the photo).
  4. Community engagement took place. Everyone shared something about themselves, asked challenging questions, and interacted with new people.
  5. The League increased its visibility. All attendees are now more familiar with the historic National League of American Pen Women, Inc. and the Pen Arts Building.
 
The interest meeting was intended to engage the community in planning a future fundraising event to support the future of women in the arts (WITA). Yet, based on our discussions and the feedback shared during this meeting, it became clear that the ultimate goal of NLAPW’s programming is to ensure that persons advocating for women in the arts know that they have an enriching space to gather, be seen, and be heard.
 
The headquarters of the NLAPW, the Pen Arts Building, is that space. The goal will lengthen the history of this longstanding organization for years to come. 
 
Survey responses revealed that free workshops and community events are in high demand. The League is in the process of planning a series of smaller workshops and public events to increase community engagement leading up to a larger Pen Arts benefit and fundraiser — a strategy talked about at length during last week’s interest meeting.
 
The Future is WITA: A Pen Arts Benefit will likely be held in 2020. We will hold a second strategy meeting in fall 2019 at Pen Arts.

Featured Poem: Lost Forever

Jane Gates Lies
Pensacola Branch, Florida 

 

My thought escaped
Into the dark abyss
Of my mind,
A fugitive,
Hiding somewhere,
Only once in view,
A slice of a moment,
Never again,
Lost forever.

 

Featured Art: Vintage Trucks in Sedona

Gloria Sampson's "Vintage Trucks in Sedona"

“Vintage Trucks in Sedona” by Gloria Sampson, Columbus Branch (Georgia)
Watercolor, 18.5 x 28.25 

 

Gloria Sampson’s goal is to paint every day. She works mainly in watercolor, pen, and ink.

A resident of Columbus, Georgia, Sampson divides her time between there and Walnut Creek, California. She earned a bachelor’s of fine arts degree with a major in interior design from the California College of Arts (and Crafts) in Oakland. As an interior designer in the Bay Area for many years, she demonstrated her love of its Victorian architecture by portraying it in pen, ink, and watercolor.

Sampson’s fascination with travel to study art and culture has resulted in more than 35 sketch books from around the world. Three of these books have been published.

In 2015, she donated 100 original paintings to the Columbus State University Library Archives from her book, “Historic Churches and Temples of Georgia, a Book of Watercolors and Drawings,” published by Mercer University Press. She was the featured artist in the Sept/Oct 2018 issue of Southwest Georgia Living magazine.

To learn about Gloria Sampson and her work, see her work on the Colubmia Artists Guild website.

 

Featured Poem: In Turn… In Time

Susan Bassler Pickford
Member-at-large, Portland, Maine

 

Turn: Middle English; partly from Old English tyrnan and turnian to turn, from Medieval Latin tornare, from Latin, to turn on a lathe, from tornus lathe, from Greek tornos; partly from Anglo-French turner, tourner to turn 1100s

 

Fetus turned baby
In time
Baby turned child
In time
Child turned adolescent
In time
Teen turned nun
In time
Nun turned teacher
In time
Teacher turned wife
In time
Wife turned mother
In time
Mother turned grandmother
In time
Wife turned widow
In time
Grandmother turned poetic
In time

 

Featured Poem: The American Dream

Karen L. Kirshner
Long Island Branch, New York

 

We pay for the choices we made in youth,
actions stemming from a presumption of immortality,
which, once played become crimes that haunt us
when future merges with present.

 

Strategic windows open to newly gained control
are skillfully shut by the aggressive current of age
as it slips its claws around youthful fantasies.
Age likened to the many branches of a deceptive rose bush
Winding themselves around a long stake
Seeming to look for guidance,
Upon closer inspection…
the thorns tear through the loving caretaker, as readily
as through a hostile interloper.

 

Age has not befriended me,
Like a blind and hostile rose bush, I may have planted,
Pausing to admire its superficial beauty,
It turned on me and swiped this grown child’s last hopes,
Tearing them from the tapestry of optimism,
Like threads from the clothing of an intruder.

 

While I sit pondering my sad and singular existence,
Debt and hard labor through books takes a shadowy form,
An enigmatic monster bigger than a bad dream, taps me on the shoulder, asking me to turn towards the spectacle.
In horror, I turn to distant symbols I thought were within reach
Move further away, beyond my grasp,
Gradually facing, and sinking, tens of thousands of dollars,
A Mercedes-Benz country house, life partner, and 2.5 children,
All of it previously etched on a promised stake
Labeled “The American Dream” is lodged somewhere at the bottom
Of a mythical abyss, linking this world to another,
A Bermuda Triangle of childhood treasures lost
in the adventure of growing up.

 

I paid dearly to follow the dream.
Now I trespass on the edge of the abyss,
Tearfully grasping the nearest means of support,
The branches of a rose bush,
All thorns tearing into my palms
Wounded and bleeding, relentlessly
I search for the missing symbols.

 

“Kinetic,” (aka “Chaos”), by Karen L. Kirshner, 2017