Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I've been focused on family these past few weeks. After all, it is the Mama who makes the holidays.

They say you spend the next year in the same way you spend the first day. I thought to myself, I'd love a year of laughter. So here is my new year's moment.

Today, I mentioned disliking the show The Doddlebops to my husband.

Without missing a keystroke, he looked up and said, "They are a Minstral Show. Except with White people in Blue face." And kept on typing.

I nearly fell over.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Talking Back Is Okay

Obama is using technology to find out what is important to people. What a cool idea. now has a place to go and ask leading questions. If you log in, you can vote on the questions or ask a few yourself. Here are some of the top questions.

"What will you do as President to restore the Constitutional protections that have been subverted by the Bush Administration and how will you ensure that our system of checks and balances is renewed?"

"Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor - ideally Patrick Fitzgerald - to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?"

"What do you plan to do to our food industry to make it more sustainable? Will there be changes to our farming policies?"

"Solar energy is in use throughout the world on an individual household basis for water and facility heating, as well as electricity generation. Will your admin. attempt to utilize the millions of acres available for solar energy collection?"

Okay, you know what to do. Go vote. Go ask. And remember, it's more than all right to talk back.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

Pittsburgh | ACLU Bill Of Rights Poetry Reading

Well, I'm honoured to be in such excellent company. If you are nearby, please consider attending!

The Fifth Annual ACLU Bill of Rights Poetry Reading will be held in the Adamson Wing of Baker Hall at Carnegie Mellon University on Thursday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m. Ten well-known, Pittsburgh-based poets will read their original work in celebration of the Bill of Rights. The event is a benefit for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The Adamson Wing is located mid-way in Baker Hall. Parking is available in campus lots and at meters on Frew Street, directly behind Baker Hall. For a map of the CMU campus, go to:

The poets sharing their works will be:

§ Jan Beatty, the winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh for her first book, Mad River, directs Carlow University’s creative writing program, and Carlow’s Madwomen in the Attic Writing Workshops; she is the author of Boneshaker, Ravenous and Red Sugar. Her radio program, “Prosody,” appears on WYEP-FM on Tuesday nights.

§ Jim Daniels is the author of eleven books of poetry, including most recently, In Line for the Exterminator, and Revolt of the Crash-Test Dummies. He has received the Brittingham Prize for Poetry, and his poems have appeared in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies. He is the Thomas Stockman Baker Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon and directs the Creative Writing Program there.

§ Angele Ellis is a longtime peace activist and educator, and co-author of Dealing with Difference: Taking Action on Class, Race, Gender and Disability; her poetry has been published in numerous journals, and she is the author of Arab on Radar.

§ Cvetka Lipu┼í was born in Austria. Having grown up as a member of the Slovenian minority in Austria, she writes poetry in Slovenian as well as non-fiction in German. She is the author of five poetry collections and has received several fellowships and literary awards. She has lived in Pittsburgh since 1995.

§ Peter Oresick is the author of Warhol-O-Rama, published by Carnegie Mellon in 2008. His other books include: For a Living: The Poetry of Work, The Pittsburgh Book of Contemporary American Poetry, and Working Classics: Poems on Industrial Life. He is Associate Director of the Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Chatham University, and also teaches publishing at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon.

§ Richard St. John is the author of The Pure Inconstancy of Grace, published by Truman State University Press, after placing 2nd in the T.S. Eliot Prize competition. His poetry has appeared in Sewanee Review, Poet Lore, Carolina Quarterly and other periodicals. He is Executive Director of Autumn House Press, a non-profit literary press based in Pittsburgh.

§ Mike Schneider has written widely in Pittsburgh publications, including award-winning articles in Pittsburgh Magazine. His poetry has appeared in many journals, including 5 AM, Atlanta Review, Shenandoah and Poetry; and his chapbook, Rooster, was published in 2004 by Main Street Rag.

§ Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and has been awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Zone 3 Rainmaker Award, and the HyperAge Ascher Montandon Award for her poetry. Her work has appeared in the anthologies, For a Living: The Poetry of Work, and Living Inland, as well as numerous journals.

§ Christina Springer is a text artist who uses poetry, dance, theatre and film. She’s taught creative writing at City Lit College and The University of East London. Poems have appeared in Gathering Ground: A Cave Canem Reader, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Slam Poetry CD, The Drunken Boat, Janus Head and Callaloo and other journals.

§ Justin Vicari is the recipient of the Third Coast Poetry Award and the New Millennium Writings Poetry Prize. His first book, The Professional Weepers, and his chapbook, Siamese Twins of the 21st Century, are forthcoming.

§ Joan E. Bauer (emcee) won the Earle Birney Poetry Prize in 2007 from Prism International. Her poetry has appeared in 5 AM, Italian Americana, Paper Street, Poet Lore, and several anthologies. Her first book, The Almost Sound of Drowning, has just been published by Main Street Rag.

A reception will follow the reading, and a selection of the poets’ books will be available for sale. A program will provide further biographical notes on the poets, and will acknowledge a “Friends of the ACLU” Host Committee that helps make this event possible.

Those attending are encouraged to renew or initiate an ACLU membership for $20, checks payable to ACLU, or make a donation to the ACLU Foundation. Requested donations: $20 (regular admission), $10 for seniors and $5 for students. Free book for those making a $20 donation or $20 membership!

For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Pittsburgh ACLU office

at 412-681-7736 or email