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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Celebrating Our Loved Ones

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If you're planning to be in Washington, D.C. in early October, don't miss the 3rd annual Capital BookFest, an event that celebrates the literary arts while promoting literacy in the D.C. metropolitan area. The event is produced by poet, playwright, and television producer, Kwame Alexander, and features award-winning writers and emerging talent.

Capital BookFest will also feature the unveiling of Family Pictures: Poems and Photographs Celebrating Our Loved Ones, which features poetry from such greats as E. Ethelbert Miller, Lucille Clifton, and Tony Medina. The book also includes poems by writers all over the world, including 11-year-old Washington, D.C. student Kyndall Brown, and me. Several of the poets featured in Family Pictures will read at the event.

I have to thank poet/performer Thandiwe Shiphrah for my poem, "Lost in America," which appears in the book. Thandiwe inspired me to write the piece at one of her motivating Women's Gatherings in Nashville. (God bless you Thandiwe!)

Lost in America
by Alicia Benjamin

I am the Geechee Girl. Lost in the English of America. Mangoes are what I like. Orange, green, and fleshy.

I prefer the heat, but when it's cold my grandfather talks to me from the walls of my house.

He says, "One day oona gwine see me agin. On dat day, we gwine rejoice fa true." Then I'm warm again.

My grandfather also tells me that I am the droplets of the Orishas, spilled into the womb of his wife. I carry the strength of my mamas, who were warriors, from Sierra Leone, Senegal and Angola.

Gather me mother and father. Gather me and give me the power to make my child the warrior she needs to be.



The Capital BookFest will be held on October 6, the Blvd. at the Capital Centre, 931A Capital Centre Blvd., Largo, Maryland from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here is some information about Kyndall Brown and her self published book of poetry...Kyndall Brown is 11 years old and she attends Anne Beers Elementary School in Washington DC. A first place prize winner of the 2005 Washington DC Poetry Fest Slam Championship, Kyndall has performed her poetry on various stages and venues in the DC area. This book parallels her growth emotionally, spiritually and poetically as she began writing when she was eight years old and is now preparing to attend Junior High School. Her poetry moves in and around politics, religion, faith, self pride, love, pain and the realities of living in Washington DC. Her poem “I Saw What You Did” takes you to all these places and drops you off at the edge of despair in a few short verses of inner reflection. This book is filled with many poetic verses just like that. Read it… be proud… cry about loosing your best friend… shout about the unfairness of life… and then TAKE ACTION. Her book is available on line at your favorite book store.

Alicia Benjamin said...

Well do your thing, Miss Kyndall Brown! What's the name of the book?

Anonymous said...

The book is titled... I Ain’t Ascared of Nutin’… The Evolution of Me. It can be previewed at
http://www.lulu.com/browse/preview.php?fCID=711771

Alicia Benjamin said...

I LOVE that title. Actually, that's how I'm feeling right now.
:-)

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