The Break up

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You have a favorite television show, a show you’ve been watching religiously for almost two seasons. But lately something has changed and it doesn’t seem to be a change for the better. So you begin to question the events and the characters against reality, and it becomes difficult for you to suspend disbelief.
All of the frenzied action and jump cuts don’t mean that the writers have improved the narrative. It does mean that there is a frantic grasping for your attention in progress. All of this activity can be compared to frantic break-up prevention tactics that arise even though it’s been clear to both parties for months that the relationship really isn’t in good shape and may not last much longer. More plot twists don’t necessarily make the narrative stronger in this situation, either.

When you tune in this evening, you begin to feel dizzy. You can’t keep up. What is happening with these people? Why is Wanda all of a sudden at the airport waiting for a plane to Sioux Falls? Who goes to Sioux Falls, anyway? What happened to James? Why isn’t he with her? He was in a car accident on the way to the airport? His ex, Jeanine, is one of the EMT’s whose ambulance, with suspicious synchronicity arrives at the scene of the accident? What?

You begin to dislike Wanda for going to Sioux Falls and of course James for not being with her. You don’t find their erratic behavior compelling. And those other characters aren’t looking like they’re doing such a great job of being foils to Wanda and James, either.

You wonder why Jeanine is wearing a nearly sheer low cut blouse instead of her EMT uniform and why her hemline seems so high. After all, she has just jumped out of an ambulance and sprung into action. Why is she wearing a skirt, anyway? She’s an EMT and who cares if the skirt is dark blue and the blouse compliments her skin tone. Something is very wrong with this picture.

What did you see in James in the first place and why did you think he was so fine? What did Wanda see in him? And when you think about it, they really don’t look that good together. You begin to question what you saw in them as a couple.

You wonder what you saw in this show in the first place and think you may have been wasting too many of your evenings watching it. After all, you could have been reading a book, watching that film you’d been meaning to see, the one that your friends keep telling you is so good; or writing your own damn screenplay.

Hell, you can write better than these drama-addicted writers who expect you to be addicted to drama too. After all, you really do hate to waste your time and these writers and their writing have begun to waste your time. So you turn off the television, open your notebook, grab your pen, and write.

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Bay Area Writing Project at Expressions Gallery, Sunday November 13th

Glenn Ingersoll and I will be reading our poetry (plus a surprise) tomorrow at Expressions Gallery in Berkeley. Hosted by Marty Williams and BAWP.

Sun, November 13, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Expressions Gallery, 2035 Ashby Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703, United States (map)
A monthly literary reading series featuring Bay Area Writing Project Teacher Consultants and other local writers reading from their own work. (Open to the Public) Expressions Gallery 3:00-4:30 p.m.
There will also be an Open Mic

 

Bay Area Writing Project Reading on Sunday November 13, 2016

I hope you can join me and Glenn Ingersoll at Expressions Gallery in Berkeley on Sunday November 13th.
There will be an open mic; contact ms.marty.will@gmail.com if you are interested in reading.
Here are the details:
The Bay Area Writing Project & Expressions Gallery
present poets Joyce Young and Glenn Ingersoll
November 13, 20163:00-4:30 p.m. 
Expressions Gallery – 2035 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley, CA
We hope to see you there!

Mantras

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There is so much noise within and around these days, with social media posts, voices and beings buzzing around in the workplace, drivers on edge, free floating anxiety. And yes, the U.S. election cycle that ends (hopefully) on Tuesday November 8 has contributed to a lot of it, but I get the feeling that there is a lot more going on. And there is definitely a lot more going on in the world that we are all a part of.

In order to help myself navigate these churning waters, I’ve created mantras that directly connect me to writing. That’s my calling, so I have to work with myself to pull back from the fracas.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

What do I have to say?

Do I want to enter this particular conversation?

How can I add to the conversation?

How can I begin a new conversation?

What narrative do I want to be a part of?

What narrative do I want to create?

Are there tools that you have been using to focus your Self and your writing practice? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for the joy in poetry

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Yesterday’s reading, interview and discussion at the Berkeley Public Library, Claremont Branch was thoroughly enjoyable. From my audience of curious and writerly folks, to being drawn to read poems about my family members, friends and neighbors from my ‘growing up days’ in Brooklyn, the hour we spent together was a gift!

The questions asked were those of folks who write and are quiet about it, those who are experienced writers and teachers, and those who wanted to know more about the poems I read and about poetry in general.

Many thanks to the Glenn Ingersoll and the Berkeley Public Library for asking me to be part of the Clearly Meant Series. You made my experience yesterday enjoyable and supported me wonderfully in publicizing the event by providing chapbooks, flyers and a Facebook event page linked to the library’s events calendar. It was this writer’s dream event!

Photos to come (lots of them) and many thanks to Jain Williams for rising to the occasion of the sudden and surprising role of event photographer. Jain, you might want to consider using the camera as an income producing side project (smile).

Poetry Reading and Discussion at the Berkeley Public Library Saturday June 25, 2016 2-3 pm

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I will be reading some of my poems, talking with host and fellow poet Glenn Ingersoll and engaging in discussion with the audience (you) at the Claremont Branch of the Berkeley Public Library, 2940 Benvenue@Ashby, tomorrow, June 25, 2016 from 2-3 pm.

This is my neighborhood library and I’m very happy to be reading there again. Please join me!

More details below:

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100Thousand Poets for Change – September 27, 2014

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I’m excited to be part of a global poetry event on this coming Saturday. Around the globe, poets, musicians, artists will be sharing their work in the service of change. Bringing art out into the world collaboratively every hour.

Here’s information about the event I’ll be participating in:

Backyards: Poets for Local Change 2014
a free poetry reading with refreshments

Saturday September 27, 7:00pm
Frank Bette Art Center,
1601 Paru Street, Alameda.

Hosted by Jeanne Lupton. Curated and MC’d by Sharon Coleman

Wilfred Galila
Kristen Hanlon
John Isles
Sara Anika Mithra
Rafael Jesús González
Vince Storti
Harold Terezon
Joyce Young

It’s uplifting stuff to be part of a global day of sharing creative work.

Are you hosting. curating, reading, performing in an event on Saturday? If so, please post a comment about it and let us know!

Don’t be that dude: Handy tips for the male academic

This post by Tenure, She Wrote is thought provoking to this academic. My colleague Clint Gardner, who is the Writing Center Coordinator at Salt Lake Community College posted it on the Peer Centered Facebook Page. I’m re-blogging it here for continued thought and discussion. I’d love to know what you think!

Tenure, She Wrote

There is a plethora of research on the causes of hostile environments for women in academia, and on why we have an underrepresentation of women in many fields. There are support groups for women, societies entirely devoted to women academics (broadly and field-specific), workshops for women in academia, and countless articles and blogs devoted to the topic.

These initiatives are important, but here’s the thing: gender equality has to be a collaborative venture. If men make up the majority of many departments, editorial boards, search committees, labs and conferences, then men have to be allies in the broader cause of equality, simply because they have more boots on the ground. And, as much as I wish it weren’t so, guys often tend to listen more readily to their fellow guys when it comes to issues like sexism. I’ve also found that there are a lot of guys out there…

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