every single day is one step closer to spring ;) got some fun stuff coming up for you in MARCH & APRIL!
with funding from Poets & Writers, i’ll be using the Queens Council on the Arts “3rd Space” for a new event i conceptualized called QUEENS LIT IN ACTION – it’s a straight-up solo reading PLUS some kind of audience engagement activity (that’s the ACTION! part) like a writing exercise, discussion, presentation, collab, panel, etc. i’m kicking it off with networking, readings from TRAVERSALS & new work, AND writing exercises/discussion involving wildness & nostalgia based on the interdisciplinary show i’m working on right now, THE WILD PAPERS**. please come! & look out for future variations of this event at QCA ;)
** hosting (one of the longest running Queens reading series, my O.G.!!) Boundless Tales Reading Series at Astoria Bookshop 3/12/15 [INFO]
** my Nature of the Muse reading & live writing show returns to the fireside carriage house at LIC Bar! – 3/26/15 readers will present their previously written works and THEN write LIVE from random prompts written by YOU, the audience! did i mention it’s by the FIRE?! [INFO]
** featured Community Poet at the Fringe Verses Open Mic & Poetry presentation at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center for Rough Draft Festival 3/31/15 [INFO]
** NEW SERIES! very excited to be one of the Featured Readers at the DEBUT of the monthly LIC Reading Series in the carriage house at LIC Bar! 4/14/15 [INFO]
** i’m also on a brand new adventure as one of 24 participating local artists in Jeanne Van Heeswijk’s “Public Faculty no. 9″ at Queens Museum – May 2015 [INFO]
COMPASS PROJECT IS BACK!
the guerrilla sticker poetry project i started back in 2012 is on again! look out for ‘em & let me know if you want some, especially if you live out of state & want to stick ‘em up around YOU! i’ve sent ‘em out to jersey, missouri, michigan, canada, south korea & more, and i’m very happy to say they’ll be appearing at MelimeL Digital Art Design‘s 2015 Women Empowerment event next month! more info on the project & tons of fotos are HERE.
& OF COURSE..
“I am on page 60, and am completely blown away! I’m a reader, and writer of poetry too, and I must say, your words have captured some of my deepest emotions in regards to past loves. I feel so connected to your writing… very few can tug at my heart with their words, but you’ve managed to do that… this is a true gift. Moments I feel like I’m reading Neruda, one of my favorite poets. I’m utterly moved. Thank you, TRAVERSALS is truly a precious, one of a kind gift that you generously shared with the world.” -t.m. bella, writer & poet
signed copies of my newest collection of poetry and prose, TRAVERSALS, are available directly from me via PAYPAL, at the Astoria Bookshop & also at Q.E.D.: A Place to Show & Tell in astoria! support yer local biz!
NOT TO MENTION…
QUEENS LIT is ALIVE & KICKIN’ & don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise ;) check out this list of QUEENS LIT RESOURCES for ways to get involved!
we only have this life. this moment. to see through these eyes, feel with these hands, create with this mind, love with this heart. remember – even in the grit, the sorrow, the bewilderment, the ache. this is what we’ve got. it doesn’t have to be perfect. or in the right key. or fit for mass consumption. but as long as it’s yours, and you made it with HEART – you help the collective fire to burn another day.
(thnx forever&ever for adventuring with me)
c’mon let’s go,
**PS: THE WILD PAPERS is going to be my baby for awhile.. it’s a multidisciplinary show/experience involving themes of wildness, nostalgia, childhood, peter pan, wonder, resiliency, etc. it’s something i’ve been wanting to do since the beginning of last year and everything i do is going to tie back to it.. including, hopefully, going on a cross-country tour with my best friend, nick neon, and his forthcoming feature film. DREAMS.
PPS: two of my prose pieces were published in WYVERN LIT’s latest issue, “i study your details” and “all i can do now.” YES! seriously, wyvern is amazing. such a wonderful process & editor!
PPPS: i got engaged. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) there are NO WORDS to describe… <3
i wrote this for someone very dear to me, in remembrance of someone dear to him. their story, her story, hit me hard. the details. realizing yet again that all we have is this moment.. and everything we leave behind. the impressions we make on the people we love – and even people we’ve never met. sometimes a star is just that bright..
this is for sweet alex, with love to her.. and all those we are left staring at the sky, wishing for.
“life is beautiful, go tell everyone”
this is for you, dear beauty
i’ve never met-
because the wildness makes
us all sisters.
the universe doesn’t always
make it easy but
souls still burn
even in absence. sometimes
never contained. only memories.
only purity. only song. only
golden strands & flecks of
this is for you, beauty.
who had things to do
on the other side of silence,
your path redrawn abruptly-
all of us
watching for your spark
inside the flame.
the last thing he
said to you was a sweet
promise to keep
“until next time” –
for the clouds..
a thousand candles,
a jazz band
bumpin’ so fine
you can dance
as long &
as you damn well
& that is what we
we will look at your
smile in photos
& post words you
can’t read & title
after your mexican
standoff eyes in the
19th century drawing
room of your face.
& we will go on.
all the strange &
the dusting of snow,
soggy cereal, the
sighs on the other
end of the phone..
we know you’re still
working, out there.
& we must too.
you are part of the
the endless whirling in
our heads when we
try to sleep,
where we go
when we get lost
the feeling that
makes us dance &
dance until we cry
how lucky are we
to have seen a
some souls have
forever to make a
move & never do.
others streak across
our sky but once
& we can never
we’re curling up inside
the space you left
the glow of your
will keep us warm.
QUEENS LIT! has been one of the strongest forces in my life.. i feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to come back to NY1 (after my first interview about the Queens Literary Town Hall in 2013) to not only touch on the Queens, NY literary community, but also to discuss my new book, “TRAVERSALS” !!!
if you’d like to learn more about the literary opportunities available in Queens, please check out the list i put together: TINYURL.COM/QUEENSLIT!
it features reading series, writing workshops, discussion groups, publishing opportunities, and so much more – these are the true movers & shakers in the borough and if you want to dive in, share your work, and meet other writers or lit lovers, this is the place to do it!
and of course, if you’d like to find out more about “TRAVERSALS,” all the info is right here.
thank you so much to NY1 and rocco for having me back!
Thank you to Jeanne Marie for the flyer!
Audrey Dimola’s NATURE OF THE MUSE reading & LIVE writing event returns to the fireside carriage house at LIC Bar!
Four readers will present their previously written works and THEN write LIVE from random prompts written by YOU, the audience!
COME REVEL IN THE UNEXPECTED ;D
Thursday, January 29th, 2015 – 7:30-9:30pm
at LIC Bar
45-58 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, Queens
in the back in the carriage house (go outside through the courtyard!)
Valerie G. Keane
With special musical guests:
Jeanne Marie Boes
JOIN US! NO COVER! HANG BY THE FIRE! BUY A DRINK! WRITE A PROMPT!
MAKE THE WRITERS SWEATTTTT! ;)
Thanks always to Gus Rodriguez for giving this event a home!
***This event is nuts. And my first baby. The VERY FIRST show I ever curated and hosted on my own, back in 2013. Everyone freaks out beforehand (including me) but then knocks it out of the PARK. It’s a testament to how INSANELY TALENTED my friends & comrades are, and also to what happens when you give yourself over to the unexpected.. At the last Nature of the Muse, my amazing friend and co-collaborator Tyler Rivenbark actually wrote A SONG based on a prompt. In like 5 or so minutes! A SONG!!!! This is what I mean.. You NEVER know what will happen at Nature of the Muse ;) Check out more info and the resulting work from past events: January 2013, April 2013, and January 2014.
i am so excited to say that the #UseYourAnd campaign has officially LAUNCHED!
the Gillette Venus #UseYourAnd global campaign launched yesterday to celebrate the BEAUTY of being OUTSIDE THE BOX. it’s centered around this video, which i am so lucky to be featured in:
Show “or” the door-this is the story of “&”. The story of realizing your true potential. Put an end to the one-dimensional labels that limit your potential. Because you are beautiful AND smart. You can be an astronaut AND a soccer player AND a ballerina. Your life is composed of many ANDs – an empowering sum of all of the things you are, and all you want to be. Venus invites you and women everywhere to take a stand against one-dimensional labels. #UseYourAnd.
there are no words to say how grateful i am to be part of a campaign that hones in on something i believe in SO strongly: being bold and multi-faceted in the face of labels – overcoming all those gatekeepers that are CONSTANTLY trying to hold us back or pin us down. it’s all about making people FEEL something.. and reading the comments from friends and strangers alike is truly heart-stirring. this is what it’s about – reminding each other why we’re here and who we truly are. that there is no box, no cage, no boundary that can contain us. we are limitless. wild AND smart AND bold AND… :)
THANK YOU so much to the entire cast, crew, and production team. i will NEVER forget this experience.
here’s also a fantastic look at the story behind the campaign:
You are too beautifully complex for a simple label. Venus is on a mission to put an end to one-dimensional labels that limit your potential. Because you can rock an outfit & the stage. Win the race & the crown. Climb mountains & corporate ladders. You are beauty & brains. Grace & guts. Time to show “or” the door and believe in the power of &.Venus invites women everywhere to take a stand against one-dimensional labels and #UseYourAnd.
i LOVE how i am listed as “poet & optimist”!! and i LOVE how Gillette took steps to find REAL girls with REAL stories.. my soul-sisters in these videos are incredible, and there is nothing more rewarding than to be cast for who you really are. i feel so blessed to be doing one of the things i love most in the world, performing poetry/spoken word, for this campaign.
please share, tweet, like, and of course HASHTAG #UseYourAnd on all forms of social media to share YOUR journey and your limitless qualities, and to help bring this story to other friends and loved ones. it’s our positive revolution, one soul at a time, all across the globe…
* by the way, just in case anyone lands here from elsewhere – gillette venus wrote the fantastic words (not me), then found a real poet to perform it (me!). :)
“to every man his chimera.” -baudelaire
art by ben cauchi
there is always that one person. the alchemy you created together cannot be undone and you still feel the effects in your bones. the way you did from the start, the way you knew.. you felt it there. in the marrow. and maybe suddenly it makes sense – why you had to meet and destroy each other the way you did.. so that you can draw upon it, the endless wellspring. draw upon it as if it all happened just a moment ago, because as far as this surreality is concerned – it did. you are eternally reignited. eternally present.. the wound scars over but somehow it still bleeds. new blood.
the art above caught my eyes immediately. all i can think of is breton’s nadja – so mystical and dismantling. how it will always be the story of us..
while this town is busy sleeping,
all the noise has died away.
i walk the streets to stop my weeping,
cuz she’ll never change her ways.
don’t fool yourself, she was heartache from the moment that you met her.
ah, my heart feels so still as i try to find the will to forget her, somehow.
ooh, i think i’ve forgotten her now.. -jeff buckley
just when i think i’m out from under you
just when i think i’ve stopped the ringing in my ears
i stopped turning around to try and find you
but in that moment –
i was bringing flowers to my mother and i watched
the gait of the man before me
the soles of the feet hitting the earth
the dark shine of the hair turning ’round corner
slowly i followed, hanging back, watching
in the darkness and only the streetlights
it was just you and i, apart on the blacktop,
unbeknownst and you began
when you were mine you never
sang for me and now you
give your gift
on stages again and sometimes
i wish i could just hole up in the back and watch
but i can’t be that girl anymore
i can’t keep
prying open the locks with bleeding fingers i
somehow in the blindness of that night
i wanted to still that moment
awash in the sentiment of
watching you from the
other side of the glass –
my god, the way you always
make me forget the hurt..
headphones on, your voice echoing
against blank warehouse walls and
i don’t remember anything except
the rawness of your beauty which i think is why
you were always so dangerous.
you are a shadow to which i
cannot find the light source
and i keep adjusting my position but
you always find a way to
cast your darkness over me..
you turned slightly, i thought, to see me and i
stopped dead in my tracks like
the animal you made me
caught in the crosshairs
of your eyes again.
always struck in that moment and
arrested, all blood slowed to the pound of
this possibility, the overarching reality like
the belt of a comet cinched too tight on my
universe, i – couldn’t let you see me
i had to say something, i couldn’t
do this to you, i couldn’t do this –
then you disappeared.
i asked my father, standing outside the house,
the direction i swore you had moved in,
braced myself for the run-in, didn’t you hear
that singing? i said, wide-eyed and heart still
clattering in chest, i could’ve sworn it.
you are more of a ghost than i
could even realize – i still believe in the light
that casts your shadow..
why, when – i know at the core of me that you could
never say yes, you were always telling me
no, goddamn, and no – but somehow i still loved
orbiting you like circling the god made
of marble i could never graze my clumsy
mortal fingers against..
poetic in the way i don’t think i will ever be able to
purge from these pages, rub from my hands,
rip and tear from the dirty patchwork of memory lining
the walls of my heart.
i gave these words to the world and i said
fly away, baby. this one’s for you.
and like clockwork, synchronicity strikes
to gut me –
i saw a photo of you yesterday and you had wings.
upturned to the sky,
that stray lock of hair against
your cheek, that
face i stared at night after night
wildness tamed to
you can only love me
but i am still one for stubborn archaic dreams –
i saw a photo of you yesterday and you had wings..
my god, how
can i still believe in the light that casts your shadow?
why – is it so impossible