NOW, an online journal

Hobart Festival of Women Writers has published the first issue of a new online journal featuring new work from some of the many published women authors who have been Participating Writers at Hobart Festival of Women Writers. I’m excited to have been one of the editors of this issue. I was joined as editor by Cheryl Clarke and Esther Cohen. Read excerpts of my fiction and non-fiction here:

His Teeth

Bazemore Plantation

Bazemore, Maryland

1781

His gleaming, ivory-colored teeth could have stood in his mouth for another lifetime, but each fell beneath the knife. They bound him to a plank. They dosed him with alcohol to quiet his howling as the horse surgeon pillaged his incisors, his molars, and his bicuspids. They took his teeth because he was a persistent escapee, had run away seven times and bore marks of whipping and brining.

There were no rotted teeth in his mouth, no broken ones, none were misshapen, and not a single one was missing. Very great was the resistance of the teeth to being pulled out. They were moved not at all by the horse surgeon’s pliers. He reconsidered and took up a knife and an awl and cut away the gums until the teeth could hold no longer. Several times the man nearly drowned on the massive amounts of blood in his mouth. Yanked upright, turned over a bucket to spit, salted water flushed into his mouth, more whiskey poured down his throat, the work continued until each tooth was dug out undamaged. Each was cleaned, admired, and carefully placed in a wired device fitted for the master’s mouth.

read more:https://www.hfwwnow.com/blog/95h3zk8uu650o7agjgc6qaiaedropg

Aunt Jemima, Eleanor Bumpers, Sandra Bland, and Breonna Taylor: Writing Against The Current  

I never thought I’d be updating the dramatic work, “Re/Membering Aunt Jemima: A Menstrual Show” or even seriously reconsidering it. Written more than twenty-five years ago, the play contains topical references that I thought would seem stale in the 21st century. Glenda Dickerson and I had, in writing “Aunt Jemima: A Menstrual Show,” flung ourselves at notions of racial propriety. We didn’t want to write a domestic drama full of polite insistence that black people are worthy of Western civilization. We wanted to confront the popular culture of negative images of Black Women in messy confrontational language.


read my entire essay at https://www.hfwwnow.com/blog/g89bnakx17u4jne2r8wlib0u6r9d2a

NOW, an online journalhttp://hfwwnow.com features also the work of Alexis DeVeaux, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Arisa White, Lisa Wujnovich, Esther Cohen, Elena Schwolsky, Cheryl Boyce Taylor, Marina Cramer, Julie Enszer, Aine Greaney, Ellen Meeropol, Bertha Rogers, Linda Lowen, Diane Gilliam, Dahlma Llanos Figueroa, Denise B. Dailey, Cheryl Clarke and Stephanie Nikolopoulos

http://www.BreenaClarke.com

Self-Determination

Habari Gani?  Kujichagulia (self-determination) to be responsible for the community and to speak for oneself.

Reader on the shelf

Self-determination is, like food, water, and shelter, a human right. Tragically, many of our most vulnerable young people, especially young girls are unable to determine the course of their lives because they are subjected to sexual exploitation by gangs of predators who traffic them, i.e. sell them to others as sexual slaves.  The problem is thought to be particularly acute at this time of year as the Super Bowl approaches, but statistics on trafficking do not support a jump in activities. Human trafficking is a serious, year-round industry. January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, which is why the issue is getting more attention now than at other times of the year. And, with the Super Bowl drawing large crowds to the host city, outreach groups and activists say they see an opportunity for public awareness initiatives.

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Cyntoia Brown-Long

Cyntoia Brown-Long, author, speaker and advocate for criminal-justice reform and victims of trafficking, writes in The Washington Post about her own experiences of trafficking and about the case of a young woman charged in the murder of the man who held her captive and sold her to other men for sex.

I was jailed for my trafficker’s death.

Brown-Long speaks about the justice system’s blindness to the peculiar, particular horror of sexual slavery. She speaks about the case of teen, Chrystal Kizer, who faces life in prison for killing her enslaver.

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Chrystul Kizer shot and killed the pedophile who abused and imprisoned her and is charged with his murder

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Let’s celebrate Kwanzaa by being determined to recognize the needs of our communities and by being willing to stand for justice and dignity and against racism and sexual exploitation.  For more information about Kwanzaa, go toWhat is Kwanzaa

more information about Breena Clarke’s books at www.BreenaClarke.com

River, Cross My Heart, an Oprah book club selection and a classic of African American fiction is now available for your e-reader.

“The acclaimed bestseller–a selection of Oprah’s Book Club–that brings vividly to life the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, circa 1925, a community reeling from a young girl’s tragic death.”  Amazon.com

River, Cross My Heart, kindle edition

 

 

Creative Community

Kwanza     Habari Gani?

Kuumba.  Creativity — to make the community more beautiful and beneficial for the future, is observed on the sixth night of Kwanzaa. Let’s celebrate creative work in the arts.  Founded in 2013, by Cheryl Clarke, Breena Clarke, and Barbara Balliet, the Hobart Festival of Women Writers produced its seventh, consecutive weekend of programming in 2019 dedicated to celebrating the work of literary women. The Festival takes place in the small village of Hobart, New York, home of six independent bookstores and designated as The Reading Capital of New York State.

more information at Hobart Book Village

River, Cross My Heart, an Oprah book club selection and a classic of African American fiction, is now available for your e-reader.

“The acclaimed bestseller–a selection of Oprah’s Book Club–that brings vividly to life the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC, circa 1925, a community reeling from a young girl’s tragic death.”  Amazon.com

more information at BreenaClarke.com

Joy For The World

HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2018

 

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The Gleeful Goddess

at the crux of fear and flame ’tis the season of joy.

 

I’m happy to be celebrating the sixth consecutive year of platforming and presenting the work of women writers at the annual Hobart Festival of Women Writers co-founded with Cheryl Clarke and Barbara Balliet. We had a great weekend of rejuvenation and inspiration in the beautiful Catskills this past September 7, 8 &9th.

View more photo highlights here:

Festival of Women Writers 2018 photo highlights

A ROOM OF HER OWN FOUNDATION, a global organization of creative women with which I’ve been associated since its first writer’s retreat in 2003 has rolled out a wave of treasure this December, Gifts of Fellowship which include unique opportunities for the givers. You can donate to support this great consortium of creative women AND have a chance to win an expert book doctor consultation with Esther Cohen, OR secure a winter artist’s/writer’s residency in Santa Fe at a charming casita OR you can experience an empowering ONE-ON-ONE session designed to build your skills and confidence in reading your own creative writing with Breena Clarke.

Are you ready to read your work for an audience?  Do you shake in your boots at the thought of performing your own writing? Consider donating to A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Edna Payne Clarke Gift of Fellowship and you could win an opportunity to work with me. Find out the full details and donate-to-win a Gift of Fellowship at A Room of Her Own Foundation:

 Winning fellows will be announced January 4th.

In this one on one class with me which is named in honor of my mother, Edna Payne Clarke,  you’ll get email and video-conferencing interaction. I’ll help you select the right material to read and I’ll share my tips on preparation and some techniques for a smooth and exciting reading.

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Check out Hobart Festival of Women Writers Holiday Gift Guide. A book is always the right size.

Gift books

for more about Breena Clarke’s books, go to BreenaClarke.com

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Give a gift of truth and beauty. Purchase a Hobart Festival of Women Writers Calendar

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Get your calendar at hobartfestivalofwomenwriters.com