Harmonia and Discordia Release Party!!!

The English Department’s new issues of Harmonia, the creative writing journal, and Discordia, the scholarly journal, are being released next Wednesday, October 15th from 12-1pm in NAB-1100. Come by, jump on the open mic, have some light snacks, and grab your free issues! 

All are welcome–please join us!!!

HarmoniaDiscordia ReleasePartyFlyer2

Maya Angelou Dies At 86

“What hasn’t Maya Angelou done? A poet, memoirist, historian, activist, and professor; a three-time Grammy winner for her spoken-word recordings; a nightclub dancer; a cabaret and calypso singer; a Broadway actress, a film and television director; a performer for Alvin Ailey; the second poet, after Robert Frost, to appear at an American presidential inauguration; an ardent tweeter until the very end—86 years seems too short to contain the boil and glow of her life. But Angelou lived to challenge limits.” (Waldman)

 

Here are some great articles and videos that have been making their way around the web since her passing:

Maya Angelou, Poet, Activist and Singular Storyteller, Dies at 86

Maya Angelou Often Left New York, but She Always Came Back

Maya Angelou, radical activist

Maya Angelou explains how she once made Tupac Shakur cry

Words to Live By: Remembering Maya Angelou’s Inspirational Quotes

Maya Angelou showed how to survive rape and racism — and still be joyful

Maya Angelou: A Hymn to Human Endurance

Maya Angelou’s TV Legacy, from “Roots” to “Sesame Street”

 

Caged Bird

BY MAYA ANGELOU

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou, “Caged Bird” from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? Copyright © 1983 by Maya Angelou.

 

 

An Interview with Professor Jennifer Person, author of new poetry book

An Interview with Professor Jennifer Person

by Destiny Rivera

Destiny Rivera is completing a double major in English and Psychology at SUNY College at Old Westbury. She spends most of her free time thinking about the implications of her continuous survival and seeks to make every moment something worth looking back on.

Professor Jennifer Person is an adjunct professor in the English Department at SUNY College at Old Westbury. Her first book of poetry, Look at Something Beautiful Every Day, was recently independently published by Xlibris Press and is available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Destiny Rivera: When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?

JP: I always wanted to write a book. This was a big life-long dream of mine. I started this book three years ago and I knew I wanted it to be poetry and art work together.  I woke up one morning at 3:00am and I had this idea and it was completely formed from start to finish in my mind. I started working on it right there and then.

[The book] went through a lot of transformations. At first, I was going to not only make it a poetry collection but I wanted it to have artwork from the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well since I used to work there and had favorite pieces from the collections that I wanted to use. The idea transformed and [then] I thought that what I wanted is for it to be a textbook for art and literature students. This meant that the book would have to have a lot more pictures and a lot more topics.  It turned out that the book was way too big by that point and would have had to be scaled back in a major way. Who knows, maybe it will become Look at Something Beautiful Every Day – Part Two!

So I went to thinking about a smaller book of poetry and that’s when the ideas really took off.  I had a smaller idea and smaller images to accompany them. I started going through my neighborhood walking through the different places in my community and when I found something, an image, an object, even a person I stopped and asked permission to take a picture. There is a picture of a Buddha in the book that was in the window of an art studio. I spoke to the owner and she said “if you want to take a picture then that’s great –go ahead and use it in the book.” In the book there are also pictures from St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset, there is a picture of a woman in our neighborhood, there are pictures of objects that we have in our home that are particularly beautiful and we had a chance to include some nature, like flowers and trees. I am very pleased with the final format.

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