Where I’ve Been
Though I have not posted here since May 17th, I have been busy—writing, mostly; I’ve been posting new poems and promoting recent events on the companion Facebook page, Baltimoreblackwoman@jolivia1016.
On Juneteenth 2021, I joined Dr. Michael Anthony Ingram, founder and host of Quintessential Listening: Poetry Online Radio, as a co-host, along with acclaimed poet, Brian Donnell James, for a serious yet fun Open Mic session. Whatever plans we had, initially, were upended by the passage of the Federal Juneteenth Holiday just two days before. I was inspired to write and debut not one, but three new poems on the program, and my co-hosts unleashed powerful and insightful works from their respective repertoires. Three callers shared their original work, as well, bringing refreshing diversity to our poetic conversation about this holiday and the times we live in. You can find the broadcast here https://www.blogtalkradio.com/ql_p/2021/06/20/ql-por-proudly-presents-a-juneteenth-open-mic-poetry-reading
In addition, I’ve been engaged in a personal study of the poems of Lucille Clifton, the prominent Black Poet who served as Maryland’s first Poet Laureate, and who lived and worked for many years as a professor in Baltimore and St. Mary’s City. This study has been enhanced immensely by the Eastern Shore Writers Association (ESWA)—one of numerous groups that are helping to keep Mrs. Clifton’s legacy growing, by sponsoring events featuring her work and her life. To that end, I have published one article (with another in preparation) on my other blog, History of Poetry in Baltimore / 1945 to the present [www.braciolejournal.com], co-founded with Baltimore writer Rafael Alvarez.
I’ve also continued my volunteer work with my two community organizations, Lauraville Improvement Association in Northeast Baltimore, and In, For, Of, Inc. (IFO), in Reservoir Hill, West Baltimore.
Like everyone else, I am beginning to emerge from Covid restrictions, while keeping a wary eye on the Delta variant, which threatens to derail our hard-won progress if we’re not careful.
I am planning to update the blog by building a gallery of Baltimore Murals and Landscapes I’ve been photographing over the past few years; grouping all my previous Poetry Readings, with links, for easier retrieval; and creating a list of my Published Writing. Currently my “published” list stands at 4 poems and 1 short story. With perseverance—and luck—that list will grow, as I continue to submit work to publications.
Finally (for now), I expect to add new posts in this space in the coming weeks.
Stay Safe and Be Well!
The richer we become materially,
The poorer we become morally and
spiritually. We have learned to fly
in the air like birds and swim in
the sea like fish, but we have
not learned the simple art of
living together as brothers.
–Martin Luther King Jr.