“The Charleston Swivel,” A Haibun


Welcome to my contribution to my Weekly #Poetry Challenge, where you can write your own Haiku, Tanka or Haibun using the prompt words of “sugar and spice.”

I have decided to write my poetry using the prompt words from my weekly challenge about the Harlem Renaissance since I am a judge in Yecheilyah’s First Poetry Contest. It’s been fun dedicating my poetry to an era that ushered in some of the greatest American poets of our time.

(By the way, when you enter the contest, you can submit your poetry with any theme. It is not mandatory for you to follow the subject of the Harlem Renaissance to enter).


Click HERE to read more about the poets and writers of the Harlem Renaissance and HERE to get into the contest.


Wallace Thurman (1902-1934) is another poet who gained notoriety during the Harlem Renaissance. Click HERE to read a sample from his book, The Blacker the Berry. The following poem is one of my favorites:

Confession
Opportunity, July 1926.

I called you human tumbleweed
And chided you for sowing seed
Of misanthropic malcontent;
Yet I suspect my savage breast
Would never nurture seeds of rest,
Even if you sowed them
there.

Wallacethurmanharlemweebly.com

Image Credit: Daily Mail.co.uk (Ethel Waters)

Image credit: Pinterest – English.fju.edu.tw

I waited in the wings backstage, hovering near the red velvet curtain. I watched as specks of dust floated in the air backlighted by the flood lights at the bottom of the stage. Beads of nervous sweat gathered on my forehead. Tonight was our first appearance at the Sugar Cane Club. My best friend and I had come up with a rousing version of the Charleston that would drive the crowd wild. We were dubbed, “Sugar and Spice,” because of the different shades of our skin. We didn’t care, cause we was kin.

“You ready, Sug?” Spice shimmied in her beaded dress, and her voluptuous figure sparkled in the dim light. She always knew how to cheer me up.

I met Spice’s eyes with a grin that I felt spread across my face. “Let’s do this!” I righted the feather on my headband. We joined hands and danced our way onto the stage and into the hearts of the people at the Sugar Cane Club.

With elegant style –
Sugar and Spice woo the crowd,
all smiles, and quick hips.
Dancing to the rhythmic jazz
the Charleston Swivel is born!

©2017 Colleen M. Chesebro

(This Haibun is a figment of my imagination and is not based on a particular person or place).

Remember, the best poetry has layers of meaning.

Image credit: Dictionary.com

Write about what others are not talking about
 silence speaks volumes.

 



“Hope,” A #Haibun

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Welcome to my contribution to my Weekly #Poetry Challenge, where you can write your own Haiku, Tanka, or Haibun using the prompt words of “mirror and harbor.”

I have decided to write my poetry using the prompt words from my weekly challenge about the Harlem Renaissance since I am a judge in Yecheilyah’s First Poetry Contest. It’s been fun dedicating my poetry to an era that ushered in some of the greatest American poets of our time.

Langston Hughes features prominently in Yecheilayh’s soon to be released book, Renaissance: The Nora White Story. Click HERE to read more about the poets and writers of the Harlem Renaissance and HERE to enter the contest.

Here is an example of a Langston Hughes, poem:

Dreams

By Langston Hughes, 1902 – 1967

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

Poets.org

Image credit: Pinsdaddy.com

I stared into the murky depths of the Harlem River. The breeze blew brisk, and I sniffed the salt in the air. The tide was out, and my reflection wavered on the shallow surface of the harbor emulating my thoughts. Had I made the right decision to leave my home and journey to New York? My only companion, a long-legged loon, stalked his way through the shells and rocks as he poked his beak into the sand. In one swift movement, he had retrieved his lunch, a mussel dangling from his beak. The bird met my staring eyes. The answers to my question were crystal clear. Seek, and ye shall find.

Change is in the air –
fleeing to find our fortunes
our folk stays behind.
Hope is the harbor that binds
and mirrors our Renaissance.

© 2017 Colleen M. Chesebro



Image credit: PCmode.org 1920’s Harlem women


Image credit: Khanacademy.org (The 19th Amendment) 1920’s Musicians

Remember, the best poetry has layers of meaning.


Image credit: wordcandy.me

Write about what others are not talking about
 silence speaks volumes.

Colleen’s Book Reviews – Coming Attractions – “Renaissance – The Nora White Story,” by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Ready to find a new book? You’ve come to the right place!

Welcome to Colleen’s Coming Attractions

Where you will find new books from Independent Authors

that will be available for download shortly.

  • Title: Renaissance – The Nora White Story
  • Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
  • Publication Date:  July 15, 2017
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

*I was given an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the author for promotional review purposes*

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Nora White loves to write. Living on her parent’s farm in rural Mississippi, Nora has her sights set on a different life than the one her parents have. The one thing she desires is to become a writer; quite a tall order for a young black woman in the 1920’s. Nevertheless, Nora has her dreams, and she will not let anything get in her way, not even her close-knit family.

Nora grew up during tough times. African Americans were forced to live under the cruel Jim Crow segregation laws established throughout the South. White vigilante violence against Blacks terrorized families with lynch mobs and other forms of violence. Death rates were high. As life in the South continued to deteriorate for African Americans, they had little choice but to move north in record numbers.

Image credit: Harlem Renaissance on Pinterest

“This 1920’s movement was named the Harlem Renaissance, which erupted into a cultural, social, and artistic surge of people into Harlem, in New York City. By 1925, the movement was called the “New Negro Movement,” named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke.” (Wikipedia)

Nora White heard all the rumors about moving north, yet she did it anyway. Without a second thought, she left her family behind and headed for Jacobsville, New York about 45 minutes from Harlem. Things being the way they were, she took a job as a maid working for Charlotte Crosby, a woman ruled by her prejudices.

Nora is befriended by Lisa, another domestic employee of ‘Godmother’ (Charlotte), who suggested they become roommates to save money. Lisa introduces Nora to the Sugar Cane Club, one of the hottest jazz clubs in Jacobsville, where the admission is free for women. Nora enters the world of Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll, Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, and many others.

Nora never loses her desire to be a writer. Eventually, through her visits to the Sugar Cane Club, she is hanging out with the likes of the poet, Langston Hughes, and writer, Zora Hurston. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Nora is thrust between Langston and Zora in a feud of massive proportions!

The author did a fabulous job of inserting the fictional Nora White into the historical time period. The story flips between Nora’s family back home and her experiences in New York. It was a great storytelling technique because the reader was able to grasp the stark differences in life between the two geographical locations while realizing the specter of racism existed everywhere.

I also liked the fact that the characters spoke with the typical speech patterns of the time. From a historical perspective, it was like experiencing time travel to another era. I love jazz and swear I heard the sounds of Billie Holiday singing, “Strange Fruit,” one of the first anti-racism songs.

The story is filled with a few twists, and it does end with a cliffhanger. For me as a white woman, to slip within the pages of Nora’s life was a humbling experience. I saw through Nora’s eyes, and my heart ached. Despite her hardships, I respected and loved her spunk! Go, Nora!

I loved Nora’s story and can’t wait to find out what happens next! I understand the second book in the series will be released in December 2017. That’s going to be a long wait


ARE YOU CURIOUS AS TO WHY I SHARED SO MUCH OF THE HISTORY OF THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE?

Yecheilyah Ysrayl has created her first Annual Poetry Contest as a way to introduce you to Renaissance: The Nora White Story. Make sure you clink on the links to learn about this time frame in American history. It will help you write your poetry.

Yecheilyah says:

“I have wanted to do this for a long time and Renaissance: The Nora White Story is the perfect excuse. In my upcoming release poetry plays a significant role. Nora meets such famous poets as Langston Hughes and even gets to recite a poem of her own. For this, to celebrate the release of book one in the series, I am hosting my very first poetry contest with some amazing prizes!”

The Theme

Since Renaissance follows the theme of The Harlem Renaissance and Black life in the South, poems should have something to do with these themes and can be as long or as short as you would like. The contest is open to all poets. Even if you don’t write poetry, why not try it? It will be fun.

How to Enter

Read the post announcing the contest on colleenchesebro.com. Follow the instructions and submit your poem. You have until July 19th to submit a poem.

PSSST
 That’s why I gave you some links to learn more about the Harlem Renaissance.

Now get busy and write some poetry!


Author, Yecheilyah Ysrayl

About the Author

Yecheilyah Ysrayl is an Author, Poet, Blogger, and a Book Reviewer at Literary Korner Publishing. Yecheilyah is an author of African American Literature, poetry, and anything else her mind thinks up. Originally from Chicago, Yecheilyah writes full time and currently lives in Shreveport, LA with her husband. The author of nine books, she is also the founder of Literary Korner Publishing, The PBS Blog, and LK. Pub. Writers Workshop. Her 9th book, Renaissance: The Nora White Story is due for release July 15, 2017, and will be available for pre-order soon.

DON’T FORGET:

Yecheilyah is sponsoring her first Annual Poetry Contest on my blog, colleenchesebro.com. Please read the instructions, so you know how to submit your “Renaissance” themed poetry. Stretch your wings and write some poetry!

Here’s where you can find Yecheilyah:

Author Website:  yecheilyahysrayl.com

Email: yecheilyah@yecheilyahysrayl.com

Blog: thepbsblog.com

Twitter: @ahouseofpoetry https://twitter.com/ahouseofpoetry

Thanks for stopping by to hear about Renaissance: The Nora White Story! ❀

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ANNOUNCING: Yecheilyah’s 1st Annual Poetry Contest

good news

Hi, everybody! I am excited to share with you Yecheilyah’s First Annual POETRY Contest, right here on my blog. Read the instructions below, because you are going to love this!!

From Yecheilyah:

“It’s no secret I love poetry. In fact, my entrance into Indie Publishing began this way, with a collection of poems. I have been performing since High School and writing them since middle school. I’ve traveled to perform, entered contests, and have been filmed. Remember that you can listen to my poems and follow me on my new Soundcloud page HERE.”

“I have wanted to do this for a long time and Renaissance: The Nora White Story is the perfect excuse. In my upcoming release poetry plays a significant role. Nora meets such famous poets as Langston Hughes and even gets to recite a poem of her own. For this, to celebrate the release of book one in the series, I am hosting my very first poetry contest with some amazing prizes!”

The Theme

Since Renaissance follows the theme of The Harlem Renaissance and Black life in the South, poems should have something to do with these themes and can be as long or as short as you would like. The contest is open to all poets. Even if you don’t write poetry, why not try it? It will be fun.

The Poem

Submit one or two original, unpublished poems to Yecheilyah at yecheilyah ysrayl dot com (yecheilyah@yecheilyahysrayl.com) between now through July 19, 2017. You will have until 12:00 midnight CST on 7/19 to get your poems in before closing.

Poems must be your ORIGINAL work and UNPUBLISHED anywhere online.

There is one winner of this contest with up to 2 entries per poet.

Entry Fee:

There is a $5.00 Entry fee. Click HERE to pay the fee.

OR – Entry fees can be waived by signing up for my email list HERE. There is no other way to waive the fee.

If you are already on my email list, please send me an email letting me know so I can know to waive your fee. Please address it: Poetry Contest.

Signing up for my email list represents one entry.

If you are entering more than one poem, you must pay the entry fee for any additional poems.

The Reason for the Fee:

The entry fee is in place to help pay for the prizes. At this time, we can only afford one Grand Prize Winner. However, YOU can change that. By sponsoring prizes or money to help pay for more prizes, we can have more winners. What a great time to put others before yourself!

Current Prizes

At this time, we have one Grand Prize Winner who will receive:

  • Poem published to The PBS Blog
  • Amazon Gift Card
  • Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
  • *From When I was a Black Girl by Yecheilyah Ysrayl
  • And Still, I Rise by Maya Angelou

     

*From When I was a Black Girl is my second collection of poetry. First published in 2012 with a second edition published in 2013, this book became a book of study at The Evergreen State College in Tacoma, Washington for the Fall 2014 semester. Part of an Independent Learning Contract, it remains part of the school’s files to this day. It is my honor to offer a paperback of this collection as a winning prize for this contest. This is an exclusive offer that you will not find on Amazon.

We will choose two runners up. Their poems will be published on this blog (Colleen’s Blog) leading up to the grand prize winner. (You can help the runners up to win prizes when you sponsor this contest).

International Shipping

Please note: Winners outside the U.S. will be awarded Kindle downloads of the books listed if someone overseas wins.

Sponsorship

If you’re not into poetry, you can always help sponsor prizes for more winners. You can sponsor:

  • Amazon gift cards
  • Poetry Books

If you care to sponsor this contest, please inform me via email. Address it: Poetry Contest, and let me know what you are sponsoring and when you can have it in to us. yecheilyah@yecheilyahysrayl.com.

Final Thoughts:

The winner or winners will be announced on Monday, August 6, 2017, on this (Colleen’s) blog. 

(If you win, you will be notified a couple days before the announcement via email you have won and that an announcement will go out featuring you. This is so that we can collect your information, social links and links to any books you have out if any).

The Grand Prize Winner will have their poetry featured on The PBS Blog with added promotion. The date for this will be revealed to the poet after they have won.

To enter this contest, please send $5.00 to the PayPal of Literary Korner Publishing HERE.

To waive your fee, please sign-up to my (EC) email list HERE.(Verification of sign-up will be reviewed before poem is accepted).

Send your poem to Yecheilyah @yecheilyahysrayl.com

Your Judges

This contest is being judged by three amazing women, all of whom are powerful writers:

Colleen Chesebro

Colleen Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her debut novel, released in January 2017, is a YA fantasy series is called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy.” The novel reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to belong to a family.  Colleen lives in the United States with her husband, and her two Pomeranians, Sugar, and Spice. You can learn more about Colleen and her original stories on her website at colleenchesebro.com.

Lisa W. Tetting

Lisa W. Tetting is the author of the novel, The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, and creator of Rebirthoflisa, her personal blog. She is a former call center supervisor, who, after much thought and angst, decided to change her life by living her dream. She grew up in a small town in North Carolina and loves that she is a Southern Girl. She has been happily married to her wonderful husband for 17 years, and they currently reside in Greenville, SC. Her latest poetry can be found in the anthology When Queens Speak. Lisa’s favorite writers include Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Zora Neale Hurston, and Edgar Allan Poe.http://lisawtetting.com/

Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Yecheilyah has been writing and performing poetry for over 15 years. In 2010, she published her first collection of poetry and went on to perform in States that include, but not limited to, Jamestown, Virginia, Orlando Florida, and Shreveport, Louisiana. Yecheilyah grew up on the South Side of Chicago, IL, loves children, enjoys red wine and movie nights with her husband. The author of three collections of Poetry, you can find her poems on The PBS Blog at www.thepbsblog.com and Soundcloud athttps://soundcloud.com/user-573689310. Yecheilyah is also a Fiction writer. For more information, be sure to visit her on the web at  www.yecheilyahysrayl.com.

Wrap Up

Terms and Conditions.

The contest runs through Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The contest will close promptly at 12:00 am Central Standard Time on July 19, 2017.

Winners will be notified via email that they have won and an announcement will go out August 6, 2017.

Poems can be as long or short as the poet wishes. The poem must surround the theme of The Harlem Renaissance or Black Family life in general. The poem must be the poet’s original work and unpublished anywhere online, including his/her blog.

Currently, there is one Grand Prize Winner, but you can change that by sponsoring this contest either by purchasing the prizes and shipping them or donating funds.

Entry fee for the contest is 5.00 per poet payable to the Literary Korner Publishing PayPal address HERE.

Entry fees are to help pay for the prizes for the winners. You can waive your fee by signing up to Yecheilyah’s email address HERE.

Up to 2 poems may be submitted per poet. Waived fees cover one submission per poet. All additional submissions must include an entry fee.

Winners outside the U.S. will be awarded Kindle downloads of the books listed if someone overseas wins.

Send poems to Yecheilyah at yecheilyah ysrayl dot com (yecheilyah@yecheilyahysrayl.com).

This contest is inspired by the release of book one in The Nora White Story which features poetry.

ARE YOU EXCITED? I KNOW I AM! SO, GET BUSY AND WRITE THOSE POEMS!