Sunday, June 29, 2014

# 77

Sunday afternoon
just me and Monk.

Why is loving
you just as complicated?

seduces every woman
with a naked ear.

Have you ever shouted
Thelonious ?

 E. Ethelbert Miller

# 76

In the middle of my
poem (for you )I stop
and let my elbow
hit the words like
Monk playing piano.
Jill Scott would
witness this and
say It's Love.

 - E. Ethelbert Miller


I saw the exchange between you and Jerry Ward.
Please purchase a few Sun Ra records for my brother.
There are some of us who are visitors from other spheres.
We trace our roots back to other planets.
It's unfortunate so many black people can't look beyond
Mississippi or even Egypt.
Next stop Jupiter - remind all the Flying Africans.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


A wonderful brunch in Takoma Park( at the Republic) with the writer Holly Jones.  We discussed her literary career and what the rest of 2014 will bring. Holly is on my short list of people to watch.
I don't take my hat off for too many people let only let them wear it. Holly is special. Hey is that an Ascension Poetry Reading Series T-shirt?

Ethelbert and Holly photo by Holly Jones

Holly Jones photo by Ethelbert

Looking for Clues and Answers

Yesterday the poet Reetika Vazirani's mom gave me a framed photograph that was in her daughter's studio. I'm curious as to who the photographer might be. Do you know?

The Nationals Better Be Hotter Than July

Sad to see the Nationals being knocked around by the Cubs the last two days.  This team still lacks an identity and suffers from players never being hot at the same time. If the Nationals are going to be a serious contender for the playoffs after the All-Star Game then several players are going to have to get it together. Batting averages are going to have to improve. Here is what it's going to take.

Span is hitting .264
If this guy could  hit .280, steal more bases and bunt a tad more things would look sweet.
You can't place him on the bench. He saves too many games with his glove.
Would you bench Paul Blair?

Rendon is hitting .276
This guy is streaky good. How soon before he becomes the face of the Nationals.
He already has the best smile.

Werth is hitting .268
I've never been sold on this guy. If I had to make changes to the outfield once Harper returns, Werth would be on the bench limited to PH duty. If you look at his recent swings it's like the guy has returned to his old habits. Werthless?

LaRoche is hitting .309
The best player on the Nationals right now.
His glove makes everyone in the Nats infield look better.

Zimmerman is hitting .246
There is some serious concern here. He is never going to throw a runner out at the plate from left field. If I were the manager the Zim might sit too once Harper returns.

Ramos is hitting .276
Let's pray this guy never gets hurt again. The other catchers on this team can't hit at all.
Some major changes need to be made at this position in 2015. If Ramos has a big second half season this team should rock.

Desmond is hitting .234
Maybe he is standing too close to Espinosa.  Where is his average going?
I love this guy but he makes you desire a mistress.

Espinosa is hitting .219
I think he should bat 9th. But like Span if you place him on the bench you hurt the defense.
I would have Little E  bunting during every at bat. If he could only hit .260. God would not be a Braves or Cardinals fan.

I'm not going to talk about the Nats pitching except I would be amazed to see Blevins still on this team in July.

Friday, June 27, 2014


From Kathi Wolfe

Remembering John Rehm

John Rehm was the author of Onward Journey: Seeking The Divine.

I wrote the following blurb for his book:

"The John called to Christ this time is John Bartram Rehm. Onward Journey: Seeking the Divine is one man's faith made visible. Here are reflections about biblical characters, as well as daily moments in life. If there is reason to celebrate after reading this book, then it means Rehm has touched the spirit in you. This is a book full of light."

--E. Ethelbert Miller
Director, African American Resource Center
Howard University

I just learned John Rehm died on Monday.
He was the husband of Diane Rehm (NPR).

Love and Prayers to Diane...

John's funeral will be tomorrow.
IPS: Local Events

Making Mondays Matter: Is Faith Necessary?

Institute for Policy Studies and Inspire BBQ will host a forum featuring Colman McCarthy and Joe Eldridge speaking on the role of faith in social movements.

June 30 @ 6:30 pm  - 8:00 pm

Irish Whiskey Public House
1207 19th Street NW, Washington, DC United States
+ Google Map
Is Faith NecessaryIn times of conflict faith has often been used to help guide non-violent social movements. Yet, with religious violence on the rise and a decline in church attendance by younger generations, what is the role of faith locally and globally? Does faith have to be religious? And is faith needed at all?
The community conversation titled “Is Faith Necessary” will look at the role of faith in social movements, local communities, and the millennial generation.
Joe Eldridge, American University Chaplin and United State Institute of Peace Board member, has spent more than twenty-five years working in the public policy arena as an advocate and analyst on international human rights and humanitarian issues.Colman McCarthy, an American journalist, teacher, lecturer, pacifist, progressive, anarchist, and long-time peace activist, directs the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, D.C.
The event co-sponsored by the Institute of Policy Studies is the first of events within Inspire BBQ‘s “Making Mondays Matter” series. The Monday events will rotate throughout Washington D.C. offering a range of conversations and connections for D.C. residents.
Light refreshments will be offered. There is a suggested donation $5 dollars but no one will be turned away! Arrive early and watch World Cup football.
To learn more about the event or to inquire about sponsoring a “Making Monday Matters” event please contact Bob Schlehuber, 202-517-8423 or visit

# 75

Yes I dream
of loving you

When I rise
I dream again

Our bed singing
at the dawn

of daybreak

 - E. Ethelbert Miller
Time to get back on schedule. End to vacation time.
A busy weekend ahead...

Thursday, June 26, 2014


JUNE 26, 2014 

John Feffer

All eyes are on Latin America these days. Well, specifically Brazil, and more specifically the World Cup games that are taking place in Rio. There have been some thrilling stories—Honduras scoring its first goal since 1982, Algeria winning its first game since 1982, Portugal tying its game with the United States in the final seconds.
Then there are the stories behind the stories. Nathalie Baptiste looks at the protestsby the poor and marginalized who have been pushed into the shadows by the World Cup organizers and the Brazilian government.

This week in our Latin America coverage at FPIF, Julia Paley also looks at a new documentary about people in El Salvador organizing against mining corporations interested only in extracting gold from the country. And Lynn Holland discusses the ongoing repression in Honduras, and why the U.S. Congress may finally do something about it.

We continue our coverage of what's going on in Iraq, as Phyllis Bennis outlines thefive steps the United States should take to address the situation without resorting to military intervention. Tom Engelhardt, meanwhile, analyzes the blame gamecurrently taking place in Washington. 

Also, columnist Christine Ahn offers a sobering update of the "comfort women" issue in Korea and Japan. Miriam Pemberton and William Hartung explain why Congress shouldn't defund the Pentagon office that helps communities transition away from defense spending. And in my World Beat column, I look at whether the foreign policy of President Hillary Clinton would be any different than the foreign policy we have under President Barack Obama.

John Feffer
Co-director, Foreign Policy In Focus

World Beat


Disrupting Hillary

John Feffer
Seven years after a rogue campaign ad likened her to Big Brother, Hillary Clinton is considering another run at the presidency. Once again, she is the dominant brand in the marketplace.

Foreign policy will be central to her bid. She will be both running on and against her own record as secretary of state. With the Republican Party pulled ever rightward by the Tea Party, Hillary will also likely position herself right of center in order to attract independents and Republican Party moderates.

It’s not just tactical. Though she has centrist instincts on domestic issues, Clinton ran to the right of Obama on foreign policy during the 2008 presidential primary. She portrayed herself as the resolute hawk to his indecisive dove. As secretary of state, she continued to take more hawkish positions within the administration. In her recent memoir Hard Choices, she emphasizes that not only can she make the hard (not easy) decisions but she’s willing to adopt the hard (not soft) positions on security issues.

What would it take for Clinton to reconsider her knee-jerk American exceptionalism?
Read more…

FPIF Features

fight-ban-gold-miningThe Fight to Ban Gold Mining and Save El Salvador’s Water Supply 
Julia Paley
Gold-digging multinationals are fueling political violence and environmental devastation in El Salvador, but communities are fighting back.
Why Repression Continues in Honduras 
Lynn Holland
Military repression in Honduras is a direct legacy of U.S. meddling in the country.

Seeking Justice—Or at Least the Truth—for “Comfort Women” 
Christine Ahn
A growing global movement is ensuring that if the Japanese government won't hold itself to account for its crimes against women, then history will.
Don’t Go Back to Iraq! 
Phyllis Bennis
Five steps the U.S. can take in Iraq without going back to war.

pentagon-shrinking-invest-in-transitionThe Pentagon Budget Is Shrinking. Invest in Transition! 
Miriam Pemberton and William D. Hartung
The House has voted to drastically cut programs that help military-dependent communities transition to a peace economy.
who-won-iraqWho Won Iraq? 
Tom Engelhardt
Iraq today is George W. Bush’s nightmare and Osama bin Laden’s wet dream.
Soccer Is Democratic. The World Cup Is Oligarchy. 
Nathalie Baptiste
Thousands of poor Brazilians were evicted from their homes to build multimillion-dollar World Cup stadiums that may never be used again. Now Brazilians are fighting back.

Focal Points Blog

The Two Faces of ISIS: Summary Executions and Planting Flowers 
Russ Wellen
The march of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham is marked by both savagery and the provision of social services.

The Sunni Caliphate’s Little-Known Counterpart — the Shiite Imamate 
Sufyan bin Uzayr
Is either a true option for Muslims and, if so, which is preferable?

Russ Wellen
After the Norman Conquest, bishops devised an ingenious way to deal with the component of PTSD known as moral injury.

John FefferThe Hungarian countryside has retaliated for the reversal of its economic fortunes at the ballot box.

Support FPIF!

To protect our independence, we never run ads on FPIF. We take no money from governments or corporations. We survive on donations from readers like you. We’re a small non-profit with a tiny staff, so your dollars go a long way. Donate today!

Emerging Writer Fellowship Winner (June 29)
This season's second recipient of our Emerging Writer Fellowship, Katy Didden, will read from her book of poetry, The Glacier's Wake. She is joined by poet Stephanie Strickland.Read more
Advanced Poetry Workshop (July 15)
Read and discuss published poems that have followed or defied previous criticism. You'll write three poems of your own in this workshop with Jessica Garratt. Read more.
Nature Poetry and Japanese Forms (July 19)
Melanie Figg
This workshop, lead by Melanie Figg, will focus on the haiku, the tanka and the katuata. On the last day at Pyramid Atlantic you'll create a broadside of your finished poem. Read more
Dialogue and the Perfect Script (July 19)
Learn how to write dialogue and the perfect screenplay that will grab the attention of a producer in this one day intensive class lead by Monica LeeBellais. Read more
Researching & Writing Local History (July 25)
David A. Taylor
Explore the process of research for your essay, fiction or screenplay in this workshop with David Taylor. The class will include assignments, discussions and examples. Read more
Get Involved

Members of The Writer's Center receive discounts on workshops, events, rental space and more. To join or renew, click here.

The Writer's Center publishes The Workshop & Event Guide, and America's oldest running literary journal, Poet Lore.

Stay Connected
The Writer's Center
4508 Walsh Street Bethesda, Md 20815
Phone:301.654.8664  |  Fax:240.223.0458 |

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Phillipa Hughes and Ethelbert photo by Phillipa

Elections or just more storytelling?

The media keeps creating silly narratives. How can 1 election determine the direction of a nation?
If a tree falls in Mississippi does one hear it in Montana?

Has Anyone Seen My Love Poems?
Small news:

Syria recently gave up all known chemical weapons stock.
16 Innings of great baseball last night. Nationals defeated the Brewers 4-2 in 16.  I too was exhausted.
Will return to work today and see what new developments are taking place at Howard. Founders Library was too close to the sun last time I was there. Unbearable heat. Folks game me a new/old computer. Will see if it works today.

Nice lunch yesterday at DC Noodles with filmmaker Dana Flor. Much laughter and a good friendship in the works.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014



The Poets Won again!  25-20.

The 9th Miller Classic was played (June 21st) in Bennington during the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Don't those t-shirts look cool?

The above literary all-stars will take on the publishing world next.

I've been sponsoring this event for nine years. The goal is to bring poets and fiction writers
together on the field and not just the page.
Alison Flood
June 19, 2014
The Guardian (UK)
More than 20 unseen works found, which his publisher says amount to 'a literary event of universal significance'.

Pablo Neruda talks to press after his Nobel prize for literature win in 1971., Laurent Rebours/AP,
 More than 20 unpublished poems by Pablo Neruda – works of "extraordinary quality" according to his publisher – have been unearthed among the papers of the late Nobel laureate in his native Chile.

Neruda's Spanish publisher Seix Barral called the discovery "a literary event of universal importance", and "the biggest find in Spanish literature in recent years". The poems, which range from love poetry to poems dealing with everyday objects, were written by the mature Neruda, said the publisher, after 1950's Canto General. They are, said the poet and academic Pere Gimferrer, who is involved with the publication of the poems, as full of "the imaginative power, the overflowing expressive fullness and the same gift, the erotic or loving passion" as Neruda's best works.

An extract runs: "Reposa tu pura cadera y el arco de flechas mojadas / extiende en la noche los pétalos que forman tu forma", which translates literally as "Rest your pure hip and the bow of wet arrows / Extend into the night the petals which make up your form."

Gimferrer, whose expert opinion confirmed that Neruda was indeed the author of the poems, compared the previously unknown works to "the Neruda of the poems of Odas elementales, La Barcarola, Memorial de Isla Negra and even the Neruda of Estravagario".

Adam Feinstein, author of the acclaimed biography Pablo Neruda: A Passion for Life, called the lines "remarkable", and said that it appears the newly-found poems "are full of Neruda's richly imaginative use of language and imagery", some of them "apparently passionate love poems while others are songs to simple objects, along the lines of Neruda's Odes".

"This is an enormously exciting discovery," Feinstein told the Guardian. "In his lifetime, Neruda used to joke that one day they would go as far as to publish his socks. Now they have uncovered a whole new batch of his poems which lay unsuspected in a drawer. As Neruda's biographer, I am really looking forward to reading the poems and expect to find further examples of his lyrical genius."

The poems were found, said Seix Barral, in boxes of the poet's manuscripts kept at the Pablo Neruda foundation in Chile, and they will be published in late 2014 in Latin America and early 2015 in Spain.

Neruda, called "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language" by Gabriel García Márquez, won the Nobel prize in 1971 for "for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams", from Twenty Love Poems to a Song of Despair. The news of the discovery in Chile comes as a Chilean judge orders new tests on Neruda's body, which was exhumed in Isla Negra last April to determine whether or not he had been murdered by the Pinochet regime.
Neruda died on 23 September 1973, 12 days after Pinochet's military coup. The poet had been suffering from prostate cancer, but his driver Manuel Araya has claimed his death was "accelerated" by Pinochet's junta via an injection in his stomach, as the regime was fearful that, if Neruda fled into exile from Chile, as was his plan, he would become a dangerous voice of opposition.

It was announced in November 2013 that no poison had been found in Neruda's remains, but members of the poet's family contested the toxicology reports, and now the Associated Press has reported that judge Mario Carroza, in charge of the case, has requested more tests for further substances not found during the first investigations. "We continue to work to determine the exact cause of death of the poet," the medical legal service said in a brief statement quoted by the AP.
Feinstein expressed the hope that the new tests "produce some definitive answers one way or the other, although this may prove extremely difficult, given that Neruda died 41 years ago".

"Neruda's own family members are divided on the need for an examination of the poet's remains," said the biographer. "Some feel that the official cause of death, by cancer, should be accepted while others insist that the investigation into allegations of possible poisoning must continue."