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@westphillycommunitypoem is in the Philadelphia Inquirer this morning! Along with words from Philly Youth Poet Laureate Cydney Brown and LindoYes, who joined us in the pop-up offering personalized poems for participants to walk away with.
Read the full article here: https://www.inquirer.com/…/everyday-places-barnes-west…
“Doing poetry in public, Kavanaugh’s learned, can be a ‘healing medium’ that gives people space to ‘work things through, through poetry.’
“With emotions that can be difficult to express, he explained, poetry offers a chance to find language for them. As the words reach deep within ourselves, poetry can touch without touch, he continued.”
Thank you so much to writer Cassie Owens and photographer Jose F. Moreno for taking the time to capture so much of the scene at La Pearl Beauty Emporium, and further describe the purpose of the #EverydayPlacesWestPHL Artist Partnerships presented by #BarnesWest LoLa 38 and The Barnes Foundation!
Did you miss our first pop-up? That’s okay! We have several more pop-ups through October! Our next date is on Sunday, August 29th at La Pearl Beauty Emporium on Lancaster Avenue
Hey, check it out! My new poetry collection #TravelByHaiku is available at local bookstores around the country, including:
- A Novel Idea on Passyunk Philadelphia (South)
- Bindlestiff Books Philadelphia, PA (West)
- Brickbat Books Philadelphia, PA
- The Head & The Hand Philadelphia (Fishtown)
- Small World Books Venice Beach, CA
- Tomorrow Today Los Angeles, CA
- Topos Bookstore New York City (Ridgewood)
More info and places to grab a copy on my website here: https://www.marshalljameskavanaugh.com/travel-by-haiku-volumes-6-10.html
Featuring collaborative haiku by 6 different authors on three separate road trips, the story follows our hero Marshall Deerfield who ties it all together as a young poet growing wilder. Those familiar with the American Pops of #JackKerouac, the blues-infused ku of Sonia Sanchez, or the travel fiction of Basho will especially enjoy these wild rambles and where they take the reader.
In a review in Tears in the Fence, John Brantingham, poet laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, had this to say about the new book: “What struck me immediately is how this feels like the volume that might have been written by a side character in #JackKerouac’s novel Dharma Bums. There is a joy here for nature that is infectious. With the haibun, these haiku create a narrative of young people going into the new American West to find what remains to take pleasure in. Much of what we have read in older works that have the same kind of approach is gone. Times have changed and we have lost that world. Marshall Deerfield is trying to find what is there now and how to lose himself in these places.”
A review of Travel By Haiku by Madison Betts, just in time for summer
Published in Write Now Philly:
“The artful entwining of anecdotes with poetry created by the six collaborators brings attention to the effect of connection. Whether through the connected lines of poetry, the bonds between Deerfield and his friends, the ties to those they meet on the road, or the immersion in nature, connection is felt throughout the book. It is exactly the energy needed in 2021 and in the coming years.”
Read more here: https://writenowphilly.com/road-tripping-from-home/
This Sunday, May 23rd at 4pm PCT (7pm EST), #TravelByHaiku is getting far out on the digital road. We’ll be teaming up with Tomorrow Today in Los Angeles for an online release party. You can tune in from anywhere in the world!
RSVP here: https://bit.ly/TBHpartyLA
You’ll have to RSVP to get the Zoom link. Tickets are FREE. You can also purchase a signed copy of the new book with your ticket.
The night will feature spoken word, music, live puppetry, dance, and video art performances by John Brantingham, Kendra Adler – Word As Movement, Phoenix (Jenna Love), Lance Robertson, Holly Zimbert, Erin White & Ethan Foote, Marian McLaughlin, Stephanie Beattie, Cameron Christopher Stuart, Augustus Depenbrock, and Rowan Vanskyver Killian
Don’t miss out on the adventure!
Tonight is the night! Grab a ticket and take the ride. Tune in tonight, March 31st at 8PM EST for the online release party for #TravelByHaiku!
RSVP here: https://bit.ly/TBHReleaseParty
The show is FREE to attend. You need to RSVP to get the Zoom link. With your ticket, you can also purchase a signed copy of the new book.
The night will include a dynamic range of spoken word, music, live puppetry, dance, and video art performances
The night will be co-hosted by @therandomtearoom with tea and other cozy accoutrements.
Get in! Let’s journey together.
📸 by @sixnineteen
It’s time to introduce the writers whose haikus are featured in this new collaborative collection. Let’s start with Gus!
Augustus Depenbrock spends his time in Los Angeles puttering around the garden. He imbues his dreams into many objects whether they be words, soil, paint or stone. It is all a part of the magic to explore around us.
His haiku collaborations are featured in Travel By Haiku, Volume 6: Desert Jesters Swim In Ancient Seas. This section follows our journeys through the Big Bend area of West Texas. This trip took place in 2015, while I was on the second leg of my first US poetry tour from the east coast to the west coast.
It picks up right where Travel By Haiku, Volumes 1-5: Still Trippin’ Across The States leaves off. It’s right before I discovered Taos, NM, where you’ll see in the book, I end up returning to and making my homebase for the journeys that launch in the latter third of the book with Stephanie Beattie and Cameron Christopher Stuart in 2016. It’s a wild start to a wild journey. No better place than the desert for it to start! You can learn more about the new collection on my website: https://bit.ly/TravelByHaiku
You can join us on the road, on March 31st, 2021 at 8pm EST.
RSVP on Eventbrite to receive the Zoom link: https://bit.ly/TBHReleaseParty
The event is FREE to attend. You can also purchase a book with your ticket to enjoy this epic, wild journey as it is released into the universe!
I’ve been waiting for this moment for months! The advanced reader copies for my new book #TravelByHaiku came in the mail. This moment was made possible thanks to subscribers on my Patreon campaign.
Join them and Subscribe to my Patreon: https://patreon.com/marshalljameskavanaugh
Sign up for at least $3 per month before March 1st, 2021, and I’ll add your name to the acknowledgements when the book is published. $7 a month and I’ll mail you a copy along with some other goodies.
If you’ve enjoyed a poem in the past, I encourage you to sign up. Thanks to current patrons, I’ve been able to focus on assembling this collection, pay for professional editing, pay for peer review, and do all this despite having less access to my normal income of typing poems in public places as a result of pandemic lockdowns and winter weather.
Subscribers at any tier of support gain access to all of the behind the scenes that goes into creating a book. You’ll see rough drafts, notes about the writing, time-lapse videos of design work, a peek into special collaborations, and much more. All that, as well as special discounts for my webstore and upcoming events including the Travel By Haiku release party.
Any support will go such a long way. I’m currently hoping to reach my next goal of being able to pay all of the performers at the online book release party on March 31, 2021. If even a quarter of my followers here, signed up for $1 per month, I’d be able to achieve that goal and curate such a killer event worth remembering.
We’d bring #TravelByHaiku to life like never before seen!
Thanks all for following along. I hope to see you over on Patreon and share more of this collection with you as we get closer to the March release!
You can also RSVP to the online release party. Tickets are FREE. There’s also paid tickets where you can get tea and other goodies from event co-host The Random Tea Room! Go check it out here: https://bit.ly/TBHReleaseParty
Four years ago, today, I marched in downtown Philadelphia alongside several thousand other demonstrators who weren’t happy about a white supremacist dictator being elected into office. Before setting out onto the street, I sat with Jo Simian in his house and meditated. I was freshly returned from my time spent at the prayer camps in North Dakota and one thing, among a whole world of things that I learned there, is that going to a protest completely filled with rage doesn’t work well for my mental well-being.
It can be exhausting. Especially if there is no clear “win” at the end of a rally. Instead, I learned from relatives indigenous to this land that prayer and love can be a guiding force that steers the spirit through the tumult of upset towards a true understanding of the goals that are at hand within the heart. We faced an imperialists’ army up there in North Dakota, and though we were often shell-shocked by the tear gas clouds, mace, rubber bullets, LRADs, heat cannons, perpetual crop-dusting with rat poison, stun grenades, and all sorts of other militarized weaponry, because of the prayer our spirits remained high.
I had members of the Red Warrior Society constantly by my side, walking up and down the lines of a march or candle-lit procession, voicing, “Remember your mother. Your sister. Your lover. Think of the people you care for as you walk. Remember to stay in love as you walk.”
These simple commands were lessons that literally blew my mind and opened my heart.
Back home in Philadelphia, at the protest on Inauguration Day, I knew there wouldn’t be that type of direction from the organizers, and so we would have to be self-reliant in staying centered and grounded. Jo being the modest type when it comes to spiritual practices meant we didn’t talk too much about what kinds of intentions we were collectivizing in our meditation, We sat together in silence for 20-30 minutes and just breathed peace.
I remember, for me I set the intention for myself and for the world at large that Donald Trump as president would be the peak manifestation of toxic masculinity. He would reveal to all of us all of the ugly sides of man, and we as men would learn a thing or two from this awful reflection of ourselves as a nation. And like a peak, it would be the last thrust of this toxicity before we descended down the other side into a place of better mutual understanding and eventual healing, both of masculinity and for the victims of its tyranny.
It felt good to take that energy to the streets. Light a sage bundle and hold that prayer as we marched through this revolutionary city. A city where I’ve marched so many times before and after. To see everyone’s handcrafted signs. For me the moment was not the beginning but it was a progression of the direction I was happy more were beginning to take.
That night, I co-hosted a fundraiser for that prayer camp in North Dakota. Several bands played, a few poets read, and a group of Aztec dancers performed under the lead of Brujo de la Mancha. Maybe 70-80 people showed up. What better way to celebrate that we can overcome the rise of a fascist dictator than to connect as a collective and offer mutual aid to folks struggling near and far. The spirits were high, despite the present moment and probable future.
The next day, I woke up and drove to the Women’s March in DC. Again, I was in the streets of our nation. This time holding a sign that read “Poets For Peace”. I marched with my sister. My friend Antonio Bandalini also tagged along. Maybe 2 million people filled the National Mall.
It was hardly a march. It was more of a spectacle. The city blocks in every direction were jam-packed with people. We couldn’t have marched if we had wanted to. The organizers couldn’t get from the stage to the head of the march.
I thought, if only the organizers had planned for this the way they do in Europe, we could sit and stay and Occupy the nation’s capital for as long as it would take until the president stepped down. I guessed it would probably take two weeks. The newly elected president lost the popular vote (for the second time in recent history) by 2 million electors. We could’ve changed the law that allowed for that. But instead, at some unannounced moment, we all began to disperse. It took several hours. Some marched to the White House and hung their signs along the 12-foot high steel-barred fences. Everyone went home.
Four years later, I find it just a little odd not to be in the street today. I imagine we will be back in the streets soon enough. The rich are still getting richer while the poor get poorer. The police are still murdering unarmed people of color, while treating militarized white supremacist insurrectionists to an open door. The current president didn’t run on healthcare for all, despite a worldwide pandemic. Nor did he run on tightening regulations on wall street or taxes for the mega-wealthy. There’s hope in his policy that combats climate change, but it might be too little, too late if he’s not pushed to think bigger. He called off the Keystone Pipeline, but what about the Line 3 in Minnesota, Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia, or digging up the Dakota Access Pipeline now that a federal judge has ruled that it’s construction was illegal four years later? How about freeing Leonard Peltier?
I have faith in Deb Haaland as the head of Interior. I’m excited Bernie Sanders will oversee the Senate Budget committee. AOC, Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Jamaal Bowman are all bad asses and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish. I look forward to what happens with the two new Senators from Georgia. I can’t wait to see Nina Turner join the house in a few months.
But honestly, it feels unfortunate to have the night off. To have a pandemic that still keeps us apart. I would so much rather be at a basement show or at some fundraiser at a gallery. Seeing friends and performing poetry. Continuing to build a better world. Dragging this nation forward by the underbelly of innovation available to us, who dream of a brighter future and are still restless to see it be made reality.
This is just about the coolest gift imaginable! My sister commissioned the ever-amazing Marian McLaughlin to make a personalized crankie based on my cross-country road trips.
Subscribe to my Patreon to see the full video: https://bit.ly/PledgeToHaiku
What is a crankie, you may ask? It’s an old storytelling device where a long, illustrated scroll is hand-cranked through a viewing window while a story is told. @marianmclaughlin makes them on demand on any topic or idea. Send her a message if you’d like to commission a gift like this for someone you love. She’s open for requests and as you can see an extraordinary dream laborer. This storyboard features the likes of Parse Seco, and the unicorn Ma Ja Ka, as well as a snapshot of the Poets For Peace.
As far as the new book, it includes haikus like the ones featured in this clip. We’re a quarter of the way to funding a release party that’ll feature performances like this. Your pledge to my Patreon campaign means I’ll be able to pay performers and promote the new book.
For as little as $1 a month, you can read all the rough drafts and watch the accompanying animations. For $7 a month, I’ll mail you a signed copy of the book when it’s released in March 2021. All tiers of support have a chance to contribute to the behind the scenes of a book of poetry being born out of the dust of the road.
Even from this winter cave, I feel the language of wilderness sweet upon the tongue. Chewing in my sleep. Belly rumbling amidst hibernation.
Visions are ripe with memories of late summer and early fall. But really, it’s these mountains that give beck and call. I can see their effect in every typewritten syllable.
Poems about love. Poems about work. Poems about longing for the familiar. Somehow in every turn of phrase, nature enters.
I’ve been beginning to dream again. With winter, comes a deeper sleep. But this year feels kind of different. With hope on the horizon, the mind is given space to drift and wander. Manic creations come to me in the middle eve and as I tap the keys the typewriter becomes a total dream machine full of wonder.
Ode to the psychic blues of mid-morning. Hail the passing clouds of mid-winter. Oh, how the warmth of the eternal fire spits and sputters life to find new immediate comic relief from the perpetual clutter.
It’s a long golden road to write a poem. For the last few weeks, I’ve forged each poem by the warmth of the fire. Locked away in my creative cabin south of town, the words spill outwards. I am warmed by them and so are you. To connect through this verse is to create the day anew.