Category: Poetry

Women of Passion and Purpose

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On behalf of Poets Network & Exchange thank you to everyone who came out for “Women of Passion and Purpose.” We were delighted to have you. Special thanks to our fabulous featured poets Jill Austen and Meredith Trede for your powerful words, we loved every poem shared. You were both amazing! Dear Meredith and Jill it was an honor. Thanks to everyone for joining me in honoring my friend Fay Chiang. For those not present we honored with words and lit candles which remained lit during the event in her memory. My sorrow is a little lighter today,

It was great seeing friends. Thanks to Maestro Marlon Daniel for photographing the event. You are appreciated beyond measure. Thanks, to our Open mic participants and everyone who purchased a book. Thanks to Brad our tech person and one of our greatest supporters, we appreciate you.

Enjoyed the after event community conversations, the sharing and living in the moment. This brings me immense joy. Everyone who took photos please tag me in them. We look forward to seeing everyone in the near future. More photos to come. (Photo Marlon Daniel)

©Lorraine Currelley 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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Poets Network & Exchange Love & Revolution

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On Saturday September 24, 2016 Poets Network & Exchange presented Love & Revolution. Words cannot express the full power, love and joy experienced at Saturday’s event. Community gathered for Poets Network & Exchange’s Love & Revolution and transformation took place, individually and collectively.

Speaking of social injustice, equity and emotional emancipation. Meeting in a safe  supportive environment, becoming  a catalyst for  change, healing and hope.

Poets Network & Exchange understands the importance of community and that we must create a restorative narrative. We understand we must work to change the old paradigm. We  understand that our work must include the very necessary work for justice.  This requires remaining focused and alert. Understanding our lives and those of future generations depend on our clarity. A clarity which sends us forth on a constructive path steadfast in our purpose.

We partnered with 100 Thousand poets for change, a global community of poets, writers and artists presenting events. 100 Thousand Poets for Change is founded by Michael Rothenberg. While focused on the artistic, it addresses social injustice sustainability and other social issues. This was our fourth year.

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Special thanks to our featured poets Jerome G., Ngoma Hill, Gary Johnston and Peuo Tatyana Tuy and to poet Mercy Tullis-Bukhari, for facilitating a great open mic. Thanks to Meredith Trede for continued support and to Peuo Tatyana Tuy and Ngoma Hill for their technical support and the Morningside Heights Library. Thanks to open mic participants Romeo Del Valle, Meredith Trede, Bro. Max Black, Layding Kaliba, Fatima Seba, Monica Muniz and Talib. Thanks to everyone who attended and shared in this healing and joyous experience. Community we are because of you!

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Photo Credit Peuo Tatyana Tuy and Lorraine Curelley

©Lorraine Currelley 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Men’s Narratives: Arts Activism, Creativity & Social Responsibility Part II

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On Wednesday July 13, 2016 community gathered at the Bronx Library Center for Men’s Narratives: Arts Activism, Creativity & Social Responsibility Part II. A conversation and reading with featured guest poet, teacher and musician Bonafide Rojas and moderated by Lorraine Currelley, Executive Director at Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. This three part series was created to explore the relationship between  arts activism, creativity and social responsibility. We ask, How does one’s creativity intersect social justice?

James Baldwin stated, “Artist are here to disturb the peace.” Bonafide Rojas is no stranger to cultural and political activism. He spent his youth as an activist on the frontlines advocating and fighting for human rights and social justice.  Today, he continues to address social justice through his writing, music, teaching as well as speaking and performing at various forums and venues. He believes the degree of one’s activism and responsibility is individual. It is often complicated and dependant on many factors. 

Bonafide Rojas is quick to smile and laugh. He’s insightful, ponders questions before responding and is well read. Algarin, Baraka, Lorca, Neruda, Perdomo, Pietri, Pinero and Sanchez among many others are some of the authors he has read or studied. He attributes early developmental influences to his strong and adventurous mother and brilliant sister. His son shares the name Pablo with the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and is charting his own musical path. Growing up in the Bronx, environment, varied multiple cultural as well as educational opportunities contributed to Bonafide Rojas’ knowledge thus expanding his worldview.

Bonafide Rojas is the author of Renovatio (Grand Concourse Press, 2014) When The City Sleeps (Grand Concourse Press, 2012) & Pelo Bueno: A Day In The Life of a Nuyorican Poet (Dark Souls Press, 2004). He appeared on Def Poetry Jam (Season 4), in the documentary Spitting Ink and has been published in numerous anthologies & journals. They include Manteca, Saul Williams’ Chorus, Bum Rush The Page, Role Call, Learn Then Burn (Pts. I & II), Me No Habla Con Acento, The Centro Academic Journal, The Hostos Review, The Acentos Review, Letras, The Calabash Journal & Palabras. He is the bandleader of the music project The Mona Passage & is the founder of Grand Concourse Press. He loves The Beatles, Bob Dylan & Jimi Hendrix.

We’re here because we understand the importance of community and that we must create a restorative narrative. We understand we must work to change the old paradigm that seeks to destroy us as a community. We  must continue our work for justice.  This requires remaining focused and alert. Understanding our lives and those of future generations depend on our clarity. A clarity which sends us forth on a constructive path steadfast in our purpose.

A special thanks to our featured guest Bonafide Rojas for a phenomenal conversation and reading. Thanks to Michael Alvarez, Jean Harripersaud and the Bronx Library Center for your ongoing support of community programming. Thanks Jean Harripersaud for sharing the importance of reading and for directing us to supporting books and exhibits throughout the evening. Thanks to Edward Currelley , Latanya DeVaughn, Carmen de Luca, Yolanda Rodriguez, Simone Nichole Perry and to   everyone who came out to support Men’s Narratives: Arts Activism, Creativity & Social Responsibility Part II. Join us for Part III August 17, Special Guest Charlie Vazquez.

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Copyright 2016 Lorraine Currelley. All Rights Reserved.
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Men’s Narratives: Arts Activism, Creativity & Social Responsibility Part I

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Men’s Narratives: Arts Activism, Creativity & Social Responsibility Part I got off to a great start with Nkosi Nkululeko. Nkosi is an amazing young poet, musician and visual artist. He started out as an actor, member of a swim team and played competitive chest. He studied jazz, classical music and piano. He was exposed to a community of poets, writers, and musicians at a very young age. He grew up in Harlem, New York born to artist parents, his mother a singer and his father a musician and poet.

Nkosi Nkululeko, is the 2016 NYC Youth Poet Laureate, is a Callaloo Fellow and The Watering Hole Fellow and has received nominations for the American Voices Award, Independent Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize. Nkosi was a member of the 2014 Urban Word NYC Slam Team and 2015 Urbana-NYC Slam Team. His work is currently published or forthcoming in No Token, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Rose Red Review, Hobart and elsewhere.

James Baldwin states, “Writers are here to disturb the peace.” Nkosi believes artists are not only here to disturb the peace but also to act as makers of peace. His poems are socially conscious and metaphorically rich. While, writing about issues centered on social justice, he also explores and writes about nature. He writes and speaks in his own voice, determined not to join a sea of the same voices. Early influences and mentors include Kim Moran Weston,  J.E. Franklin and Luis Reyes Rivera. He says, writing takes time and thought. Performing is difficult, the memorizing. Two years ago after joining  Urban Word NYC and becoming a member of the Slam Team he owned   the mantle poet. Nkosi Nkululeko resides in Harlem, New York where he listens to jazz. You can reach him at: musicmannkosi@gmail.com

Thanks to Jean Harripersaud, Michael Alvarez and the Bronx Library Center  Thanks Jean Harripersaud for sharing the importance of reading and for directing us to supporting books and exhibits throughout the evening. Thanks to everyone in attendance. Special shout out to Smoke author poet Mercy Tullis Bukhari for coming through. This program was sponsored by  Poets Network & Exchange, Inc.and Lorraine Currelley.

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Join us for Men’s Narratives Part II July 13, 2016 with Bonafide Rojas and Part III August 17 with Charlie Vazquez, Bronx Library Center 310 East Kingsbridge Road, Bronx NY. Series admission is free.

Copyright 2016 Lorraine Currelley. All Rights Reserved.

Poets Network & Exchange Stoop Narratives

Stoop Narratives was a wonderful success, thanks to the support of family, friends and community. Special thanks to our featured readers Phillip J. Ammonds, Edward Currelley, Baba Ngoma Hill, Marilyn Thomas King, Elizabeth Lara, and Gia Shakur. Thanks to Blind Beggar Press sponsor of our Literary Raffle and to Gary Johnston, Meredith Trede, and Harriet White readers for our open reading segment. Thanks to the Countee Cullen Branch, NYPL for an ongoing legacy of supporting social,  cultural and educational enrichment programming.

Copyright 2016 Lorraine Currelley. All Rights Reserved.

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Lorraine Currelley Curates Mom Egg VOX January 2016 Issue

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Honored to curate  the Mom Egg Review VOX Gallery January 2016 Issue. Featured Poets and Writers E.J. Antonio, Jill Austen, Fay Chiang, Edward Currelley, Lorraine Currelley, Jacqueline Johnson, Nella Larsen, Carmel Mawle, Christopha Moreland, Kate Rushin, Alicia Anabel Santos , Margie Shaheed and Julia Stein.. Thanks to Marjorie A. Tesser, Founder & Editor in Chief, Mom Egg Review and featured contributors. Please visit and share widely.

http://www.themomegg.com/themomegg/VOX_MOM/Entries/2015/12/30_VOX_MOM__Guest_Curator_Lorraine_Currelley.html