ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume IX Issue II
CoverforIssue89


The Masthead:

"Black Lives Matter"





"Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, Oluwatoyin Salau . . . "Who do you have to talk to, to end the war?", into the streets,
stories of the protests, stories of love, stories of the night, the heat, walking and walking,
bang a gong, make love not war, Summer in a small towne, dance Summer blue . . .
peace to the Angels . . . peace to all peoples"










"These people do not deserve,
See how happy that kid looks
I bet he has a forever lover coming . . ."
"These people do not deserve . . ."

"the poor, the homeless, the Blacks, queers,
trans, mental patients, prisoners, Michelangelo's,
people who don't own homes, people who own homes,
people who are celibate, people who have families, people who live alone,
people who have pets, people who don't have pets,
people who have jobs, people who don't have jobs,
people who have children, people who don't have children,
people who are young, people who are middle-aged, people who are old,
people who are bald, people who have hair,
people who are short, people who are tall
people who wear the colour pink"

There. Is that everyone? Can you see how this spirals out of control?
Maybe over a beer down at the local bar . . .

The collective anger, grief and broken of this society needs to be healed.

Please read The Life Ways Free EBooks:

The Holy Spirit Way

The Holy Spirit Way: A Handbook

On Love and Marriage

Also @ Amazon Stations. Amazon.com.










Subterranean Blue Poetry
 
Volume IX Issue II
 
(February 2021)










SubterraneanBluePoetryLogo
 
Subterranean Blue Poetry

www.subterraneanbluepoetry.com
 
© 2021










MAKESHIFT BORDERS

by Nnadi Samuel


weigh it which way,
boundaries are cuffed barrels tongued to a busy road,
oil & hate trickling down to receive migrants in a befitting green.
you would almost beg to carry the whole fun below your chin.

at the steep edge of the bridge, nature knows a little about slave trade.
she lays in blocks,
to break the world into a foreign queue.

rip off those lies in sack clothing,
& the shady officers-- blond mannequins making reckless gains in cheap currency.
what makes you feel the snow kills better over there?
how come you've lost so much weight in chasing a life that feels like yours?

sweet-tongue me into your grief,
how you bear this lesson for someone out there with a black skin,
about to cross a border that is no border.

tell him the truth that is no truth.
that an eruption quaked this land to meet us at both ends.
make a folklore of this,
& watch variety stalk the most of its meaning.









I CAN'T BREATHE

by Jim Hirtle


Eyes closed
Quivering images
Colorless-
White on black- black on white
I bow my head to pray

Beyond my eyes
Images linger, stealing my words, muting my God thoughts
Monochromatic eruptions
Black or White
One Color?
One kneels to kill
One prays to breathe
One laughs One dies

Beyond my eyes
Chaotic silence
Dreary eddies overflowing
Images Mister Leary would covet
Ten thousand shadows march across fractured asphalt
Holding his name high, seeking justice for the oppressed one
Tears fall from faceless minions

Beyond my eyes
Anarchic stillness
Darkness unfolds
Colorless fire and ebony clouds fill the night
Cities burn
Shattered glass flashes hues of black and white
Faceless faces scream
Stores looted Pockets filled
No one cries
They have forgotten why they came
Forsaking his memory for a new flat screen

I close my eyes
I can't breathe









NOTHING LEFT

by Jonathan Shipley


There is nothing left to write, but then
another black person dies and I'm here
again at the dining room table while black
peoples' dining room tables are emptying.
As if there are a finite amount of words
to write about a life. Brionna Taylor is
beyond the two words say her name.
The King James Bible has 783,137 words.
The shortest verse in the Bible is John
11:35. "Jesus wept." There is no one
way to tell a story. There are four gospels.
What did they sing at Brionna's funeral?
This poem will go until the bottom of this
page. Tell me about Brionna's favorite movie.
Where did she want to travel? What moment
did she understand what love really was?
Tell me about Brionna's favorite Easter
dress; her favorite smell; her worst
nightmare.

There is no finite amount of words to
write about a life. Shakespeare's complete
works consist of 884,647 words. We know
all of them could have been used just on
Yorick. Twice that. Three times as many
words.

How many words are there in every book
ever written? Brionna's life fills every
page of them because every page is written
with
love and love's leaves don't fall.









WENDY'S DRIVE-THRU MENU

by Jonathan Shipley


Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger
10 piece spice chicken nuggets
Systemic racism
Chili cheese fries
Cheese baked potato
Racial profiling
Homestyle chicken sandwich combo
Asiago ranch chicken club combo
Militarized police force
Summer strawberry salad
Kids' meal
A bullet in the back
Grilled bacon jalapeno chicken
Frosty cookie sundae
Another dead black man

Your order will be ready at the first window










AND SOME, I ASSUME, ARE GOOD PEOPLE

by Gerard Robledo


With ever gentle tugs, she opens
the yellowing kitchen curtains, its tassel
tieback cord
looped loosely - a slipknot in the Oklahoma
sunlight

clearing the dark corners of their home. And her
mother kindly sings, Lord, send the old-time
power,
that mighty power! That Sinners be
converted
and thy name glorified! That twang in her
throat

seizes your ears & spills her words from
yesterday
onto your plate. Her disdain of those people,
those Natives, or whatever they're called
now,
crowds your plate, rots your breakfast when
you see it

cozied up against the home fries & burnt
Wonder Bread.
All you could do that day was look out the
passenger window
& let your teeth tear your thumbnail, instead
of her throat.
Over coffee & egg whites, her father passes
you

his cream and casually asks if, You ever
noticed
how purple Obama's lips are? Your body
stiff, only your eyes move quickly onto his
daughter
holding your tan baby in her colorless hands

against strawberry hair & freckled breasts.
Your words stumble
out apprehensively, I don't know. Your reflection
lost in the strong brown drink. His words,
I want to see the birth certificate,
widen your eyes & divorce your heart.










STIGMATA MINE

by Gerard Robledo


Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
...where there is despair, hope; ...
...and where there is sadness, joy
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned ...
- excerpt from the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

My mother made me
recite this prayer daily.
Each morning she impressed
on me the gravity of poverty
for St. Francis, the first person to receive the Stigmata:

visible marks & intense suffering
mirroring Jesus Christ's wounds of crucifixion
- bleeding hands, feet, & sides, sometimes
without end. He lived the pain of someone else,

ardent to aid those in need. Back then, we hung
a large painting of St. Francis next to our front door:
each morning we walked past bloody hands,
then dropped quarters at the unwashed feet of men

massed on downtown corners. Their blackened skin
barren in undeniable heat. My mother gripped
my pale hands & scurried me to safety
behind the locked doors of St. Mary's Elementary School,

before heading to her next job
- she'd say nothing is free, then hand me my sandwich
made from government cheese & food-stamped meat.
When I asked her why

we couldn't help those men on the corner
she answered with another prayer,
because God gives us the serenity to accept
the things we cannot change.

I still wonder when he will
give us the courage to know the difference.









AN ACT OF SELF-DEFENSE
(After Ahmaud Arbery)

by Megha Sood


The exact moment when the grief takes
shelter in your heart leaving you undone
when the emptiness sits in the gaping hole
an abyss of loneliness:

the deafening lull in your mind
stops making sense
Your ears ring with the
lonely wails of the widow
in the apartment above you

Sorrow takes a different shape
tears streaming down incessantly
for the senseless acts of violence and
cowardice
carried by the very educated hands of this
land
where life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness
are
foundations of society, the sidewalks of those
pitted with the black bones of their own

You are not carrying your freedom in your
arms
/your right to bear arms/
when the only right you give to a mother
is to stick a cross in the middle of an
unknown street
giving a piece of land for her dead son
a parched island of grief:
there is nothing but death at the end of a gun

When the names keep adding to the
unnamed list
Treyvon, Michael, Eric . . . and so on
an ever-growing list of dead and forgotten
where names have to scream out loud
to make their lives matter else all hell will
break loose

To hell with your right to the Second
Amendment
when it's laced with the blood
of a black brother whose murder
you are incessantly
trying to justify as self-defense.









WILL

by Kimberlynne Darby Newton


Tender
I look down at the
tender skin
on your neck.
I worry for you,
want to wrap trembling arms
around
your tender shoulders.
But a grin escapes,
when I see you busy scribbling
explains that it's not me
but you.
Wave your magic wand,
take a strong stance,
and believe,
as I do.
I know the world has thrown so
much
at you.
But you have become
the storm, created your shelter.
BRAVEBIRD,
clinging to bough,
but true to you.
I can ask nothing else.
Stones thrown at any who dare deny,
an asphalt cloak,
to hide you, baby,
keep you safe.

But you are better than safe,
triumphant in your will
to win this race.
I see a girl, with
thick grown skin,
but an open heart.
Do you know what you have
become?
Sweet child
you are
FREE!










FEATURED POET: GWENDOLYN BROOKS

THE POOL PLAYERS. SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.

by

Gwendolyn Brooks



We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.










MISSED CONNECTIONS

Craigslist Montreal - Missed Connections - March 15th, 2018 - Anonymous



You asked me about the tree in the garden - m4w (Montreal)


status: single

I worked at that hospital and you came asked me about a certain tree in the garden, your beauty stunned me at the moment but I managed to tell that if you ever have any other questions about anything to not hesitate to come and ask. You have the most beautiful set of eyes I've seen in my life! Last time I saw you, you was walking with a resident and we looked at each other. I wish I waived at you, I wish I asked what your name is.

(N.B.: "and Aubrey was her name . . ." - a note from the editor

"a very special name . . ." - a note from the other editor

"coffee and cake" - says the cat

"cake and coffee" - says the other cat

"you do not have enough time for coffee and cake" - says Simon Le Gris

"go home cat" - says Machiavelli

"here's $50, Machiavelli and Simon Le Gris, get out of my hospital" - says mum)










BOOK REVIEWS



PoemZ 4 U AND YourZ



Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: PoemZ 4 U AND YourZ

Author: Zo-Alonzo Gross

Illustrators: Beya Prince Gross (Back Cover Abstract), Michaël Lezay, Alexia Zakariya, Keila Zuniga, Danielle Siegelbaum,
                       Jahim Trotter, Bum Buniii/Joslyn Tapia, Dwayne Jones, DK Photography,
                       Adail Dilly-Santiago of Jadil Photos, Alex Gaston Art, Justin Bua,
                       The Artist Wesley, Stanislav Sidorov, Jason O'Brien, Abeon Hosting,
                       Kevin J. Taylor, Jahbu Art

Publisher: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Date of Publication: 2021

Pages: 136


"All you need is love . . ."
- From All you need is love by The Beatles


PoemZ 4 U AND YourZ by Zo-Alonzo Gross, a Rap music inspired poetry and art/photo event where the blues street meets the neo-classical, on the wings of doves, creating an original art house poetry offering, A Subterranean Blue Poetry Imprint. Including an eclectic mix of artwork, the work features 17 illustrators/photographers, particularly Michaël Lezay, Kevin J. Taylor, Jahbu Art, Dwayne Jones, Jahim Trotter, Danielle Siegelbaum, Keila Zuniga amongst others. Zo-Alonzo Gross (Poet, songwriter, recording artist, dancer, writer) lives with his wife and children. He has earned a degree in literature at Temple University. He has published short stories, poetry collections and has poetry featured in anthologies and journals. He is featured in "VOICES" a documentary of cutting-edge New Age Poets by Gina Nemo. He has received Awards for his poetry from the Lehigh Valley Music Awards (2012), The Poet Magazine (2020) and Inner Child Press (2020).

This poetry has the power of dream travel, a magic conjuring of a parallel universe, a heaven universe of love, truthtelling, wisdom and mythos. A spirit call for love and peace that transcends violence. In Beat box delivery that moves and rhymes intermittently at the ends of lines, in terms of old-world magic it is as if the poetry attempts to reintroduce love and true bright to a conflicted world. The poetry is a pictograph, in and of itself with creative use of syntax, that at once creates a new vision for our times, an enlightenment in protest. Written in neo-Shakespeare, Gross uses word constructions in an Old English presentation, influenced by the writings of the Bard. Images of nature resound in original poetic light.

This poetic gift combined with the illustrations, give a new celebration in ekphrastic poetry. The poetry and illustrations play with an internal state of ecstatic experience that dances in spheres of love and forevermore. Cuandos Bailamos (When We Dance) with the illustration by Michaël Lezay is a truly gifted presentation that illuminates an idea of love and respect in love's storybook, as if alluding to an idea of karma and discernment, much needed in a lost world of hidden agendas. A truly great write, this poetry is an original creation in style, iconographic.

From "Hymns of Eternity":

"Her Wings Stretched out,
in2 the Dawn of Night,
Her path (From God)
etched out, She's ever Grateful,
4 the Dawn's Invite."

The themes in the work celebrate the life and love of the poet in his journey. A truthtelling for peace that shines within the eternal magic of New Age poetry, PoemZ 4 U AND YourZ by Zo-Alonzo Gross.

Available @ Amazon.com, Target.com, and Barnes&Noble.com.













CLASP OR THE PINK: EROTICA IN THE NEW AGE



Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: CLASP or The Pink

Author: Kimberlynne Darby Newton

Publisher: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Date of Publication: 2021

Pages: 130


"We fucked a flame into being."
- from Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence


And beautiful anarchy, as if an entire suite of poetry written in bed, CLASP or The Pink by Kimberlynne Darby Newton and Subterranean Blue Poetry is an event in love in black girl beauty, an original in New Age erotica. Kimberlynne Darby Newton lives and works in Montgomery, Alabama. She is a retired history professor, a prolific New Age poet who is always writing a great book of poetry. An exciting play on love and the erotic, Kimberlynne Darby Newton is the Helen Gurley Brown of romantic erotic poetry. Helen Gurley Brown was the editor-in-chief of the popular magazine Cosmopolitan for 32 years, happily married she famously celebrated the positive of a fulfilled sex life.

This Beat Poetry progression lives in neo-classical images and allusions, gods and goddesses with Black meme consecrates love names, Erzulie, Oshun, Yemeyah, Yemeya, Ogun, Bastet, Anulis, Prince, Vishnu, Djinn, Houri in a love offering for a healed universe. Sweet talk with intellectual elements, a great poet writes pink.

The suggestion of the physical love that tempts, taunts and captivates, not only does Darby Newton expertly craft the romantic poetic form, CLASP or The Pink also on occasion offers more than suggestion. This play on romance is a quiet anarchy considering about 1/3 of the N.A. population lives alone. In a complicated world of politics and romance, Darby Newton illustrates. In exultance, health and healing there is nothing ordinary about having a happy longterm lover and this poetry celebrates of the goddess of love.

From "Soft":

"When hard and hot meet,
touch soothed,
opened doors,
love grew.
Beautiful brown Piscean
eyes, promised different,
steady.
1,000 pledges of eternal
swept aside barriers,
mended broken
places.
Merging simply
mattered.
Bliss came
softly,
inside cradling arms.
We fell,
flying."

From "Belonging":

"Sorry for skies,
awanting dawn,
her lover."

This poetry lives in fantastical poetic climes. A beautiful seduction in pink. Bring out the wine and chocolate, turn down the silk bed sheets, a night of passion and CLASP or The Pink by Kimberlynne Darby Newton.

Available @ Amazon.ca.













RESIST: INCANTATIONS FOR PEACE, LOVE AND PROTECTION



Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Resist

Author: Kimberlynne Darby Newton

Publisher: Subterranean Blue Poetry

Date of Publication: 2020

Pages: 35


"The world so fine
And Eden not so far away . . .
- from As Darkness Reigns by Oracle


"Black is Beautiful", in response to the ever-present violence in the United States against our brothers and sisters, RESIST is a brilliant write from Kimberlynne Darby Newton and Subterranean Blue Poetry. Kimberlynne Darby Newton, a Poet and retired history professor from Alabama is famous for being a consummate Poet, writing the poem, "Song of the South." She is one of the highlights of post-modern American Poetry.

RESIST, a Chapbook of the cause for love and freedom, is at once empowering, an inspiration and a truthtelling. As if the Black Poet goddess preaching good gospel, this poetry raises the Spirit to heaven, in positive affirmations. A heart weave, a love song, a Neo-classical war chant for love. Calling on Artemis, the goddess of love and Erzulie, she of water, she of life in incantations for peace, love and protection. Newton calls her people "Children of the Sun" and the poetry spills forth like fresh, clean water for Black suffrage and freedom. This writer can remember being at a friend's house when a teenager and listening to Malcolm X recordings on vinyl. This poetry has the essence of that freedom call.

From "Where I Lived":

"Let pride run you,
sweet made baby,
shout and slander
them hush-a-byes.
Got people depending on you,
and people that will never.
Sing your freedom, girl!
I did like they told me to.
Loving, laughing, liking the me,
they believed in.
Where I lived."

A Beat poetry progression in the New Age Renaissance Republique. Perfect bound Chapbook candy, a celebration of life and love in the face of violence, RESIST by Kimberlynne Darby Newton. A Subterranean Blue Poetry Imprint.

Available @ Amazon.com.











OF POETIC INTEREST . . .



THE BEEKEEPER'S DAUGHTERS

by

Rebecca Anne Banks



(A serialized long poem in cycles)


the servant girl                                 would not wash her dress                          she took her dress
                             at the Beekeeper's                                       it is night

                                           down to the washing well                         Andromache the good sees her
the women enter the bee yard                                       on a table

                                               she gives Hélène's dress to her servant girl to wash
are a pile of secondhand dresses                                                                  it is night


"what if we don't win the war?"                         "of course we will win the war"
                                                 in silence                                                        quickly they each pick a dress

"our men are the best fighters"                                        "what if we don't win the war?"
                                              in their favourite colour                                              dress themselves

"He has so many clothes, what will I do with his clothes?"                        the war, the seasons
                                                                         there are only 2 dresses left                    a light dusting of snow

                                                       she had never seen snow before
the yellow dress is her favourite colour                                             yet might be too small

she walks into the snow covered yard                                       in barefeet
                                                   she dons the brown dress                          she is the only one

Paris said something she didn't understand                                                        they formed a circle
                                                        not wearing her favourite colour                                   he laughed

around her                                inside, outside                                belittling
                         not understanding                         she begins to cry                         as her tears fall

catcalling                                   laughing                        shaming                               inside outside
               small yellow flowers                       sprang up                      through the snow

he picked them                                   their mouths curl                        behind their hands
                             gave her the flowers                                he smiles                                 "for the elecampane" . . .










the war o' raged . . . his older brother war-murdered by the prize fighter the horror the horror at dawn the body of Hector is burnt in the towne square Hélène through a long looking glass darkly his wife Andromache brings all of his clothes down to the square in cacophony Hélène attempts to talk to her "What is that?" she has a firelighter in her hand, "What is that?" she mimics "Maybe we should have one in every household - leave me alone" she lights the clothes on fire . . . Paris goes insane with tragedy, his brother dead . . . in the night takes Hélène roughly she cries sleeps sleeps into the late afternoon he does not return rings her heart out turns cries like a broken bell the sun sets he does not return rings out the long twilight . . . she imagines he has gone to the bed of the beautiful maid, he is angry with her, he will not talk to her . . . day in day out the night . . .










a man appears at the door                                                    she doesn't remember him
                                        she is the only girl in a brown dress                                       the women reel

                                           spin                             and taunt                                     her back to the fire
Ulysses tries to talk to her                   lost in miasma                        she doesn't understand

                           calling down the moon                                          the night                                      the stars calling
his language                                    she will not sleep with him                        she is married to Paris

                                 the night                             falling                                             falling
he goes away . . .                        the Sun Le Roi              does not like the battlefield,              disguised, slips into the city, Troy

dance hall victims                                   she cries                                   cries                               looking for the moon . . .
                                 learns the language,                ferrets information,               barters for food

                                 she begins to sing                                    sing                                 sing
Hélène alone alone                                 those long afternoons           she begins to sing                   into the silence . . .

sings                                  the women go silent                                               the women stop
                    the music beautiful                                  the music drifts up into the sky                             slip away in a breath,

the women                                     begin to cry                     slowly                      they take off their dresses
                        gone in a breath . . .                           day in                     day out                                          sing singing . . .

one by one                                throw the dresses in the fire                      one by one                            the last sacrificial virgin
                         day in . . .                                     day out                         where is the sun? . . .

                                           the angel                                          she is the only one left wearing a dress
he discovers where Hélène is                        where she lives alone . . .                                                       he visits her

in the firelight                                          the dress shines                                                  shines golden
                               she is lost inside her mind                               she does not want to sleep with him

                                      the Angel                                                                          dresses her
she is married to Paris                        vaguely the memory of the summer Le Roi                          at the wedding day . . .

a fresh flower wreath over her hair                                                skyclad
                                                  he takes her roughly to bed . . .                      in quiet she sings singing quiet

the women wander out                               into the night . . .
                                   into the silence

(To be continued . . .)










Charles Kinsey: "Sir, why did you shoot me?"
Policeman: "I don't know."
- Channel 7 Miami, Florida



UNTITLED

by

Rebecca Anne Banks



somewhere in sunlight
too bright
the boats
are out of the life of harbour
the Drew Petersons
too many silicon baskets
a rat bare wire
and pinko Disney
a Westchester cracker
no colours on dime sledges
and pinafore dimes
robroaris puramon

"where's the camera"

"i can't find the camera"

langren
bad bohemia ville
to the child in the corner

"love you Geobonetti"

(my Julian choir)
the madness of Jacques Louis Stevenson,
the madness of the gathering crowd.










BIOGRAPHY



Rebecca Anne Banks lives in the New Age Renaissance Republique of Poetry. She has been writing and producing artistic content for 38 years and is the author of over 30 books of poetry, guides to the Holy Spirit, a primer on marriage discernment, a family cookbook, a book of children's stories, a book of World Peace Newsletters, all available at Amazon Stations. She has produced 3 CD's of Folk/Rock music and has 17 CD's of music awaiting production. She won an IARA Award for Top 55 Internet Airplays for Angel Song (2010). She is an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets. She is also the Poetry Editor at Subterranean Blue Poetry (www.subterraneanbluepoetry.com), CEO/Artist at Tea at Tympani Lane Records (www.tympanilanerecords.com), the Book Reviewer at The Book Reviewer (www.thebookreviewer.ca)and the Quilt Artist at Kintsugi Art Quilts (www.kintsugiartquilts.com.)

Gwendolyn Brooks (Poet, teacher, author) born in Topeka, Kansas, when young, her family moved to Chicago. Brooks wrote about the experience of urban Blacks. She was highly celebrated, notably being the first Black American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize (1950) and to become a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters. She was the Poet Laureate of Illinois amongst other honours. She is best remembered for writing the books, A Street in Bronzeville, Annie Allen and Winnie amongst others.

Zo-Alonzo Gross is a songwriter, Dancer, recording artist and writer. His short stories were first published internationally in 2005, and in 2006 in the Staying Sane book series published by Evelyn Fazio. Staying Sane when family comes to visit (2005) and Staying Sane during the Thanksgiving Holiday (2006). After having many of his poems featured in anthologies, he released the 5-star reviewed book of poems entitled Inspiration, Harmony and the World Within in 2012. Also, in that same year, he was awarded "Best Spoken Word Poet" at the Lehigh Valley music awards. In 2016 zO was selected as a featured poet in the film "VOICES" directed by Gina Nemo filmed in Los Angeles California and released in 2017 in select theatres as well as Amazon Prime. Then in January of 2018 he released his second book of poetry entitled sOuL eLiXiR: The writingZ of zO which also received a 5 out of 5-star rating. In November 2020 zO was named one of the best poets of 2020 by Inner Child Press where his work was featured in their Anthology. In December of 2020 zO was named "International Poet of The Week" by THE POET MAGAZINE. zO is a graduate in the field of Literature from Temple University.

Jim Hirtle has spent the last dozen years writing about faith and addiction, exploring how the two intertwine seamlessly. His first book, Going Numb tells the story of life with an addict. His poetry is a recent literary and somber passage into the world of addiction, the challenges of being a cancer survivor, a life of faith, and the world we live in today. His work has appeared in Capsule Stories', With Painted Words, and Touched by an Angel the anthology. You can read more about J. Hirtle and his work at http://addictedtofaith.blogspot.com.

Kimberlynne Darby Newton is a Poet and a retired professor of history, a native of Montgomery, Alabama. She hopes that her writing will help someone; with a smile, a shared experience, and hopefully, an inspiration. She is happily writing her next book, and lives with son, Isaac and husband, Barney. www.kimberlynnedarbynewton.com.

Gerard Robledo is a Latino social justice poet from San Antonio. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso, and teaches creative writing at San Antonio College. His Spanish language poetry translations, poetry, and book reviews have appeared in Voices de la Luna, the Texas Poetry Calendar, The Texas Observer, Pilgrimage, The Thing Itself, Outrage: A Protest Anthology for Injustice in a post 9/11 World, and Poetrybay, among others. Robledo is also one of the first sixteen poets to be archived in the newly established San Antonio Poetry Archive at Palo Alto College and is a Macondo Writers' Workshop Fellow.

Nnadi Samuel is a graduate of English & literature from the University of Benin, who lives in Lagos (Nigeria). If he is not writing, you find him reeling out memes on Facebook @ Samuel Samba.

Jonathan Shipley is a freelance writer living in Atlanta. His writing has appeared in such publications as the Los Angeles Times, National Parks Magazine, and Drift. He can be found on Twitter (@shipleywriter) and Instagram (/jonathanshipley).

Megha Sood lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A. She is an Assistant Poetry Editor for the U.K. based Arts and Literary Journal MookyChick. She has been widely published in over 430+ journals Free Verse Revolution, Heretics, Lovers and Madmen, Sudden Denouement, Whisper and the Roar, GoDogGoCafe, Better than Starbucks, Gothamist, Poetry Society of New York, WNYC Studios, Kissing Dynamite, American Writers Review, Setu Magazine amongst others. And has been celebrated winning NAMI Dara Axelrod N.J. Poetry Contest (2018/2019/2020), National Winner Spring Robinson Lit Prize 2020, Honorable Mention Pangolin Poetry Prize 2019, Finalist in the Adelaide Literary Award 2019, Shortlisted for the Embracce Prize 2020, Nominated for the iWomanGlobalAwards 2020 amongst others. She blogs at meghaswordsite.wordpress.com and Twitter @meghasood16.