Q&A: Sandy Coomer & Deborah Jang
Feb 19, 2019 by Bethel Swift
Poets of Influence - Part Two of Two: If you are a writer who hasn’t yet heard of AWP’s Writer to Writer Mentor Program, please check them out after reading today’s interview with Sandy Coomer, my incredible AWP W2W Mentor, and Deborah Jang, a fellow W2W Mentee and friend, who also participated in an online read and critique group with me last year. What sets these two apart – among many other things – is that they are both visual artists as well as poets, which I just love (and secretly aspire to). Please enjoy this brief peek into their worlds . . .
Q&A: Kristina Marie Darling & Sandra de Helen
Feb 14, 2019 by Bethel Swift
Poets of Influence - Part One of Two: Part 1 features Kristina Marie Darling, who was my instructor for two courses I took via the Chicago School of Poetics and Sandra de Helen, who I came to know through the local WWS branch she started (Women Who Submit - an organization encouraging women to submit their writing to literary journals). Here's the interview . . .
Q&A: Vershawn Sanders-Ward
Jul 14, 2018 by Bethel Swift
I met Vershawn Sanders-Ward, the founder and artistic director of Red Clay Dance, years ago when I tried one of her Afro-Contemporary dance classes in the fieldhouse at Chicago's Fuller Park. Later, I was able to take my niece to see her company perform #SayHerName which was a powerful experience to say the least. Vershawn describes herself as an artivist and a movement activist so she was my natural first choice for this summer's feature. Here's the interview . . .
Q&A: Grishma Shah
Mar 30, 2018 by Bethel Swift
I am thrilled to be kicking off a new series of Artivism Q&As with texture artist and human rights activist, Grishma Shah . . .
Artivism: Activism vs Patriotism
Aug 31, 2017 by Bethel Swift
An acquaintance of mine posted a status on Facebook with the famous John F. Kennedy quote: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." He shared this on the 4th of July and framed the quote in context of a rebuke to "progressives" for all the protests and resistance directed toward the current administration. I began drafting a response back then, but wanted to let it marinate before posting it here . . .
Artivism: Diversity in Children's Books
Mar 28, 2017 by Bethel Swift
I have been a SCBWI member for seven years and one topic that has come up repeatedly over the years is the need for more diversity in children's books (especially in the areas of race & culture, religion & sexual orientation, and the physically & mentally differently-abled) . . .
Artivism: Five Steps Toward (Non-Partisan) Election Reform
Jan 20, 2017 by Bethel Swift
As we move into a new year, and a new presidency, I wanted to share some election reform efforts that individuals of any party (or no party) affiliation can come together and take action on. The following five items are ways to move toward a "one person, one vote" election system . . .
Artivism: Intro to Artivism
Jan 02, 2017 by Bethel Swift
The year 2016 exposed overwhelming evidence that the U.S. still has far to go in terms of becoming a nation that can truly claim to be the "land of the free” and a safe haven for people of all races, religions, political leanings, sexual orientations, etc. to enjoy basic human “unalienable rights” of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness . . . "