Poem: Insta Love Poetry

Apr 15, 2020 by Bethel Swift
A cento is a “patchwork” poem comprised of lines from other poet’s poems with only some punctuation changed. I post new centos quarterly to share what I'm reading and keep the creative wheels turning. Citations follow each poem. This is April 2020's installment. . .

Poem: Elegy for Memory (A Dementia Love Story)

Jan 15, 2020 by Bethel Swift
A cento is a “patchwork” poem comprised of lines from other poet’s poems with only some punctuation changed. I post new centos quarterly to share what I'm reading and keep the creative wheels turning. Citations follow each poem. This is January 2020's installment.

Q&A: Sandy Coomer & Deborah Jang

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

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 . . .

Poem: Resistance

Dec 15, 2018 by Bethel Swift
A cento is a “patchwork” poem comprised of lines from other poet’s poems. I wrote this one in our "Yoga for Creativity & Poetry as Play Workshop" held on October 7, 2018. All of the lines were taken from the September 2017 Volume of Poetry Magazine. Some punctuation was changed. Citations follow the poem . . .

Poem: Haiku

Nov 15, 2018 by Bethel Swift
This haiku was written by C.J. Seliger, of Peace Always Yoga & Meditation, in our "Yoga for Creativity & Poetry as Play" Workshop held on October 7, 2018 . . .

Self-Care: Top Tips for Chronic Pain Relief

Self-Care: Top Tips for Chronic Pain Relief
Sep 02, 2018 by Bethel Swift
Do you suffer from a chronic pain condition? I have a few in my back pocket (where they typically refuse to stay) so here are some of my go-to techniques for managing pain . . .

Q&A: Vershawn Sanders-Ward

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 . . .

Gains & Goals: Conference Hacks

Gains & Goals: Conference Hacks
Apr 29, 2018 by Bethel Swift
As an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person – yes, it’s a real thing), introvert, and anxiety-prone individual, conferencing can be particularly daunting. In this month's post, I’ll share a few tips that I picked up along the way that go beyond the standard, yet sage, “dress in layers” advice . . .

Q&A: Grishma Shah

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 . . .

Gratitude

Gains & Goals: Children's Book Writing

Gains & Goals: Children's Book Writing
Jan 26, 2018 by Bethel Swift
I used to believe that artists and writers who were "making it" must know some secret that I didn't. Of course there is no such secret but there are some great resources out there to help us in our craft. I am a big fan of information that helps me work smarter (because let's face it, as artists and/or writers, we already know we have to work hard) so I will also be sharing about the people, products, and strategies that help me accomplish my goals/gains . . .

Self-Care: A Short "Shame" Story

Nov 16, 2017 by Bethel Swift
Please note: I love the studio I attend classes at, so this story is not about naming names; rather it is a reminder that a) words have weight and b) people have worth - regardless of their appearance or accomplishments . . .

Artivism: Activism vs Patriotism

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) . . .

Poem: Torrey Pines (Haiku Tercet)

Feb 15, 2017 by Bethel Swift
Blue Angel roar pulls / ocean forth, pours color o’er / foaming grey pools. / A thousand smooth stones . . .

Artivism: Five Steps Toward (Non-Partisan) Election Reform

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 . . .

Poem: To The Winner...

Jan 15, 2017 by Bethel Swift
Once more, / I have reached / too high . . .

Self-Care: Intro to Self-Care

Self-Care: Intro to Self-Care
Jan 03, 2017 by Bethel Swift
Of the three "intro" posts on this blog, this one is the most difficult for me to write. Self-care naturally means different things to different people, so I wanted to explain a little of what it means for me . . .

Artivism: Intro to Artivism

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 . . . "

Poem: Mni Wiconi

Nov 15, 2016 by Bethel Swift
She pushes a cart full of plastic bundles, / in an Irish mist—far from its origin. / And we cross together . . .