From my very first post I wanted to pay homage to the speech which inspired the title of my blog, Ain't I a Woman? by Sojourner Truth. Such a beautiful speech, such a beautiful name, such a beautiful woman. It is one of my favorite pieces. I strive to emulate this style in my own work. Poetic and powerful. Honest and unafraid. Memorable. And I like brevity. It too is beautiful. This is the standard I wish to be held to as I explore the question with you ~ ain't I a writer?
"Obliged to you for hearing me, and I do have a few things more to say..."

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

My Valintiny PB Entry

How To Ungrump A Bad Day

It was February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day.
It got off to a very bad start, when I fell out of bed,
whacking my head, on the floor, kerplunky!

Then my Mommy made me some
icky oatmeal which I just stirred and stirred
until it was cold and clumpy.

She said we had to hurry up
and made that scrunched-up face
that I said makes her look so frumpy.

She seemed mad, and drove to preschool
with the radio on, while I rode along
in my car seat, on the road so bumpy.

I would not say good-bye to her
so she left without a kiss or hug
and I felt sad and mad and jumpy.

I was staring out the window when
my teacher said, “Hey there friend,
why so down-in the-dumpsey?”

Then she helped me make a valentine,
with so much paper held with glitter
and glue that it was kind of lumpy!

When my Mom came, I gave it to her.
She hugged me, and just like mine,
I could feel her heart go bumpy.

We went home then,
to start again,
and neither of us felt grumpy.

by Tammi J Truax





Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Life-changing Book

        I am happy to be included on this list:

http://mainewriters.org/life-changing-books/#more-4310  

TAMMI TRUAX
The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck
While many books have had a profound effect on me, I think I must choose The Grapes of Wrath as the most influential. It is not only a completely engrossing story about an American family at a particular point in time rendered in gorgeously crafted sentences, it further taught me that writing can be a form of protest, that writing can be a contribution to social justice as well as to art, and that realization changed me as a writer.




   

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Blank Page Poetry video

      Below you will find the final version of the Blank Page Poetry project that took place at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I was proud and privileged to be one of the poets chosen to participate. A team of poets and dancers volunteered many hours to bring the vision of Savannah artist Jerome Meadows to fruition and performed to a standing room only crowd in October of 2015. The filming of it failed so what follows is a reconstruction using mostly still photographs Jerome and photographer David Murray made happen. The video is fairly long. I come in at 11:40 and at 31:20, but my performance is no more important than any other, and the introduction is very important.



Blank Page Poetry

     Below you will find the final version of the Blank Page Poetry project that took place at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I was proud and privileged to be one of the poets chosen to participate. A team of poets and dancers volunteered many hours to bring the vision of Savannah artist Jerome Meadows to fruition and performed this show to a standing room only crowd in October of 2015. The filming of it failed so what follows is a reconstruction using mostly still photographs Jerome and photographer David Murray made happen. The video is fairly long. I come in at 11:40 and at 31:20, but my performance is no more important than any other, and the introduction is very important.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Bowie's books


A couple of years ago David Bowie shared this list of his favorite books on his Facebook page. I sure have got some work to do!
david-bowie.jpg (360×532)

David Bowie's Top 100 Reads:

  1. Interviews With Francis Bacon by David Sylvester
  2. Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse
  3. Room At The Top by John Braine
  4. On Having No Head by Douglass Harding
  5. Kafka Was The Rage by Anatole Broyard
  6. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  7. City Of Night by John Rechy
  8. The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  9. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  10. Iliad by Homer
  11. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  12. Tadanori Yokoo by Tadanori Yokoo
  13. Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin
  14. Inside The Whale And Other Essays by George Orwell
  15. Mr. Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
  16. Halls Dictionary Of Subjects And Symbols In Art by James A. Hall
  17. David Bomberg by Richard Cork
  18. Blast by Wyndham Lewis
  19. Passing by Nella Larson
  20. Beyond The Brillo Box by Arthur C. Danto
  21. The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes
  22. In Bluebeard’s Castle by George Steiner
  23. Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd
  24. The Divided Self by R. D. Laing
  25. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  26. Infants Of The Spring by Wallace Thurman
  27. The Quest For Christa T by Christa Wolf
  28. The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
  29. Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter
  30. The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  31. The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  32. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  33. Herzog by Saul Bellow
  34. Puckoon by Spike Milligan
  35. Black Boy by Richard Wright
  36. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  37. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima
  38. Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler
  39. The Waste Land by T.S. Elliot
  40. McTeague by Frank Norris
  41. Money by Martin Amis
  42. The Outsider by Colin Wilson
  43. Strange People by Frank Edwards
  44. English Journey by J.B. Priestley
  45. A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  46. The Day Of The Locust by Nathanael West
  47. 1984 by George Orwell
  48. The Life And Times Of Little Richard by Charles White
  49. Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock by Nik Cohn
  50. Mystery Train by Greil Marcus
  51. Beano (comic, ’50s)
  52. Raw (comic, ’80s)
  53. White Noise by Don DeLillo
  54. Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm And Blues And The Southern Dream Of Freedom by Peter Guralnick
  55. Silence: Lectures And Writing by John Cage
  56. Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews edited by Malcolm Cowley
  57. The Sound Of The City: The Rise Of Rock And Roll by Charlie Gillete
  58. Octobriana And The Russian Underground by Peter Sadecky
  59. The Street by Ann Petry
  60. Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
  61. Last Exit To Brooklyn By Hubert Selby, Jr.
  62. A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn
  63. The Age Of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby
  64. Metropolitan Life by Fran Lebowitz
  65. The Coast Of Utopia by Tom Stoppard
  66. The Bridge by Hart Crane
  67. All The Emperor’s Horses by David Kidd
  68. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  69. Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess
  70. The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos
  71. Tales Of Beatnik Glory by Ed Saunders
  72. The Bird Artist by Howard Norman
  73. Nowhere To Run The Story Of Soul Music by Gerri Hirshey
  74. Before The Deluge by Otto Friedrich
  75. Sexual Personae: Art And Decadence From Nefertiti To Emily Dickinson by Camille Paglia
  76. The American Way Of Death by Jessica Mitford
  77. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  78. Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
  79. Teenage by Jon Savage
  80. Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
  81. The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard
  82. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  83. Viz (comic, early ’80s)
  84. Private Eye (satirical magazine, ’60s – ’80s)
  85. Selected Poems by Frank O’Hara
  86. The Trial Of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens
  87. Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes
  88. Maldoror by Comte de Lautréamont
  89. On The Road by Jack Kerouac
  90. Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler
  91. Zanoni by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  92. Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual by Eliphas Lévi
  93. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
  94. The Leopard by Giusseppe Di Lampedusa
  95. Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  96. A Grave For A Dolphin by Alberto Denti di Pirajno
  97. The Insult by Rupert Thomson
  98. In Between The Sheets by Ian McEwan
  99. A People’s Tragedy by Orlando Figes
  100. Journey Into The Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Busting Out Of The Box

       Happy Boxing Day!
       Today I'd like to celebrate writing outside of the box, which is what I did when I dove into NaNoWriMo at the last minute. I did that when a story idea came to me while driving in the car, listening to NHPR. I came home and started researching immediately, and knew I had come upon a story that would make a great middle grade novel. Since those usually clock in at around 50,000 words I accepted that the universe was telling me to give NaNoWriMo a real try this year. So I dove in. And I did it! A completed first draft novel of 50,000 words written in one month - still surprising to me. It was hard work, but fun, and of course, very rewarding.
      Without those serendipitous inspirations, that I didn't have time to over-think, I am sure that I wouldn't have tried my hand at writing a historical novel for kids about elephants. A subject I knew damn near nothing about before I started. I don't think I would have thought myself capable of writing from an elephant's perspective before I tried it. One just doesn't know what she can do until she gives it a try!
       For a month or two I'll let the first draft sit, before I begin revising it, but I expect to have something worth submitting when the snows melt. Assuming that the snows are coming. 
       Here is an actual broadside about the subject of my story, which turned out to be about slavery as well as elephants, and life in Colonial America, and so it is about freedom and respect for life.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Holiday Haiku

A Holiday Haiku for you

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Stumbling through the year
finally, when darkness peaks,

we see the north star.

by Tammi J Truax