Around Town

Women Writers of The Diaspora Welcomes Lorraine Currelley: Reading & Discussion

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 Rain did not deter community from attending an evening of conversation, and a passionate poetry reading hosted by the Women Writers of the Diaspora Reading & Discussion Series!. It was a rewarding, enriching and empowering experience.

Thanks to Atim Annette Otun for standing in for Celesti Colds Fechter who was called away on a family emergency. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family at this time of loss. Atim, thank you for providing a delightful, intimate and welcoming environment for community to gather for Women Writers of the Diaspora. Thank you, to everyone in attendance. Thanks for the opportunity to share my poetry and to participate in a discussion with community.

Women Writers of the Diaspora is a reading/discussion series created and moderated by Dr. Celesti Colds Fechter, Exec.
Director of Education Success Services and Prof., Org. Behavior, King Graduate School,
New Rochelle. Women Writers of the Diaspora features poetry, prose, memoir, essay,
reportage, and urban writing by African and African diasporan women.

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http://womenwritersofdiaspora.blogspot.com/.

The venue, CALABAR IMPORTS HARLEM.

Space is limited.  Please RSVP at womenwritersofdiaspora@gmail.com
Thanks to Edward Currelley for photographing event.

Sistah, Source R Us, The Power of Sistahhood and Community

On November 13, 2015 I had the joy of participating  as one of the featured poets and writers in Nikki Williams’ Sistah, Source R Us. An evening of words, and song.
Black women joined in a needed celebration of themselves. An opportunity to affirm ourselves in words and songs. Experiencing ourselves for the true heroines, intelligent, powerful and creative women we are. The mothers of civilization. A sea of vibrant colors, energy and laughter.

Thank you, Nikki Williams for  creating and producing Sistah Source R Us. You recognized a need and importance for such an event. We  were and are blessed by your creativity, spirit and commitment to community. Sistah Source R Us sistahs are the phenomenal Gha’il Rhodes Benjamin, Laura Bowman, Tumani Ra’inee Jordan, Lil Phillips and yours truly. Sistah Lil Phillips showered us with her gift of music. We proclaim this event, our event magnificent, affirming and empowering. experience. One enriched with love,  faith, joy, hope, expectation and promise.

Thank you, Dr. Janifer Wilson for  your loving welcome, words, commitment and for providing such a wonderful home for community via Sisters Uptown Bookstore & Cultural Center. Thanks to Poets & Writers, Inc., for sponsorship and, Bonnie Rose Marcus and all in attendance for your support of this fundraising event.

Sistah, Source R Us! Photo Gallery
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©Lorraine Currelley 2015. All Rights Reserved.

When We Free: Black Women, Girls & Emotional Emancipation (Sisterhood Summit V)
 There is something liberating when Black women and girls express themselves in a safe and supportive space. A space where we give ourselves permission to laugh, celebrate joy and  be our authentic selves. A place to explore and embrace all parts of ourselves.  A space where  we acknowledge our power and the divine living within ourselves and each other. This is how we live, learn and grow. – L.C.                                  

A program of The Black Girl Project, the Sisterhood Summit began in 2011 as a way  to give young women and girls from across Brooklyn, the opportunity to come together in a nurturing atmosphere to explore issues that are important to them. The Summit is also an opportunity for peers to interact with one another in ways which are not normally afforded to them—a space where they can question, interrogate and explore ideals that they may not be exposed to in everyday life.

It’s also a space where they can network, receive pertinent information, and build critical and analytical skills.  – Aiesha Turman

Shapel LaBorde and Lorraine Currelley
Shapel Monique LaBorde and Lorraine Currelley

I facilitated “The Desexualizing, Marginalization and Silencing of Aging” workshop.  My emphasis, the desexualization and marginalization of women as we age in a youth culture. In this workshop we sought to dismantle the misogynoir, ageist and sexist ideology responsible for the mythology surrounding aging.

We spoke of the rights of both younger and older women to experience all of our humanity. Included but not limited to the spiritual, emotional, physical and psychological.

During my workshop a young woman Shapel Monique LaBorde shared her love and respect for her grandmother and elders. I hope these intergenerational conversations continue. They are important and needed. They feed and grow us.

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(Mecca Woods, Lorraine Currelley and Shapel Monique LaBorde)

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Calling In The Conjure Woman In Times Of Need (workshop attendees)

What do I know for sure? We are “Conjure Women” sharing generations of sacred feminine energy and memory.  We walk tall and proud in our power and divinity, our sacred birthright. Thank you, Mecca Woods, for reminding us to Call on The Conjure Woman in Times of Need.

Thank you, Jasmine  Eileen Coles for walking in love,  sharing joy and  purpose. Thank you, to all the magical and powerful women in attendance at Sisterhood Summit V. “I See You” – African Proverb

Sisterhood Summit V facilitators were Ahyana King, Brittany Williams, Maisha Hudson, Mari Morales Williams, Robin Parks, Princess Best, Glory Edim, Waajida Santiago, Bless Roxwell, Lenee Voss, Lorraine Currelley, Paige Padgett, Amoni Thompson, Che Grayson, Mecca Woods, Shares Hereford, Earlecia Richelle and co-facilitators Sofia Quintero, Niya Nicholson and Alicia Anabel Santos.

©Lorraine Currelley 2015. All Rights Reserved.

An Evening at El Fogon Center for the Arts

Saturday October 10, 2015 found me at El Fogon Center for the Arts located in the borough of the Bronx. It was hosted and curated by James “Peach” McClory and El David and Katalina Rodriguez. El Fogon Center for the Arts setting is informal and welcoming. Poets entered to music, some poets did a few dance steps while approaching the stage before reading.

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Poet Margie Shaheed was visiting from Tennessee on a book tour in Boston. She took a day trip to New York City to feature in an earlier reading at Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. Margie shared a couple of her poems at El Fogon’s open mic.
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Thanks, El David, Katalina, James “Peach”and Sam(El Fogon) for your support and work on behalf of our wonderful poetry community. Thanks to all the poets who shared at the mic and all those in attendance who came to support. Your presence and support of events are crucial to our growth and survival.

©Lorraine Currelley 2015. All Rights Reserved. (Photo credit Lorraine Currelley)

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop Mouth to Mouth Open Mic

Poet Sabrina Glaus,
Featured Poet Sabrina Glaus, “open wounds seeded heart”
Asian American Writers' Workshop dynamic hosts
Asian American Writers’ Workshop dynamic hosts

Saturday September 5, 2015 I attended a poetry and prose reading presented by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Theirs was a reading centered  consciousness, commitment to justice, historical, social, cultural and political  activism. I witnessed a spirit fueling a new generation of movers, shakers and activists. Featured poet was Sabrina Ghaus. Sabrina Ghaus, author of the chapbook  “open wounds seeded heart.” Thanks, Asian  American Writers’ Workshop Mouth to Mouth Open Mic, and your dynamic hosts. To learn more about the Asian American Writers’ Workshop go to desk@aaww.org and to check out what they’re up to at aaww.org.

©Lorraine Currelley 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Heritage Artist Laura Alvarez’s Inked Dreams Suenos de tinta opened at the Puerto Rican Heritage Gallery.

The works in Inked Dreams Suenos de tinta are watercolor and ink on paper. Laura Alvarez’s interpretations of tattoos, are thought provoking, vibrant, whimsical and mystical. Watercolors with Americana as well as Mexican cultural influences.  There’re watercolors of skulls, and yet in others skulls appear. The presence of skulls throughout her work referenced the Mexican day of the dead. Skulls have an important place in Mexican culture. One watercolor was of a woman who shared a strong resemblance to the artist. Of course, attendees inquired. She laughingly explained, ” I don’t plan to have myself in my work it just happens.”

Poets Lorraine Currelley and Edward Currelley with Heritage Artist Laura Alvarez
Poets Lorraine Currelley and Edward Currelley with Heritage Artist Laura Alvarez

“The meaning of the old school Americana tattoos is fascinating. I am a fan of images with a story behind them. Tattoos were mostly achievements or superstition. They are the proof that you lived and wear your story on your body. I took those stories and made them mine.”- Laura Alvarez
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Laura Alvarez is part of the life and culture of the Bronx. Inked Dreams Suenos de tinta is an example of the energy and passion she brings to both her art and community. There’s a youthful yet refreshing old school quality about the artist.  She’s quick to laugh, and there’s a genuine interest in the lives and the work of others. This was a wonderful gathering of friends and community.
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Laura Alvarez was born in Valencia, Spain. She studied Fine Arts in Spain and England for her Master’s Degree. She has been a graphic designer for more than 15 years. She arrived in New York in 2009 and went back to basics: art, illustration, mural painting. Laura then, became a community leader and educator. She has been teaching and collaborating with different organizations in The Bronx. Laura is the Co-Founder, Vice-President and COO of a newly created non-profit organization called BxArts Factory, a multidisciplinary initiative that will be an incubator to artists and arts based projects to assist underserved minorities in The Bronx.

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Inked Dreams Suenos de tinta will be on view from September 1-30, 2015 on the 4th floor. Please call in advance to arrange tours and group visits. Bronx Library Center Latino & Puerto Rican Cultural Center 310 East Kingsbridge Road Bronx, New York 10458  Information: 718 579-4257. Free Admission.

©Lorraine Currelley 2015. All Rights Reserved.


3 thoughts on “Around Town

  1. I would love to be in a group exhibition for mix media visual artists with an intense interest of using heritage and culture as the backbone of expression.
    Warmly,
    Enid Cobeo

    1. Greetings Enid, Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. I like the idea of a group and/or individual exhibit using heritage and culture as the backbone of expression. I’d be interested in how these are defined and interpreted. Is there a community of artists and a gallery or space in your area where this exhibit can take place? I’m an advocate of using traditional as well as non traditional spaces. The main objective is to share work and ideas with community.

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