Reflections on Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and The Boulevard Trial Book Birthday

The past couple of months have brought blessings into my life and helped me to cope with the turmoil present in our world on a daily basis.

I have found continued peace and inspiration through art, specifically through writing, as a SU-CASA 2018 artist-in-residence for my amazing Senior Poetry Workshop at the Grace Agard Senior Center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, made possible by the Brooklyn Arts Council. So far, we have enjoyed reading poetic forms as haiku, renga, sonnets, as well as many free verse poems. The seniors have written truly inspired poems as a group, and individually, pursuant to various thematic writing prompts. I’ve also been thrilled to learn that the senior poets have been writing at home as well. Just yesterday in our workshop, I loved listening to the poem of one of our senior poets, who shared a rhyming love poem he had written for his wife for Valentine’s Day.

For Black History Month, we began with the Harlem Renaissance and read powerful poems by renowned poets such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Bennett, Claude McKay, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and others. We continued with poetry from the Civil Rights Era to the present, and enjoyed reading poems by Dr. Maya Angelou, Rita Dove, Lucille Clifton, Nikki Giovanni, Audre Lorde, Sonia Sanchez, and current U. S. Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith.

We are very excited as we prepare for our first public reading on Friday, April 20th to be held at the center from 1:30pm-2:30pm. Poet Jerry T. Johnson will join us as a special featured guest poet. We had the pleasure of reading some of Jerry’s haiku from his ebook, Morning to Morning (Amazon, 2017) during the haiku portion of the workshop. It will be an honor to have Jerry join us at the April 20th reading, during which the senior poets will read poems they’ve written in the workshop. It will be an exciting event!

 

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we have read poems by current Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Elizabeth Alexander, Sharon Olds, Brenda Cardenas, Ada Limon, and more timeless, empowering poetry by Dr. Maya Angelou. Some of the writing prompts so far have included, “music”, “mother/parent and child”, and “flowers”. It is a pleasure and a privilege to listen to the words of the senior members of the workshop as they put their voices on paper.

I would like to take a moment to wish The Boulevard Trial  a Happy 3rd Book Birthday today! My feminist legal thriller has been praised for its, “Vivid Descriptions of Women’s Varied Experiences,” and for its, “strong female characters that are so real they practically jump off the pages.” The book has gone further than I ever could have imagined and I am grateful for readers’ support today and always.

I just want to say that I continue to be inspired by Emma Gonzalez and her fellow youth activists raising their voices to seek real change with respect to our country’s gun laws after the devastating school shooting in Florida. Power, peace and inspiration to you all, dear members of our future!

Onward in art, solidarity and strength,

Steph

 

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Happy New Year 2018 and Publication in Ovunque Siamo

Happy New Year 2018, Everyone!

I start this new year filled with hope for peace, love and inspiration as we move forward in our lives and work. May 2018 be more merciful than last year and may we find the courage to overcome all obstacles in our creative paths.

I awoke with the amazing news that two of my poems, “The Tears of Magdalene” and “Eros”, have been published in Ovunque SiamoAs a proud ItaLatina writer, I am honored to have my work featured in this journal that celebrates the work of Italian-American writers.  “Ovunque Siamo” means, “We are everywhere.” May this year continue to bring forth many more opportunities to share our work with the world in a spirit of joy and creativity!

Sending much love always,

Stephanie

Author Marina Raydun’s Author Interview Series

Hello everyone!

It has been a while since I’ve posted, and much continues to challenge us in this precarious world. We need art more than ever to stay strong and focused on overcoming tyranny on a daily basis.

I would like to share this amazing interview that my dear author friend conducted with me for her blog as part of her Author Interview series. We chat literature, writing, and inspiration, among other wonderful topics. Many thanks to Marina, now and always!

https://www.marinaraydun.com/blog/2017/10/28/author-interview-series-stephanie-laterza 

Newtown Literary’s Queens Writes Weekend

I am excited to spread the word about Newtown Literary’s Queens Writes Weekend (May 19th-May 21st)! We need writing more than ever in these precarious times.

On Sunday May 21st from 1:00pm-3:00pm, I’ll be hosting a poetry workshop at Astoria Park (19th Street entrance). Writers of all levels are welcome. We’ll be reading various poetic forms, including haiku, cinquains, Shakespearean sonnets, and free verse. For free verse, I’ll be sharing a couple of my poems published in Literary Mama and the San Francisco Peace and Hope literary journal. After we read each poetic form, I will assign a thematic writing prompt. For example, the prompt of “love” in writing our own sonnets. Afterward, our writers will have the opportunity to read their poems aloud in an improvised open mic format. This will be a relaxed, encouraging atmosphere which I hope everyone will enjoy.

As a fundraising event, there is a $5 suggested donation to Newtown Literary. For more information, including other Queens Writes Weekend writing sites, please visit NEWTOWNLITERARY.ORG!

Spread the word! See you there!

Peace and inspiration,

Stephanie

Queens Lit Fest!

Happy May Day!

I just wanted to thank everyone involved in the Queens Lit Fest that took place at LIC Landing this past weekend. I was honored to be a featured reader at the event on 4/29 and to introduce my novel, The Boulevard Trial, to our Queens literary community. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to participate in this event by the incandescent waterfront and to connect with poets, writers and musicians from Queens and beyond.

Stay tuned for upcoming literary events!

Peace and inspiration,

Stephanie

 

 

Indie Author Day 10/8/16

Happy October, Everyone!

The chilled rushes of inspiration have arrived with the season and there is much to celebrate!

Hope you’ll join me on Indie Author Day next Saturday, October 8th from 1:30 pm-4:30 pm at the Greenpoint Public Library in Brooklyn. I’ll be a panel speaker at the event, hosted by writer and literary organizer Marina Aris, and will be discussing my experience with self-publishing. I’ll also be signing copies of The Boulevard Trial. See you there!

Peace and inspiration,

Stephanie

 

Boundless Tales’ Fifth Anniversary Reading at Queens Council on the Arts

What a wonderful gathering of the Queens literary community last Friday, 9/9 to celebrate Boundless Tales’ Fifth Anniversary Reading at the Queens Council on the Arts! I was honored to be one of seven featured readers and read excerpts from my YA novel-in-progress, The Wrong American. I look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

 

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