Tuesday, April 30, 2013


STEPH CURRY is playing the best basketball in the playoffs right now.
Love this guy...

The Plays from the Past:

Getting my Brown Butt in Gear.

Sterling Brown's birthday is tomorrow. He was born in 1901.
Sterling A. Brown

On my wall I keep a framed copy of Brown's tribute to me ( May 4, 1978) at Howard University.
His words encourage me to do the heavy-lifting - to aspire to be a strong man.
I've known Ma Rainey more than the Southern road but starting tomorrow I'm going to push all fear aside. It's time for Bert to do the Funky Butt.


La vie recommence - life starts again.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Quote of the Day

War is being waged on us, and if we don't fight for our public spaces and civic freedoms and celebrations, we are going to lose them. So if this is a war, let it be a war, and let us not fight by restricting ourselves. Let us fight by doing what it takes to achieve victory.

  - Noam Neusner
 Forward newspaper, April 26, 2013



I've been telling folks we need to move from our discussions about work to one that examines leisure.
Here is Pope Francis on this important topic:

Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport. But this is being destroyed, in large part, by the elimination of the Sabbath rest day. More and more people work on Sundays as a consequence of the competitiveness imposed by a consumer society.

  Putnam: $24.95


Dear friends,

Forgive the mass email –especially those of you who I wish I were in touch with more often — but I would really appreciate it if you could circulate the fact that my new employer, (6 months counts as new in my life!), Public Campaign, has three job openings herein DC.  We are looking for a development associate (who will report to me), a training director, and a legislative manager.  This is a great place to work and the staff works as a team, focused on building the movement to make our elected officials beholden to ALL of their constituents, not just the rich ones. We need strong, wise, energetic people and we'd love to increase our staff diversity.

All of the job announcements and application instructions can be accessed here: http://www.publicampaign.org/jobs.

Many thanks in advance- and all best wishes,
Beth Schulman
landline: 202.543.1211

For Immediate Release

Contact: Emily Morrison                                                                                      mobile: 323-363-4404

Constellation Theatre Company


Poetry byPulitzer Prize Winner YusefKomunyakaa
Concept & Dramaturgy byChad Gracia

Directed by Allison Arkell Stockman
Live Music performed by Helen Hayes Award Recipient Tom Teasley

May 2 – June 2, 2013
Press Opening: Saturday, May 4 at 8 pm

Pay-What-You-Can Previews May 2 & 3 at 8:30 pm.

Gilgamesh – The Ancient Middle Eastern Epic

Part god and part man, King Gilgamesh is the ultimate warrior, a violent ruler of the city of Urukwho enjoys virgin brides on their wedding nights.  Part man and part animal, Enkidu is sent from the gods to humble Gilgamesh.  They are perfect rivals and after combat they become best friends.  Together Gilgamesh and Enkidu go to the Forbidden Forest to conquer Humbaba, and Enkidu dies.  Heartbroken, Gilgamesh vows to find an antidote that will restore his soul mate to life.  He embarks on an epic journey, encountering Scorpion People and crossing The River of Death.  Fear and love breed courage and compassion as Gilgamesh struggles to accept mortality.

The world’s oldest story, Gilgamesh originates in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) where the historical king reigned in 2750 BCE.  The legend was first captured in five separate poems on cuneiform tablets in Sumerian around 2100 BCE, yet the full story of The Epic of Gilgamesh was recorded in Akkadian dating back to 1700 BCE.  This later Old Babylonian version is the basis for Komunyakaa and Gracia’s script.  Interest in Gilgamesh intensified when a Victorian British translator named George Smith recognized the story of a great flood sent by the gods and the parallel between the Noah of the Bible and the Babylonian character Utnapishtam.  A contemporary translator of the epic, Steven Mitchell, speaks to its universal power, “In giving voice to grief and the fear of death, perhaps more powerfully than any book written after it, in portraying love and vulnerability and the quest for wisdom, it has become a personal testimony for millions of readers in dozens of languages.”

Constellation is presenting the first fully realized production of this verse play, a collaboration between Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet YusefKomunyakaa and dramaturge Chad Gracia.  Over the course of a year, Komunyakaa created dialogue for the structure and outline Gracia first proposed.  Together they developed characters, scenes and a dramatic arc while polishing language and imagery.  Constellation is bringing the script to life with the company’s signature style of merging visual spectacle, heightened movement and live music in order to transport the audience to a different time and place. 

Gilgamesh’sstellar acting ensemble is led by Joel David Santner*in the title role. Santner was recently seen in Signature Theatre’s R & J, and has performed with Shakespeare Theatre Company, Folger Theatre, The Kennedy Center and Taffety Punk.  Enkidu is portrayed by Andreu Honeycutt who starred as Rama in Constellation’s The Ramayana, which was revived due to popular demand.  The cast includes Constellation favorites: Charlotte Akin,Katy Carkuff,Ashley Ivey,Emma Crane Jaster and Jim Jorgensen.  Nora Achrati and Manu Kumasi are joining the company for the first time.

The talented design team includesResident Designers Kendra Rai, who won the 2012 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Costume Design for The Green Bird, and Composer/ Musician Tom Teasley, who received the 2010 and 2011 Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Sound Design for Crazyface and The Ramayana.  Scenic Designer Ethan Sinnottand Lighting Designer Klyph Stanford make their Constellation debuts.  Matthew McGee is designing puppets while Casey Kaleba and Emma Crane Jaster collaborate on choreography.

WHO: Constellation Theatre Company
WHAT: Gilgamesh. Poetryby YusefKomunyakaa.Concept & Dramaturgy byChad Gracia.
Directed by Allison Arkell Stockman

WHERE: Source Theatre 1835 14th St. NW
WHEN: May 2 – June 2, 2013. Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm.  Sundays at 2 pm.
Additional Shows: Sat. May 18 and25, and June 1 at 2:00 pm, Sun.May 26 at 7:30 pm & Mon.May 27 at 8:00 pm.
PRESS OPENING: Saturday, May 4 at 8 pm.
Pay-What-You-Can Previews: May 2 & 3 at 8:30 pm.

Post Show Talkbacks (2): Sunday, May 12 &19 after 2pm performance.
terpreted Performance (1): Sunday May 19 at 2 pm

OTHER: Audiences aged 10 and up. We ask that a parent or guardian accompany any child under 13.
CONTACT: 202-204-7741 or marketing@ConstellationTheatre.org

WEBSITE: www.ConstellationTheatre.org                           

-- continued--

Text Box: Press Contact: Emily Morrison

Poetry by YusefKomunyakaa
Concept & Dramaturgy byChad Gracia

Director  AllisonArkell Stockman

Blurb: Part god and part man, King Gilgamesh journeys to the ends of the earth on his epic quest for immortality.

Ensemble: Joel David Santner*, Andreu Honeycutt*, Nora Achrati, Charlotte Akin, Katy Carkuff, Ashley Ivey, Emma Crane Jaster, Jim Jorgensen, Manu Kumasi
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association

Design and Production: KendraiRai (Costumes), Ethan Sinnott (Scenic Designer), Klyph Stanford (Lighting Designer), Tom Teasley(Composer/ Musician), Casey Kaleba (Fight Choreographer), Emma Crane Jaster (Choreographer), Matthew McGee (Puppet Designer),Cheryl Gnerlich (Stage Manager), Rebecca Dieffenbach(Props Designer), Katrina Clark, (Interpreter), Jefferson Farber (Dramaturg), Gwen Grastorf (Assistant Director/Movement Coach).

Pay-What-You-Can Previews (2): May 2 & 3 at 8:30 pm
Post Show Talkbacks (2): Sunday May 12 & 19 after 2pm performance.

terpreted Performance (1): Sunday May 19 at 2 pm

Press Night: Saturday, May 4 at 8 pm

Performance Schedule: May 2 – June 2 with shows on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. 
Additional Shows: Saturdays May 18, 25 and June 1 at 2:00 pm, Sunday, May 26 at 7:30 pm and Monday, June 27 at 8pm.

Constellation Theatre Company Mission:
Constellation Theatre Company’s mission is to spark the curiosity and imagination of the people of Greater Washington, DC by bringing stories to life from all over the world. Visual spectacle, music and movement unite with an exuberant acting ensemble to create an exhilarating entertainment experience. 

For Tickets: 1-800-494-8497, www.ConstellationTheatre.org

For Information: 202-204-7741, www.ConstellationTheatre.org

Ticket Prices: $25 - $45

Location: Source Theatre at 1835 14th St. NW on the corner of T St.
            Two blocks from the U St./ Cardozo Metro.  On-street parking.




It's never tomorrow it's always yesterday or today.

 I joined Goodreads and now I'm reading Melville's Moby-Dick. What an awesome app. Book community -one book at a time. Will use it to access those classics - those texts people are always making reference to. What about Douglass, Wright and Baldwin?  There goes Ethelbert reading race into apps. So DuBois of him.

So you want to go to war again?
Syria seems seductive. Chemical war sounds like something the food industry would warn us about.
My mother always believed the government was testing something in the New York subways.
All his life my father had a bad cough. Where did it come from?  Working in the post-office or riding those underground trains?  No one was serious back then are we more Syria today?
Send in the drones?
Why are we always ending one war and starting another? Is that North Korea in my soup?

2013 is shaping up to be one of those years where the last two digits seem to be wearing a ball and chain.  How unlucky can a year be? This is where Janis Joplin walks in...

Well, Mother's Day will be here soon. I need to get the Earth and Mother Nature a card.
Maybe read "Ecology" by Ernesto Cardenal to some virgin maiden leaving for the coast.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Around the country writers are getting bats and gloves ready for the 8th Anniversary of The Miller Classic (June 16th). This is the softball game I sponsor at the Bennington Writing Seminars (Vermont). It features the poets against those feared fiction writers. In the past the winners won books of poetry selected from the Bennington bookstore. This June folks will be playing for "the shirt." 
All eyes will be on slugging Jia Oak Baker.
The sweet Miller Classic T-shirts were designed by Cameron Jones (Tampa, Florida).

Ethelbert and Jia Oak Baker

Susannah Heschel

I received a note today from beloved friend Susannah Heschel. She will be in DC this June to give a talk at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.  See information below.

Monday, June 10, 7–8:30 p.m.
2013 Monna and Otto Weinmann
Annual Lecture
Jewish-Christian Dialogue in the
Postwar Era: The American Distinction
Helena Rubinstein Auditorium



When Love Is Like Death

I love you again (today)
not like any other day but
today, when nothing is going
right and someone said loving
you was wrong. But why today?
There are Fridays and weekends
when things seem to end. Yes -
such is life but what is love?
What continues from me to you?
What survives even death? Is it
yesterday or today?

   - E. Ethelbert Miller

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Bringing You the Latest Information in Writing, Reading, and More!
In This Issue
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Pitch Perfect
Writing Retreat
Top Picks
Book Doctor
Book Doctor
Need a book doctor to read and evaluate your finished manuscript? Contact me at info@maritagolden.com

Upcoming Events
Hurston/Wright Writers' Week Workshop 
A Safe Environment to Build Your Writing Skills
And Broaden Your Writing Horizon
Howard University Washington, DC 

October 25, 2013
Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Ceremony
 Honoring excellence in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction by Black writers.    
Carnegie Library Washington, DC 
Contact Information
Marita Golden
Words of Power LLC



Computer, Paper, Desk

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Writing Heroes...
Who is your writing hero?  

Most writers can name at least one person who encouraged them to believe in their voices and to believe in their power to speak, write and create stories. For me the list is long, and it begins with my parents. My mother who told me I was going to write a book one day. My father who told me bedtime stories about iconic figures of African and African-American history. Then there was my first fiction writing teacher, Sidney Offit, who became a cherished friend who told me "You are a wonderful writer" and asked, " what are you going to do with your talent?" Poets Audre Lorde and June Jordan who I revered and read voraciously gave me a way to believe in myself back when poetry was the only thing I wrote. And I am lucky enough to have been represented by the same agent, Carol Mann, for the past thirty years, who told me when she signed me that she was making a career-long commitment to me and one that had nothing to do with how much money I made or didn't make. Believe me, in the world of publishing it doesn't get much better than that. And of course, Marie Brown, my first editor, who guided the careers of a generation of Black writers believed my first book Migrations of the Heart into the world. Her calm faith helped me as I found my way as a writer.

As writers we often get so obsessed with the challenges of maintaining a productive writing life and writing career, that we often don't remember to count our blessings. And it is the people who have blessed us with their belief in our personal dream that helps fuel our stories. We are not islands but members of a dynamic ever-present village. We write not only because we need to or have to but because somebody along the way told us we should, or could.  

So take a moment to make list of your writing heroes. Put that list in a special place and whenever, in frustration or self-doubt, you wonder why you ever thought you could write in the first place, pull out that list, read it, let it energize you and remind you of your power and the people waiting to hear you stories and get back to work!

Your Writing Coach,
Pitch Perfect: How to Sell Your Book Idea!
Marita Golden Pitch Perfect Workshop for June 1,  2013
Marita Golden - Pitch Perfect Workshop

Even if you are self-publishing this workshop is for you because it will help you sell your book.

Date: Saturday, June 1, 2013

Time: 10am - 5pm

Location: Home of Marita Golden  
Prince Georges County, MD (upon registration you will be sent the complete address) subway accessible via Largo Town Center stop on Metro Blue Line

Tuition: $169 (lunch included)

Registration Deadline: May 22, 2013  
A Writing Retreat in Jamaica
June 23 - 29, 2013
Bermuda Beach
Join Marita Golden in Jamaica at Riu Montego Bay Resort for an intense and relaxing writing workshop retreat.

If you want to learn the basic techniques of good story-telling or break through a writing block, this workshop will provide you with the breakthrough you need. Character, action and narrative are the building blocks of ALL good stories. You will learn how to create memorable characters, how to engage those characters in action that is compelling and how to write narrative that gets to the heart and soul of the meaning of your story.

This workshop is open to both fiction and nonfiction writers, so whether you are writing a memoir, a novel, a short story or creative nonfiction this class will give you the foundation you need.  

The workshop is limited to 12 people so make your reservation today. You do not want to miss this opportunity to develop your skills while enjoying all there is to offer at the Riu in Montego Bay, Jamaica!
Marita's Top Picks for the Month
Detroit An American Autopsy   
Detroit An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff a powerful combination of great reporting, memoir, character sketches and old fashioned muck-raking that provides an in-depth portrait of a city attempting to rise from its knees.

 Round House 

The Round House by Louise Erdrich a National Book Award winning novel that portrays the tragedy of sexual abuse of native American women.

Lost and Found  
Lost and Found: One Woman's Story of Losing her Money and Finding Her Life by Geneen Roth. Moving and inspiring account of losing a fortune to Bernie Madoff yet finding the spiritual lessons in the experience.
  The Twelve Tribes 

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis. Oprah's Bookclub pick grabs the reader by the heart and won't let go till the last page.


Want to be inspired? Listen to Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Geraldine Brooks' talk about Finding A Home in Fiction.  
Marita Golden - www.maritagolen.com

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Reading - Nothing Was The Same by Kay Redfield Jamison.
Author of An Unquiet Mind.
It's Friday!  Every goodbye ain't gone...


Thursday, April 25, 2013




The latest issue of the Washington City Paper finds Muriel Bowser on the cover. Bowser represents Ward 4 - the part of town where I live. I chuckled when I read Alan Suderman's (the reporter) description of her:

If you designed the perfect candidate for a D.C. mayoral election at this moment in the city's history, you might come up with someone a lot like Muriel Bowser.

What's funny about the above statement isn't funny if you're on the wrong side of history. Suderman spends the first page of his Bowser profile discussing how no one knows who Bowser is. I can't agree with him more -but who is at fault?  I think it's the media and folks like Suderman. Why write a long article about someone if you keep saying folks don't know who they are? I find that strange and silly. It's one of the games the media plays. People are promoted and then demoted. We push people to run for public office and then claim nobody knows who they are. This is how folks become addicted to drugs. We echo what Suderman or someone writes and then we pass the blunt.