Thursday, October 23, 2014

Grolier Poetry Book Shop's Massive Poetry Collection

Grolier Poetry Book Shop, Boston
Image Credit:

Bookstores may seem to be far and few between, however mom-and-pop bookstores are sweet finds for die-hard readers. We came across a bookstore that certainly caught our attention. It is the oldest continuous poetry book shop in the United States. Grolier Poetry Book Shop located in Boston's Harvard Square stocks over 15,000 current volumes of trade, small press and university publications, as well as books related to prosody, poetry markets and spoken word CD's.

The original shop, founded in 1927 by Adrian Gambet and Gordon Cairnie, stocked mainly private press books, some poetry and a sampling of avant-garde literature. In 1976, then owner Louisa Solano developed the bookstore as an exclusive showcase for poetry. She stocked some 15,000 current poetry volumes, emphasizing small press. Solano also introduced autograph/reading parties, intercollegiate poetry reading series and co-sponsored poetry prizes. In April 2006, Solano sold the Grolier Book Shop to Ifeanyi Menkiti, poet and professor of philosophy at Wellesley College. 

Grolier will continue to advance the cause of poetry, by expanding on the foundation laid by previous owners. They will develop interest in poetry among a more diversified audience, and promote the written and spoken art of poetry. Grolier Poetry Book Shop continues to be a key and vibrant player in creating a nourishing environment for the works of poets. If you are a poet living in the Boston area, you probably stumbled across this niche bookstore. If you don't live in the area, then check out their website Hats off to the massive poetry collection found in this unique book shop! Wouldn't your poetry group have a field day in this place?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Author Jason Irby Crusades Against Domestic Violence

Humanitarian Jason Irby, author of the Love Within Life book series, delivers compelling, inspiring and passionate books about relations and relationships. Love Within Life features some of his poetry and short stories. This Arkansas native diligently addresses social issues through his literature, and is an avid volunteer and charitable contributor. His most recent book Love Within Life: So, You Want to Stop Violence? sets the premise about not just wanting to stop the violence, but how to actually be proactive and do something about it. He addresses categories of violence including domestic violence, child abuse, bullying, peer pressure and other inappropriate behaviors. At his events, Jason presents concerns about messages in an overwhelming number of rap and hip-hop songs that promote violence and inappropriate behaviors. With regard to recent reports about domestic violence occurring in national sports leagues like the NFL, he strongly urges the sports entertainment segment to govern violence and inappropriate messages expeditiously and accordingly. 

During the month of October, one of the primary societal causes we observe is domestic violence awareness. Although we wear our purple ribbons and rally quite passionately for the violence to end, there are a number of things each one of can do to make our communities aware of the dangers, as well as the help available as a result of domestic violence. We have either been a victim or know someone who is/has been a victim of domestic violence. This is why this issue cannot be swept under the rug any longer. Such violent infestation does not discriminate against race, creed or socioeconomic levels.

Jason has been writing since he was a teen in high school. He was inspired to write his books from so many people who read his work and his contributions to make a difference through his written words. You can purchase his books on for $10.00. Other locations stocking his books are Bud’s N Bows Florist, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing and WordsWorth Books & Co. (Little Rock, Arkansas); The BookSellers at Laurelwood (Memphis, Tennessee); The Dock Bookshop (Fort Worth, Texas); and Christian Life Tapes & Books (Shreveport, Louisiana).

For information about upcoming events or to learn more about Jason’s mission to help eradicate violence, go to his website or You can also email him at To wind down from his daily crusade, while reading some of his favorite poetry, Jason quietly relaxes and enjoys a nice cup of peach tea. How delightful!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

An Awesome Poetry Collaboration Between a Mother and Her 5-Year Old

My God is Awesome, Poetry, Children's Picture Book, Kyla McKenzie, Monique McKenzie
What does a 5-year old preschooler, her mother and poetry have to do with each other? A book entitled My God is AWESOME! As we discover incredible joy in simple things that delights and makes us smile, it is then that we appreciate the essence and creation of God, and life itself. When you open this children’s picture book, My God is AWESOME! authored by 5-year old Kyla McKenzie and her mother Monique, you peer into a world of surprising innocence and delightful wonder. This book contains exquisite hand-painted watercolor images by renowned, award-winning illustrator, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, which exemplifies how God is reverenced through the eyes of a 5-year old.

Navigating through pages containing Gilchrist’s amazing, realistic illustrations and heartwarming poetic verses from 5-year old Kyla, gives a liberating connection to the emotional and spiritual context this book portrays. The inspiration behind My God is AWESOME! was conceived one day when Monique McKenzie visited her daughter’s preschool and surprisingly overheard her daughter Kyla and Kyla’s friend Caryna serenading their class with gospel songs. According to their teacher, Ms. Tamika, the two best friends were becoming quite a classroom sensation. Monique asked Kyla if she and Caryna ever considered recording their version of the song, My God is Awesome. Kyla boldly declared that she didn’t want to do a song, but wanted to do a book surrounding the theme instead. From that conversation, the mother/daughter collaboration of this children’s picture book was born.
Monique McKenzie, Kyla McKenzie, My God is Awesome
Monique and Kyla McKenzie

Monique McKenzie began penning poetry at a very early age. During the mid 1980’s, she started to diligently organize and chronicle her creative works. Monique is an award-winning journalist and author who has written and contributed to numerous nonfiction books. She was also an editor for various national publications. Although McKenzie’s daughter Kyla is the coauthor of My God is AWESOME!, there are more projects in the works that we can expect from the both of them. While relaxing, writing or reading her favorite volume of poetry, Monique enjoys sipping on her cup of specially blended Chai Tea Latte from Panera Bread.

Kyla McKenzie, My God is Awesome, Children's Picture Book
Kyla McKenzie
Kyla McKenzie became a first time author (one of the youngest published authors on record) at the age of 5. She is on a mission to spread the word about the awesomeness of God. She convinced her mother that authoring a children’s picture book would be the best way to reach this goal. It is not surprising that Kyla was actively involved in every aspect of the creation and production of this remarkable book. This may be her first published writing of poetry, but it is just an introduction of forthcoming creative works from a young, talented author.

My God is AWESOME! is a great addition to your library of children’s books or to give as a gift. This First-Edition hardcover book is $16.99 and can be purchased on or directly from the authors. You can also find this picture book in paperback and Kindle versions. To learn more about the book, the authors and other exciting projects, visit Click here for information on upcoming poetry readings, special appearances or book signings. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Monique McKenzie at You will certainly be pleased with the detail, message and quality this book offers.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Celebrating the U.S. Navy Born on October 13, 1775

Today we celebrate 239 years of the birth of our amazing United States Navy. Thank you for your service and dedication to defending our country.
  We Salute You!

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Pantoum Celebrating Butterfly & Hummingbird Day

Hummingbird At A Feeder, Hummingbird Day, Hummer, Darting Bird

Magical Little Hummer
By Kym Gordon Moore
from Wings of the Wind: A Cornucopia of Poetry

Gracing me with your brief presence
dancing merrily with rapidly beating wings
as the morning sunrays reflect the pageantry
a shimmering metallic rainbow of colors.

Dancing merrily with rapidly beating wings
watching you dart between the canna and tiger lilies
a shimmering metallic rainbow of colors
exploring the sweet depths with your needle-like beak.

Watching you dart between the canna and tiger lilies
curiosity satisfying your hungry soul
exploring the sweet depths with your needle-like beak
in the morning glory’s then over to the petunias.

Curiosity satisfying your hungry soul
defying gravity, hovering with invisible support
in the morning glory’s then over to the petunias
your fair-like presence makes us laugh in awe.

Defying gravity, hovering with invisible support
buzzing, zooming, performing somersaults in the air
your fair-like presence makes us laugh in awe
not giving your shadow enough time to catch up.

Buzzing, zooming, performing somersaults in the air
swiftly flying away you ignite my chimes
not giving your shadow enough time to catch up
your charming performance makes the impossible look effortless.

Swiftly flying away you ignite my chimes
your magic is entertaining, titillating and fascinating
your charming performance makes the impossible look effortless
a sweet melody resonating with a stir.

Your magic is entertaining, titillating and fascinating
as the morning sunrays reflect the pageantry
a sweet melody resonating with a stir
gracing me with your brief presence.

(This poem is in the form of a Pantoum. A pantoum is a fixed form, consisting of a varying number of 4-line stanzas. The second and fourth lines of each stanza are repeated to form the first and third lines of the succeeding stanza. The first line of the poem will always be the last sentence of the poem.)

*Poem used with permission from author.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Celebrating National Poetry Day in the UK

national poetry day in uk, remembering poetry, poetry, forward arts foundation

October 2, 2014 is National Poetry Day in the UK. According to Forward Arts Foundation, National Poetry Day is the nation’s biggest celebration of poetry. Anyone and everyone is invited to join in, releasing poetry into the streets, squares, supermarkets, parks, train stations, bus-stops and post-boxes. Tie it on trees, if you like. (They do in Japan.) Or stick it in your window for the world to see. This year’s theme is "Remember," so if you remember a poem, however short, pass it on with hashtag #thinkofapoem.
The Tea & Poetry Book Club will find any excuse for celebrating poetry. Even if you live in the U.S.A. or anywhere around the world, attend a reading, purchase a collection of poetry, post a poem on your social media sites or find an event or activity paying homage to the art of poetry!
Click here to learn more about National Poetry Day in the UK.