MOONSTONE ARTS CENTER

Poets Speak Back to Hunger – An Interview with Hiram Larew

By g emil reutter

hiram one

GER: How did you get involved with the United Nations and the formation of Poetry X Hunger?

HL: My career at the US Department of Agriculture and the US Agency for International Development was all about guiding international anti-hunger programs.  And over those years, I was actively involved with poetry.  It took retirement, however, for me to realize that there was very little available poetry about hunger of the stomach.  In discussing this with staff at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, they offered to showcase such poetry if I would rouse poets to write it.  Fast forward – as a result of that partnership and in collaboration with The Capital Area Food Bank and the Maryland State Arts Council, the Poetry X Hunger website (www.PoetryXHunger.com) holds many, many poems from poets around the world.  And, those poems are being used in Houses of Worship, in K-18 classrooms, and by anti-hunger leaders and organizations to raise awareness about the scourge in the US and overseas.  

GER: Through your efforts poets have written about hunger and malnutrition as well as other areas directly impacting food supply. What impact do you believe this will have on world hunger?

 HL: I always make the point:  Poetry will never eliminate hunger.  But I immediately follow that admission with my solid conviction that poetry can surely help.  How?  Well, unlike data, trendlines, statistics and even science that are very useful tools-of-logic in the anti-hunger toolkit, poetry speaks to the heart and soul.  Poetry can move people to take action in ways that those other tools simply don’t.  In fact, poetry has been so important in advancing other social issues such as immigration (think of Lazarus’s poem, The New Colossus, at the base of the Statue of Liberty), poverty, inequality, and the like.  So, why not bring poetry to bear on hunger?

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Poetry X Hunger  logo by Diane Wilbon Parks

GER: What was the selection process for Poets Speak Back to Hunger: An e-Collection of Poems from Around the World

HL: We chose a few of the powerful poems from the Poetry X Hunger website.  We showcased a diversity of poets from all over the world.  And, we presented their work in text form and, in many cases, as audio or video recordings.   The e-Collection has been featured by award winning hunger author, Roger Thurow, on his blog.  It was also used by the US-wide group, Hunger Free Communities, to find poets who then presented at HFC’s national summit.

The PDF can be read here: https://www.poetryxhunger.com/uploads/1/2/5/7/125799040/poetsspeakbacktohunger.pdf

GER: The Poetry X Hunger website also publishes poets writing about hunger, (https://www.poetryxhunger.com/poems-submitted-for-the-2021-world-food-day-poetry-competition ). How often will the site be updated?

HL: We constantly update and add to the website as volunteer time allows. 

moonstone hunger

GER: On October 23rd at 2pm you will be hosting a virtual reading with the Moonstone Arts Center in Philadelphia. Share with us how this came to be and who will be reading at the event?   

HL: I’ve known Larry Robin for several years.  He recently reached out to ask if Poetry X Hunger would feature a few poets, in conjunction with October 16’s World Food Day, on MAC’s series, and I jumped at the chance.  Featured poets will be Aaron R (Virginia, USA), Josephine LoRe (Alberta, Canada), Tony Treanor (County Limerick, Ireland), Ladi Di Beverly (Maryland, USA) and Taku Chikepe (Zimbabwe).  We’ll also replay a haunting poem by Patience Gumbo (Zimbabwe).

On Zoom: https://moonstoneartscenter.org/event/virtual-poetry-reading-poets-speak-back-to-hunger/

Other Links:

Poets call for empathy and action towards a hunger-free world

https://www.fao.org/north-america/news/detail/en/c/1444423/

Email: PoetryXHunger@gmail.com

Sahms-Guarnieri and reutter live at Fergies Pub 10-13-21

New-Chapbooks-from-Moonstone-Press-300x300

Live and on Zoom

Poets Diane Sahms-Guarnieri and g emil reutter will perform their first reading since 2019. The poets will read on 10-13-21, (7pm) at Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, Pa. Sahms-Guarnieri will read from Covid 19 2020 – A Poetic Journal. reutter will read from Poems of the Pennypack. Poets FX Baird, RuNett Nia Ebo, and Nina Gadson will read from newly released chapbooks. The reading is sponsored by Moonstone Arts Center and admission is free. You can also watch on zoom at this link:   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84308329737?pwd=RjJUdCtJVXRySjlvMHdXakJRRzVmUT09

More: https://moonstoneartscenter.org/event/live-poetry-reading-new-chapbooks-from-moonstone-press/

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Moonstone Remembers Louis McKee

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Remembering Louis McKee

Louis McKee (07/31/1951 – 11/21/2011) was an American poet and a fixture of the Philadelphia poetry scene from the early 1970s. He was the author of Schuylkill County, The True Speed of Things, and fourteen other collections. More recently, he published River Architecture: Poems from Here & There 1973-1993, Loose Change, and a volume in the Pudding House Greatest Hits series. Gerald Stern called his work “heart-breaking” and “necessary,” while William Stafford has written, “Louis McKee makes me think of how much fun it was to put your hand out a car window and make the air carry you into quick adventures and curlicues. He is so adept at turning all kinds of sudden glimpses into good patterns.” Naomi Shihab Nye says, “Louis McKee is one of the truest hearts and voices in poetry we will ever be lucky to know.”

Send us a poem

Deadline for submissions: November 12, 2021

Program: November 21, 2021

Submission Requirements

Anthology Submissions: Please submit a poem pertaining to the Remembering Louis McKee anthology/reading.

Please limit your submission to one poem. Please keep this poem limited to 35 lines total. When determining the total line length for each poem, include spaces between stanzas (ex: a poem of 5 couplets would equal 14 lines). Numbers or section breaks should also be included as lines when calculating the total line length. Count an epigraph as 3 extra lines. A line that has more than 60 characters (including spaces and punctuation) should be counted as two lines of your total line count. If lines are staggered like a Ferlinghetti poem, estimate the width of the line and remember that the final book will be printed in 11 point Times New Roman font on pages that are 4 inches wide.

If you have a problem contact Larry Robin @ larry@moonstoneartscenter.org or 215-735-9600.

Deadline for submissions: November 12, 2021 – Submit @

https://moonstoneartscenter.submittable.com/submit/194147/remembering-louis-mckee

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Covid 19 2020 – A Poetic Journal by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

covid 19 2020

Moonstone Press has just released Diane Sahms-Guarnieri’s, Covid 19, 2020 – A Poetic Journal. 

The Chapbook is available here: https://moonstone-arts-center.square.site/product/sahms-guarnieri-diane-covid-19-2020-a-poetic-journal/294?cs=true&cst=custom 

What Others Say:

As sobering as Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, when the Bubonic Plague devasted London, Diane Sahms-Guarnieri’s, Covid-19, 2020 is a grim recounting of the horrible year through which we have just lived.

Starting with the ironically named “March Madness” section, a term that usually refers to the annual NCAA basketball tournament but so succinctly captures the mass disorientation, like “a sci-fi movie, yet real,” as she notes on 3-23-2020, the journal proceeds through April, the cruelest month, mixing death and rebirth in its stew of life, into the horrific summer of 2020 –

185,000 dead in the United States by Labor Day – and into fall/winter with the mounting dead, the glimmer of hope that a vaccine may soon be available. The collection ends on New Year’s Eve, over 350,000 Americans dead under the chaotic leadership of the Trump administration, the most of any nation in the world.  Along the way, as if the pandemic were not bad enough, Sahms-Guarnieri addresses the social turmoil that tore the country apart, the racial injustice that spawned BLM.

Sahms-Guarnieri captures the fear and loneliness so eloquently in the April poem, “Nature & Mothers Weeping,” which begins:
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Horrific scene played on TV—
a mother weeping & wailing
for daughter, dead. COVID-19.
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Last seen alive via FaceTime:
Mom, I can’t breathe.
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I, with thoughts of my only
living daughter, weep
for those whom I don’t know
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The July poem, “Untouchables, for daughter, Mary,” drives the point home :
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We who always embrace every time
we meet & whenever we leave each other,
came no nearer than 6 feet.
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An unmeasurably cruel calculation
for me & daughter, whose hazel irises,
as life protectors, gently glided into
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mine: touching, without touching,
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As Defoe wrote over three centuries ago, “everyone looked on himself and his family as in the utmost danger…London might well be said to be all in tears.”

Charles Rammelkamp, author of Ugler Lee and Mortal Coil 

You can get the chapbook here: https://moonstone-arts-center.square.site/product/sahms-guarnieri-diane-covid-19-2020-a-poetic-journal/294?cs=true&cst=custom

25th Anniversary of Poetry Ink

How do you present (potentially) 300 poets when many viewers feel Zoomed out after just two hours? Our answer is to take an entire week to present our poets for about two hours each day.

poetry ink

Get the antholgoy here: https://moonstone-arts-center.square.site/product/25th-anniversary-2021-poetry-ink-anthology/290?cs=true&cst=custom 

Poets are organized alphabetically by last name. Below is the reading schedule for each day, with links to the readings.

MONDAY

July 19 @ 7:00 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84308329737?pwd=RjJUdCtJVXRySjlvMHdXakJRRzVmUT09  Meeting ID: 843 0832 9737 – Passcode: 678146

  • Alandra Abrams
  • Fran Abrams
  • Liz Abrams-Morley
  • Michael Abreu
  • David Acosta
  • Carolyn Adams
  • Marjorie Agosin
  • Nathalie Anderson
  • Nathan Antoine
  • Meredith Avakian
  • Fran Baird
  • Kwame Bakari
  • Houston Baker
  • Floi Baker
  • John Balaban
  • Catherine Bancroft
  • JT Barbarese
  • Katherine Barham
  • Lisa Alexander Baron
  • Herschel Baron
  • Amy Barone
  • Peter Baroth
  • Tina Barr
  • Margaret Chew
  • Barringer
  • Samantha Barrow
  • Adriann Bautista
  • Siduri Beckman
  • Ken Been
  • Michele Belluomini
  • Norma Bernstock
  • Sylvia Beverly
  • Byron Beynon
  • Lili Bita
  • Pamela Blanding
  • Lynn Blue
  • Julia Blumenreich
  • Willeena Booker
  • Elizabeth Boquet
  • Matilda Bray
  • Joni brenner
  • R. Bremner
  • Eugene Brown
  • Deborah brown
  • Megan Brown
  • Margaret Brown
  • Mary Brownell
  • Lisa Bruckman
  • Steve Burke

TUESDAY

July 20 @ 7:00 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84308329737?pwd=RjJUdCtJVXRySjlvMHdXakJRRzVmUT09  Meeting ID: 843 0832 9737 – Passcode: 678146

  • Dennis Brutus
  • Barbara Carlson
  • Charles Carr
  • Aileen Cassinetto
  • Erin Castaldi
  • Grace Cavalieri
  • Sandra Chaff
  • Joseph Chelius
  • China Rain Chung
  • Ty Clark
  • Eulinda Antonette
  • Clarke-Akalanne
  • CA Conrad
  • Jim Cory
  • Beverly Cottman
  • Lynda V. E. Crawford
  • Terence Culleton
  • Raheem Curry
  • Craig Czury
  • Eileen D’Angelo
  • Steven Davison
  • Toi Derricotte
  • Steven Deutsch
  • Gregory Djanikian
  • Pheralyn Dove
  • Tom Driscoll
  • Carlos Dufflar
  • Terry Dugan
  • Philip Dykhouse
  • Mare Earley
  • RuNett Ebp
  • Ryan Eckes
  • Oliver Egger
  • W.D. Ehrhart
  • Helene Eisman Fisher
  • Massimo Elijah
  • Alfred Encarnacion
  • Martin Espada
  • Cole Eubanks
  • R.G. Evans
  • Katherine Falk
  • Linda Fischer
  • Peggy Fisher
  • Francis Flavin
  • Philip Foster
  • Bryan Franco
  • Daisy Fried
  • Deborah Fries

WEDNESDAY

July 21 @ 7:00 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84308329737?pwd=RjJUdCtJVXRySjlvMHdXakJRRzVmUT09  Meeting ID: 843 0832 9737 – Passcode: 678146

  • Keith Gaboury
  • Nina Gadson
  • Maria Gillan
  • Eli Goldblatt
  • Leonard Gontarek
  • Amy Gordon
  • Beulah Gordon-Skinner
  • Linda Goss
  • Sandy Green
  • Ray Greenblatt
  • Ona Gritz
  • Luray Gross
  • Gena Gruz
  • Hanoch Guy
  • Anna Halberstadt
  • Vernita Hall
  • Therese Halscheid
  • Sean Hanrahan
  • Michael Hardin
  • Anne Harding Woodworth
  • Laura Hawley
  • Maurice Henderson
  • Alison Hicks
  • Ernest Hilbert
  • Everett Hoagland
  • Ditta Hoeber
  • Ann Huang
  • Joan Huffman
  • Susan Hulbert
  • Barbara Hurwitz
  • Jane Ellen Ibur
  • Jack Israel
  • Jaz
  • Mary Jo Jerome
  • Irving Jones
  • Quincy Jones
  • Betti Kahn
  • Chris Kaiser
  • Carl Kaucher
  • Nzadi Keita
  • Aziza Kinteh
  • KIRAAT KIRAAT
  • Rachel Kiskaddon
  • Jody Kolodzey
  • Lisa Konigsberg
  • Kathleen Kremins
  • Leonard Kress
  • Donald Krieger

THURSDAY

July 22 @ 7:00 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84308329737?pwd=RjJUdCtJVXRySjlvMHdXakJRRzVmUT09  Meeting ID: 843 0832 9737 – Passcode: 678146

  • Ed Krizek
  • Jim LaVilla-Havelin
  • Kyle Laws
  • Jeffrey Lee
  • Lynn Levin
  • Michael Levin
  • Elliott Levin
  • Antoinette Libro
  • Carey Link
  • Jewel Lloyd
  • Robin Longfield
  • Warren Longmire
  • Gregory Loselle
  • Dick Lourie
  • Gregory Loselle
  • Dick Lourie
  • Frederick Lowe
  • Alison Lubar
  • Lynette
  • Nick Lutwyche
  • Sean Lynch
  • Deidra Lyngard
  • Terri Lyons
  • Alina Macneal
  • Haki Madhubuti
  • Ann Malaspina
  • Norman Marshall
  • Angel Martinez
  • John Mason
  • Trapeta Mayson
  • Bernadette McBride
  • Octavia McBride-Ahebee
  • Cecelia McKinney
  • Austin McLain
  • Pat McLean
  • Diane McManus
  • Tony Medina
  • Barbara Meier
  • Drew Miller
  • Ethelbert Miller
  • Michael Miller
  • Helen Markil
  • Gail Mitchell
  • Abbe Mogell
  • Curtis Mohn
  • David Mook
  • Kathleen Moore
  • Michael Moss
  • Iryna Mozovaya
  • Peter E. Murphy

FRIDAY

July 23 @ 7:00 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84308329737?pwd=RjJUdCtJVXRySjlvMHdXakJRRzVmUT09  Meeting ID: 843 0832 9737 – Passcode: 678146

  • Charlotte Muse
  • Wun Kuen Ng
  • Thom Nickels
  • Leonard Niedermayer
  • Gloria Nixon-John
  • Stu O’Connor
  • Daniel O’Hara
  • Cynthia Oka
  • Ewuare Osayande
  • Alicia Ostriker
  • Marko Otten
  • Hermond Palmer
  • Our Sun Paul
  • Faith Paulsen
  • Joan Penn
  • Aaren Perry
  • John Polier
  • Steve Pollack
  • Kate Potter
  • Prabha Prabhu
  • Susana Praver-Perez
  • Halle Preneta
  • Elijah Pringle
  • Elijah Pryor
  • David Radavich
  • Margaret Randall
  • Patrick Reardon
  • Tennessee Reed
  • Don Riggs
  • Theresa Rodriguez
  • Ruth Rouff
  • Ursula Rucker
  • Destiny Samuel
  • Sonia Sanchez
  • Hayden Saunier
  • George Schaefer
  • Nina Schafer
  • Peter Schmidt
  • Jennifer Schneider
  • Esther Schnur-Berlot
  • Naila Schulte
  • Connie Wasem Scott
  • Fereshteh Sholevar
  • Alyson Shore Adler
  • Daniel Simpson
  • David R. Slavitt
  • Bob Small
  • Amy Small-McKinney

SATURDAY

July 24 @ 7:00 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84308329737?pwd=RjJUdCtJVXRySjlvMHdXakJRRzVmUT09  Meeting ID: 843 0832 9737 – Passcode: 678146

  • Christopher Sohnly
  • Ezra Solway
  • Meghan Sood
  • Charles Springer
  • Mbarek Sryfi
  • Lamont Steptoe
  • Jeanne Sutton
  • Kristen Swanson
  • Abigail Swoboda
  • Albert Tacconelli
  • Therese Taha
  • Elaine Terranova
  • Kelly Thompson
  • Melinda Thomsen
  • Esha Thornton
  • Terry Tierney
  • J. C. Todd
  • Jonathon Todd
  • Bevil Townsend
  • Sarah Trembath
  • Sandra Turner-Barnes
  • Bill Van Buskirk
  • Aliya Vance
  • Lois Villemaire
  • Elle Vintage
  • Brad Walrond
  • Dan Warner
  • Mercedes Weathers
  • Afaa Weaver
  • Kelley White
  • Diane Wilbon Parks
  • Roland Williams
  • Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon
  • Eleanor Wilner
  • Johnny Wilson
  • Rocky Wilson
  • Yolanda Wisher
  • MM Wittle
  • Donna Wolf-Palacio
  • Nellie Wong
  • Keith Woodrow
  • David Worrell
  • Samantha Wright
  • Sarah Zale
  • Robert Zaller
  • Sekai’afua Zankel
  • Daniel Zehner
  • Yelena Zotova
  • David Zuckerman

Moonstone began in 1981 when Larry Robin began to present writers at Robin’s Book Store, thousands of writers, poets, fiction, and non-fiction writers have read over the last 40 years. Poetry Ink started in 1996 as a benefit for the bookstore, where the cost of attendance was the purchase of a book. It has continued as our largest program, usually about 100 poets reading for six hours or so with an anthology that included those poets reading that year. This year is different, we have reached out to any poet who has ever read with us, and we are still functioning virtually. Our 25th annual Poetry Ink Anthology has 300 poets, some who are now famous and read here years ago and others who we just met. About half of the people who contribute to our anthologies are usually available to read, and I am never sure exactly who will show up.

Get the antholgoy here: https://moonstone-arts-center.square.site/product/25th-anniversary-2021-poetry-ink-anthology/290?cs=true&cst=custom