Thank You Red Wheelbarrow

So many songs begging Ruth Bader Ginsburg to “hang on” until there is another democrat in the white house.  This one caught my attention.  SNL 2019. 


Thank you Red Wheelbarrow writers for accepting my poem, “Day 53”, for publication in This Uncommon Solitude your upcoming anthology of pandemic poetry.

“We are honored to showcase and share your powerful and poignant words during this unsettling time of crisis.”

 

Day 53
By Shannon Laws

If the world were normal now,
as it may never be again,
I might enjoy the morning.
This morning where I woke,
at 8:37 a.m., ate breakfast
drank coffee in bed, started writing,
and still under the sheets at 11:36.

If this was, let’s say, Friday, September 20, 2019,
I would not label this morning a case of pandemic fatigue,
no—it would be relaxation.

It is what the pre-pandemic modern world
used to refer as a “personal day.”
(remember personal days?)
I could find joy in working at home if all
my neighbors got into their cars and
drove to work this morning!
THEN today would be a special day for me.
But, it is not.

It is day 53 of the lockdown, and there is nothing
but the heavy responsibility of
staying home and
saving lives.

Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel
Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel

 


https://www.history.com/news/ruth-bader-ginsburgs-landmark-opinions-womens-rights-supreme-court

Jury Duty for women as a right-
In 1979, Ginsburg argued Duren v. Missouri, a case in which a Missouri man accused of murder argued he couldn’t get a fair trial because of a law that made jury service optional for women. She told the court that such exemptions didn’t just make the jury pool unfair; it devalued women’s contributions to juries.

Equal pay regardless of sex-
In her 2007 dissent, which she read from the bench (a rare move for any justice), she argued that the Civil Rights Act’s 180-day time limit shouldn’t apply in the case of discriminatory pay since gender-based discrimination can happen gradually. “A worker knows immediately if she is denied a promotion or transfer,” said Ginsburg. “Compensation disparities, in contrast, are often hidden from sight.”

Kickstarter “Fallen”

Help support my Kickstarter

Click here to visit the Kickstarter site 

For two years I have been working on my third poetry book “Fallen”.  It’s 85 pages long and has 47 select poems written between the years 2014-2016. The book block is finished, the cover is designed, one print copy in hand.  The book was set to release Spring 2017.  However, I was laid off from work mid-December 2016 and the funds to get it printed are no longer available.  I am asking for the printing costs $280.  This will cover the KICKSTARTER fees, tax and the printing of 25 books from a local press.  My first reading feature is scheduled for June 29th in Everett, WA.  I need to have books to sell at this reading.  Please consider a donation.  Every little bit will help.

The Kickstarter ends May 31, 2017

WHY “FALLEN”

I’ve been writing poetry since 2009.  I paid for the printing of the previous two books, “Madrona Grove” 2012, “Odd Little Things” 2014, at an independent press.  Both were released with moderate fanfare.  What makes “Fallen” special is that in 2016 I challenged myself to write about the loss of my daughter.  She would have turned 25 in 2016.  Poetry is a good friend to me.  It helps me to define emotion, understand a complex system, helps me to view the world. I asked myself, “WHY haven’t you written any poetry about THAT night?”  So, I started writing.

My mother, a retired counselor,  teachers a “Loss and Grief” class at her church located a half hour south of Seattle, WA.  She has shared a handful of my poetry as an aide to her mourning students.  Her students are encouraged to use the poems as an example to start their own poems or prose.  This gives voice to their lamentations, which is an important step in the grieving process.

REVIEWS

Earlier this year when my editor Mary Gillilan and I were working on the cover, I sent an advanced reading to a few established Northwest poets for cover blurbs.  Here is what they had to share:

“With Fallen, Shannon Laws has evolved into someone that readers in the northwest should pay attention to. Like a complex pantomime, Laws’ charming, conversational lyric style hides poems that are personal yet complex, dark, intense, deep, heartbreaking, and at times hilarious. Each of them also have a subtle grit and seriousness to them. Like all poets worth their salt, she doesn’t the dichotomy of being particular and speaking to many audiences. Highly, highly recommended.”
–Robert Lashley, author of The Homeboy Songs

Shannon Laws has been, in many ways, an asset to her community. This book demonstrates that “there’s a revelation flowing…along the ridges of her galaxy.” She employs “footholds of green” to “take our minds to another place.” Shannon Laws is top-niche.
–James Bertolino, author of Ravenous Bliss: New & Selected Love Poems  

“Shannon Laws’ poems are ventures, many journeys of the mind and imagination and others literal walks, day and night, to and from home, work, and school; they render fresh observations of the routine and familiar: interactions in kitchen and living quarters, fields of local plants and critters, the hum of machinery. They also probe the mysteries of the human condition, posing elemental issues: love and death and loss, the aching solitariness of human experience, the straining for meaning, clarity and confirmation, the yearning for contact and connection, and the guises humans adopt in the consequent interchange.”
—Ron Leatherbarrow, Professor of Literature, Whatcom Community College

“Shannon Law’s poetry entices the reader along a windy path of shared emotion, at times tiptoeing gently toward the topic, at others racing headlong toward it, and at times inviting humor in. The mix is wonderful. From that girl in school who builds forts, to the new owner of a used mattress who sleeps in the body-shaped dip left by its prior occupant, to a three-timing lover, to the loss of a child, these poems circumscribe a relatable life and invite introspection. It is nearly impossible to pick just one favorite from this gem of a book.”
—Laurel Leigh, author of the blog Dear Writers

“In “ Fallen”, Shannon Laws has written polished and evocative poetry that intrigues the reader page after page, often demanding one backs-up and re-reads. Her metaphorical language is usually of common words that she newly loads with much information…
I challenge you to find our own favourite poems with lines that you will remember in admiration and repeat to others. She is a master of bringing significant life changes alive with pain or passion in a few well chosen words! ”
—Bernice Lever, “Small Acts”, Black Moss Press, Windsor, ON, Canada

This poetry is not camera-shy. Full of imagery and emotion, it ranges across the days with bursts of action and reflection. Laws writes of quiet eroticism, as well as memory and humor from the north Pacific region, where she has lived most of her life. Shannon P. Laws has gifts of observation, humanity, and powerful expression. A valuable choice for poetry lovers, who will find it natural to read and understand.  
——Denise DuMaurier, author of Follow Me Down

I’d like to take my book on tour, share, listen, laugh, cry and hug folks along the way. After I print the initial 25 books and test it on a small local tour, I’m going to transfer the book to a print-on-demand site offered through a well-known independent bookstore located in the historic district of Fairhaven in Bellingham, Washington.
Help me do it!

Thank you

Fallen” Kickstarter Site HERE

 

38th Annual Mayor’s Arts Award

“Thank you, City of Bellingham’s Mayor Linville and the Bellingham Arts Commission for awarding “Bellingham Art Beat” the Mayor’s Arts Award.  It is a great honor. In addition, I need to extend a special thank you to the many dedicated listeners in Bellingham and online who follow the show, and the over 58 guests who have appeared on “Bellingham Art Beat”, shared their stories and inspired many.  A town is only as great as it’s people.  The people of Bellingham are extraordinary!”  ~Shannon Laws, Community Radio Producer

 

Mayor Announces the 38th Annual Arts Award Recipients

Mayor Kelli Linville announced today the recipients of the 38th Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards. A reception and awards ceremony honoring the awardees is scheduled for May 3, 2017.

This year the Mayor is honoring a broad range of artists, advocates, organizations, and performances that have significantly contributed to the arts in our community. Award winners were chosen based on nominations submitted by community members.

Mayor’s Arts Awards will be presented to the following recipients:

  • Cynthia Zaferatos
  • Bellingham Art Beat – Shannon Laws
  • Homeless in Bellingham Video Series – Fredrick Dent and Lisa Spicer
  • Scott Henderson
  • Bellingham House Concerts – Dan and Victoria Sabo
  • Sonja Max and Oliver Max
  • Kevin Murphy
  • Brend Hunt-Holma
  • Mary Gillilan and Norman Green
  • Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

To learn more about each awardee and their accomplishments, please attend the celebration scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday May 3, 2017 at the Mount Baker Theatre in the Walton Theatre, located at 104 N. Commercial Street in downtown Bellingham.  This ceremony is open to the public.