I know I don't blog much, but I'm busy--writing poems, essays, web content, proposals, and grants---whew! Did I mention I am a wife and mom? I've been working on my second full-length collection of poems. I am also taking time to live offline and be present in this precious life. I've already promised myself that in 2024, I will slow down and stop saying yes to waay too many things. Please remind me of this in the next blog post--LOL!
For now, here's a snapshot of what I've been up to the last couple of months. As the end of the year closes, I wish you all peace, health, and blessings.
Cleveland Book Week with Literary Cleveland's Inkubator in September 2023.
Work + Family = a trip to Ohio. Big thanks to Literary Cleveland for having me as their inaugural poetry mentor for its Breakthrough Writing Residency Program. I also got a chance to chat briefly with Elizabeth Acevedo and of course, Harry at Third Space Action Lab is always smiling and supportive.
Writing the Birthing Stories of New Orleanians
During the Pandemic.
I was honored to write and create the digital story for the BirthRite Initiative and wrote a poem for the project. BirthRite is a program of Ashé Cultural Arts Center. It is a cultural advocacy program for breastfeeding in which we advocate for breastfeeding as a socially expected and accepted ritual for mothers of infants and toddlers. Read a snippet below and more here.
Book Alert! Portraits of Us: A Book of Essays Centering Black Women Leading Philanthropy features writing by Kelly Harris-DeBerry
Portraits of Us is a book of essays by Voice. Vision. Value that centers Black Women in philanthropy. The book documents Black women's achievements, challenges and contributions from nine regions across the country. I had the honor of writing the chapters on New Orleans and Ohio. On Thursday, November 2, the New Orleans region celebrated the book release at the Free People of Color Museum. See pictures below from New Orleans and Ohio.
"My job was not only to write the stories but to cultivate a safe space that women could trust me with their stories. Philanthropy can be a demanding, stressful profession. My job was not only to write the stories but also to write it in way that articulate their authentic voice but also protect their livelihood. Philanthropy can be a well-paying career and often Black women in philanthropy are the major financial resources for their immediate and extended families." - Kelly Harris-DeBerry
Gaining a Foot in the Publishing World:
I recently completed Penguin Random House's inaugural Publishing Pathways Program. It was an honor to be a participant in the first-ever cohort! I learned various aspects of the publishing industry and met industry leaders, staff and writers over several months.
UPCOMING POETRY EVENTS
November 17th @ 8:30PM. Whiskey and Sticks. Free
There will be an open mic and poetic tributes to Tina Turner.
Curated by me!
November 18th @ 12:15PM
Purchase my book(s) Freedom Knows My Name or My Chapbook, Homegirl now.