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POETIC HEALINGS

Powerful lesbian and bisexual women of color poetry that deals with abuse, biphobia, breast cancer, lesbianphobia and racism.

ABOUT THE FILM

"Poetic Healings" presents the poetry of lesbian and bisexual women of color speaking out about abuse, acceptance, biphobia, breast cancer, lesbianphobia, racism, survival and triumph. Writers Gayle Bell, Sharon Bridgforth, Terri Hudson, Josi Mata, Chinwe Odeluga and Kathyrn Washington share their joys and sorrows. Actors Theresa Burke, Aisha Conner, Jacqueline Lawton, Marian Thambynagayam perform haunting, dramatic interpretations of poetry by Alpha Thomas Donna Allegra, candance gardner, Deirdre Harris, A. Rose Hernandez, Ebani Johnson, Mistinguette Smith and Wendy Stewart.

Women's issues with added discrimination are the concerns of these lesbians and bisexual women of color. Yet, this is an informative gift of healing for everyone. "Poetic Healings" is a brave journey through difficult subjects.

"Poetic Healings" is entertaining and also informative. Lourdes Perez provides the music that soothes you as this emotional piece unfolds. Videographer A. Rose Hernandez presents an exquisite view of feelings rarely expressed.

"Poetic Healings" is funded in part by the City of Austin under the auspices of the Austin Arts Commission and the Texas Commission on the Arts. It is a Teatro Humanidad sponsored project.

CAST

Gayle Bell is the author of two books, "Benediction" and "Primal Gospel", her third book, "Open Song" will be published Spring 2001. Ms. Bell lives and loves in Dallas Texas.

sharon bridgforth is the author of the bull-jean stories; performance stories published by RedBone Press. the bull-jean stories received the 1998 Lambda Literary Award for best book by a small press. Bridgforth has presented her work nationally since 1993. Bridgforth was a 1999/2000 N.E.A./T.C.G. Playwright in Residence at Frontera @ Hyde Park Theatre; Her newest performance piece titled, con flama, received the Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund Award in support of Frontera @ Hyde Park Theatre's premiere of con flama and the collaboration between Bridgforth (playwright), Laurie Carlos (director) and Lourdes Perez (composer).

You can catch Bridgforth's work in various anthologies including: Does Your Mama Know?, RedBone Press; ReCREATIONS: Religion and Spirituality in the Lives of Queer People, Q Press; KenteCloth, North Texas University Press 1997 ed.; MA-KA:Diasporic Juks, Sister Vision Press; and Sinister Wisdom 58. for more info on bridgforth check out her website at: http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/sharonbridgforth/

Theresa Burke is an actor, dancer and writer. She is a member of Drive-By-Players' Austin Theater Company of Color. Theresa has worked on stage in Austin, Texas for over two years. She also has numerous film and commercial credits. Theresa is constantly pursuing work that reflects the power and depth of the human spirit. The type of work that most inspires and stirs her soul is that which causes people to think, connect and be moved to an altered place. Theresa also relishes any opportunity to work with young people and help them explore their unlimited possibilities. She is honored to be performing with Poetic Healings.

Aisha N. Conner is an artist by birthright. With an overwhelming need to express herself, she can be found working in various mediums including: poetry, dance, visual arts, martial arts, and most especially song. She greatly enjoys working with people, thus the birth of her business Painting Dreams where she creates murals, portraits, and other decorative painting.

Though her love for painting & performing is undeniable, her ultimate joy remains within the opportunity to share these gifts with children through mentoring and encouraging them to allow their emotions free.

Terri Lynne Hudson is a writer, actor and performance artist. Originally from Chicago, she has most recently appeared on print and in person with the 1999 Austin International Poetry Festival, and in tres di-verse-city anthology.

Jackie Lawton is a University of Texas graduate of Radio-Television-Film with a concentration in Screenwriting/Film Theory/ Race and Gender in the Media and Theater and Dance with a focus in Playwriting.

Josi Mata is a Texana/Chicana Lesbiana. She was born and raised in the Grande Valley of South Texas (the Texas/Mexico border), Pharr, Texas. Josi is the 8th child born into a migrant family and of a Mexican immigrant mother. She has been a long time activist in queer communities, communities of color, economic justice, human rights and the work to learn more about her/our indigenous backgrounds, roots and connection. Josi believes that for some of us, forgetting our indigenous being interferes with our own progress. She is working to publish her own volume of poetry/essays. Josi is also a visual artist.

Chinwe Odeluga is an African American filmmaker, poet, and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, lesbian and women’s health activist. She created, directed and produced the video, “Poetic Healings.” Other video segments are planned to cover additional lesbian and bisexual women of color issues.

Chinwe is also compiling a companion Poetic Healings poetry self-help treasure. In April 2001, her poem, “A Dry Mattress (for Betty),” was included in the anthology, In the Company of Women. She was a contest winner of the “In Our Own Voice” 2000 poetry contest. “A Real Indian” was displayed in the San Diego Women’s History Reclamation Project. Most of Chinwe’s poetry is about promoting the integration of the multiple identities of being African American, female and lesbian. In 1999, her poems about racial injustice were published in Best Texas Writing 2 and TEX! Chinwe has performed her poetry at the National Black Gay Lesbian Leadership Forum Conferences, NIA (lesbians of African descent) and local Texas venues.

Marian Yalini Thambynayagam is an activist, actor, writer and dancer who uses performance to explore the political through the personal. She is a University of Texas graduate who studied theater with a concentration in acting. Marian was the co-founder of Drive By Players; the university's only theater company of color.

Marian believes that boundaries of activism and art merge as they both strive to reveal the untold.

Kathryn K. Washington currently lives in a small town in Texas. She is an African-American Lesbian who enjoyed compiling two poems for "Poetic Healings." The poems are "Together" and "My Illusions," created from life experiences and feelings shared. She has appeared at a few sites in Austin, Texas and in a film by Chinwe Odeluga. She plans on starting the year 2001 with old jeans, new poems and comfortable friends.

CREW

Director/Producer: Chinwe created, directed and produced the video, "Poetic Healings." It examines the concerns of lesbians & bisexual women of color about abuse, biphobia, breast cancer, lesbianphobia and racism. "Poetic Healings" has been screened at the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, "Healing Works, First National Conference on Lesbians & Cancer" and other venues. She is compiling a companion self-help treasure and producing other "Poetic Healings" video segments.

At a cable station, she is an Austin Community Access Center (ACAC) producer. Chinwe has taken video production classes at Women's Access to Electronic Resources (WATER), Dallas Community Television (DCTV) and has a BS in mass communications. She is a member of REEL Women, a non-profit organization that provides a support system for women of film and video. As a RW production group member, Chinwe was cameraperson for the 1999 short, "Deal of Fortune." It dealt with a woman making a non-traditional life choice. She is also an Austin Film Society member.

Chinwe has worked at a battered women's shelter, been a rape crisis volunteer, an HIV counselor and a People With AIDS advocate. She also has been a National Black Women's Health Project, National Organization for Women and a National Women's Health Network member.

Co-Editor: Becky Hays graduated from the University of Texas. She earned a BA with honors. Becky has five years experience in production, post-production. She taught camera and editing classes at WATER, a community based training center that taught Internet, radio, and video skills. Becky also taught camera and editing classes at ACAC. She is co-founder of Full Circle Productions (www.FCproductions.com), a video production company focusing on community and the arts. Becky is familiar with all phases of production and post-production. She specializes in directing, shooting and editing.

Co-Editor: Cara Griswold has four years experience in video production, currently working on three documentaries (two in production, one in post). She is co-founder of Full Circle Productions. Cara is one semester from completion of a radio, television and film degree. She is experienced in all phases of production and post-production. Cara is a skilled producer, writer and shooter.

Together Becky and Cara did the Poetic Healings final edit on Media 100. In the past, they did a documentary style video, "Falun Dafa." Nationwide activist, Janice Cheung reminds us that freedom is taken for granted. Practitioners are persecuted, beaten and killed for taking part in this tai chi style of exercise and peaceful philosophy. It includes photos taken by Falun Dafa practitioners in China to reveal the violence they face daily.

They also did a video about a seven-year-old Austin girl, Adrianna Gutierrez. When she got off her school bus, a drunk driver killed her. Set to original music, it was created to comfort grieving family and friends. Careful editing and camera work brought still photos to life. The District Attorney successfully used the video to emphasize her unnecessary death.

Co-Editor: Larissa Noake graduated in 1999 with a BS in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas. She is an assistant producer at UT's Instructional Media Lab. Larissa edits video using Media 100. She has made documentary fundraising trailers with Avid Express.

Videographer: A. Rose Hernandez, who is also a poet, has directed and been a guest, a host, a camera and control room operator since 1999 at ACAC's Women's News Hour. She is an experienced audiovisual technician, production and post-production person. Rose has a BFA in media arts.

POETS

Donna Allegra is an African-Caribbean lesbian. Allegra lives in New York City. Her fiction, essays and poetry have been included in over 50 anthologies over the past 25 years of her publishing career.

Her most recent publishing include: Hers 2, Lesbian Travels: A Literary Companion, Does Your Mama Know? Queer View Mirror, Queer View Mirror 2, Best Lesbian Erotica 1999, Dyke Life: From Growing Up to Growing Old and a collection of her short stories were published by Alyson Books in 2000.

Gayle Bell is the author of two books, "Benediction" and "Primal Gospel", her third book, "Open Song" will be published Spring 2001. Ms. Bell lives and loves in Dallas Texas.

sharon bridgforth is the author of the bull-jean stories; performance stories published by RedBone Press. the bull-jean stories received the 1998 Lambda Literary Award for best book by a small press. Bridgforth has presented her work nationally since 1993. Bridgforth was a 1999/2000 N.E.A./T.C.G. Playwright in Residence at Frontera @ Hyde Park Theatre; Her newest performance piece titled, con flama, received the Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund Award in support of Frontera @ Hyde Park Theatre's premiere of con flama and the collaboration between Bridgforth (playwright), Laurie Carlos (director) and Lourdes Perez (composer).

You can catch Bridgforth's work in various anthologies including: Does Your Mama Know?, RedBone Press; ReCREATIONS: Religion and Spirituality in the Lives of Queer People, Q Press; KenteCloth, North Texas University Press 1997 ed.; MA-KA:Diasporic Juks, Sister Vision Press; and Sinister Wisdom 58. for more info on bridgforth check out her website at: http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/sharonbridgforth/

candance gardner is a writer and aspiring filmmaker. her poetry is published in PAPYRUS Literary Magazine and Bittersweet: An Anthology of Black Women's Poetry. she is currently teaching 7th grade English and is working on a book about this experience.

Deirdre Harris-is a bi woman who strives to capture the essence of experiences in her poetry and fiction. Deirdre has been studying the written and spoken word at UCLA and various workshops. Recently, she has been accused of teaching youth creative writing in Southern California.

A. Rose Hernandez-Much of her recent work involves designing jewelry that fosters healing qualities. Also within the last 2 years, her volunteer work with a live cable cast program, Women's News Hour and Poetic Healings, she has begun to reclaim her skills and confidence in herself as a genuine videographer, communicator and writer. She has a great need and desire to share my knowledge and inspire young people because they are the one's who need hope and support in the future.

Terri Lynne Hudson-is a very sporadic writer, actor and performance artist living in Austin. Originally from Chicago, she has most recently appeared on print and in person with the 1999 Austin International Poetry Festival, and in tres di-verse-city.

Ebani Johnson is an African American lesbian woman who is professionally employed and live in the Detroit area. Along with writing poetry, she is also a natural hair artist and spends a lot of time traveling and reading. She has a Master's degree in social work and helps battered women.

Josi Mata is a Texana/Chicana Lesbiana. She was born and raised in the Grande Valley of south Texas (the Texas/Mexico border), Pharr, Texas. Mata is the 8th child born into a migrant family and of a Mexican immigrant mother. Much of her poetry is first-hand account. Prior to moving to Austin, Mata lived in Dallas, Texas for seven years. She has been a long time activist in queer communities, communities of color, economic justice, human rights and the work to learn more about my/our indigenous backgrounds, roots and connection. Mata believes that for some of us, forgetting our indigenous being interferes with our own progress. She is working to get published in her own volume of poetry/essays. Mata is also a visual artist.

Chinwe Odeluga is an African American filmmaker, poet, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, lesbian and women's health activist. She serves as an Austin Arts Commission Literature Advisory Panelist.

Chinwe is also compiling a companion Poetic Healings poetry self-help treasure. In June 2000, she was a contest winner of the "In Our Own Voice" poetry contest. "A Real Indian" was displayed in the San Diego Women's History Reclamation Project. Most of Chinwe's poetry is about promoting the integration of the multiple identities of being African American, female and lesbian. In 1999, her poems about racial injustice were published in Best Texas Writing 2 and TEX!

Chinwe has read at the NIA (lesbians of African descent) and National Black Lesbian Gay Leadership Conferences. She wrote poetry and articles from 1993-1995 for the Tarrant County Lesbian/Gay Alliance News and Impressions of Ujima: The African-American Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Coalition in Dallas. In 1982, Chinwe's poetry was published in Women for Sobriety. As a part of healing, she has encouraged the creative spirits of women in recovery. Since 1988, Chinwe has coordinated programs for women to experience poetry and the arts.

Mistinguette Smith's poetry and short fiction have appeared in print in Common Lives/Lesbian Lives, Kuumba, Sinister Wisdom, Sojourner, and the anthologies Does Your Mama Know: Black Lesbian Coming Out Stories and Other Countries: Voices Rising. Her work has also been included in performance pieces including Natural Boundaries: Poems of Exploration and Imagination and Poetic Healings. She is a fellow at the Cave Canem workshop for African-American poets. A displaced and bewildered midwesterner, Ms. Smith lives in Northampton, MA with her partner of twelve years and two very indulged cats. She works as a training consultant.

Wendy Stewart is spiritually connected, mentally in tune. She is of James and Demetria Stewart. For 40 years the Creator has blessed Stewart with the task of developing into a healer. One whose faith, love, wisdom and passion opens her up to be a vessel for change of the highest healing good. Stewart extends herself through thought, word and deed including poetry, voiceovers, massage and Reiki. She is grateful for the blessing, continually opening herself to the universe for life energy to share. Stewart is about the business of doing the work.

Alpha Thomas has BS in Health Education from the Texas Woman's University. She is a health educator specializing in HIV/AIDS, women health issues and breast cancer education. Thomas has facilitated support groups and provided consultations in developing support groups for people with HIV/AIDS and breast cancer. She is a breast cancer survivor and serves as a volunteer mentor providing peer support to other African American women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Thomas is a native of Dallas, Texas. She is the mother of a beautiful daughter, Noni, age 9.

Kathryn K. Washington currently lives in a small town in Texas. She is an African-American Lesbian who enjoyed compiling two poems for "Poetic Healings." The poems are "Together" and "My Illusions," created from life experiences and feelings shared. She has appeared at a few sites in Austin, Texas and in a film by Chinwe Odeluga. She plans on starting the year 2001 with old jeans, new poems and comfortable friends.

PAST SHOWINGS:

Excerpt at Texas Association Against Sexual Assault Conference-2/26/01

Austin Community Access Channel for International Women's Day-3/8/01

Austin Real 2 Reel Documentary Film & Video Festival
SATURDAY, March 17 6 p.m. at the Mexican American Cultural Center(MACC)
600 River Street and the festival info # is 452-9856.

SCREENING AT SISTERS OF THE YAM: BLACK WOMAN'S FILM FESTIVAL

"Poetic Healings" was screened on Saturday, March 24th. Filmmaker Chinwe Odeluga lead a discussion after the screening.

Black Cinematheque Dallas celebrated International Women's Month. "Poetic Healings" was one of 18 films screened throughout the month of March at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Street, Dallas, Texas.

Austin Gay Lesbian International Film Festival, First National Conference on Lesbians & Cancer, Texas Council on Family Violence Conference, New York Developmental Disabilities Services staff and friends, Dallas Gay & Lesbian Community Center, Austin's Expressions, NIA, LA's Nectar, University of Texas' "Healing the Black Homoerotic Body" class.

WORKSHOPS:

For Poetic Healings workshops a per diem, honorarium without a sreening fee, travel and housing expenses are required. Rentals are for 3 days. No personal checks, only money orders, institutional purchase orders or checks.

SCREENING RENTAL FEE:

Individual-$75
Groups-$90
Institution-$150.00

Make Check or Money Order Payable to: Chinwe Odeluga

UPCOMING EVENTS:

AUSTIN- AWARD-WINNING "POETIC HEALINGS" IS GOING TO KANSAS CITY

After winning first prize in community affairs at the 2001 Austin Video Awards, on June 9, "Poetic Healings" is headed to Kansas City, Missouri. Austin Community Access Center, a cable station, gave Chinwe Odeluga, the producer, the prize during its 28th anniversary celebration. The next "Poetic Healings screening is at the Kansas City Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Saturday, June 23, 7 PM at the Tivoli Cinemas. Odeluga is attending and discussing the film with the audience. See http://www.kcgayfilmfest.org or call 816-960-4636 for more information. My Sister's Room, a Kansas City based group for lesbians and bisexual women of color is hosting the screening.

My Sister's Room will also host Odeluga's workshop, "Healing & Evolving Through Writing," on Sunday afternoon, June 24. For more information, contact My Sister's Room.

My Sister's Room
1615 W.39th St.
Kansas City, MO
(816) 561-7025
e-mail: tpoteat123@aol.com

SUBMISSIONS:

Pain shared is divided and joy shared is multiplied. "Poetic Healings." Bisexual women and lesbians of color submit healing poetry mainly about abuse, biphobia, breast cancer, chemical dependency, HIV/AIDS, lesbianphobia, racism and sexism.

Ongoing poetry health videos and a self-help treasure are being compiled. The deadline is open and depends on the volume of high-quality submissions received in the next six months. Send a maximum of 3 original and unpublished poems to Chinwe Odeluga at:

P.O. box 14421, Austin 78761 or

odeluga2001@yahoo.com

http://www.angelfire.com/movies/poetichealings

One video is funded in part by the City of Austin under the auspices of the Austin Arts Commission and the Texas Commission on the Arts.


Chinwe's poem "Our Breasts"



Chinwe:"Healing is being at one with yourself and the universe"


Sharon performing "Home"


Theresa & Marion performing "I Am"


Aisha performing "Sister, Can You Hear Me?"


Web page designed by Carl Webb

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Links to Artists

Writer Sharon Bridgforth
Vocalist/Composer Lourdes Perez
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