Posted by: janesstories | October 8, 2009

Guest Blog: Marilyn Nelson–Ostrich and Lark

From the visionary poet and literary organizer Marilyn Nelson came this note across our Facebook transom, answering some friends who had inquired about her latest book. Posted here with her permission.

(Status Line): Marilyn Nelson received emailed sketches today by the San (“Bushman”) artists in Botswana who are illustrating one of her forthcoming books!

Story is this: Abba Jacob and I went to Botswana about 5 years ago to try to figure out how, in some small way, we could help the San. Encountered an NGO that’s working with them by, among other things, encouraging them to paint (the picture on my profile is some of their work, seen on our second trip to their world). I came home and wrote a little picture-book text to be the vehicle for some of their art. Made arrangements with publisher that all proceeds — advance and royalties — will go to the NGO and the San artists. It’s taken a looooooooong time to communicate everything across the distance, make contracts, etc., but finally! The book is called “Ostrich and Lark.” Looks like it may be out in 2010. Looks like it will be spectacular!

Triolets for Triolet, which Curbstone Press put together for me, all proceeds going to a Creole village in Mauritius which had been torched in racist violence. (though Triolets — the text is reprinted in my book, The Cachoeira Tales — didn’t make a lot of $$, of course. But Ostrich and Lark is a picture-book for children, and I’ve achieved some success in that market, so it will earn more. Writing poetry books to make $$ for other people is as much a fool’s game as writing poetry books to make $$ for oneself! )

Note from Glenda: It would be impossible for me to say how much I admire her. That she is an acclaimed poet, yet still focuses on what needs doing for others, burnishes everything she touches. Among her many other gifts to us, Marilyn supports and heads Soul Mountain Retreat for writers.

Find out about it here:
http://www.soulmountainretreat.org/
Learm more about Marilyn here:
http://www.soulmountainretreat.org/marilyn_nelson.html

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