|What a dramatic painting! Intense! A tree and a person in silhouette backed by a glowing orange sky. Like the poem we feature today from our archive, it's highly evocative. It makes me think of heat, of sunsets, of Africa, of times and places where women carry baskets on their heads. The silhouettes seem simple, but every line is carefully considered: there is no room for mistakes in the deep black outlines. What does it make you think and feel?|
Submissions & Contests
Firstly, there is never a deadline for most issues of Stone Soup. Just upload stories, photographs, poems, reviews, music—whatever you have created—whenever you like at our submissions page, and your work will be considered for publication.
However, contests and special issues do have deadlines. The December issue is closing this week so this weekend is the last minute for the Food Issue. We have some very good material—some wonderful stories, recipes, poetry, art, and photographs. But, there is always room for more—so, if you have something to say that involves food in some way, then please say it and submit it by Monday.
Several contributions have come in for the Selfie contest and the deadline is still weeks away. You can work with the selfie as a self-portrait but you can also, of course, include friends, family, and pets in the picture, too. As you can submit up to three images you can also create a set of linked images that tell a story.
Author interviews—for teachers and readers
We have just re-edited our dozen or so interviews with Stone Soup authors. One of the changes we made was to take off the background music, which we were finding a bit distracting We have also decided to show the question that our authors are answering on the screen, so that if you are a teacher showing the videos in class and look away from the screen, when you look back up at it you will still be able to see what question is being answered. If you are a teacher, please check out the videos. I think you'll find them useful in your classroom. If you are an aspiring Stone Soup writer I think you will find what these Stone Soup authors have to say of value for your own writing. And, if you are a current or former Stone Soup writer or Honor Roll recipient, and after looking at a couple of our existing videos think you'd like to be interviewed, too, then please reply to this Newsletter letting me know you are interested. I'll pass you on to my colleague Sarah who will get you set up.
This week's poem from the archives
I'd like to say something about the poem that is included, below. I think that it is unusually beautiful and powerful. It is definitely one to read aloud as well as to read silently. The non-English words are evocative. Without knowing what they mean they bring us to this other place—this lost home. In saying these words we can feel the poet reaching out to this place she loves and has left, and as you read on you feel in the language her longing for family and, especially, her dead father, left behind in the old land.
This poem works even if you don't know what attieke or aloko are, or who are the Baoule. But the power of the internet is that you can find out. The author, Soujourner, is writing about the West African country of Cȏte d'Ivoire. I don't want to present this like homework—but I will say that if you want to both get deeper into this poem and get to know more about Soujourner's influences, then spend a little time on the internet reading about Cȏte d'Ivoire and looking up some of the poem's references.
You can also use her work as inspiration for your own poetry. Imagine yourself having moved to a different country, no longer speaking your native language outside of your house. You write a poem in the language of your new country, but you include a few words of the old one to express the link between who are now and where you came from. See how evocative you can make your own writing with just a few well-chosen words.
Until next week,