Join | Login  

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!


Featured Authors:  Tiffany Turner, iJackie Miller, iMartyn Kinsella-Jones, iZ McClure, iBarbara Henry, iFumiko Takahashi, iMs Beeds, i

  Home > Literary Criticism > Articles Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

D L Johnson

· Become a Fan
· Contact me
· Books
· Articles
· Poetry
· Stories
· Blog
· 280 Titles
· 3,160 Reviews
· Save to My Library
· Share with Friends!
Member Since: Feb, 2007

D L Johnson, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.

   Recent articles by
D L Johnson

The Art of Being Preoccupied and how it could lead the ruining of America
On Being Hypnotized-An Essay
Being open to diversity
Old Age
Giving notice to a few people
How are we to know the truth? Essay
Dismantling Bob
No Heavy Lifting-It's Time to Laugh
No Heavy Lifting-How We Deal With The Speeding Bullet
No Heavy Lifting-Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.
Stand and Serve
Now I Know How Wiley Coyote Felt
           >> View all

Published Writer
by D L Johnson   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Posted: Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Share    Print   Save    Become a Fan

Have you ever wondered where the next army of poets will come from? I recently had the pleasure of discovering a great resource. dlj

Published Writer
© 2007
Dan Johnson

Recently I attended a poetry reading at an old church in downtown Portland, Oregon. I soon discovered that this was not going to be your average poetry reading, it was filled with voices that until that moment, had been silenced by poverty, war, homelessness and gender discrimination.

There is a non-for-profit organization in Portland, known as Write around Portland.

The plan of this group is to go to places like low income housing, homeless shelters, womans safe houses and places  where many residents are on welfare and survive on food stamps.

They partner with Veteran’s Organizations, especially Iraq and Viet Nam era Vets who are now homeless. 

Another group they include the are the aging Gay and Lesbian population in the area through another group known as Elder Resource Alliance.

The whole idea is to teach those interested in learning to write, how to put their thoughts down on paper. Then three times a year, a poetry anthology is printed and these young and old writers alike, become published poets and story tellers

On that night there were about forty writers scheduled to read their published work. And each writer was given two minutes to read their poetry

It was obvious that many of those reading their poem were not use to being in front of a large group and I would estimate there were about two hundred people in attendance that night. They were nervous but without exception each one came through with flying colors.

As I sat, listening to these voices, I was truly inspired and hopeful that this group of aspiring writers could help fill the void of those that lose their way.

It’s hard to remember all the writers but I’ve compiled an overview of some of those wonderful souls that were there that night.

A young woman, maybe 18 or 19 years old told a story about not missing her father since he’d beat her mother to death, and she did miss her mother.

There was a 69 year old Transsexual who wrote clearly and painfully about abuse from her father, school mates and bigots, but she did survive.

A young man told the story of his path of recovery from meth.and being homeless. It was not a surprise to most of those in attendance that lots of homeless folk sleep in the park across the street from the church.

A homeless Veteran rolled his wheelchair with his flag waving in the air, to the podium and read about how proud he was to serve his country but how shameful the Veteran’s Administration was in not helping him with his war related injuries. He emphasized that he did not want a hand out but a way to work his way out of his wheelchair to a better life.

This reading event was obviously not a recitation of soft, sensual or silly subjects; but they are everyday, real life issues. 

More than one writer told of the loss of simple things, like the loss of pets and how important they were to their lives. But these things were not simple to them, they were heartbreaking.

The organizers of Write around Portland knew where to find these potential writers and took the time to teach writing skills, story telling and instruction that would make their writing worthy poems for publication. The great thing about that is Write around Portland does this for free.

For any of us that desire to write, there is a story to be told just outside our front door.

No matter what the major press may say about the decline of readers and writing, it is each of us that pound out the keyboard on our computers or pick up the pen…we are the ones that keep the art alive.

These young soldiers can proudly say that they are among the army of published writers.


Dan Johnson
© 2007

Reader Reviews for "Published Writer"

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!

Reviewed by David Hightower 11/16/2007
Dan - Interesting and enlightening article. Poetry keeps lurking all through our lives even though there is no definition for what it is. Enjoyed the article. David
Reviewed by F William Broome 9/4/2007
Dan - A highly encouraging look at the poets we can't and don't see..... if we stay in our own comfy niche. Clearly, Portland has been able to organize the unorganizables... and offer their stories and talents to mainstreamers (if that's a good brand, today). Am wondering how many medium and larger cities could put something like this together and make it work. Thank you for shining the brightness of light on one cabbage patch on the Portland farm.
- Bill

Books by
D L Johnson

The Air In Me


Lester Briggs Died Today

Crystal in a shock wave / the works of Albert Russo by Albert Russo

The works of Albert Russo of the past 40 years, in both English and French, reviewed and commented in these two languages, with essays and photos by the author...  
Featured BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Myth, Magic, and Metaphor, A Journey into the Heart of Creativity by Patricia Daly-Lipe

Myth, Magic, and Metaphor takes the reader on a journey – a journey of discovery. The book was not written to provide answers. It was written to provoke questions. Tidbits of in..  
Featured BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.