Activism Feminism Movies Reviews

Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space

A Movie Review by Nellie Wong | February 2024 “A woman by herself is a beautiful thing,” intones the narrator of Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space, a two-hour documentary produced in 2023 by PBS for the American Experience series. This vibrant film speaks well about a heretofore under-recognized anthropologist, playwright, novelist, and researcher. The viewer sees Hurston “claim her space” by doing the work she wanted to do: to tell the stories of Black…

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Feminism Mentors Poetry Recording The Memory Palace Work

Ironing, Ironing

IRONING, IRONING (For Tillie Olsen) Like a drunken fool I pick out the wrinkles linen and shirt, the foam-green dress, the black, long sleeve T and I drink ice cold glasses of lemon tea as the temperature lingers at 90 plus degrees. When I ironed as a 12-year old, I listened to the radio. Imogene Coco and Sid Caesar battled in their boisterous humor, the Lone Ranger and his faithful companion, Tonto, rode in clouds…

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Movies Poetry Recording The Memory Palace

After viewing “Three Seasons,” A Film by Tony Bui (2001)

Three Seasons (Vietnamese title: Ba mùa) is a 1999 American film shot in Vietnam about the past, present, and future of Ho Chi Minh City in the early days of Doi Moi. It is a poetic film that tries to paint a picture of the urban culture undergoing westernization. The movie takes place in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. As the characters try to come to terms with the invasion of capitalism, neon signs,…

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Mentors Poetry Recording Work

Tell These Hands – inspired by Ding Ling (1904-1986)

DING LING (1904 – 1986) Nellie writes, “Ding Ling was a prolific author of revolutionary China. Her early short stories focusing on young Chinese women greatly influenced the world of socialist and feminist literature. One of her notable works, “When I Was in Xia Village,” inspired several of my own poems. How fortunate to meet my literary heroine during the First American Women Writers Tour to China in 1983.” Tell These Hands In a modest…

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Mentors Poetry

Angels of Earth (2022)

Angels of earth and agate, silver splinters Battling death, gliding and swooping, skimming the seas when Chinese warriors Jiu Jin and Ding Ling, their wings, their wings Dive and wash, dine with Owen Dodson and Tillie Olsen, American, Effervescence of words dotting breastplates, dotting their bodies in Finery of hungry ghosts of concubines and blacksmiths who Galvanize streams and rivers, haw flakes red and glistening In their mouths, teeth for Justice against random, against planned…

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Movies Poetry

My Eyes Follow Them (2002)

My eyes follow themWomen in Burqas of gold, cream, blue,Burgundy, women unseen, travellingto a wedding party to somewhereIn KandaharHow do I know that they are womenExcept that only women wear Burqas,Covered from head to foot with squaresOf opening, netted or crocheted,Framing their eyesAnd even in their embroidered beautyThe intricate stitching of the coversOver their heads do not distract My eyes follow themChildren in cotton in colors of birdsTheir eyes fixed on the unseen viewer,Their eyes…

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Monologues Musings

TYPEWRITERBACKTALK: A Monologue (1980)

So you want to write.  A poet, a playwright a storyteller, a magician!  And to write, you think you have to be a sociologist, an environmentalist, a psychologist, an observer of human behavior, and a scholar too!  Well, prove it. The least you could do is pay attention to me.  How would you like to be covered up like this, not knowing the light basking in the colors of this universe?  Go, go!  Traipse around…

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