By Ilmars Birznieks
On the whole the conference was a resounding success. The Keynote Speaker, Mr. Berry was excellent, just the right balm for struggling writers. For me, two workshops were especially interesting and, I hope, rewarding.
Sessions with good pointers and advice:
• Rochelle Bailey - “I’m Done! Or Am I? (What Happens After You Finish The Novel: Rewrites and Revisions)”
• Karen Syed - “Editing Essentials”
A couple of suggestions for future conferences:
• More directions on site for workshops.
• Improvement of food would help - the high cost of meals just did not match their quality or taste.
To finish our month-long series on the annual SCWW Conference, we are pleased to present Bonnie's poem which took second place in the Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Award Competition. This was a highlight of the conference for all of us at Cola II. Congratulations, Bonnie.
By Bonnie Stanard
When I was a kid
baptized in moccasin plagued river waters
and the glory of our own passion,
entered the second gate of heaven
in late August at homecoming,
a reunion attended by far-flung relatives
local disbelievers, nonbelievers
and even freeloaders.
The virtuous act of fasting
gnawed at our stomachs
which rumbled in concert
with the preacher’s booming voice.
We lusted after salvation,
everlasting life, and the patience
to wait for the amen
that would end our sacrifice
and free us to pursue the divine purpose
of picnic baskets, specifically, those packed in cars
parked outside in the shade.
The goodly preacher
did his best to separate us from our sin
and ended with a “Come to Jesus” song.
We streamed outside
to the sanctity of the yard
and tables of exaltation,
bowls of potato salad, butter beans,
okra and tomatoes, fried chicken and pickles.
In a state of grace we piled our plates
to vast and groaning heights.
In a fit of glory, we went back for seconds.
Hallelujah! Went back for coconut cake.
Yes, Brother! Cream puffs and banana pudding!
Praise the Lord! We been saved.