Poetry Books and Reviews

 

Picture:  Van Putten and Percussionist Thomas Lowery performing at Temple University (2011)

Poet Van Putten and Percussionist Thomas Lowery performing at Temple University, 2011 

Poetry is an extension of Van Putten’s consciousness-raising work.

I POET…  WHEN I’M FULL OF JOY AND WHEN I’M RAGE-FULL, THINKING DEEP

Van Putten’s seventh poetry book captures joy unbounded, from touching the land of ancestors to gratitude for life’s divine unfolding. It also expresses marrow-deep loss: the Charleston Massacre, tRump’s election debacle, police brutality, and more.  In sharing emotional poems of rage and loathing, joy and thankfulness, Van Putten implores readers to Read! Remember! Get mad!   Snatch joy!   Enjoy! Be inspired!   Most of all, Think! Then Act accordingly!

Reviewed by Dr. Katherine Bankole-Medina, Professor of History and Distinguished Faculty Researcher. Coppin State University, she writes, “When you read I Poet When I’m Full of Joy…and When I’m Rage-Full, Thinking Deep you will be inspired. She speaks directly to the people. …You will be connected to the glory of the new Black world—you will be linked to each and every one of us, and to all those who seek freedom, peace, and justice. Her energetic words give us strength and validation. I am pleased to bear witness that through Melodye Micëre Van Putten’s work—we are lifted.”

Rightings Arousing Conscious Empowerment – RACE: Poetry in the BLACK examines the issues of race through poetry, mining insights, encouraging robust dialogue and suggesting strategies for community implementation.  The poems are written to provoke deep thought, reflective moments, consciousness-pricking and a pathway towards Justice made reality.

Reviewed by Dr. David Hall, President of the University of the Virgin Islands, he writes, “Race: Poetry in the Black, is a living testament that creative ideas and poetic resistance… is still alive in the 21st century. …Read it and be reminded as to why “power concedes nothing without a poetic demand. Melodye Micëre Van Putten has eloquently demanded that we remember the struggle that ushered in our present reality, and embrace the challenges that speak so loudly to us today.”

Healing History: Reflections on Race and Forgiveness in Prose and Poetry (2013) was chosen as the inaugural book club selection at the Bermuda National Library (2013). Provocative and insightful, it was the catalyst for Ashay University – an African centered education classes designed for busy adults. Healing History: The Documentary a 20 minute film about the work of Mwalimu Van Putten, takes its title from this book.

MMVP's Poetry Books

MMVP’s Poetry Books

More Sacred Thoughts: Standing in The Light (2014) is the follow-up companion book to the award-winning Finalist selection Sacred Thoughts: God Is The Light… and The Light Is All There Is (2011) (National Best Books List for Prayers and Devotions, 2013, USA). It was reviewed Dr. Nontombi Naomi Tutu, who noted, “…The poems serve to inspire, to comfort, to encourage…” Both were published by Kephra Publications.

Bermuda National Library Poetry Reading 2014

Bermuda National Library Poetry Reading 2014

Obamatyme: Election Poetry (2009) chronicled the election of President Barack Obama, won the National Best Books Award for Urban Poetry (2009, USA) and was reviewed by Dr. Cornel West. He wrote, “Melodye Micëre Van Putten is a talented poet whose love for truth and justice is quite evident in Obamatyme.”

Dr. Haki Madhubuti, celebrated poet and founder of Third World Press, reviewed Soul Poems: Life as Fertile Ground (2009): “Melodye Micëre speaks with a voice of authority and caring. …This book is refreshing, thoughtful and welcoming.” Obamatyme and Soul Poems were published by The Elevator Group.

Books at Borders Bookstore

Books at Borders Bookstore, Center City, Philadelphia, PA

 

Mwalimu’s poetry is also the basis for the dramatic presentation Everything We Should Be, written and directed by Ms. Shalane Dill.  The play is based on Mwalimu’s poetry and features several of her poems anchoring the story of a teacher exposing her students to Black history, only to be rebuffed by school administration. Performed by senior school students of The Berkeley Institute in Bermuda, the play is like the poetry – riveting, provocative and powerful.

MMVP with The Berkeley Players

MMVP with The Berkeley Players

Poetry Evenings

A Poetic Conversation: An Evening of Joy and Reflection gives expression to the various experiences of Life as a sacred journey: hope, gratitude, concern, wonderment, joy, friendship, love, purpose, pain, healing, worry, trust and stillness in God.  An opportunity for enriching fellowship, individuals may host a poetry evening (or afternoon) in their home, inviting friends and family.  With the goal of raising the level of conversation in the safe space of the host’s home with friends, the cost is $15 per person love offering and the opportunity to purchase books.

Poetry reading in Bermuda

Poetry reading in Bermuda

 

Poetry reading at Church of God's Phenomenal Women Celebration

Poetry reading at Church of God’s Phenomenal Women Celebration, Bermuda

 

Poet MMVP reading at the International Book Launch, Bermuda 2009

Poet MMVP reading at the International Book Launch, Bermuda 2009