Category Archives: Awards

Great Review for Poetry

Another Great Review – OnlineBookClub.org

ORDER BOOK: http://ianprattis.com/PaintingWithWords.html

Painting with Words by Ian Prattis is a collection of poems written at different times throughout the writer’s life. This collection is divided into six parts each one with a different theme. Every part is unique and deeply emotional with an extraordinary aesthetic that I’ve never come across in poetry before.

I really enjoyed the variety of themes, feelings, and lessons I received by reading this book. The first part “Bittersweet” is, in my opinion, the most melancholic. It’s the dark side of the poet who seeks consolation in writing poems to overcome his frustration and sadness. Soon after that, our writer takes us to wonderful landscapes to calm our troubled souls. “Painting with words” is the second part, and it’s literally a series of beautiful images illustrated with words. This part is a great reminder of how beautiful our world is if we just stop and behold it for a while. My personal favorite part is “Speaking of True Love”. As a romantic soul myself, I couldn’t help but adore each and every poem in this part. I could clearly see the depths of the poet’s love for his wife since every poem of this part is inspired by her. She is obviously his muse, and they have a beautiful love story that makes every poem even more sentimental and meaningful. The other parts are “Agua Viva”, “Footsteps of Buddha”, and “Ancient Wisdom”. I won’t give more details of these ones as I want readers to discover for themselves the rest of this collection.

What I can say though, is that after you finish reading this book you’ll probably find yourselves knowing the poet like he is your old friend. Every part is a different piece of Prattis’ puzzled life. He made sure to share every emotion and experience he had with us, and I think that is really brave and beautiful.

Reading this book was definitely an emotional roller coaster. The first part almost made me cry, especially the poem “ The Old Mare”. Some poems will make you think and others will put a smile on your face without realizing it. I’m sure everyone would find a poem to his liking in this collection. Furthermore, what I really appreciated while I was reading this book, was that the author, before every part, wrote an introduction. In those introductions, he explains why he wrote each poem, what inspired him, and what he was trying to achieve by writing it. This is extremely helpful because many times I find myself devaluing a poem since I can’t understand what it means. I also got to know the mentality of the poet better. I also loved the fact that the book starts with a poem dedicated to a Muse. This used to be a custom back in Ancient Greece when poets and writers asked inspiration from the Muse of writing. As a Greek, I’m very honored that a foreign poet decided to do that as well.

Overall, it’s clear to see that I loved every minute of reading Painting with Words. There was nothing not to like in this collection of poems. I actually read it twice, and I’m planning on reading it many more times. Moreover, I was pleased to see that it was exceptionally well edited. Thus, I’m happily giving this book 4 out of 4 stars. For those of you who love poetry, you should definitely give it a try. However, please keep in mind that some of those poems have curse words and some are hard to understand, so I wouldn’t recommend this book to an underage audience. Last but not least, many of these poems represent a Buddhist lifestyle and interpretation, so if you are offended by that, you probably wouldn’t enjoy this collection.

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Painting with Words 
View: on Bookshelves

THE LAST FRIENDS FOR PEACE DAY www.friendsforpeace.ca

This year the event was held in Jean Pigott Place, inside Ottawa City Hall, on Saturday September 26 from 11am to 3.30pm.  And what an event took place. Onstage the mellow harmonies from The Valley Men choir set the scene, followed by Romy Mounzer – Ottawa’s answer to Whitney Houston. Lalith Gunaratne spoke eloquently about reconciliation in Sri Lanka, a model to break down barriers and cross bridges of hatred and separation. The string ensemble from OrKidstra dazzled, as did the Awards and Peace Grant ceremony that honored the work of Jurme Wangda for Tibetan Resettlement and to Coleen Scott for providing education and opportunity for the Karen people in Thailand.

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The Circle of All Nations was a reality – represented by cultures, faiths, languages from across the planet. Kirtan from the Bhakti Connection, exquisite harp from Lucille Hildesheim and the Diversity of Color Miramba band brought the music and dance of Zimbabwe to close this year’s event at Ottawa City Hall. It was a fabulous day with the best ever performances. Everything excelled. We honored our elders, the many communities and the terrific volunteers who make it all possible. The support that poured in was unbelievable – donations to the Servery and Silent Auction by the diversity of Ottawa was heartfelt. Folk left full – not just with great food and bargains – but with a feeling that “YES” we can do it.

Thai Dancers

Friends for Peace is moving into a different focus, rather than the Friends for Peace Day, which takes up a lot of time and energy. We have decided to focus on specific projects with other organizations. For instance our first collaboration is with two church groups who are organizing events and awareness to bring Syrian refugee families to Ottawa. This is specific and the organizers are committed to making change. While the Friends for Peace Day provided great entertainment and brought community together – I would like to see more of a knock on effect. That – yes – folk are moving into action.  So we are entering a new phase, which I think will be exciting and more effective. Stay tuned.

Ian congratulating Orkidstra (2)

Friends for Peace Day in Ottawa

13th ANNUAL FRIENDS FOR PEACE DAY

Saturday, September 26, 2015, 12 noon – 3.30pm (Doors open at 11)

Jean Pigott Place, Ottawa City Hall                         

www.friendsforpeace.ca

My full time job this summer is organizing a big event in Ottawa City Hall – the 13th annual Friends for Peace Day. This has been my job for over a decade. This year the event is held in Jean Pigott Place, inside City Hall, on Saturday September 26, from 11am to 3.30pm.

This year the event was held in Jean Pigott Place, inside Ottawa City Hall, on Saturday September 26 from 11am to 3.30pm.  And what an event took place. Onstage the mellow harmonies from The Valley Men choir set the scene, followed by Romy Mounzer – Ottawa’s answer to Whitney Houston. Lalith Gunaratne spoke eloquently about reconciliation in Sri Lanka, a model to break down barriers and cross bridges of hatred and separation. The string ensemble from OrKidstra dazzled, as did the Awards and Peace Grant ceremony that honored the work of Jurme Wangda for Tibetan Resettlement and to Coleen Scott for providing education and opportunity for the Karen people in Thailand.

The Circle of All Nations was a reality – represented by cultures, faiths, languages from across the planet. Kirtan from the Bhakti Connection, exquisite harp from Lucille Hildesheim and the Diversity of Color Miramba band brought the music and dance of Zimbabwe to close this year’s event at Ottawa City Hall. It was a fabulous day with the best ever performances. Everything excelled. We honored our elders, the many communities and the terrific volunteers who make it all possible. The support that poured in was unbelievable – donations to the Servery and Silent Auction by the diversity of Ottawa was heartfelt. Folk left full – not just with great food and bargains – but with a feeling that “YES” we can do it.

Friends for Peace is moving into a different focus, rather than the Friends for Peace Day, which takes up a lot of time and energy. We have decided to focus on specific projects with other organizations. For instance our first collaboration is with two church groups who are organizing events and awareness to bring Syrian refugee families to Ottawa. This is specific and the organizers are committed to making change. While the Friends for Peace Day provided great entertainment and brought community together – I would like to see more of a knock on effect. That – yes – folk are moving onto action.  So we are entering a new phase, which I think will be exciting and more effective. Stay tuned.

2012 Event - packed! (2)

It all started on a bitterly cold winter evening years ago, as the Iraq war loomed. I received notice that a Peace Song Circle was happening on Parliament Hill. So I went, accompanied by my wife Carolyn and our dog. No-one else turned up. I remarked to Carolyn, “This is a good idea – it just needs to be organized.” She replied, “Let’s do it.” And so we did and created the nucleus for Friends for Peace Canada.  It quickly grew to a loose coalition of 50 organizations and we asked them to begin the peace process first of all with themselves, then to the community and the world.  Our mandate evolved so that we gave annual Peace Grants to local and international organizations making a real difference, as well as working in concert with other coalitions in the city for environmental and social justice issues.  I also decided at that time to concentrate my energy and efforts locally, feeling that these efforts could infuse global networks from the epicentre created there. I had received many invitations to be a global speaker and teacher, yet felt that a concentration on my home city of Ottawa was the primary focus. I responded to the many international invitations with a gracious decline. I was inspired to devote my time and energy to moving things just a little bit in my city, so that more good things could begin to happen spontaneously. As I soon discovered, there were many good friends across the city more than happy to make this possible.

Ian and Peace Award recipients 2013

We organized 5,000 participants at the Peace Song Circle on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, held on a miserably wet, cold spring day in 2003. A sea of multi-coloured umbrellas on a rain swept morning welcomed all those gathered. As other peace protests joined us and sang “All Within Me Peaceful,” the crowd covered the grounds of Canada’s seat of government, all meditating at the end in total silence as the rain poured down on our heads. The pouring rain was strangely welcome, for it symbolized the tears of Iraqi children, my tears, your tears – transformed into hope through singing for peace with one another and experiencing deep peace. There was a transformation of anger, anguish and violence into a determined clarity to be peace and to oppose war. From there we know the wise actions to take. Those who are waging war would do better if they knew better; but they don’t know better.

Every year since the relentless rain on Parliament Hill, the annual Friends for Peace Days have been memorable. We got rained and snowed on for several years on Parliament Hill, thunder and lightning at Alumni Park of Carleton University – before we moved inside to Jean Pigott Place in Ottawa City Hall. The response to this community activism has blown everyone away, as it went beyond any of our expectations!!

The Friends for Peace Day is an awesome, diverse, unique Ottawa experience.  It is made possible by the generosity of volunteers and supporters and the diversity of Ottawa who show up to have a good time, be educated and inspired. The Friends for Peace Day creates an epicentre of intent and action – intense at times as people are moved to both tears and laughter.  It is fun, poignant and direct. The intensity and joy ripples through the diversity – all generations, faiths and cultures in our northern city. The force of the epicentre roars through the community and activist tables, Muslim families, Asian groups, elders, young folk and the volunteers. The diversity of Ottawa gathers, listens, dances, laughs, cries – and takes home an unforgettable experience of hope and confidence. The family grows bigger each year. All Nations, All Traditions – A Circle of Friendship www.friendsforpeace.ca I  love my summer job. It is such a rewarding experience.

Ian and Cheeky Child September 26 2015 (3)

 

 

 

2015 TIFERET INTERVIEW WITH MELISSA STUDDARD: PART THREE

Tiferet Journal is at the nexus of literature and spirituality. It publishes high-quality poetry, prose and art that further meaningful dialogue about what it is to be human and conscious in today’s often divisive world. The entire interview is in Tiferet Journal, Summer 2015 http://tiferetjournal.com/ 

MS: I think that writing changes us – it brings things out in a person that were either dormant or not there before. What would you say it brings out in you?

IP: In a word – authenticity. I am not good at sitting down and writing four pages a day. I wait until the spiritual energy is present within me, then I write. Sometimes this is frustrating, as I want to get on with it, but when I do not stay still and wait – I simply write garbage! So I use the in between times to do research, edit and look for spelling mistakes and typos. When the energy is sparkling – the writing flows effortlessly.  I do not consider this as a necessary template for others – it is just what works for me to connect to the Muse within.  I trust that far more than any impatience.

MS: What gifts do you hope others will receive from your writings?

 IP: Courage to believe that they can take steps to transform internally then make a difference externally. The stories I tell in my books are offered as a gift to our planet. My purpose in life is to share my wealth of experience on how to live in harmony not just with ourselves but with the place we call home… earth. I shed light on issues that will affect our world for generations to come. The example of my own challenging journey and personal transformation illuminates a path for others to expand their consciousness and chart the course for a future beyond the abyss. The human race does not need to be stuck with maladaptive options and patterns. We can and must transform. The key to change this deep freeze is Awakening, a spiritual relationship with self and Mother Earth.  My books deliver a vigorous message about personal transformation in order to become different stewards of the earth and society. I’d like to consider Trailing Sky Six Feathers as the real life version of James Redfield’s best-selling fictional book The Celestine Prophecy. I have nine chapters – loaded with Insights and adventure, plus shamanic training over a period of three decades. Trailing Sky Six Feathers and Redemption are super unique, as they are drawn from my actual lived experience.  Reality based information is in high demand in today’s society, which provides the potential for this project to become a fresh, new icon for today’s hungry culture. Hungry, that is, for authentic transformation.

Front Cover Trailing Sky Six Feathers

MS: Can you tell us about the beginning of your writing career? When did you start writing, and what drew you to it in the first place?

 IP: In my teenage expedition to Sarawak, Borneo, I kept a journal of the vivid surrounds and how I was feeling. From that time on I kept journals wherever I went. I eventually had trunks full of journals that reminded me of the experiences I went through, particularly in India.  My extensive shamanic training with incredible First Nations medicine people was carefully logged. The journals were a sign post to me – to be always authentic, even when it was awful and hard to re-read. I do my best to maintain that.  As a professor I wrote text books and scholarly papers, which had particular protocols that were somewhat stifling. When I started late on the writing craft – I had to re-learn how to write without sounding pompous, to be mindful of what the reader could take in. I also gave up on footnotes! In my career as an anthropologist I was fortunate to encounter many Native American story tellers across North America – Dene, Hopi, Ojibwa, Algonquin, Inuit – to mention a few.  Their recounting of myths and history had a deep impact upon me. I now take all of this into my blog “Awakening – Spiritual Relationship with Self and Mother Earth” on WordPress – a great place to tell stories in an authentic voice.

MS: Do you have any advice for beginning writers and/or spiritual practitioners, something you wish you had known earlier on?

IP: I come back to “Authenticity” once more. That is something that took a while to register in my career as an academic. It is always essential to find your own authentic voice and do not be afraid to express it. At the same time find good mentors and guides to kindly assess what you create. Wise eyes on your manuscript, poem, spiritual path can gently encourage you to be authentic – for with that comes balance, mindfulness and clarity. Do the “thing” because it is in you, expressing your deepest self and be less concerned about reviews and results. In a recent conversation about craft with my cousin Lynn, a gifted photographer, she remarked that “Writing is like other creative activities – we are driven internally to do it regardless of the outcomes – like doodling on a notepad, singing in the shower or dancing while doing housework….but if one is lucky enough to have a talent and an audience that appreciates the art, the pleasure can be even greater in the sharing.” That says it all for me.

MS: Do you have any other publications or events coming up soon that you’d like to announce? What are you currently working on?

IP:. My latest book New Planet, New World is the final bookend of a trilogy. Redemption is the first book in this trilogy that has Trailing Sky Six Feathers as the second book. The final tome takes characters from the prior two books, placing them in the future on a new planet. Life on the new planet permits a beginning anew for our species – a communal Hero’s Journey to reconstruct a society based on ecology, sharing and caring. The reader will find in this futuristic novel three distinct love stories, the establishment of ethical settlements with a paradigm that echoes Tolstoy’s “people of the twenty fifth century” and wise resolution for severe setbacks. The novel moves from dark to liberating chapters with action, fear, resolution, death, rape, bravery, exile in this futuristic opportunity for humanity. This action packed book ends on a philosophical note concerning our place in the centuries to come.

I have a number of book signings in Ottawa over the summer in Ottawa.

Available at www.Amazon.com and www.BarnesandNoble.com   Autographed Book – Order Through: www.ianprattis.com

 

Melissa Studdard

Of her debut poetry collection, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, Robert Pinsky writes, “This poet’s ardent, winning ebullience echoes that of God…” and Cate Marvin says her work “would have no doubt pleased Neruda’s taste for the alchemic impurity of poetry.” Melissa Studdard is an editor for American Microreviews and Interviews, hosts Tiferet Talk radio, and judges the monthly Goodreads ¡Poetry! Group contest. She is also the author of the novel, Six Weeks to Yehidah, and a collection of interviews, The Tiferet Talk Interviews. Her awards include the Forward National Literature Award and the International Book Award. Her poetry, fiction, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Pleiades, Poets & Writers, Tupelo Quarterly, Psychology Today, and Connecticut Review. Learn more at www.melissastuddard.com

Melissa Studdard 2

13th ANNUAL FRIENDS FOR PEACE DAY, OTTAWA, SAT SEPT 26

13th ANNUAL FRIENDS FOR PEACE DAY

Saturday, September 26, 2015, 12 noon – 4.00pm,

Jean Pigott Place, Ottawa City Hall                         

www.friendsforpeace.ca

Friends for Peace Day  is an awesome, diverse, unique Ottawa experience.  A day to celebrate the consciousness of peace, social justice and planetary care. Mayor Jim Watson said: “Friends for Peace is an outstanding organization that does very important work, promoting, strengthening and maintaining peace, planetary care and social justice within our communities and the environment.”  Friends of Peace has been an integral part of the Annual Ottawa Peace Festivals.

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2015 Peace Awards Ceremony honors Jurme Wangda, founder of Ottawa Friends of Tibet and Coleen Scott, founder of Karen Learning and Education Opportunity.  These organizations receive a 2015 Peace Grant for the incredible work they do. There are tables for community groups, treasures at the Silent Auction, fabulous food and a chance to connect with like-minded people. It’s a day for young and old as the diversity of Ottawa turns up for a great time. Friends for Peace Canada is a registered non-profit organisation. Entrance is by donation. All funds raised enable Peace Grants to be presented to organizations making a difference. The intent is to create a different form of peaceful expression to create infrastructure in our institutions that value peace and planetary processes.  Doors Open at 11.00am – browse the Silent Auction and Servery. Onstage program with music, speeches, and other talent starts at noon with The Valley Men Choir, Roumy Mounzer, Orkidstra, Dialog of Friendship, Lucille Hildesheim and others.

Ian congratulating Orkidstra (2)

The day builds confidence, hope, connections and fellowship. Come out and support this noble adventure. Building Community to Heal the World. Keeping Vision Alive. Taking Action. Celebrating.

Please join us for this important 13th anniversary.