Words are effective things and their mastery is observed in the poet who uses them like rifles and doves, influencing the landscape of culture. Poets are powerful people and Larry Jaffe is a powerful poet. He has spent a lifetime with words, using them to communicate not only his thoughts and emotions about his own life, but to speak on the critical problems facing our planet giving them the significance only a poet could. Most notably, Jaffe has championed the cause of human rights and his poetry has reached across nations, forging people together over universal topics like ethics and justice. He has redefined the role of the poet, transforming it into a political force capable of influencing the global scene.
Larry Jaffe established himself as the preeminent human rights poet with works like “One Child Sold: Human Trafficking and Rights” and founding Poets Beyond Borders, a group aimed at improving human rights. He helped spearhead the United Nations Dialogue Among Civilizations Through Poetry Project which led to hundreds of poetry readings in hundreds of cities across the world. He was the first poet to be awarded the Saint Hill Art Festival’s Lifetime of Creativity Award and was a former poet in residence at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. Jaffe has read his poems all over the world, from the Museum of Literature in Prague to the Dylan Thomas Centre in Wales and his poems continue to find an audience internationally.
It is safe to say that Larry Jaffe is passionate about poetry. He’s been performing and hosting poetry readings for many years and his work reflects a lifetime of devotion to words. One of his most popular poems, also the title of one of his books, is “Unprotected Poetry,” a cool, hip piece demonstrating Jaffe’s viewpoint on the subject of poetry. He likes it raw, unrestricted and impinging. Something characteristic of his work is its ability to communicate and present ideas and emotions clearly so they’re easily understood. There’s nothing abstract or vague about his poems. You know what they are about, they hit you in the gut and make you remember them. Maybe that’s the way poetry has to be for a poet trying to wake up mankind from a slumber. The sleeping giant may still be snoozing but not for long with the work Jaffe is putting out these days.
In the poem “Cattle Car,” Larry Jaffe writes about a group of Jews that stood up against the Nazi’s, recognizing their heroism in the midst of overwhelming odds. The world still faces such odds today but fortunately it still has its heroes too. Larry Jaffe is not only fighting to make the world a better place, he’s stepping to the forefront and delivering the words it needs to hear. His podium is large and his impact even larger. He is truly the poet statesman.
For more information on Larry Jaffe visit www.lgjaffe.com
Finding one’s true passion is a rare gift and having the courage to pursue it is even more rare. Rashid Darden is truly special because he has accomplished both, knowing his path was as a novelist and that he was willing to cast aside the security of a 9 to 5 in order to see his dream come to fruition. Not only this, but as a writer he has tackled subject matter that is unique and offered a different perspective that makes him truly one of a kind.
He’d already written a play and made a name for himself as a poet while studying at Georgetown University and the D.C. native continued writing, working on what would become a series of novels, the “Lazarus Trilogy” as well as a collection of poetry. After more than a decade of working at non-profits, all the while continuing to write when he could, Darden decided to make the big leap to full-time novelist. He put in the hard work of learning the publishing business, as well as how to enhance his work, and his next book proved to be an ambitious project that took readers into a world spanning the continent of Africa to an America bonded to slavery, and took the author himself across the country visiting historic slave sites and illuminating the past for students and fans, leaving them enlightened and inspired.
“Birth of a Dark Nation” is the first book of a new series by Rashid Darden that explores vampire lore from an African perspective. It does what Darden succeeds at best, offering a unique point of view that is often missing from mainstream literature. The author has found an eager audience for his latest work, indicated by the efforts of a very successful crowd-funding campaign that nearly doubled its initial target goal. Due to the funds Darden raised he was able to travel to various states lecturing and spreading the word about his new novel. He has also managed to inspire the next generation of writers who will surely take a page from the author’s playbook.
Tackling historical time periods, confronting the harsh realities of racial and cultural differences, and wrapping it around a genre like horror is no easy feat but Rashid Darden set his sights on its accomplishment and it looks like he’s won. “Birth of a Dark Nation” currently has a 5 star rating on Amazon and is the kind of springboard any author needs when kicking off a new series. Considering that many would-be novelists never get as far as one book, Darden has managed to etch out an impressive career for himself filled with praise from his readers, accolades from his peers and the satisfaction that comes from giving back to society.
There are many ways one can spend a lifetime. It’s inspiring to see one being spent writing words that aim to educate, enlighten and uplift. Rashid Darden is that kind of writer.
For more information please visit www.rashiddarden.com
Michelangelo once said, "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” At Artists Run This Planet we see Earth as our marble and we hold a chisel and hammer up to it every day. This beautiful canvas of a planet waits for us to paint it daily. Gone are the days of suppressing art, of pursuits less noble than creating. We have the technology available to create in any medium, and faster than ever before. As artists we are the creators of every new innovation and idea that takes shape. We are mankind’s continual hope and driving force — “Artists Run This Planet." - David Carus, Art Planet CEO & Founder