Genre: Poetry & Drama

Author Interview | Conversing with Rojé Augustin about her poetic dramatic release: “Out of No Way: Madam CJ Walker & A’Lelia Walker”

Posted Wednesday, 28 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva. Updated version July 2020.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I love seeking out Biographical Historical Fiction stories in order to better understand the persons who’ve lived before me and to have an interpersonal glimpse into their lives – which is why I seek out an equal amount of Biopics in motion pictures to watch as well. This is how I came to watch the Netflix original mini-series “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker”. (see also Wikipedia) Coincidentally, this aired whilst I was preparing my interview questions for this blog tour and thankfully it gave me an inside glimpse into the back-history of what inspired this poetic drama by the author.

Those of us on the tour received a PDF copy of the story by Ms Augustin – as you know, due to my chronic migraines, I cannot read stories electronically but I do sometimes read chapter samplers of stories online to gather a bit about a writer’s style and to better understand what the story might yield in print when I go to read it in a format better suited for me. In this instance, as I was moving through the PDF to find a section to preview for my interview questions I noticed there are photographs included with this story. I wanted to post an advisory on my tour stop that if you are a sensitive reader one photograph did concern me as it actually shows a lynching which I was not personally expecting to be included myself.

Outside of that photograph, the few sections I previewed helped inspire this conversation and I was thankful to have this copy of the book to use in my research to present a better rounded picture of what inspired the poet to create this dramatic story about the Walkers and how the Walkers are continuing to inspire everyone who finds their story. This is a well-timed conversation as many are still watching “Self Made” and I know others are regularly chatting about Madam CJ Walker and the impact she had on both industry and women-led companies who re-wrote what a woman can accomplish in whichever endeavour of business she chooses to become involved and find success.

I found watching “Self Made” to be an incredible story of both internal strength and belief in one’s self to pursue your own dreams and goals in life whilst embracing the fortitude one needs as a woman to achieve the impossible in a male-dominated world. There is so much truth in this mini-series about what women have faced in different generations to overcome the oppression of yesterday – it is a rising light of how hard we have had to fight for what we have as women of industry as much as how hard it is to build a brand when the concept for the brand isn’t one that everyone wants to embrace.

I loved the fact Octavia Spencer had the lead role in bringing Madam CJ Walker to life as I loved her performance and her instincts for telling Walker’s story. I have long admired her acting and am wicked thankful she is now in high demand as she deserves to continue to get these kinds of roles where she can shine such a wonderful light on the characters I feel she was bourne to portray! She’s just a wicked good actress and its a delight to see her in roles which I feel are strengthened due to how she’s approached them as an actress.

I also feel we are undeserved as both readers and citizens not to embrace more of the diversity of our country and of the persons who have made historical impacts on our society. We have such a beautiful diverse citizenship and yet, a lot of the historical stories which need to be told are never brought to light. I am thankful Walker’s story is finally coming into the mainstream in order to reach a broader audience but I have always maintained we need more stories about living histories of all persons in our country’s past in order to have a better rounded view of our History. All voices and lives need representation and all lives are important to be heard and shared.

It is an absolute joy for me to highlight the life and history of Madam CJ Walker and to share this interview on the blog tour celebrating her life and story. I hope you will walk away with some inspiration for your own life as much as have a better understanding of what Madam CJ Walker had to endure in order to reach for her dreams and bring to reality the world she saw in her dreams.

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Author Interview | Conversing with Rojé Augustin about her poetic dramatic release: “Out of No Way: Madam CJ Walker & A’Lelia Walker”Out of No Way
Subtitle: Madam CJ Walker and A'Lelia Walker : A Poetic Drama
by Rojé Augustin
Source: Author via Poetic Book Tours

Author, producer, and emerging poet Rojé Augustin has written a groundbreaking debut collection of dramatic poems about hair care entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker and her daughter, A'Lelia. Rojé's singular and accomplished work is presented through the intimate lens of the mother-daughter relationship via different poetic forms — from lyric to haiku, blackout to narrative. (One poem takes its inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven.) Written in tribute to Walker, Out of No Way deftly and beautifully explores themes of race, motherhood, sacrifice, beauty, and the meaning of success in Jim Crow America.

Born Sarah Breedlove to former Louisiana slaves in 1867, Madam C.J. Walker was orphaned at seven, married at 14, became a mother at 17, and was widowed at 20. After the death of her first husband, Sarah moved to St. Louis with her daughter where she earned $1.50 a day as a washerwoman. When her hair started falling out she developed a remedy and sold her formula across the country. In the process, she became the wealthiest Negro woman in America.

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Poetry & Drama, Women's Studies


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Published by Self Published

Format: epub | PDF editon

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Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

NOTE: I do want to advise readers about a content warning in regards to a photograph inclusive of this release which does show a lynching which took me by surprise as well.

Converse via: #NonFiction, #Biography and #Poetry Drama
& #MadamCJWalker and #ALeliaWalker

About Rojé Augustin

Rojé Augustin

Rojé Augustin is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her first novel, The Unraveling of Bebe Jones, won the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award in African American fiction. She wrote the novel while living in London and Sydney as a stay-at-home-mom. Rojé continues to work as a producer while also writing in her spare time. She currently lives in Sydney with her husband and two daughters.

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Posted Wednesday, 28 October, 2020 by jorielov in A'Lelia Walker, African-American History, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Dramatic Poetry, Indie Author, Madam CJ Walker, Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry, Vignettes of Real Life

Book Spotlight and Extract | Featuring Notes by Jorie on behalf of “Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree” by Simi K. Rao

Posted Tuesday, 28 July, 2020 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You might have noticed I haven’t had the chance to host a lot of poets & collections of short stories in quite a long while. For quite a long while I was starting to get announcements about tours which featured these kinds of stories and then, there seemed to be a bit of a dry patch about the availability to host poets and short fiction writers. I love to dive into a poetry collection and/or a short story and novella anthology – for the latter, I have mostly staid within the Speculative Fiction realms but when it comes to Poetry, I have been a bit more exploratory in my selections. You can read through my past reviews for poems if you scroll to the bottom of my Story Vault.

There you will find former reviews I’ve shared where I truly tried to peer into the poems and to see how the vision of the poem and the reaction I felt after reading them could become articulated into a review. I found it most challenging in the beginning to sort out my thoughts about poetry because how a person reads a poem is such an interpersonal experience. It is rooted in our own living histories and our own perceptional insight – *everything!* about us goes into how we read a poem because poems are small glimpses into the human spirit and our soul. It is how we can share a portion of ourselves within the tender small space of a poem.

What drew me to host this lovely blog tour is how all the poems are about a women’s experience and of the tides of her life – I love reading Women’s Fiction for similar reasons, as the genre itself tucks into the emotional heart of a women’s life as it is being lived. Women’s Fiction for me always felt like a cosy niche of where I could write stories myself because unlike Romance where it is more hinged on the HEA (happy ever after) or the HFN (happy for now) – Women’s Fiction goes deeper into the heart of the women in the story. To get into her head and to see a more interpersonal journey of where she is when we arrive inside her life.

I knew I wanted to feature this collection ahead of reading it – as there were only digital copies available for review – which gave me a chance to host a small extract for the blog tour. I hadn’t opened the file until I went to write my spotlight and I had to smirk. The topic for my extract had a personal connection as I’ve been distancing myself with my love of coffee to reacquire and reacquaint myself with ‘tea’. I’ve been enjoying copious warming cuppas of chai recently and it is like ‘coming home’ in a cuppa!

If you enjoy Poetry & short fiction, perhaps this collection will resonate with you – I am thankful I could champion the collection on Jorie Loves A Story today. And, hopefully the poem which is being shared leaves you with a few ruminations, too!

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Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree by Simi K. Rao

Converse via: #UnderTheShadeOfTheBanyanTree, #Poetry, #ShortStories
as well as #WomensFiction and #BTPrism

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add to LibraryThing

Published: 30th September, 2019 | ISBN: 9781951375072

Life is not about achieving perfection, it’s about reconciling with your imperfections.

Poems are fragments of life. In Simi K. Rao’s unique poetry collection for women, there are blissful moments; deep, invisible wounds; cries for help; declarations of defiance and philosophical observations. The poems and prose pieces compiling the collection are fragments of life elucidating the different phases of the human condition. Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree will leave readers wanting for more and have a deep impact on women of all ages.

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Posted Tuesday, 28 July, 2020 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours

Blog Book Tour | “Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief: Spiritual Insights Expressed Through Art, Poetry and Prose” by Diamante Lavendar #poetry collection

Posted Monday, 20 August, 2018 by jorielov , , 3 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By:

I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft.

I received a complimentary copy of “Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief” direct from the author Diamante Lavendar in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Blog Book Tour | “Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief: Spiritual Insights Expressed Through Art, Poetry and Prose” by Diamante Lavendar #poetry collectionFinding Hope in the Darkness of Grief
Subtitle: Spiritual Insights Expressed Through Art, Poetry and Prose
by Diamante Lavendar
Source: Publisher via Poetic Book Tours

This earthly plane offers much for us to learn: happiness, wisdom, loss, heartbreak, and enlightenment. It is a Pandora’s box of emotions, situations, opportunities, and failures, all wrapped into a package we call life. Nobody is immune, but everyone has the opportunity to grow tall or wither like a flower in harsh light. It’s completely up to us how we choose to respond.

Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief is a gleaning of insights from artist Diamante Lavender. For her, life has been a long, difficult road, but it has taught many poignant lessons. Her poetry collection is an exploration of the human soul, a traversing of situations that life throws at us. Diamante has always been intrigued by the ability to overcome and move on to bigger and better things.

She writes to encourage hope and possibility in those who read her stories. If she can help others heal, as she has, then Diamante’s work as an author and artist will have been well spent. She believes that everyone should try to leave a positive mark on the world, to make it a better place for all. Writing is the way that she is attempting to leave her mark—one story at a time.

Genres: Poetry & Drama


Places to find the book:

ISBN: 9781982205683

Also by this author: Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief

Published by Balboa Press

on 16th June, 2018

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 74

Published By: Balboa Press (@BalboaPress)

an imprint of Hay House (@hayhouse)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Poetry

About Diamante Lavendar

Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief by Diamante Lavendar (full cover)

Diamante Lavendar began writing in college and published poetry in anthologies. Most of her writing is personal and stems from her experiences and those of her family and friends. She also creates visual art with colored pencils, acrylic paints, and various mixed media. Diamante is also the author of Breaking the Silence and Poetry and Ponderings: A Journey of Abuse and Healing through Poetry.

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Posted Monday, 20 August, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Indie Author, Modern Day, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry