In observation of Black History Month 2013, the 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance website launched at the beginning of February with the following description:
“100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance was established to encourage, promote, and document recognition of the forthcoming Harlem Renaissance Centennial. Blogs on the website are written primarily by historian and poet Aberjhani and present texts on different aspects of the celebrated Jazz Age movement as well as texts pertaining to its forthcoming centennial. In addition, it contains a Call for Submissions page through which interested parties are able to submit papers and proposals in regard to the centennial as well as blog articles for possible publication on the website. 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance was founded by Aberjhani in December 2012.”
Though up and live, the website has been adding new content at a moderate pace as students, authors, teachers, historians, researchers and other interested visitors familiarize themselves with it and utilize the unique content to their advantage. The following is an abbreviated table of contents:
100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance
Bright Skylark Literary Productions
Most formal reviews or critiques of books by Aberjhani currently exist in the form of hard-copy newspaper, journal, and magazine articles from the previous decade. A change of formats, however, has gotten underway with recent online posts of reviews focused on some of his earlier work as well as more recent titles.
One notable update is Education Book Mix’s video review of Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance posted on YouTube. The automated voice sounds jagged at moments but the year 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance and the review on Education Book Mix underscores the book’s importance.
As Noted on Goodreads
Canadian Richard Van Holst, writing on the Goodreads author and readers community website, posted recent reviews of both Aberjhani’s first book, I Made My Boy Out of Poetry, and his more recent popular title, The River of Winged Dreams. While Goodreads boasts than several million members, many of whom often post reviews, Van Holst happens to be among the site’s top 10 best reviewers.
In the review of I Made My Boy Out of Poetry, he described the collection of short fiction and poetry as “brash, bold and daring.” He further notes in the same review that “Aberjhani's vivid style makes a powerful impression. But more importantly, he writes as one who is aware of where he comes from and of his function as a writer.”
Van Holst’s reading of The River of Winged Dreams came after I Made My Boy Out of Poetry, prompting the this response: “They are both intense and packed with meaning. There is still a sense of being mystically connected to nature. The spirituality is still rooted in body, time, place and family, but manages to transcend them.”
Much of the author’s observations are consistent with various online responses to single poems, stories, and articles by Aberjhani posted on the Internet. The following are links to the full reviews:
Richard Van Holst Review of I Made My Boy Out of Poetry
Richard Van Holst Review of The River of Winged Dreams
Web surfers who have written about Aberjhani, translated works by him, or shared links to various posts of his work began to experience something unprecedented in early September 2012. It happened while performing an advance Google search on the term “author-poet.”
In addition to the expected search return of well-known classic authors and poets who fall into this category, the query unexpectedly generated the above image of various historical and contemporary authors described as: “Authors frequently mentioned on the web.” There between William Butler Yeats and Edgar Allen Poe was the famous photograph of Aberjhani taken by celebrated photographer John Zeuli. Others included William Shakespeare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, James Joyce, and Charles Bukowski.
Aberjhani’s presence was a surprise among these authors because the advanced Google search had been a generic one. It was also surprising because even though his books, articles, and poems are frequently referenced and quoted on the Internet, his titles can be difficult to obtain at local bookstores.
It is likely the image occurred because of Google’s recent consolidation of services, which now allows Google to more precisely identify interests based on previous searches and to slant search results accordingly. While that explanation is thoroughly plausible, the image reminded the Bright Skylark team that since the conclusion of the previous newsletter sent out through the Authors Guild web-hosting service (please see the image below) there has not been an official news outlet to cover news about events, project updates, new releases, or other happenings pertaining to Aberjhani and related Bright Skylark developments.
In addition to serving as a reminder of the deficiency in order that it might be corrected, the gift of the image also seemed like a perfect visual summation of everything Bright Skylark Literary Productions is about and therefore the perfect one to greet readers of this newsletter. First up is a recap of recent articles and poster freebies from Aberjhani followed by a surprise from Ranker.