Chriscinthia's Constellation

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A Celebration of the Arts and Humanities

Just think of me
and I will return
like a sparrow
in the spring,
whistling ballads,
carrying sonnets
on my wings.


Whether you are a fellow writer, visual artist, musician, actor, or patron of the arts, welcome to my world of words and other artistic endeavors.  As a poet, playwright, and mixed-media artist, my creative energy is often scattered among various projects.  To your left is one of my floral designs.  I also design jewelry and invite you to take a tour of my photo gallery.


Love poetry is, of course, my specialty and I still consider it the most sacred of American letters.  My poetry is usually written in free verse.  I have no desire to write Shakespearean sonnets nor will I allow myself to be imprisoned by iambic or trochaic meter.  For me, writing is a gift and although most gifts are put in boxes,
I prefer not to be limited by what others deem appropriate.
 

I have long been an advocate for the arts and find it unfortunate that our society continues to treat the arts as an unnecessary frill.  Since we live in a world unprecedented by global connection and communication, I believe it is imperative that we recognize the arts as a universal language, a language in which we must become proficient if not fluent.

 

This page is dedicated to every artist I have had the privilege to encounter.  Enjoy and don't say I never gave you flowers!

Crafts by Chriscinthia

Great Gifts for Family, Friends, and Co-workers

SOLD - NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Japanese Tensha Heart-Shaped Earrings

Dress up or dress down, stand out in the crowd with these Japanese Tensha earrings! They look great with a crisp white blouse, a dress, or a plain T-shirt and a pair of jeans. Don't wait until a special occasion to treat a loved one or even yourself! Handcrafted earrings make great gifts for college send offs, birthdays, promotions, new jobs, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Valentine's Day, or any day!  And what a wonderful thank you gift for those we take for granted like caretakers, housekeepers, and mail carriers.
$35.00 Free Shipping 


Books Worth Reading: Making My Own Rainbows

Making My Own Rainbows is an attempt to dispel the narrow definitions still forced upon African-American women and present the complexities of their humanity. It is a journey through the vicissitudes of life, a journey which includes, among many subjects, love, triumph, temptation, defeat, jealousy, and joy. Buckle your seat belts and be warned. This is not your grandmother's poetry! Kindle Edition: $5.00


YOU DO NOT NEED A KINDLE to read Kindle books! Amazon offers free apps for your iPhone, iPad, iPodTouch, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone. The book may also be downloaded to a PC or Mac.  Making My Own Rainbows is available at other Amazon sites such as Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and the Netherlands.



Stop the Disease Called Illiteracy

Whether you are a parent, teacher, librarian, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent. neighbor or friend, please donate your time and read to a child today!


Banned or Challenged Books By African-Americans

Every year attempts are made by individuals or groups to have books removed from libraries and classrooms. Any books that are challenged have the potential of being banned or restricted.

1. And Still I Rise - Maya Angelou
2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
3. The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison
4. Sula - Toni Morrison
5. Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison
6. Beloved - Toni Morrison
7. Go Tell It on the Mountain - James Baldwin
8. Blues For Mr. Charlie - James Baldwin
9. Another Country - James Baldwin
10. If Beale Street Could Talk - James Baldwin
11. Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone - James Baldwin
12. ManChild in the Promised Land - Claude Brown
13. Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
14. A Raisin in the Sun - Lorraine Hansberry
15. Native Son - Richard Wright
16. Black Boy - Richard Wright
17. A Lesson Before Dying - Ernest J. Gaines
18. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman - Ernest J. Gaines
19. My House - Nikki Giovanni
20. Young and Black in America - Rae Pace Alexander
21. And the Walls Came Tumbling Down - Ralph D. Abernathy
22. The Autobiography of Malcolm X - Malcolm X and Alex Haley

23. Daddy Was a Nunbers Runner-Louise Meriwether
24. There Eyes Were Watching God-Zora Neale Hurston
25. The Best Short Stories by Black Writers-Langston Hughes

26. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
27. The Temple of My Familiar - Alice Walker
28. Black Poets - Dudley Randall
29. Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans - Terry Wallace

30. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Mildred
Taylor
31. Mississippi Bridge - Mildred Taylor
32. The Land - Mildred Taylor
33. The Friendship - Mildred Taylor
34. Tar Beach - Faith Ringgold
35. Push - Sapphire
36. Down These Mean Streets - Piri Thomas
37. Jubilee - Margaret Walker
38. A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich - Alice Childress
39. Rainbow Jordan - Alice Childress
40. Soul on Ice - Eldridge Cleaver
41. The Toilet - Amiri Baraka
42. The Destruction of Black Civilization - Chancellor Williams
43. Call Me Charley - Jesse Jackson
44. Mirandy and Brother Wind - Patricia Mckissack

1.  The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
2.  Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove
3.  Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe
4.  I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
5.  The Ben Carson Story by Gregg Lewis and Deborah Shaw Lewis
6.  You Don't Even Know Me: Stories and Poems About Boys by Sharon G. Flake
7.  Coming Home: From the Life of Langston Hughes by Floyd Cooper
8.  The Bat Boy and His Violin by Garvin Curtis
9.  Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up by Melissa Thompson
10. African Folk Tales (Dover Children's Thrift Classics)
11. Stitchin' and Pullin': A Gee's Bend Quilt by Patricia McKissack
12. He's Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson
13. Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz
14. The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill
15. The Making of a Young Entrepreneur by Gabrielle Williams
16. Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney
17. We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt, and Sharon Draper
18. Pass It On: African-American Poetry for Children by Wade Hudson
19. Jamaica's Find by Juanita Havill
20. Wake Up Our Souls: A Celebration of African-American Artists by Tonya Bolden
21. When Grandmama Sings by Margaree Mitchell
22. Uncle Jed's Barbershop by Margaree Mitchell
23. Cassie's Word Quilt by Faith Ringgold
24. This is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson
25. Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton
26. The Loose Tooth by Anastasia Puffin
27. Just For You! Low-down Bad-day Blues by Derrick Barnes
28. The Greatest: Muhammad Ali by Walter Dean Myers
29. Don't Say Ain't by Irene Smalls
30. Because You're Lucky by Irene Smalls
31. President of the Whole Fifth Grade by Sherri Winston
32. Poetry For Young People by Langston Hughes
33. Color My Fro: A Natural Hair Coloring Book by Crystal Swain-Bates
34. Big Hair, Don't Care by Crystal Swain-Bates
35. I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes
36. Singing Black: Alternative Nursery Rhymes for Children by Mari Evans
37. I Look at Me by Mari Evans
38. Clubhouse Mysteries (Series) by Sharon M. Draper 
39. November Blues by Sharon M. Draper
40. Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry With a Beat by Nikki Giovanni

Annual Rose Show at Historic Elizabeth Park

Located in West Hartford, Connecticut, Elizabeth Park is the oldest public rose garden in America. I decided to create a still life film using my photographs.  Enjoy!

Blog Post in the Spotlight: The House of Flawless

Alores-Cornelius Norris is the first African-American woman to own a beauty lounge in Simpsonville, South Carolina.  Her rise, fall, and ultimate triumph is an inspiration to us all. Please visit Beautiful Black Hair and Skin to keep abreast of our blog posts.  Join the family and SUBSCRIBE!

News & Upcoming Events 

A Tribute to Mario Epanya, Photographer

His ongoing discourse on diversity in the fashion industry has garnered both support and criticism. Please visit Beautiful Black Hair and Skin, and SUBSCRIBE. Blog posts will be sent straight to your mailbox! 

The New Poet Laureate: Tracy K. Smith

The Librarian of Congress has named Tracy K. Smith the next Poet Laureate of the United States. She will succeed Juan Felipe Herrera who has served two terms in this position. Ms. Smith is a professor at Princeton University and directs the creative writing program. She wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection, Life on Mars, one of three poetry collections and a Memoir titled, Ordinary Light.


The Poet Laureate, who is appointed by the Librarian of Congress, serves as the nation's official poet. During his or her term, the Poet Laureate is expected to raise the national consciousness and promote a greater appreciation for the reading and writing of poetry.


Honor Thy Mother: Tale of an Unforgiving Servant

Honor Thy Mother: Tale of an Unforgiving Servant is now available on Amazon.com!

An innocent game of charades turns into a psychological roller coaster as Josephine is forced to deal with the unresolved issues of being raised by a verbally abusive parent.

Please note that you DO NOT need a Kindle to read Kindle books! Amazon provides free apps for any device including your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and more. The book can also be downloaded to a PC or Mac.  
Take Advantage of Amazon's free apps and get your copy today!

PLEASE POST A COMMENT OR REVIEW ON THE AMAZON WEBSITE! 

Honor Thy Mother is also available on the following Amazon websites:
Canada, UK, Australia, Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Germany,  FranceSpain,
Italy, India, and Japan.

Which book would you choose for our next online book discussion?  Contact me with your answer.
Black Wall Street by Hannibal B. Johnson
Reposition Yourself by T.D. Jakes
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Fences by August Wilson

Book Festivals 2017
(Click on Links Below)

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS BOOK FESTIVAL

Sat, Sept 2nd, 2017
Washington, D.C.
Held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the 17th annual Library of Congress Book Festival is free and open to the public. Book signings and sales, presentations by authors and illustrators, a poetry slam, books to movies, fun activities for every age group, food service, and a behind-the-scenes look at the Library of Congress.


INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE FESTIVAL

Wed, Sept 6th - Sat, Sept 16th, 2017

Berlin, Germany

The International Literature Festival focuses on the development of international prose and lyric poetry.  Participation by contemporary authors all over the world.  All texts read in original languages and translated into German.  International children's and young adult literature. Readings, workshops, discussions, and exhibitions. International poetry slam.


Wed, Sept 13th - Sun, Sept 17, 2017

Torquay, UK

Five days of eclectic and unexpected song, stories, dance, extraordinary objects from ordinary lives, provocative lectures and other amazing journeys.  An exclusive tour of Agatha Christie‚Äôs favorite cinema. Champagne breakfast, live reading at The Grand Hotel, and a copy of an Agatha Christie classic signed by her grandson, Mathew Prichard.


BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL

Sun, Sept 17th, 2017

Brooklyn, New York

The Brooklyn Book Festival is part of the largest free literary festival in New York City. An array of national, international, well established, and emerging authors. Literary marketplace welcomes nearly 200 publishers, presses, booksellers and literary organizations.  Children's Day will be held on Saturday, Sept 16th.


Fri, Sept 22nd - Sun, Sept 24th, 2017
Baltimore, Maryland

Appearances by local and nationally known authors. Booksellers, signings, exhibitors, and presentations on multiple stages. Workshops, panel discussions, storytellers, and poetry readings.  Cooking demos by top chefs, live music, food, beer, and wine. Street theater, and hands-on projects for kids.


Black History 365
Celebrate Your Heritage All Year Long!

Helen Mckinney
(February 6, 1925 - November 28, 2008)
My grandmother taught me many things, the most important of which was unconditional love.  We honor you and miss you. Below is a photograph of my maternal grandmother during the 1940's.

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