Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Sonnet 44: Las Vegas

'I am that I am," the voice roared above
to wandering prophets in the wastelands.
And from bleached skies, aluminum doves
defecating peace on to feral sands.

"We have civilized this ancient beast
with air-conditioners and chandeliers.
No longer will we care for the least
freed from unearthly superstitious fears."

Apache blood used to baptize the rock,
now concrete carpets and asphalt unfurl.
Profitable accountants raze the clock
summoning rapine fire that end worlds.

Bottled water and silicon mutes sense
we bury wild prophets in our opulence.

- By Aurin Squire

Summer Sonnet 43: Hospice Care

I want to rip the tubes out of his skin
and pound his chest. Life! Life! Life! You will rise
from soaked mattress, invoking hearts of men
turn diagnosis to laughable lies.

Instead I pat his biblical white hair,
long lustre locks from his bed-bound nest.
He yawns like a cat enjoying pet care
that has removed a moment of loneliness.

I fetch him a glucose control meal shake,
adjust bed so he can sit up to drink.
His stomach convulsions tremor and quake
from atrophied muscles starting to blink.

 At first sip, he'll let out thirsty-quenching moan
as his skin resumes a more human tone.

- By Aurin Squire

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Sonnet 42: Talking To You (Lao Tzu)

Lao Tzu says great talent ripens late in life,
some times past the living and into death.
Then what am I to make of loving this strife,
pre-occupied with pain of all that's left?

If love is talent, may it blossom late
so my days aren't spent in woeful regret.
But if flowers are past due of wait
then they decorate a funeral set.

If I plant the seeds continually
steady harvest ripens in all seasons.
This impatient farmer eyes some times sees
only rocky soil without reason.

May passion be instantly frivolous
and hope love's genius endures past my lust.

- By Aurin Squire

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Sonnet 41: From a Hospital Bed

Withering inside, my father's head lies
slanted sideways in the hospital bed.
His arms slung over the rail, he tries
to process the harsh winding course he led.

Ailments lingered past pity and sadness.
No tears. Not from me or anyone.
We calmly accept demise and madness
from the decaying end we no longer run.

An omen of maturity or numb?
Whose to say at this time but there is peace
as death's wide steady eyes look on the sum
understanding of this life's short-term lease.

I would just like to know what he's thinking
as he stares the abyss without blinking.

- By Aurin Squire

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Sonnet 40: Infernal Phantasm

Un-sheath their silver perfidious tongues
whose beauty masks assassins' cunning wrath.
Razor-thatched walls echo hell hymnals sung
debaucheries decree witches' sabbath.

Prepare the tables for murderer's feast,
entrails unspooled over oxidized swords.
Byzantine ramparts cloak chimeric beasts
that sip violet venom from skull-hewn gourds.

Butchers slaughter and de-bone wild black boars
crack the ribs open as the parasites crawl
on suitors' flesh burrowing in their core.
Orgiastic horrors paint canvass'ed sprawl.

The unsaved ghosts howl catechism-ic grim
Lost souls wanderlust for Jerusalem.

- By Aurin Squire

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Sonnet 39: Rise Tall

Rise tall past our insignificant cares,
childhood monsters and adolescent fears.
Up altitudes above the scars we bare
soaring climes over our river of tears.

Leap stratospheric circumferences
perched on Himalayan crests white as bone
at the blinding height where we lose all sense
every taste burns with the tang of ozone.

The sky becomes our arching annex hall
and castle stairs. Let's climb the dancing stars
as winding steps twist up endless blue wall.
Rocket red ribbons spin the God of Mars.

Reach the place where there is no form or thought,
where all our pawned prayers are paid for and bought.

- By Aurin Squire

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Sonnet 38: Old Haitian Man in the Yard

An old Haitian man stooping on the lawn
in nylon shorts, black socks, and straw brim hat,
reaches for errant weeds hiding from the dawn
as black licorice legs swayed with his gait.

June's sun speckled through his mango grove
as plump globes of sweat watered the ground.
Uprooted rests tossed on to shaded cove
his deflating guts emits a groaning sound.

The weeds will grow back. It's a losing fight
that no one could ever possibly win
yet there he stoops, in the scorching sunlight
re-enacting the ancient rites of men.

Swooping down the yard, a petty pink crane
as Old Man and bird pick from the grass grain.

- By Aurin Squire 

Monday, June 24, 2013

The 'N' Word and Paul Deen

(This passage was composed from Facebook replies over the course of a day)

Paula Deen is facing the wrath of outrage over her use of the 'n' word and other racist allegations. Her Food Network show was cancelled and the Twitterse is engaging in picking over the media empire's corpse with snarky comments and satirically racist recipes bearing her likeness. I have no strong opinion for or against Paula Deen. Quite frankly an old Southern woman using the 'n' word is about as surprising as rain in Seattle. 

But I think the 'n' word thing is overshadowing the fact that Paula Deen was getting more and more flax for her 1) incredibly unhealthy food and the backlash growing from people 2) her diabetes confession and the backlash from her promoting a lifestyle she knows is destructive 3) Food Network not wanting to be involved in political discourse as its distracting away from its brand 4) she has 3 times brought a firestorm for issues not related to her show but her personality and lifestyle 5) the abusiveness of her family and hang'er ons in relation to her enterprise 6) the copious notes in the deposition of wanting an ol' fashioned wedding involving dressed up slaves 7) and the fact that she didn't see anything really wrong with any of this and shared this fantasy with others. 

It's not the 'n' word that's the problem. It's stupid, mean, unfortunate use by her and inappropriate. But the tragedy is the intent of the word with this person was to recreate a slave plantation and label it as the 'good ol days.' She was trying to recreate that atmosphere in a subtle way in your treatment of other Blacks you hire for your corporation and overtly in dreaming of costuming them as such for a wedding and delightfully referring to them as 'little niggers' as if they were pets for White patriarchy. The tragedy is to believe it was the 'good ol' days' and to completely miss the awfulness of the period of Blacks, women, the poor, the non-landowners, 99% of America; and yet many Whites (who would be treated no better than dirt back then) have bought into this mythology. Many of them vote Republican actively against their own best interests with these subtle and overt thoughts in mind, failing to realize the hypocritical bind they put themselves to that serves no one but the wealthiest, whitest, richest few. And someone like Paula Deen would be white swamp trash back then with little to no chance of upward mobility and abused as a woman. And she thinks of it as 'the good ol' days' because she could call black kids 'little niggers' and go to a restaurant where emasculated Black men wore white coats and tap danced; ignorance dressed up as Southern folklore.

I live in a neighborhood where everyone uses the 'n' word in reference to each other and almost no one is black. It's Latinos calling themselves that and Italians. Japanese kids on the subway talk about themselves endearingly as 'niggas' while looking at me carefully out of the corner of their eyes. Hip hop uses the word and gets a lot of grief from the media. 

But, to some extent, the 'n' word or 'nigga' is empowering. It's twisted endearment because there is no such thing as a nigger. It was an invention of White people. They used it in India for the natives, in South America for indigenous people, and here in America for the slaves of African descent. But the word itself makes no sense because it's built on the guilt of the privileged. It's only a mask of shame made in the image of the oppressor's darkest desires: sexually monstrous animal veering between 'good for nothing' and a terror to White women. It'That is why it's been taken up by Blacks. That's why it's in hip hop. That's why it's spoken by most of the Latin men in my hood, the Italians, that's why Japanese boys speak to each other that way. It's an invented monster, so when rap songs began reiterating different refrains of the mantra 'I AM THAT NIGGER' sexually violent, greedy, unstoppable force. It's a response to being pumped so full of toxic hatred and waste by a dominant culture that the act of rebellion is to take all that rage and turn it into "Niggas in Paris." (living in luxury and still your worst nightmare because now we're out of the gov-built ghettos and jetting around the world). 

Sean Carter (Jay-Z )grew up in the Marcy Projects where several forces were set into motion to 1) pump him full of self-hatred and doubt 2) kill him. Sean Combs in Harlem, Christopher Wallace, and all the icons grew up in these atrocious, terrible surroundings filled with danger, sex, and toxicity while being assured that they were a nigger and that's all they were ever going to be. So I can't fault them for taking that and flipping it.

What's keeping divisions between the races alive is racism; mostly by the privileged race. It's strange b/c when a White guy makes it from poverty, Black ppl cheer for him. Look at Clinton, Bill Gates, look at how rappers quote successful Black and white people. But when a Black guy makes it out of poverty, it's amazing how the same poor white people not only don't root for him, but hate him. Despise him, want to castrate him either metaphorically or literally. White male triumph is American. Black triumph is treated with suspicious, envy, and -in many cases- hatred by the majority that designed a system to keep him down. (Strangely White culture is more accepting of Blk female success as long as they fulfill some nurturing role within White paradigms). Talk to President Obama about what's holding us back with racism. I don't think he would tell you rappers are the ones threatening his life, screaming at him, trying to oppose him at every turn. The face of hatred is remarkably the same as it was 50 and 100 years ago. The responses to that -from Jay-Z's 'braggadocia to Ice Cube's 'middle finger' to Obama's smoothness, to Oprah's maternalism- has become more complex. But it seems to be in response to the same inexplicable, deep-rooted self-hatred that projects itself out on to Black people.

The whole Southern 'Dixie myth' that Paula Deen buys into is a very deceptive form of that same hatred. As long as Blacks are pets and servants then they are allowed to exist but only with the threat of severe torture and death hanging over their heads. And here is Scarlett O'Hara Deen spinning her parasol and saying 'fiddley-dee' past fields of singing and smiling slaves. And it's a mythology that is deeply rooted in the same hatred that's been twisted into some bizarre fable of noble White gentry and happy slaves. And yes, faggot is its own world and mythology also created by Straight patriarchy to do something slightly different to a 'caste of people' that they use for servitude, sex, and as pets.

 I can't judge what execs at TFN think or say in private. But I can say that every few weeks we're treated to something to be 'outraged over' that's racist, sexist, homophobic or any variation on discriminatory ignorance steeped in some hatred. And we usually get 'outraged,' call for punishment, make jokes on the outrage, have the person apologize and then engage in superficial discussion where the analysis goes something along the lines of 'who knew there was racism/sexism in (blank). I didn't know (Blank) could be so ignorant about (blank). Wow...we should do better. Anyway, up next Kim and Kanye's baby pictures.' And then the world goes on and the issue is never really addressed. It's treated as a weird anomaly or a freakish person when the only thing bizarre about seems to be that someone was stupid enough to get caught. 

The subtle message from these cyclical outrage/purges isn't to examine the problem but to hide it better and to keep your dirty awful thoughts to yourself or exercise them deep in the woods somewhere. While that makes for better etiquette, it doesn't uproot the ugliness which grows in our garden. So I'm a little less surprised at the harvest we continually reap from the hatred in America as I am by the amnesiac-response each time to the villain of the week pops up. If Paula Deen really wanted to do something she could take a huge stack of that cash and give it to the United Negro College Fund and then actually see and listen to African Americans long enough to remove those sick, disturbing fantasies from her head. So she no longer will have to watch her words because the thoughts that drive them won't be hateful.

Summer Sonnet 37: My Troubles Here

The darkness that surrounds is a mere spot
in my iris that seems as big as sky.
Smaller than a fleck of dust in a lot,
cheaper than the cost of a seed of rye.

My troubles are as loud as an ant creep,
lower than a tower of mustard seeds,
a beetle's shallow grave is as deep,
quieter than a dead soldier's deeds.

What manifests out of this clot of land,
sequestered amidst an infinity?
My future escapes grasp like grains of sand
if I pollute my breath with empty pleas.

There is grandness in the smallest of sighs,
most gentle kisses and softest goodbyes.

- By Aurin Squire

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Sonnet 36: Landlord Wars

My roommate txt'ed 'we need to talk.'
Ominous silence. I looked at the txt
and held the phone like dead weights as I walked
cursing bad timing and what was up nxt.

I'm told that we're at war with the landlord.
Instant dread at the obvious danger.
I'm dragged into seeking a peace accord,
while once again in the midst of anger.

My plane flies a few hours tomorrow
while hashing out a speaking agreement
dealing with my own karmic sorrow
of the world's anger that keeps getting sent.

I sit in Miami hours later
careful to cater both sides like a waiter.

- By Auirn Squire

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Sonnet 35: Remembering a Phone Call 30 years ago

People confide in me, but who knows why?
Since I was a little boy, I had that knack.
I remember me non-plussed panting sigh
as strangers asked if my parents were back.

Lazy Saturday phone perverts would call
our number to groan cries. I confronted
one giddy man, asked if he could tell all
as he regaled adultery grunted.

My child-self thought it would be exciting
to listen to his salacious conquest
but I yawned and found myself fighting
the banality of most sins confessed.

But I recall his small evil laughter,
echo'ed in my ear 3 decades after.

- By Aurin Squire

Summer Sonnet 34: Diving for Pearls

I vigil'ed at the wide mouth of Biscayne
 as African storms stirred the tea-brewed swirl
from my heart's view perched at window pain
i leapt and plunged for my saltwater pearl.

Diving into fathomless pirate caves,
for rotting treasure chests filled with plunder
descending depths past the unmarked slave graves
where Spaniard explorers hid our wonder.

Study your love's ancient cartography
longitudinal's meridian source
choking sargassum weeds matted your sea
 I swam passion's mysterious dark course.

My first gasp arising with jewel-filled nets
I pawn treasure to pay my lover's debts.

- By Aurin Squire

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Sonnet 33: A Stolen Dream

He was enraged about the abortion
his lack of power with 'his' woman,
impotent income too small a portion
to rescue would-be baby and girlfriend.

I silently spied and commiserated
with the young boy's loss and life's accursed lot.
His fatherhood hopes disintegrated
over a phone call. It was all for nought.

Then -and at a loss- he got quiet and still
my seat quivered from his knees shaking,
I thought, "This is how you break a boy's will:
good in bed and easy for the taking."

On this ride, all is not what it seems
as a Black boy weeps for his stolen dream.

- By Aurin Squire

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer Sonnet 32: A Sista is Tipsy and Talking Freely

"It is a scientifically known fact...
that it's impossible for Me 2 get
on UR nerves when U sleeping on my mat
ate my food..." (she pauses for effect)

"You shacking up here, and ain't laying no pipe
Ain't licking no cat, ain't pitching no tent.
Did mama not ever teach u how 2 wipe?
Ain't nothing going on but the rent...

And ur dusty bags are still by the door
for ur easy access departure. Soon
 u'll be on another chick'nhead tour
don't even trip 'n think we're ace-boon-coon.

Another raggedy good-4-nuthin'
Stella's groovin' but need more luck w/ men.

- By Aurin Squire

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Sonnet 31: Speak on Love

I will challenge myself to speak on love
Though the words may escape me as I go.
To try and fulfill my promise above
I'll try not to go too fast or too slow.

Some love I'm sure is quite akin to death
In that it is guaranteed for us all.
From the moment that we take our first breath.
We are sure to love once before we fall.

Although I'm sure that some will disagree
With these cynic and semi-jaded thoughts.
I cannot blame them for their naivete
And so I leave them to their mindless stalks.

Passion altered is love in many ways
Each poet can choose how to fill his days.

- By Donavue

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Sonnet 30: Buying a Sandwich

He walked in a demolished, quaking "other"
I bought him a sandwich to devour.
This bombed-out crater was once my brother,
but I recognize him less and less by the hour.

"Whatcha been up to," I say to a junkie
as he looks past me with those flat dead eyes.
"This" which he means the struggle to get free
from eviction, addiction, crystal-lies.

Awkward silence. I have nothing to say
to this zombie so I blab senseless sound
around the obvious death here and play
n' plan for his victorious comeback round.

He inhales the sandwich and leaves ashamed
vanished into the crowds as quick as he came.

- By Aurin Squire

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Sonnet 29: Brand Name Stitched Into His Arm

He identifies with his disease
the badge stitched into his arm reads POZ.
Is this courageous note to appease
or a part of some new government laws?

Suppose I ink'ed my own affliction
on to my stomach. Instead of THUG LIFE,
my tattoo would read "WRIT CONTRADICTION'
with subtitle letter: "FILLED W/ RIFE."

But no one gets marked for their neurosis
New Yorkers would be first to bear witness
to splatter their therapists' diagnosis
down their soft belly like a grocery list.

Maybe this trends to keep our sanity,
but it has inklings more like vanity.

- By Aurin Squire

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Summer Sonnet 28: A Black Inmate Foresees a Plague

I can hear the shackles in my bones
like a chain gang in Carolina fields
Hot iron weeps the mutilated tones
of the cross that guilty men do yield.

Corrosive red teet bite down into flesh
as metal mouths chew as the rawness.
Wailing widow songs serenade the thresh
Southern sorghum laid for a distiller's press.

Men no longer cry at outrageous deeds
the pitiless world laureled on their brow.
But swing sling blades low and uproot the weed
choking the sharecroppers buried field ploughs.

In rusted marrow these cutlass chains turn
as plague ravaged pyres of corpses burn.

-By Aurin Squire

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Sonnet 27: Ladies of the Night

Her body dwells in translucent fire
from fluid spheres of pulsating delight.
Undulating hips sway with desire
where sun and moon melt into clear light.

Masked Angels master the make-believe
flowing scarves whirl in decadent attire.
From the jewel tree necklaced with emerald leaves
on royal grounds of a Diamond Empire.

Enter inner hallways of the estate
winding through flower-prim paths.
Where the Praetorian guards keep behind the gates
the mistresses of anarchy and wrath.

Whisper songs to lure them into romance,
gather night maidens for a chamber dance.

- By Aurin Squire

Summer Sonnet 26: Nightmare

When I woke up today I swore I saw
The sun spit fire into the sky. Blue, red
Silver, green and grey have never
Looked so good before and I was inspired.

A much welcomed reprieve after my dream
In which I had no recollection of
My life. And it seemed that death was the theme
And there was a distinct absence of love.

There was solace though in that waking hour
When life was back to normal once again.
With no need at all to weep or cower
I shook off the dust and grabbed my pen.

There’s so much to say and so many rhymes!
I truly wish that I had all that time.   

- By Donavue

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Sonnet 25: Dreams of Fish

Purple light danced in lucid aquariums 
off titanium bubbles and spotted fish
as wildlife swam through plastic dominium
visions of ocean's as their deepest wish.

I look in and wonder can fish dream
of sprinting on land in consortium
as their legs jib-jab like a track team.
As their gills fill with smoke of opium,

Would it be better to fly into air?
Growing wings from the stern of their bow
Fluttering, stuttering sea doves like pair
Doing all their opiated minds will allow.

Are these the secret dreams of fish at night?
As they swim about in fluorescent brights. 

-By Aurin Squire

Summer Sonnet 24: The Rhyme

We've come to understand the rhyme quite well.
The way it can bend to make people sigh.
Whether it's used to make stoic eyes swell,
Or expose the candor beneath a lie.

Twisting coils that show mortal foils; faithful
Representations of what they truly
Are. Under an ominous sun graceful
Puns have become things of abstract beauty.

But who's to tell why these things seem to fit
When they can seem to make no sense at all.
Fortunately as good luck would have it
There is meaning in what we choose to scrawl.

The antiquity of literature.
Has favored those who can flourish their words.

- By Donavue

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Sonnet 23: Four Ravens

I woke with an awful premonition
as the tropical rains began to pour.
Haunting my sleep, ghostly apparition
Prophetic ravens came forth in four.

Turning in bed, first raven's fruition
whispered soft sensual unguent.
The second warned physical detrition
flapping silver clouds of corpulent scent.

Final two ravens sat on each shoulder
sung scatological superstitions
forewarning of time geting older
and laughed at ethereal volition.

Laid awake in a coat of darkness
on my lips, prophetic black birds do kiss.

- By Aurin Squire

Summer Sonnet 22: Central Park

There's a weeping willow in Central Park
Who loves the taste of Autumn rain water.
Two spectators departing in the dark
Opt to sit and discuss native order.

Interrupted by the sky's overflow
They resolve that silence is essential.
The day was fierce and they're by it harrowed
Conversation is inconsequential.

Calm after a while but it's silent still
They rest and breath in the crystalline air
Brought in over the tree to give a chill
And give 2 friends a night without a care.

Transformative like the fabled phoenix
A moment with no need for polemics.

- By Donavue

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Sonnet 21: John is Dying (And Everyone Gets a Slice)

John fell on the kitchen floor and laid there....
Minutes? Hours? Days? He sighs he 'don't know.'
They're sending him to a nursing home for care
as autonomy takes a final blow.

My mom says the home has a urine smell,
but she supposes they all do these days.
A war veteran trapped, his final hell
Drug-zombie warehouse in Medicare maze.

A few times John saved my Mema from death
when she fell down, shaking and incontinent.
Now John's grandkids break in and commit theft;
ransacking his papers, checkbooks, and rent.

An American hero's drowning end:
at the bottom of the deep blue ocean.

- By Aurin Squire

Summer Sonnet 20: Thunder

There was thunder off the shores of New York
Against the setting sun and Brooklyn Bridge.
The countless hands that make this city work
From Manhattan and Queens straight to Bay Ridge.

Nameless faces they are my brothers all
We understand a life that not most do.
Sprawling buildings and residential halls.
The iconic saying that nothing's new.

Our aching feet and challenging commutes
Can make each passing day seem second-rate.
But when darkness falls there is no dispute
A New York City night is worth the wait.

So trade your days for imperial nights
And I'll see you when there is no more light.

- By Donavue 

Summer Sonnet 19: Delaware

There were trumpeters on the Delaware;
An odious noise that seemed less loathsome
As the time passed. The youthful, unaware
Of this sang songs of glory and beat drums.

In honor fo victory and grandeur.
A pack of barking dogs salivating
And rotating over a warm murder.
Fog pools in from 5 points to replicate

The baleful foreboding that victory
Has become. Eyes luminous through the pale
And obstinate daze. Obscure histories
Supposed by keen tongues. Ignorant and frail.

All victories; whether they are deserved,
Should work to keep human decency preserved.

- By Donavue

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Sonnet 18: Summer Funk

Black bananas greet my return home
sitting atop oranges turned stone hard.
Popcorn-size flies sing a quiet tome
at the beaded window facing the yard.

I am reminded that everything rots
as the salad in the fridge turns brown.
And as the gourmet-purchased cheese clots
a drunken beetle stumbles and drowns.

Summer stench wafts a lovely dark perfume
that bouquets the halls with a turgid life.
Hot rust dribbles down the sweltering room
belies roiling tropical storms and strife.

Deep in the sizzling belly of noon.
murked and muddle in the middle of June.

- By Aurin Squire

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Sonnet 17: Three Words

Apollo himself could not have composed
A sweeter symphony than the sound that
Is her voice. All of Olympus marveled
When that domestic silence swelled and burst.

Like a cloying harmony. With words like
Notes that produces sentences like concerts.
Soliloquies like seamless sonnets. Spikes
And high ranges of affection than flirt.

And seduce to steal away the senses.
When her soft delicate lips first parted
There was a magnitude in that suspense
Knowing all would change once she imparted.

And what was said that night was only known
By one. To be kept secret for all time.

-By Donavue

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer Sonnet 16: Scarab Tattoo

There is scarab scratching on my spine
archaeologists tracking her source.
Tattoo tentacles dig tracks up my line
feasting on my heart as the final course.

When serpine asp suckle around my neck
wet cold metal tongue in my ear
withering words whispered genuflect
betrayal of things I hold most dear.

I wear the Jackal crown on my head
jutting ornaments of God's laughter
and long after I am entombed and dead
my soul will creep on into here-after.

My scarab tattoo calls for Spiritus Mundi
Once enchanted with her mate, I am free.

Summer Sonnet 15: Bound (experimental)

“Young writers find their first audience in little magazines,
and experimental writers find their only audience there.”
- Robert Morgan

Are you bound to him -- or is it he who
Requires your fringe? This is an authentic
Uncertainty. The conclusion I drew
Will be complete, when I can construct it.

Put down your beads and attempt to expand
Your view. These ideas are bound to you.
And if you think you have  a psalm in hand
It may do well to see. He, is bound to thee.

Bound to thee, bound to be, bound to be. Bound.
To be bound. To be, bound to be. Bound to.
Be bound to. Be bound to be, bound to. Be,
Bound. To be. Bound to be. To be. Holy.

- By Donavue

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Sonnet 14: Tropical Depression

Lovely cool rain falls on my burnt red face
washing away ancient formalities
Pride leaves the table and makes room for grace 
my world has such harsh penalties.

I punish myself more than reward
my days with love both carnal and divine
I drown myself with that weighty accord
so lift up my lips and drink the storm's wine.

Lullabies tap pirouettes on windows
as the gray wet slur bubbles and moans
laying on the couch without my clothes
I daydream against the pittering tone.

I had so much to say, express and do
yet here I lay crying at the silver hue.

- By Aurin Squire

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Sonnet 13: I, She, We

Whiskey, cigarettes and a cheap room, I
Spin in discontent. Blurry and drunk, I
Bemoan my own lament. Knocking door, I
Now have a guest. With clever eyes and she  

Came at my behest. I don’t think that she
Is yet sure, that I need her more - than she
Needs me. We kill the bottle and smokes, she
Mixes our marrow, a pleasure which we

Prolong for a time. Better than fine we
Crack our bones and then we stretch our spines. We
Find a moment to measure this kiss we
Share, amorous. And then she’s gone so I

Sit with eyes blood red, I’m completely pissed.  
Because there may be something that I missed.

- By Donavue

Summer Sonnet 12: Ptolemy, Angel - Pt. I

This is Part One of a series of sonnets
that will make up a finished children's
epic tale “Ptolemy, Angel”

In a land far away, over the sea,
In a summit high over the mountains,
Where the human eye could not dare to see.
There lived an angel who cared for the stars,

Tended to the moon and watched the quasars.
To her, this was a life that was simple
And plain. But she excelled in all of her tasks
And took special care to never complain.  

But there is a twist in every tale and
Here it all began on one tragic day.
Where all the stars faded out, the quasars
Went dark and the moon slowly went grey.

She waited for days and there was no change
So she left her post - since this was quite strange.

- By Donavue

Sneaking Suspicion About Obama and What We Bought Into

I like President Obama. He's a good man, a generous soul, and he seems like a good father/husband. He rose up from meager beginnings to become a successful scholar and Senator. But at what point does my liking of Obama stop discounting the consistent, underwhelming, frustrating, and outright hypocrisy.

From keeping Gitmo open (which he promised to close), to giving us a watered-down health care bill that's actually just a insurance-bill with penalties to average citizens for not signing up with corporations (he campaigned against this), to expanding a drone war that kills countless civilians in other countries while violating other country's airspace, and now an unprecedented spying with no checks and balances, it seems as if we are living in a new age of Orwellian logic.

It isn't that President Obama is totally at fault. Many of these things were started under the previous administration. But he campaigned specifically and deliberately against these various tactics for an entire year. Not only has he not closed them, he has boldly expanded almost every policy and practice that violates basic Constitutional rights.

What makes us credible as an educated Republic is that there's consequences for lying, committing perjury, and breaking the law. These consequences apply to both our friends and adversaries. If there are no punitive results for breaking laws, then people in power will continue to become more brazen in their defiance to following any procedure of justice.

The call for justice doesn't mitigate President Obama's accomplishments. He's been exceptional in some areas of his job and a steady force of leadership over five years. But these are offenses against the Constitution.

Are these offenses okay because he's a Dem, Black, because the previous president was so awful, because we're so scared/beaten down/ cynical, because we just care about getting a job, because he's an outsider and needs to 'prove' himself to the military industrial complex? But when do we get that president that campaigned 2008, that so eloquently spoke on freedom? When do we get that president who invoked the names of Kennedy, MLK, and Gandhi instead of this ultra-conservative technocrat?

 At what point does continual, habituated disappointment turn to national sorrow at a man lost, a promise unfulfilled, and a dream deferred?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Play Cafe: Living and Learning

I had quite a good time at Williamstown this past week. I was there for Play Cafe, a local TV show where they interview a playwright and actors perform a 10-15 min reading of their work. I would definitely recommend it for playwrights who want to not only read their work but also engage in a dialogue afterward with other artists.

The full show and interview is on Wllinet TV, the local TV station's website:

If interested in having your play at Play Cafe, contact producer Chris Newbound:

Summer Sonnet 11: CP Time

Slyly 16 to 20 past our meet
waiting 4 NGH I stack rage n' rhyme
my ppl got cause to pause, shufflin' feet
But Tubman never ran on CP time.

Encoded DNA of runaways
peep the clock burner like Nat Turner
Underground railroad had no delays
CPT not enough 4 Sojourner.

Strolls in'n kicks science of fresh popped colla's
no apologies, just pinkie ring bling
NGH ur late azz owes me $16
cuz CPT shits on Malcolm and King.

Donation 2 united negro nations
we collect 4 Juneteenth celebration.

- By Aurin Squire

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Sonnet 10: Mozart @ Rush Hr

Lazy whiskey bitch grooves of Janis Joplin
I swing axe-pick Gibson guitars chopping
down passengers on subway platforms n'
stride to rush hr. junkie train hopping.

Bone-rattlin' bucket drummers bang bugs
out cum-covered cracks that blink.
choirs of punks n' gangsta-posing thugs
sagging pants revealing g-strings that wink.

2 Drag queen falsettos in tea room croon
Buddhist saint Sarasvati sings kisses
showering Purple rain mantras maroon
acid requiems and Jackson 5 wishes.

2 all Ol' Dirty Bastard's in heaven
music makes all angels n' sinners kin.

-By Aurin Squire

Summer Sonnet 9: The Loom

Tension builds and wefts the warped. Interweave
the brazen threads. She pays mind to the technique
with her exhausted hands. A suggestive
cloth is emergent like a picturesque

Representation of passion and blood.
Immense in size; a Dionysian
Event with rapturous and eager buds
Blossoming impatient in utopian

Unison. Absolute in its color,
each chosen for their rich complexity.
One last weave in a wavering fervor
Completes the act of spontaneity.

As she finishes the quilt with one last take
she let out a flushed and tremulous shake.

- By Donavue

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Sonnet 8: I am Hopeful (Again)

The song is played more than ever before
in our times of travel and want.
Vagabond artists since days of yore
see relationships fade at every haunt.

"We'll keep in touch, we should catch up soon.
I have your number, look me up on Facebook
have you checked out my podcast of showtunes
I'm on LinkedIn or Twitter, give me a look.

We're wanderers who seek but once we find
old habits take us over. Raise the gates
shutter the windows and don't you mind
the mirage of our scheduled lunch date."

Just another week, when we meet again
this time is different. Don't know how or when.

- By Aurin Squire

Summer Sonnet 7: The Keep

Flakes drifted in over the keep to chill
its polised walls. It left them flushed in red.
Like porcelain brushed by a poet's quill
leaving inscriptions rumored to have said:

"The whitest walls in all the realm could not
be seamless like you. A faultless border
that has the wind spellbound. Sending out its
flurry. It is you who keeps this order.

Were it not for your guidance or your charm
the wind would lose its way home. And that would
spoil the season. If you ever feel firm
please recall. you are the winds first threshold."

Flakes drifted in over the keep to chill
its polished walls. It left them flushed in red.

- By Donavue

Summer Sonnet 6: Proust in Bed

Ensorcelled in these blighted chamber days
quicksilver mirrors flash a masquerade.
And from the hollow amber blaze
history marches on in the parade.

Passerby's recalling when and mourn
talismen mincing without rhyme or sense.
And as the music weeps forlorn
Vanishing notes of time remembrance.

Meandering bands wander through the crowd
wooden hobby horses tip and fall
drunken brass horns blare aloud
the augur drummer beats the final call.

Sortilege'd parades conjure to enslave
and guides you to your rightful grave.

-By Aurin Squire

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Sonnet 5: Open Window

It is an endless night and I dream that
my city is gasping for air; it is
suffocating. With it's insincere matte
building bearing their receptive windows.

To look inside? -- there is a victim at
the mercy of a charming host. They both
make gestures that reflect lamenting. Neat,
vivid room, but their faces veiled from truth.

One could linger at this window to glimpse
the shadows the moon will cast through it's frame.
A versifier may warn you to muse
elsewhere. You may regret learning these names.

When I stood at the ledge and tried to see
I learned that one of the figures was me.

-By Thomas "Donavue" Soto

Summer Sonnet 4: Domestic Violence

Frantic late night calls seeking my shelter:
an irate father is going to kick him out.
Punches, choking, and a violent helter,
unsettling silence leaves me in doubt.

"Everything fine now" he's meekly profuse.
Cornered later at a party, to a few
he confesses to paternal abuse
and laments that there's nothing to do.

"Call the cops!" He frowns away the idea.
He's a powerless, poor, gay, immigrant
kicked and cowering with no peer,
seen by his family as defectively bent.

As we talk his eyes get a vacant look,
naive advice filed to an unread book.

-By Aurin Squire


Red Shirt Rooftop Reading Festival of New Ten-Minute Plays
Deadline: June 19th

The Rooftop Reading Festival is an annual event dedicated to public readings of new ten-minute plays. Hailed by the New York Post as “Theater on high,” this dynamic festival not only presents art in a very unique setting, but helps to build strong community and bonds among the America Theater Artists who participate.
Ten playwrights will be in residence at the festival as they continue to develop their new scripts. Input and support from a professional core group of actors, directors, dramaturges, producers, and audience members will be provided.
Each playwright selected will receive a stipend, as well as meetings with Red Shirt’s Producing team to help support the future development of the playwright’s work in the Commercial Theater.
Literary agents may submit scripts as well.
Submission Guidelines
  • Submissions open from May 1st – June 19th
  • Application fee of $20 in cash or money order made out to Red Shirt Entertainment
  • Include the playwright’s current CV with 10 minute play
  • No more than three characters in the cast
  • Playwrights must be available to be in NYC in residence in September.
  • Festival Public Reading Days are September 20-22nd
  • Playwrights are responsible for their own housing and travel during the festival in NYC
Please mail ten-minute play with cover letter, CV and $20 application fee to:
Red Shirt Entertainment
c/o Rooftop Reading Festival
18 West 23rd St.
4th Floor
New York, NY 10010
NOTE: No drop-offs, emails or phone calls please.
For more information, please visit

The Sky Cooper/Marin Theatre Company
Deadline: August 31st

New American Play Prize
Norton J. “Sky” Cooper established the New American Play Prize at Marin Theatre Company in 2007 to celebrate the work of the American playwright and to encourage the creation of bold, powerful new voices and plays for the American stage. The Sky Cooper Prize will be awarded annually to either an established or emerging playwright for an outstanding new work. The play selected as the Sky Cooper winner will receive a full production at Marin Theatre Company as part of the theatre’s annual season and will be given regional and national promotion. In addition, the playwright receives a $10,000 award, as well as travel and accommodations for the MTC rehearsal period.

Plays must be full-length in any genre: comedy, drama, etc. Musicals, translations, individual one-acts, and any play previously submitted for the Sky Cooper or David Calicchio Prizes are not eligible. Collaborations are welcome, in which case prize benefits are shared. Plays may not have received a full-scale, professional production prior to submission. Plays that have had a workshop, reading, or non-professional production are still eligible. Playwrights must be citizens of the United States. Playwrights with past production experience are especially encouraged to submit new work. Only one submission per playwright is allowed each year. If you are eligible for the David Calicchio Award you may submit the same play for both prizes.

Submission is a two-phase process.
Phase I: Submit a two-page maximum abstract of the play including title, character breakdown, brief story synopsis and playwright bio or resume. Also include 10 pages of consecutive sample dialogue. Do not send videos or CDs. Literary agents may submit full scripts of their client’s work. All abstracts and dialogue samples will be read. From these, selected manuscripts will be solicited for Phase II by October 1. Due to the high number of submissions, not every playwright will receive a response to their Phase 1 submission. Do not send a manuscript with or instead of the abstract. Unsolicited manuscripts will not be read. Due to the high number of submissions we cannot return any materials. If you would like notification that your submission was received, please send it with a SASP. Electronic submissions are accepted in Word or PDF format only and paper copies must also be sent to MTC if requested. Please NO PHONE OR EMAIL inquiries.
Phase II: All manuscripts that have been solicited after Phase I will be read. Manuscripts should be neatly typed, securely bound and have the playwright’s name, contact address and phone number clearly visible on the front page. No solicited manuscript will be returned without a self-addressed, stamped envelope with adequate postage.
All final selections are made by Jasson Minadakis, Artistic Director of Marin Theatre Company.

Submissions are accepted between April 1 and August 31 (postmarked).
Address all submissions to:
The Sky Cooper/Marin Theatre Company New American Play Prize
Marin Theatre Company
397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Or electronically to

David Calicchio/Marin Theatre Company Emerging Playwright Prize
Deadline: August 31st

Norton J. “Sky” Cooper established the Emerging American Playwright Prize award at Marin Theatre Company in 2007 in honor of David Calicchio’s lifelong career as a playwright and in support of Marin Theatre Company’s commitment to the discovery and development of new and emerging American playwrights. The Calicchio Prize will be awarded annually to a professionally unproduced playwright for a new work that shows outstanding promise and a distinctive new voice for the American theatre. The play selected as the Calicchio Prize winner will receive 2 public staged readings at Marin Theatre Company as part of the theatre’s annual New Works Series. The playwright will receive a $2,500 award, as well as travel and accommodations for the MTC rehearsal period (25 hours).
Plays must be full-length in comedy, drama, etc. Musicals, translations, adaptations, individual one-acts and any play previously submitted for the Sky Cooper or David Calicchio Prizes are not eligible. Collaborations are welcome, in which case prize benefits are shared. Playwrights may not have received a full-scale, professional production of the submitted play, or any of their other works, prior to submission. Plays and playwrights that have had workshop, reading or non-professional productions are still eligible. Playwrights must be citizens of the United States. Only one submission per playwright is allowed each year. If you plan to also submit your play to the Sky Cooper Play Prize you may do so but it must be the same play.
Submission is a two-phase process.
Phase I: Submit a two-page maximum abstract of the play including title, character breakdown, brief story synopsis and playwright bio or resume. Also include 10 pages of consecutive sample dialogue. Literary agents may submit full scripts of their client’s work. All abstracts and dialogue samples will be read. From these, selected manuscripts will be solicited for Phase II by October 1. Due to the high number of submissions, not every playwright will receive a response to their Phase 1 submission. Do not send a manuscript with or instead of the abstract. Unsolicited manuscripts will not be read. Due to the high number of submissions we cannot return any Phase I materials. If you would like notification that your submission was received, please send it with a SASP. Electronic submissions are accepted in Word or PDF format only and paper copies must be sent to MTC if requested. Please NO PHONE OR EMAIL inquiries.
Phase II: All manuscripts that have been solicited after Phase I will be read. Manuscripts should be neatly typed, securely bound and have the playwright’s name, contact address and phone number clearly visible on the front page. No solicited manuscript will be returned without a self-addressed, stamped envelope with adequate postage.
All final selections are made by Jasson Minadakis, Artistic Director of Marin Theatre Company.Submissions are accepted between April 1 and August 31 (postmarked).
Address all submissions to:
The David Calicchio/Marin Theatre Company Emerging American Playwright Prize
Marin Theatre Company
397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Or electronically to

Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest
Deadline: October 31st

The Castillo Theatre sponsors the Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest annually. In its sevent year, the purpose of the political play contest to encourage the writing of scripts for the stage that engage the political/social/cultural questions affecting the world today and/or historical events and issues that impact on our political/cultural heritage.  While Castillo recognizes that in the broadest sense, all theatre is political, the contest is seeking politically progressive plays that: look at social and/or economic problems and challenges; explore possibilities of social transformation; and, reflect the concerns and interests of communities and/or which explore the importance of community. The contest also welcomes scripts that experiment with form and seek new ways of seeing and new ways of experiencing theatrical performance. The plays submitted to the Fratti-Newman Contest may be written in any style, set in any historical time, geographic or imaginary location, contain any number of characters and be of any length. The plays must be in English and cannot be musicals or adaptations. No scripts will be considered that have previously been submitted to this contest, have received a production or won other contests. Only one script per playwright will be accepted.

The contest is judged by a team of distinguished theatre artists. The winning script(s) will receive a reading and/or a production at the Castillo Theatre in New York City during the theatre’s 2014 summer season.

All scripts should be submitted in hard copy and must be accompanied by:

  • A statement of the political/social/cultural questions that the script engages (scripts without a statement will not be considered);
  • A brief synopsis;
  • A character breakdown, including gender, age and ethnic requirements, if any;
  • A 100-word biography of the playwright;
  • A current email address for the playwright

Please note:

  • •Receipt of script will be acknowledged via email.
  • Scripts will not be returned.
  • Castillo will not give critical feedback to playwrights/contestants.
  • Contest winners are required to sign a letter of agreement, which will include but not be limited to granting the right for Castillo to produce one or more readings and/or a full production of the winning play.
  • Contest winners are responsible for travel expenses or any other expenses incurred as a result of participating in the development of the play with Castillo, or as a result of attending the reading and/or full production.

All scripts must be postmarked by October 1st

The winner(s) will be publicly announced at the Otto René Castillo Awards for Political Theatre in New York City in May of 2014.

Send all submissions to:

Castillo Theatre
543 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Attn: Fratti-Newman Political Play Contest

Questions and inquiries should be addressed to Madelyn Chapman at 212-356-8485 or

31 Plays in 31 Days
Deadline: August

Coming this August we challenge any and all playwrights from near to far to write a play a day. Are you playwright enough? Prove to yourself you are and register today!

We look forward to writing with you in August!

Email questions to:

Harold Clurman Playwright-in-Residence
Deadline: June 7th

The Stella Adler Studio of Acting is currently accepting applications for the 2013-2014 Harold Clurman Playwright-in-Residence. This is a collaborative residency that is mutually beneficial to the mission of the studio and the playwright. We are seeking playwrights who:
- are in their early careers
- are unpublished
- have not yet had professional productions other than those using the showcase code
- have a vested interest in working with a community of artists
- are interested in engaging in a discussion about how the studio can support and challenge their work
While this program previously offered a production to conclude the year, the studio is interested in co-designing a residency with the playwright that will support and challenge their process. The course of the residency is not regimented, but may be described as “playwright’s choice” within the resources and capabilities of the studio. Past participants have chosen some of the following:
1) a series of readings on a play written during the course of the year
2) a series of readings on a variety of plays/pages
3) writing a new work for an ensemble of graduate level actors
4) a showcase production
The resident will engage in a discussion with the Artistic Director and other staff to explore what activities might be most helpful to their process during the year. Residencies typically begin in September and culminate in June.  Resident playwrights receive a $1000 stipend and have access to the Studio’s space, members of the Clurman Lab Theatre Company, and student actors for readings and workshops.
Completed applications must include a required application form, a full-length, polished but unpublished play (A full-length play is one that constitutes a full evening of theater; a 90-minute one act play is acceptable); a statement of objectives of no more than a page discussing how you would benefit from a collaborative residency at the studio; and a brief biography emphasizing your history as a playwright.  Playwrights must read and agree to the Letter of Agreement before applying. By applying for this residency, playwrights confirm that they have read and agree to the Letter of Agreement.
Yale Drama David Charles Horn
Deadline application: August 15th

The Yale Drama Series is seeking submissions for its 2014 playwriting competition. The winning play will be selected by the series' current judge, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman. The winner of this annual competition will be awarded the David Charles Horn Prize of $10,000, publication of his/her manuscript by Yale University Press, and a staged reading at Lincoln Center Theater.

There is no application form or entry fee. Please follow these guidelines in preparing your manuscript:

1. This contest is restricted to plays written in the English language. Worldwide submissions are accepted.
2. Submissions must be original, unpublished full-length plays written in English. Translations, musicals, and children's plays are not accepted. The Yale Drama Series is intended to support emerging playwrights. Playwrights may win the competition only once.
3. Playwrights may submit only one manuscript per year.
4. Plays that have been professionally produced or published are not eligible.  Plays that have had a workshop, reading, or non-professional production or that have been published as an actor’s edition will be considered.
5. Plays may not be under option or scheduled for professional production or publication at the time of submission.
6. The manuscript must begin with a title page that shows the play's title and your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address (if you have one), page count and (if applicable) a list of acknowledgments; a second title page which lists the title of the play only, a 2-3 sentence keynote description of the play,  a list of characters, and a list of acts and scenes.
7. Plays must be typed/word-processed, page-numbered and in standard professional play format. A brief biography may be included at the end of the manuscript, on a separate page, but is not required.
8. The Yale Drama Series reserves the right to reject any manuscript for any reason.

9. The Yale Drama Series reserves the right of the judge to not choose a winner for any given year of the competition and reserves the right to determine the ineligibility of a winner, in keeping with the spirit of the competition, and based upon the accomplishments of the author.
Submissions for the 2014 competition must be postmarked no earlier than June 1, 2013 and no later than August 15, 2013.

Do not send the only copy of your work. Manuscripts cannot be returned after the competition. If you wish receipt of your manuscript to be acknowledged, please include a stamped, self-addressed postcard.

The Yale Drama Series Competition strongly urges electronic submission. By electronically submitting your script, you will receive immediate confirmation of your successful submission and the ability to check the status of your entry.
Electronic submissions for the 2014 competition must be submitted no earlier than June 1, 2013 and no later than August 15, 2013.
If you would like to submit an electronic copy of your manuscript please go to:

Deadline: July 1st

AMERICA-IN-PLAY. Founded in 2005, AIP
is dedicated to the development of new American plays and performances. AIP’s mission is to immerse contemporary theatre and related artists in a neglected legacy of play and performances created between the Revolution and World War I I in order to inspire contemporary theatre making grounded in a shared cultural legacy.

AIP works with artists in three-year cycles of workshops and are now soliciting
applications for a new cohort to begin in the fall of 2013.

If you would like to know more about what we do, visit the website
at I also invite you to contact me directly if you have questions:

Deadline: August 1st

Congo Square Theatre Company is an ensemble dedicated to producing definitive and transformative theatre spawned from the African Diaspora as well as from other world cultures. Congo Square Theatre Company seeks to establish itself as an institution of multicultural theatre.
We are interested in full-length plays, translations, adaptations, musicals and performance art. We will consider productions of previously produced plays.
We do not accept unsolicited scripts for consideration for our seasons. Plays maybe submitted through a literary agent or accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a theater professional (i.e. an artistic director or literary manager at a professional theater). If neither applies, write a letter of inquiry including a brief synopsis, cast list, relevant production history, and 10-15 pages of sample dialogue. The company may then request a complete script.

​Send submissions to:
Congo Square Theatre Company
Attn: Daniel Bryant
2936 N. Southport
Chicago, IL 60657
Please send all submissions June 1 – August 1.
No email or fax submissions accepted. Please include a SASE if you would like your materials returned.

Submission Deadline: August 1, 2013

Overtime Theatre
Deadline: August 1st

The Overtime Theater is seeking play submissions for our 2014 season. Devoted to original work, we are particularly interested in new plays that are innovative in form and bold and moving in content. San Antonio’s “Theater for the People” -- the Current readers’ favorite theater for four years in a row -- creates a wide range of plays, from scrappy nerdcore to weird fringe, from heartwarming to hilarious, and has a loyal following. Located near the blossoming Pearl Brewery complex at 1203 Camden Street, we are at the heart of the city’s most exciting arts district, right next to the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Museum Reach of the Riverwalk, and the South Broadway renaissance.

We are seeking original experimental and devised work, film and novel adaptations, translations and adaptations of classics, musicals, genre parodies, political pieces, community-based plays, science-fiction and superhero epic adventures, broad comedy, gritty realism, and especially that which we haven’t seen and can’t be categorized. We are looking for unique local and national voices, visions, characters, and worlds that could only be live theatrical events, although they may (and are encouraged to) engage other media.

In all the plays we select, we are looking for work charged with a sense of now, pieces that wake the audience up to the present moment.

Please submit all completed plays or inquiries to BOTH the Literary Manager, Rachel Joseph at and the Artistic Director, Kyle Gillette no later than August 1, 2013. We accept electronic submissions only on a .pdf or .doc file. Please include contact information, cast requirements, and technical aspirations. We will acknowledge receipt of work and inform playwrights of their submission status by the end of November 2013.

*Because all of the work at the Overtime is indeed created “overtime,” artists receive compensation through our “love bucket”--audience donations split with the cast and crew. To be honest, it isn’t a lot, but that has never stopped us from surviving and thriving as a truly unique independent theater.

We look forward to reading your work!

Deadline: July 1st

Our mission is to develop two exceptional new plays per year in cooperation with visionary playwrights. The Play Lab is, in essence, a writer's playground: a stimulating and constructive artistic environment founded on three guiding principles of engagement, collaboration, and discovery. The UMass Amherst Department of Theater's commitment to new play development is internationally recognized, from our groundbreaking work with New WORLD Theater to our recent collaborations with artists like Will Power, Marcus Gardley, and Constance Congdon. We approach new play development with rigor, focus, and sensitivity—and we're seeking playwrights who are as passionate about this process as we are.

The Play Lab is a UMass Department of Theater mainstage production, running from March 24 – April 5, 2014. Two playwrights will be chosen for concurrent 10-day residencies during this period. These residencies are structured around a series of public staged readings directed and dramaturged by UMass graduate students and performed by undergraduate actors. The 10-day workshop term allows time for exploration in rehearsal and the generation of new material.

Yes. We offer a $750 honorarium per playwright. Accommodations will be provided. Playwrights are responsible for their own travel arrangements and meals.
Plays must be full-length. Musicals are not accepted. Submissions may have had a previous reading, workshop, or production; as a rule, though, the Play Lab exists to develop relatively new work, so unproduced material will be given priority in our selection.
Submit manuscripts to All documents must be submitted in .pdf format; plays formatted otherwise will be disqualified. Please include a concise playwright's bio and development history of your play in the body of the e-mail.
The deadline is Monday, July 1st.

Valencia College Theatre
Deadline: July 30th
Valencia College Theater announces a call for script submissions for its 23rd annual Florida Playwrights’ Competition. As it has since 1991, Valencia will produce a full-length original play in Spring 2014 as part of its regular subscription series.
Playwrights (who must reside in Florida) are invited to submit a cover letter, resume or bio, one page synopsis, and the first 15 pages of no more than two never-before-produced manuscripts. The deadline for this first phase of submission is July 30, 2013. A committee will evaluate the excerpts and selected playwrights will be invited to submit the full manuscript as part of the second phase of the submission process.
From these manuscripts, one play will be chosen for development as a workshop production with the playwright’s participation. The writer will receive a stipend to cover travel and other expenses related to the production. The administrator of the competition plans to announce the winning play in early September 2013, and the workshop process will begin in late fall 2013 or early spring 2014.
Scripts must be original, previously unproduced, full-length plays. Scripts that have received staged readings may be submitted. Collaborations are acceptable, but children’s plays, adaptations, and musicals are ineligible at this time.
Electronic submission of the cover letter, resume or bio, one-page synopsis and 15-page excerpt is required. Please send submissions and questions to Valencia’s incoming Artistic Director (May 2013), John DiDonna, at

terraNOVA Collective's 2014 Groundbreakers Playwrights Group
Deadline: Applications available June 5th-August 5th

Since 1996, terraNOVA has developed over 90 new plays through our Groundbreakers program.

Groundbreakers Playwrights Group is an annual developmental playwriting lab, in which 6 playwrights receive the unique opportunity to work on a play-in-progress with the goal of creating a completed draft. Each playwright will hear their play read around the table by professional actors 3 times over 18 weeks, receiving feedback from the Groundbreakers Playwrights Group, special guests and the artistic staff of terraNOVA Collective.  terraNOVA assembles a diverse group devoted to creating theatrical, original, innovative, socially relevant new work for the stage and welcomes submissions of new plays-in-progress that will benefit from collective feedback and further terraNOVA Collective's artistic mission. We are especially interested in playwrights who, in addition to working on their own play, have an interest in attending weekly workshops to engage in the development of other playwrights' work. Groundbreakers is made possible through public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Dramatists Guild Fund.

Deadline for applications: August 5, 2013
Notification: October 1, 2013

An opportunity to create a 10-minute play to be showcased in terraNOVA’s Annual Benefit.
Complimentary tickets to all terraNOVA events in the current season.
Hands-on artistic support and professional development guidance from terraNOVA's artistic staff.
A workshop and reading performance in terraNOVA's annual Groundworks New Play Series.

Must be able to attend weekly sessions. Attendance is mandatory.

Questions can be directed to

Horse & Cart
Deadline: June 30th

Horse & Cart is hosting our first playwriting competition and festival, The PlayOffs. A select group of writers will be put through a series of competitions to test their playwriting prowess in order to win a $500 cash prize, and you get to watch (and vote!!!)
Featuring 5 weeks of live, hot-off-the-presses world premiere work, this is the best chance to see new plays come to life right before your eyes!
Submission Guidelines – 2013
Playwrights interested in participating should submit 5-10 pages of unpublished, unproduced work that highlights your abilities as a playwright along with contact info to with the subject line “Play-offs Submission”.
Submissions are due by 10pm, Sunday June 30th.
Playwrights who have been accepted into the competition will be notified by Sunday, July 14th.
Once accepted into the competition, playwrights will be asked for completely new material for weekly submissions based on writing prompts. Performances showcasing playwrights’ material will be produced live in Denver, CO every Thursday in August, where submissions will be judged and weekly eliminations will take place, leading to a winning playwright being announced Thursday, August 29th.
The winner of the competition will receive a $500 cash prize, and the opportunity to develop a full-length play for production with Horse & Cart to kick off the following year’s Play-offs festival.
All contestants accepted into the competition will have their pieces featured in a Horse & Cart e-publication, and receive a royalty for all copies sold.
Contestants will not be asked for a submission fee. We’d love to see all the playwrights attend the weekly performances and judging, but by no means are they required to do so. Attendance at performances will not affect results of the competition.
Mobtown Players Reading Series
Deadline: August 30th

Last season, the play development wing of Baltimore’s Mobtown Players workshopped three new plays. One of them, Madeline Leong’s Stage IV, will receive a full production on the Mobtown stage this summer (July 26-August 10). For the 2013-2014 season, we will again devote 4 slots to the development of new work by area writers.

Each of the first 3 slots will consist of back-to-back weekends of public readings. The Mobtown Players will supply actors, directors, and marketing acumen. Playwrights will have a chance to revise their drafts based on feedback from the first weekend’s readings, and to rehearse those revisions for the second weekend’s readings. The goal for the 4th slot is to select one script to receive a full production by the Mobtown Players. The winning script will also receive a $50 honorarium.

Scripts for the first slot, which will run October 11-19 (2013), should be submitted by July 31. Scripts for the remaining two slots, which will run January 10-18 (2014) and March 28-April 5 (2014), should be submitted by August 31. If you prefer a particular slot, please include that information with your submission; otherwise, we will consider you for all three.

Plays may be any length, genre, or style and may be written on any topic. Please include with your submission 3-5 questions you still have about your play or scenes/moments you’d like to develop. (You won’t be held to this, but it will provide a starting point if we select your play.) You must be able to attend most rehearsals and each reading of your play. If you have questions, please contact Brent at Scripts should be submitted electronically to the same email address.

Inoculation Theory in 2020 Election

The Art of Argument and Persuasion was one of the freakiest classes at Northwestern. Actual relevant info students could take out of the cla...