Poetry is all around us. It’s in the wind’s whistle, the chirping of the birds, the kiss of a loved one. Poetry is my husband’s scent and my mother’s smile. We would like to welcome you to the first issue of the Literary Korner Publishing Magazine (LitMag) for poets. LitMag publishes once a year and is inspired by Yecheilyah’s Annual Poetry Contests featuring poems written by the talented authors who have entered and won from the previous year. As you read, we ask that you think about what it means to love yourself, deeply and authentically.
These are not lullabies or children’s tales. What you are about to witness is each poet’s personal testimony on the transformational power and strength of self-worth. “There was refuge in my brokenness,” says grand prize winner Jahkazia Richardson. “Deep in the soul of my being, I awakened.” As you read, we ask that you think about these lyrics and we hope these poets’ words will help you come home to yourself. “I reverse engineer my collapse,” says Nailah Shami, second place runner-up, “with unhurried tithes to myself.”
Your support helps fund the poetry contest so we can do this year after year.
Perks: Digital gives you a PDF and web browser version of the Mag.
Print gives you a PDF and web browser version as well as a hardcopy shipped to you. The print copy is a heavy-duty, high-quality booklet in full color. Standard magazine size at 8.25”x10.75”, 54 pages and perfect bound. Ships in sturdy protective cardboard packaging to protect during shipping.
*When sharing about the magazine on sm be sure to use the hashtag #LitMag! Thanks so much.
To be featured in next year’s edition, be sure you are participating in this year’s contest! Click Here for full details on entry, prizes, and guidelines.
This week we are spotlighting the winners of the 2nd Annual Poetry Contest! For the next two days, you’ll get to learn more about our grand prize winner.
Jahkazia reminded me that it’s never too late. How so? Because her poem came in exactly one minute to the deadline of this contest and won the entire competition. If she had thought, “maybe it’s too late,” then we would not get to meet and learn more about this beautiful soul. Let’s get into it.
Introducing Jahkazia Richardson
Jahkazia (Jah-kay-asia which translates to Goddess of the land) is a slam poet hailed from Durham, NC. She studied Clinical Psychology at William Peace University and will be continuing her vocational path in Art and expressive therapy next fall. She appreciates going to live shows in the area as well as trying different recipes from all over the world. Currently, she is an insurance agent in ‘Bull City’ where she teaches clients how to protect their financial assets.
Welcome Jahkazia! So nice to meet you beautiful. We almost didn’t get to witness your beautiful writing and voice. Please, tell us what inspired your poem.
Jahkazia: In my darkest moments, I saw myself as a victim for a long time, and I always had a pretty negative outlook on life. When things got cleared up, I truly felt more powerful than I have ever felt before. My inspiration for my piece was a deep reflection of my overall growth and healing journey as well as wanting to honor my ancestors in their struggle to find their own power also.
We’re going to stop here because tomorrow we will go a bit deeper into the mind of Ms. Richardson. For now, let’s get into this poem!
Thunder that cracked like the whip on the back of my ancestors
Too bad I didn’t have their strength
Head hung low and shallow
my back hunched and broken.
How did I get here?
Words that cut deep into my skin like razors,
But I didn’t let anyone see me bleed
Times that I would cut into my own self
with the perpetuation of my thoughts
Lies that I would tell the little girl inside myself
Cut – excise the light from their eyes
Until darkness became my reality
Pain my reality
Depression my reality
Shujaa – warrior
Ripped out, open, and beaten.
Boom, boom, boom, I’m an African drum
Don’t let them see you break
Don’t let them see you bleed
Wrap them like the bastard’s child away and out of sight
Until the blood began to drip through
Until the universe can no longer ignore my cry
Cry like – negro spirituals echoing through the Earth and waking up the light
Somehow there was refuge in my brokenness
Deep in the soul of my being,
Up I came from the waters and introduced my light
Shujaa – warrior
Shujaa – strength
That’s me powerful with my pen and I write:
“Thunder thighs was my name growing up,
I hear thunder that cracked like the whip on the back of my ancestors
Passed down like tales they used to speak,
I now know that power
I am worthy. I am warrior.”
Whew. That’s some powerful stuff. I highlighted some of the lyrics that really spoke to me. What did I like about this poem and why did I think it was worthy of the win?
Self-love is a journey and a journey is called that because you never know what you will find. It’s not always about being where you want to be but the journey. It’s about the process and all of the challenges and emotions that come along with it and the willpower to endure those challenges and to overcome those emotions.
This piece embodied the personal touch that all of the poems had. It was set-apart in that it told the story of how one person went from self-hatred to self-love in a deeply honest way. This is not just someone who had conquered the demon of self-hatred, but someone who had fought it and could show that fight in words. Someone who had gone through the journey and had fought to reclaim that power. This is a fight we’ve all had and this poem showcased that process. You get to see someone who did not just suddenly arrive but who evolved and endured the way we all do when we are coming home to ourselves. At some point, we have all asked ourselves, “What if I knew My Worth?”
Very well done.
Be Sure to Follow Jahkazia Online!
Facebook: Jahkazia Richardson
Tomorrow, we will be asking Ms. Richardson some more questions and learning more about her as a person with an extensive introduction interview. You don’t want to miss this. Stay glued.
Missed our other poet spotlights? Please be sure to show our winners some love:
First, congratulations to ALL of the poets who entered this year’s contest and to those who sent us the required information in case of a win! You certainly did not come to play! My judges and I have read and reread and read again! Some of your poems had us reading out loud and going over each line. Thank you so much for pouring out your heart and soul.
We have read EVERY single entry MORE than once!
We had not one, not two, but three sets of eyeballs on this thing!
The poems were so good that we are STILL choosing a few of the poems that didn’t place to feature in our debut online magazine!
How it Works
Tomorrow, August 23, 2018, we will profile our 4th place winner, Friday, our 3rd place, Saturday our 2nd place and then finally, Sunday AND Monday we will be featuring our Grand Prize Winner and learning more about the poet and the winning poem.
Below are the names of the winners and the names of their poems. Remember, over the next few days, we will be profiling each of them separately so make sure you are staying glued. You’ll learn more aboutthem and read their poems.
Our Runner-Ups will Receive:
Publication in our Magazine, Promotion on this Blog and SM, Special Author Spotlight
$50 Amazon Giftcard nested inside a specialty gift box, no fees, no expiration date, and redeemable towards millions of items storewide at Amazon.com
Signed paperback copy ofI am Soulpoetry book by Yecheilyah Ysrayl
1 Writing Custom Designed Journal and matching pen to encourage your writing journey!
Publication in our online Magazine
Publication and Promotion on this blog and SM, email list, and across social media
Special Individual Blog Promotion + Interview
ANOTHER DRUMM ROLL
OKAY OKAY! 🙂
*1st Place, Grand Prize Winner*
Jahkazia Richardson for
What If I Knew My Worth
CONGRATULATIONS ALL OF YOU!!
BUT WE ARE NOT DONE…
WE STILL HAVE A FEW POEMS THAT WILL MAKE IT INTO OUR MAGAZINE!
POEMS OUR JUDGES ALSO FOUND AMAZING:
S.R. Graham, Love in its Simplest Form
Olayemi Ifeoluwa, On Self-Love
Khaya Ronkainen, Running Brook
You will get to read their poems soon. Stay glued for details on the mag debut.
A Word from Yecheilyah…
I just want to say that I am so proud of these poets. It’s something refreshing and authentic about reading someone’s words and seeing the beauty of the person without having seen their faces or knowing much about their life. When we decided on the winners we didn’t know what these writers looked like or what their lives were like, just their words on the page. When their photos and bios came in it was heartwarming for me personally. We did not intend to choose all women for our finalists. We were so focused on the poems (they had us studying child!) that we didn’t stop to think about race or gender or any of that. Personally, I think that’s what I enjoyed the most about this contest. It was all about the heart and what spoke to the judges the most and I cannot wait until you get to read their poems! Here’s to many more contests to come. Let’s do it bigger next year! Yess.
I can’t leave without extending a special thank you to all of the women who made this contest possible:
Hey Guys, don’t forget about these exciting happenings!
Poetry Contest Finalist
The 2nd Annual Poetry Contest is not over people! We received so many wonderful entries and we are revealing our finalists and grand-prize winner soon! Stay glued.
I am Soul Blog Tour
The I am Soul Blog Tour continues on Monday! Be sure to check in to see whose blog I am visiting next and what poem I’ll be featuring.
Even Salt Looks Like Sugar
Foster youths are one of the most disadvantaged groups in the United States. According to the National Foster Youth Institute, nearly 20 percent of those who age out of the system end up homeless, and nearly 60 percent of young men who grew up in foster care have been convicted of a crime. Being in foster care, separated from their families, also takes its toll on children: Twenty-five percent of kids in the system will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
How does Wanda reconcile her feelings about her foster mother’s attempt to control her life?
Remember to preorder “Even Salt Looks Like Sugar,” the eBook at just $0.99 on Amazon and mark this book as ‘to read’ on Goodreads. Proceeds go to fund next year’s poetry contest! This short novel releases 10/2. (the page number on Amazon is wrong btw. It’s longer than 47 pages but still a short read. The actual page number should be showing up shortly)
Wanda wants nothing more than to escape the oppressive upbringing of life with her abusive foster mother. Miss Cassaundra manipulates the system by bringing lost children into her home turned whorehouse and collecting the money. Wanda knows what it’s like to be abandoned and has no doubt that Abby is Cassaundra’s next case. When an opportunity arises that could save them both, Wanda must find a way to get the paperwork that will secure their freedom. But Cassaundra’s got eyes everywhere and no one can be trusted when even salt looks like sugar.
Submit a poem on self-love / self-care in some way, subscribe to the email list (you need to subscribe so you get updates on the contest) and then email your poem to: yecheilyah(at)yecheilyahysrayl(dot)com
Go Go GO!!
Be sure you are also following our sponsors and judges!
Follow Tehilayah’s Blog HERE Follow Lisa’s Blog HERE Follow Kathy’s Blog HERE Follow Tinzley’s Blog HERE
There are just EIGHT more days to enter the 2nd Annual Poetry Contest! Prizes include money, promotion, publishing, books and more. Don’t miss out! CLICK HERE for a reminder of the entry guidelines and prizes. The deadline will be here before you know it. Enter today!
April is National Poetry Month and I am gearing up to host my 2nd Annual Poetry Contest this summer! This year we have stepped it up BIG time with some AMAZING prizes! Be sure you’re following this blog, my IG, and my Facebook business page to stay updated. Details on how to enter, rules and guidelines will be published to this blog next month (May). Next week, I’ll be introducing our sponsors and judges.