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I’m please to welcome Joan Bauer who is an esteemed poet as well as past colleague.  Ronni Weiss is returning as our vocalist this year with inspiration pieces.  Below is some information about these wonderful women you won’t want to miss.  Their work complements the event which includes video, guided meditation, and reflective experiences.

joanebauer photo

Joan E. Bauer is the author of The Almost Sound of Drowning (Main Street Rag, 2008). Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including 5 AM, Pearl, Poet Lore, Quarterly West, Slipstream, and US 1 Worksheets, and in nearly a dozen anthologies, among them Along These Rivers: Poetry and Photography from Pittsburgh; Come Together: Imagine Peace (Bottom Dog Press, 2008); Voices from the Attic; and Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of the Tsunami (Bayeux Arts and Rupa & Co, 2005), which she co-edited with Judith Robinson and Sankar Roy in 2005. In 2007, her poem “Sleepers,” won the Earl Birney Poetry Prize from Prism International. For some years, Joan worked as an English teacher and educational counselor. She now divides her time between Venice, CA and Pittsburgh, PA, where she curates the Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series with her friend Jimmy Cvetic. More: http://squirrelhillpoets.org/bauer/

ronnisinging_smallRonni Weiss has been singing and playing piano throughout her life, has done solo gigs, been part of duos, trios and full bands. Her sound is unique… rich and deep, catching the attention of the audience wherever she performs. She has been called  “the diminutive woman with the monumental voice” by pianist, composer, and arranger Ian Kane and “the little lady with the big voice” by  Roger Barbour, trumpet and flugelhorn player, both music colleagues in the Pittsburgh area.Her favorite styles are jazz and blues and she can often be seen at the many venues around town. More: http://www.ronniweissmusic.com

 

 

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I’m excited to announce Shirley Stevens as this year’s featured poet for World Gratitude Day.  Not only is she a highly regarded poet, but she is also a long-time volunteer with the Pittsburgh Literacy Council, our event beneficiary.   Below is a photo of Shirley with the Nepali family she has tutored for many years.

Shirley with Nepali Girls

Shirley is a member of the Pittsburgh Poetry Society and Squirrel Hill Poets Workshop.  Following is a brief bio from the Workshop:

Shirley S. Stevens’ poetry has appeared in Poet Lore and Time of Singing, and in the anthologies Along These Rivers, Commonwealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania, and Fission of Form. She has published a chapbook, Pronouncing What We Wish to Keep. She is leader of The First Word writers’ group in Sewickley, a mentor for The Writing Academy, and poetry columnist for The Upper Case.

We are grateful that you are donating your time and talents, Shirley, to help a cause dear to your heart!

Shirley Stevens Cropped

We’re please to announce Ronni Weiss as the musician for our inspirational songs and meditative music.  She is particularly excited to celebrate World Gratitude Day which is her birthday! She is often featured at Ease restaurant in Regent Square on the second and fourth Fridays of the month.

Here’s more information about Ronni from her website, http://www.ronniweissmusic.com/

This is often the response from people seeing and hearing Ronni Weiss for the very first time. She has been called  “the diminutive woman with the monumental voice” by pianist, composer, and arranger Ian Kane and “the little lady with the big voice” by  Roger Barbour, trumpet and flugelhorn player, both music colleagues in the Pittsburgh area.

Ronni has been singing and playing piano throughout her life, has done solo gigs, been part of duos, trios and full bands. Her sound is unique… rich and deep, catching the attention of the audience wherever she performs. Her favorite styles are jazz and blues and she can often be seen at the many venues around town.

Poet Rosaly DeMaios Roffman, Professor Emerita, taught literature and writing courses at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has read her work in Ireland, Mexico, Greece and Slovakia. Her poems have been translated into Mandarin, Japanese, Slovak, and Hebrew. She has published in journals, magazines and anthologies and was invited to read her poems on a BBC production entitled the “Wild and the Sacred.” For more information on Rosaly: http://squirrelhillpoets.org/roffman/. We are so pleased she will join us this year.

So happy that Christine Doreian Michael’s who was the featured poet in the inaugural event in 2012 will be returning.

Per Karen’s request she will be again sharing “A Harvest of People:”

Let us give thanks for a bounty of people:

For generous friends, with smiles as bright as their blossoms.

For feisty friends as tart as apples;….

Come hear the rest, plus her other selections!  This Monday at 7:30. Please register to help us with counts for programs, food and seating.

Followers of Life in Balance may be sad to hear they are now in Florida.  But with loss is a wonderful opportunity.  Jazz vocalist Carolyn Perteet had been singing inspiring songs of gratitude, so was a perfect choice.  Her mesmerizing, smooth jazz style is so complementary to the reflective nature of this event.  Carolyn completed her music education degree at Duquesne University. She’s performed with jazz greats Roger Humphries, Dwayne Dolphin, and Poogie Bell.  Carolyn recorded on Sean Jones’ album, “Kaleidoscope,” and toured nationally and internationally with him. Carolyn released her own solo album, “Insomnia.”

What a Wonderful World was a beautiful song featured at World Gratitude Day and everyone who attended seemed to have a wonderful day!

The day was filled with music, poetry, readings, meditations, and sharing, including from two students of the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council.

A highlight was the meditative music from Life in Balance which featured quartz crystal bowls and world flutes.

Ami and Steve Scuilli of Life in Balance

The main program was followed by a Thank-You-Note-athon where people made or wrote cards to individuals who impacted their lives.

Ellen Marcus at the Thank-You-Note-athon Table

Life in Balance continued with festive world music as we enjoyed treats during the reception.

Karen and Suzanne Froehlich enjoying Smiley Cookies donated by Eat’nPark

The Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council was very happy with the $440 World Gratitude Day raised!  In coordinating two other activities the same week with First Unitarian Church we raised over $1,000 more!

Karen and Maria Polinsky from GPLC

Above we are holding beautiful notecards designed by students at the Literacy Council featuring “hello” in many languages.

There are so many people to thank that helped this be such a wonderful day!  I hope you browse the other posts to learn about and support the generous sponsors!

“Gratitude is at once beautiful and fruitful.”

Sri Chinmoy, Founder of World Gratitude Day