Introducing "Been Bitter" by Diana Mora

“The third installment of the talented Diana Mora intimate story telling is here. With lustful self reflection, vulnerability, new found confidence and more. Not for the prude but definitely words worth reading.”

- Lexi S. Brunson (Editor-in-Chief /CW)

I felt like I was cursed 

I went to look back on my life

I was faced with the same person 

Myself 

Been Bitter 

I had to break a Generational Curse 

At a time in my life

When I was tried of 

Living 

-Dye

#SupportTheLocal by purchasing her promo drink at Shindig Coffee!

Riverwest FemFest 2019 Deadline Coming Soon!

We want you to apply!!!

PERFORMERS | VISUAL ARTIST | WORK SHOPS
*Application deadline is February 28, 2019*

This year we are behind the scenes consulting with Riverwest Fem Fest to make sure we bring all the city out including YOU to be apart of the action. We want Women/Femmes of all backgrounds, ethnicities, classes, and creativities to be apart of this years festival. As a women owned business CopyWrite will stand with all of those determined to make positive change in the movement!

APPLY HERE

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SnapShot Press Release: Riverwest FemFest 2018

If you’re familiar with MKE, then you know that festival season has arrived! Art, music, community, culture and everything in between become large festivities that activate the city with an aura that feeds off of creativity and cultivates all streams of Urban life.

This years festival season has started off with movement pulsing right from the cities east side with Riverwest FemFest 2018 (which was held May 27th - June 3rd). As stated on their website:

“Riverwest FemFest is a community music and arts festival celebrating the powerful and positive impact we can have on each other and the community around us. Founded in 2015, we celebrate the empowerment that comes with surrounding yourself with people who push you to push yourself. We celebrate through music, visual arts, poetry, and comedy. We not only celebrate the feminine impact within our own community, we aim to celebrate, empower, and provide platforms for those who have been historically left out of creative spaces.”

Kendra Swanson

Kendra Swanson

When our team at CopyWrite heard how this year’s festival would be pushing and empowering some of our favorite feminine creatives, we had to reach out and make sure that Riverwest FemFest knew that as the only female owned and operated Urban creative media press outlet in the city, we are here for it! To share these amazing moments with our audience,  #SupportTheLocal, and help cultivate the narrative of feminine creativity is something we just could not pass up.

To get a bit more insight on what Riverwest FemFest is all about, we sat down with two of the festival coordinators, Olivia Doyle (the original founder of Riverwest FemFest) and Ellie Jackson.

Olivia: “I started it because I was just really inspired by all the women musicians around me. They were not just only musicians but some were getting their masters, or becoming professors. They were just doing everything. So I originally wanted to have a show to celebrate them and it turned into a two-day show and a fundraiser. We got a lot of press from that and it just exploded.”

Olivia admits that her original idea was to have the first showcase in her basement but a few of her roommates convinced her that it had the potential to be much bigger than that…and they were right.

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Riverwest FemFest has surpassed not only its original thought but even has grown from its two-day expansion show at the late Cocoon Room, to a week-long festival of creative feminine genius.

CW: “What kind of effort does it take to organize something like this? You have so many components to it, like the gallery walk and all the different performances. How does something like that come together?

Olivia: “It takes months.”

Ellie: “Probably like 8 months, out of the year.”

Olivia: “So there are central organizers, then there are other subgroups of organizers that are organizing all those other events. Like the gallery walk today, or there was a film portion that was curated by Naomi Shersty and Grace Mitchell...So it takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of human power.”

Ellie: “And we are all volunteers!”

The initiative that these volunteers have shown, further reveals how important the community efforts to support local creativity can have on all of us, making Riverwest FemFest a must in MKE.

When asked for the best way to describe the festival to those of our readers that have never attended, Ellie urged that it is a community of people who support feminine identifying art in every form. In addition to this support all the proceeds are donated to organizations in Milwaukee that assist in the help/protection of women and families. This year’s recipients include great causes like Courage MKE, Casa Maria, and The Milwaukee Women’s Center. 

The celebration of feminine empowerment had several highlights including the locally curated film shorts showcase at Microlights Microcinema (832 E Chambers St, Milwaukee, WI 53212), the Riverwest FemFest Gallery Walk, which included pop-up shows at five venues: The Ski Club (3172 N Bremen St, Milwaukee, WI 53212), The Yellow Wallpaper Project (1126 E Wright Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212), The Jazz Gallery (926 E Center St, Milwaukee, WI 53212), Yours Truly (833 E Center St, Milwaukee, WI 53212) and The Lunchbox @ AfterSchool Special (731 E Center St, Milwaukee, WI 53212). Unlike in past years, these sections of programming were given their own shine, where usually they would be transpiring at the same time as the more active music sets that Riverwest FemFest also offers.

Ellie: “I feel like Milwaukee does a really good job of supporting musicians [like venue performance availability i.e. bars] but there aren’t as many ways for people to see poets, or go to galleries that don’t feel elitist.” (Can we repeat that? That DON’T feel ELITIST!!!) 

Other happenings included Riverwest Spoken Word Night at Rise & Grind Cafe #2 (2737 N Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212), which our sources tell us was to die for, the Keg Stand Up at Lakefront Brewery (1872 N Commerce St, Milwaukee, WI 53212) and the Makers Market at Company Brewing (735 E Center St, Milwaukee, WI 53212), that featured several local artists, crafters, and businesses. Company Brewing also is the host for the large weekend music sets for Riverwest FemFest, where one of the only local female brewers makes them a special beer for the occasion.

One interesting piece of information that fell under most of our radars are the workshops that occurred through the week that also promoted feminine empowerment and self-actualizing. “The Revolution Will Not Be Processed: A Vegan Femfest Workshop” being one of them. (Who attended? Give us all the ‘deets! Eco-Feminism for the win!) 

As stated above Riverwest FemFest had much to offer, but our /CW team unanimously agreed that our favorite moments were the ones that seemed natural, where we could experience our favorite local “feminine” musicians, catch displays of witty art, and could see the efforts of the process throughout the festival and its participants. 

Moments we loved: 

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• The Gallery Walk: We have been saying that Milwaukee is a hotbed for visual talent, but we don’t get to see it enough. This gallery walk gave us the opportunities to check out some new names, concepts, and spaces. We had never been to Yours Truly (833 E Center St, Milwaukee, WI 53212) and were quite flattered by a “Press for Progress” illustration of a female journalist hanging on their wall (Who is the artist? You deserve a shout out!). Also, artist, Lacey Prpić Hedtke project, “Spells For…” displayed at the Lunchbox @ AfterSchool Special was simply enthralling. We made sure to snag a spell for keeping our $ in our community, while we were there. We also learned that Corn Flakes may be a cure for masturbation at The Ski Club...(PAUSE). So yeah, art is life.  

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• SistaStrings at The Back Room @ Colectivo was brilliant. The duo’s uncensored sisterly chemistry is absolutely refreshing. Their artistry with string instruments is very unique in our community and their mastery of craft, storytelling and stage presence during their Riverwest FemFest set showed that they are creatives with that “it” factor, and authenticity. Their performance of  “Ave Maria” and “Deep River” crossover, absolutely did it for us! Worrrrrrrkkkk!

• Ms. Lotus Fankh’s set at Club Timbuktu was intimate in all the right ways. Her voice buzzed over the room, her “impromptu” production as always added depth to her lyrics, and her style of blues-infused, r&b, folk, jazz, mashup just made us smile. She also made sure to end her set on a positive note, which is what this world needs; positive energy in all things.

We believe that Riverwest FemFest 2018 has set the tone for this year’s festival season in MKE. It is inspiring, it is cultivating, and it is communal, which are all things that this city really should celebrate. 

CW: “Where do you expect it to go from here? Is there anything that you want to grow more as this progresses?”

Ellie: “I have been using the word: movement. I would like to see it become at least a Milwaukee movement because every year it becomes harder and harder to fit everybody we want to see in Riverwest and in one week. Eventually, we would like it to become a city-wide expansion.”

Well, we are down for the movement and we are down for the cause. Make sure you become apart of the Riverwest FemFest movement by following them @rwfemfest and getting involved by visiting their website at www.rwfemfest.com/getinvolved

Empower the feminine. 

Empower the community. 

#SupportTheLocal

/CW


Read this SnapShot Press Release in digital book form here.

Jeronica Brister - New Creature (Poem Submission)

Jeronica Brister, hosted an album release party last Saturday to reveal her long-awaited poetic album 'Sins and Flaws'. With her warm presence of soul reaching linguistics, she is encapsulating what has been pushed aside in the art of truth telling. Hungry for more, we thought it only right we give you a taste of 'Sins and Flaws' and the creative spirit that is Jeronica.

Read 'New Creature' here and let us know what you think.

/CW


New Creature

I sprinkled ashes across the sands of the beach of my past. 

Phoenix arisen, 

Visions of me never going back there. 

Back when weakness was my strength. 

When strength was perpendicular to wall guards and closed iron doors. 

Doubled, open. 

But before, praises were given in hallways long enough to cast my demons. 

Demanding my spirit was. 

Denying my soul became. 

So I ran until run couldn't go no more. 

Piercing the veil of strongholds. 

I never knew had hold of me. 

In me. 

Created. 

A new thing. 

New being. 

New day. 

Surfing clouds. 

Catching sun rays. 

This here is a new wave. 

So I'm sprinting through every door open. 

Deadbolting every closed one. 

And embracing Everything God has for me.


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You can buy hard copies of 'Sins and Flaws' at https://jsbrister.bigcartel.com/ and stream through the links below:

Tidal

Amazon

Spotify

 

 

Dirty Thoughts - In-between/Us

As Editor-in-Chief of CopyWrite, it is my responsibility to reflect what I ask my contributors, audience, and community for. True vulnerability and expression from our crafts. Authenticity in our stories and humility in our humanity is where the creative world thrives. So here is a piece of me, that honors all of those things, as a true uncensored exposition of my latest thoughts in the form of a "poem".

(To my somebody, thank you for letting me share this moment.) 

 

In-between/Us

I'm in a house full of noise, even though you are not around…

Scratches at the door are nothing more than the wind bitch slapping these hallowed walls.I laugh as I jump off the toilet, “Maybe he is here”.

I know better...but still, I smile, maybe tomorrow...maybe forever.

No issues here.

 

I left my heart in San Francisco...or maybe it was Austin…

Half of that is a quote from a song but still, it fits.

Misfits...like long nights in deep thought.

“What about equality?” conversations of duality and understanding of an unlevel headed couple. Do we have a song?

I would play it if I knew

I have this way about me where I can put anything on repeat as long it makes me think of you.

I'm soft like that.

I have been standing hard tho, making sure with every tear there is a smile.

Being with you taught me that...rough times build beautiful people.

“I never seen your type of species”

And now that I have my eyes are stuck

Don't stunt too hard…

I don't like the leather fur with the jersey

Makes you look like a player and you don't play...that's my game and I win.

“Mine!” yes yours.

Possession is a hell of a (hell of a) drug even when you're not around to get high.

 

I’ll eventually have to sleep in those covers...on that bed...to keep your spot warm until you come home…

Or maybe stop by.

 

Because love, we got this.

I will again learn how to make my own sunrise...and when the world sees me I will never fail to mention how you placed the light on my moon.

 

I hope this finds you well.

/Dirty

#WordPlayWednesday - Reader Submission: The Reasons I Won't Leave

Reader’s Submission: (name withheld)

Here are words taken out of context. Emotional identification of the push and pull factors of maintaining things that we want, when they are hard to keep. If these words were said to you, where would you find your rebuttal? Word strategy. Word Play.

 

The Reasons I Won't Leave

stay, because you make me happy
stay, because people aren’t perfect
stay, because I care about you
stay, because I crave you
stay, because you give me reasons to keep pushing
stay, because just like you need me, I need you
stay, because every since you been here I’ve been some sort of happy
stay, because there are possibilities
stay, because when I leave I feel weak
stay, because when I don’t hear from you I’m empty
stay, because I’m only fulfilled when it’s you
stay, because no one else compares to you
stay,  because I have faith in you
stay, because I give a damn

stay...because I want to fucking be with you.

/CopyWrite Connect

#WordplayWednesday - September 11th 2016 4:30pm

What's the momentum behind the hand on the clock of society’s ideals? What are the reasons pushing us to behave and move through life in the ways that we do? This piece was one I wrote after leaving an abusive and toxic relationship. I was relieved to be free of that grasp. But in the same breath I was angry, bitter, vengeful, and broken over our falling out. This poem was the first of many that I have written on the road to catharsis and heart mending. It  was really a winning moment to create this piece and have a taste of peace within a dark space. Poetry truly helped save my life.

 

September 11th 2016 4:30pm

Today would have been seven years had you not found a new host
Today would have been seven years had I not had the courage to speak your truth

Today would have been seven years had I not had the strength to stand for my spirit and push you the fuck away
My day is melancholy and my aura, nostalgic
I find myself wondering if your thoughts are with me  
If you miss me
If late at night you find your pillow soaked with tears in my name
I wonder if you find yourself preoccupied, speaking my name in vain
With a deep sense of loss and pain lingering in the wrinkles of your mundane brain
Sometimes I wonder the level of impact my soul has left in your life
What memories have imprinted themselves in your cerebral?
Sometimes I wonder if I've left any strife
Behind
Have you repressed it all?
The smell of my breath hanging off the corners of your lips
The feel of my skin
The taste between my legs and the sensation within?
Does my face greet you when you close your eyes?
And drift to the place where you left your lineage deep between my thighs?
Do you wake up from the nightmare of realizing how great I was?
Do I haunt your dreams
Am I hovering in and out of the realms
Of your temporal lobes?
Is your life unraveling at the seams?
When you turn over in bed and her eyes meet your gaze,
Do they pierce your system like rays of gamma beams?
The way my own did
Do you find yourself lost like a kid
Yearning for my presence
Yearning for my warmth
Reminiscing in the scent of my existence
I hope I torment your every decision
That late in the night I plague your beleaguered visions
I hope I trigger your skin to break out in lesions
At the remembrance of my touch
And every memory of when we fucked leaves you dried
in desolation
Buried deep in destruction and disoriented in a profound depression
Gripping the air for my hand and the vivacity I was once gave you
I curse your vigor with the venom of my ancestors
Generations deep
I curse your aspirations to drown in a spiritless lackluster four score deep
And every place you creep
Fills with a void of desperation and the moves you make fall into infinite hibernation

I often find myself wondering if your thoughts are with me
I know they are, you will never be rid of me
No matter how forcefully you try
No matter how often you peer into the mirror and convince yourself of the lie
The will of my being has clipped your wings and you can no longer fly.
 

Introducing #WordplayWednesdays - "You can't swim and I can't teach you"

What is the purpose of #WordplayWednesdays?

The focal point of poetry is to tell a story, a fable of the heart and mind. A poem’s purpose is to manifest a painting of connection between life experiences and the emotional core of a person’s psyche. Creative writing gives a platform for self and soul expression to its audience. Natalia (The Freelancer) for CW, wants her words to bring people back to a place where they find memories filled with profound feeling. A place where they realize they are not alone.

Check out Natalia's #WordplayWednesday for your "new" poetry fix. If you would like to contribute to the narrative please email us your submissions, subject: Wordplay Wednesdays at Copywrite.mke@gmail.com

 

You can't swim and I can't teach you

How did I get so lost in you
Without even knowing who I am with you
How do I want to love you like no one has tried to love you before
when I can't even break down walls
When I can't even breathe vulnerability in your presence
Let the guard fall, let the curtain fall, give into the unknown and take a bow
How can I ask and crave from you love
When I'm still learning how
I made sure to not fill you within my void
A void I had once thought of as so insignificant
A void I had thought of as irrelevant
Filled properly with self-love and reciprocal relationships
But now I know this void still remains
And pieces of you somehow fell in
I let them fall thinking I was in control
Thinking I was present in every moment we shared
Thinking my past was just that and wouldn't show up to take its toll
When in reality
I was drowning in your attention
Melting under your touch
Forgetting to be present
Forgetting that you didn't know enough
Forgetting that I could be too much
I want to unlearn for you
And for me
I want to be better for me
For you
I want to be the best me
Because I know it's what I deserve
Because I know it's what you deserve
But how selfish of me to ask of you what I know I wouldn't give
How selfish of me to ask you to sit around and wait for me to grow
I mean I want us to grow together and be good together
Be great together
But how can I ask you to be next to me in a journey that could hurt you along the way
How can I ask you to commit to love
If I'm still learning how to give it away
I want you to stay
I damn near want to get on my knees and beg you to stay
Say hey
Look me in the eyes
Can’t you see good in me
Can't see all the good I could be
Can't you see all ways I could love you
Reciprocal and healthily
Beneficial and mutually
Always giving
And reminding myself to let you be free
Can't you see inside of me
How heavy and sweet my love would feel draped all around you
And inside you
But can I ask you to wait?
Can I ask you to stick around and watch me grow into someone you could never hate
I want you to see in me all the great I find in you
All the great I already have within
I want you to see the potential
Because I know it's inside
But can I ask you to wait
To stay awhile and join me on the ride
When I know how difficult it will be for you to swim against the tide
 

/Natalia

Poetry Submission: Natalia Rivas "El Más Allá"

 

El Más Allá

I pity the person who looked me in my eyes and deemed me not enough

Pity to the person who touched god herself and missed the opportunity to familiarize themselves with my divine

People who had the pleasure of tasting my aura, wearing the sweet milk of my energy, and still wasted my time

To those who imagined they would feel the silk of my valleys with filthy hands

I gave them leaves of the oleander instead

Unfortunate, the soul who laid in my bed resting their selfish head

in the lap of Venus looking for nourishment and enchantment to enrich the fetus state of mind

Thinking extraordinary companionship was beneath us but still had the bravado to treat us like we were no more than just

birds of paradise growing in lust

Hapless the creature who scorned my trust

Boundless and seamless but through me, they have tried to thrust

And still, I stand phenomenally, every part of my spirit radiant

Unreachable like stars past our galaxies explored

Unreachable like a sustainable planet living in the beyond, they have tried to claim me with insatiable thirsts, swallowing, wanting more

Blessed were those who have touched me and then left with samples of me, believing in their hands and eventually pockets would forever be whole pieces of me

A glimpse of ethereal femininity

 

Is all that you had and I’m glad I never gave more of me than I could part with

I’m glad knowing every compartment within me is a gift

I am holy

-------

Get to know the Poet:

"I like to think of myself as a warm and eccentric latinx, hailing from the south side of Milwaukee. I was born and raised in MKE but I’ve done my fair share of traveling; living abroad as well. Reading, painting, spirituality, writing, and nature, have been my most consuming passions in life. I create poems for sad girls of color in need of empowerment and love.

I remember watching an HBO Family special on outlets for children handling tough times. They happened to showcase a boy whose parents were going through a divorce. Mine also were at the time. To help cope with what he couldn’t understand, he began to write about it. Seeing his happiness was the beginning of my love affair with creative writing. At ten years old, I began to use poetry as a release for my emotions and thoughts, which can become heavy and weigh me down. Taking a pen to paper is my therapy. In my darkest moments, my love and need to pull poems from within has saved me from drowning in life’s sorrows. Poetry is my greatest strength and simultaneously my healthiest comfort. I want to share my love with the world through words laced in romanticism."

Check out Natalia on Instagram: @nati_ninetythree