Happiness is Vital: Irish AIDS WEST Journal Gets It Right


My good friend and great poet (and fiction writer) Geraldine Mills introduced me to this excellent organization and the only-one-of-its-kind newsletter, Happiness is Vital. Geraldine Mills is the author of The Weight of  Feathers  and An Urgency of Stars both available in the US from the University of Syracuse Press. I reviewed An Urgency of Stars right here last year.

Until recently, Geraldine's day job was working for AIDS West. The organization and the journal seem so, well, different, than what we usually see in terms of AIDS organizations in the US. This journal brings patients, caregivers, nurses and doctors together and works to address all of their interests which seem to come down to one thing: happiness is vital.

AIDS West provides a free quarterly newsletter titled Happiness is Vital to all its HIV positive clients, 
GPs, hospitals and health centres. 

It is also sent to other sexual health services in Ireland and any member of the general public who requests it.  Arts West is always looking for new and interesting articles in relation to HIV/sexual health so if you wish to contribute an article we would be delighted to hear from you. Maximum word count for story/article is 700 words. The editorial team reserves the right to edit where necessary. 

To contribute to Happiness is Vital: 
Contact Tracey @ 00353 (0)91 566266 or tracey@aidswest.ie

My three poems are in the December 2010 (just arrived in the US!) issue, but you can download each issue by clicking here. Here's one of the three - not available elsewhere on the web.

Awaiting Further Instruction

This is the easy time – a cup of tea,
mandarins and chocolates.
Take a millennium and gaze
over the pine and periwinkle fence line.
decipher the cat’s song, the plane’s thrum,
the soft moans of ink along paper.
Settle into the sofa with pillows, in book arbor;
this is you, forty-eight, the day after Thanksgiving.
The heat up, the rest of life not
yet beaten into hours, the next thought
still balanced on the ledge of something
new – like a doorframe – a place
for change – if only one could…
And here is the sky Novembered to a gauzy blue;
the olympics flickering a northwest winter truth.
But what then? When come the afternoons
of arias; ascendance of the jasmine’s creamy flowers?
The future self apprised of her red carpet entrance:
held up – postponed – appearing soon ~

                                   Susan Rich, from The Alchemist's Kitchen


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