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Sips and Sonnets

An homage to love, friendship and art

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love” and Congregation Ahavath Sholom helped with that idea with their Creative Arts “Sips and Sonnets” Zoom reading on Sunday February 13th.  We celebrated the day with a recital of sonnets and other poems from different times and places. To make the day even more festive, we offered drink recipes and an online exhibit of wonderful paintings by the late Moe Brooker.  And, to spread the love, all donations from this performance go to our local People’s Pantry. 

                                                    Please check out this video of the event.

About the Poets


Raymond Carver  (May 25, 1938 – August 2, 1988)  was an American writer who contributed to the revitalization of the American short story during the 1980s. Although better known for his short fiction, Carver published eight poetry collections. He’s been praised for his ability to forge solid beginnings and endings: “A Carver poem instantly establishes its presence.”


Billy Collins (born March 22, 1941) is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003.[ Collins also served as Poet Laureate for the State of New York from 2004 until 2006. During the stay-at-home confinement period necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in March 2020, Collins appears daily on Facebook Live offering his art to a worldwide audience, reading poems and talking about poetry.


Wendy Cope, (born 21 July 1945) is an English poet. Five collections of her adult poetry have been published, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis in 1986, Serious Concerns in 1992, If I Don't Know in 2001, Family Values in 2011, and Anecdotal Evidence in 2018. In 2013, after 19 years of living together, Cope married poet Lachlan Mackinnon in a register office, although she has stated that she would have preferred a civil partnership.


Edward Estlin Cummings or e e cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962), was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. He wrote approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays, and several essays. He is often regarded as one of the most important American poets of the 20th century. Cummings is associated with modernist free-form poetry. Much of his work has idiosyncratic syntax and uses lower-case spellings for poetic expression.

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Little-known during her life, she has since been regarded as one of the most important figures in American poetry. Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. While Dickinson was a prolific writer, her only publications during her lifetime were 10 of her nearly 1,800 poems. The poems published then were usually edited significantly to fit conventional poetic rules. Her poems, unique for her era, predated modernist poetic strategies. The poem contains short lines and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. It was not until after her death in 1886 that her work became public. Her first collection of poetry was published in 1890.


Joy Harjo (born May 9, 1951) is an American poet, musician, playwright, and author. She is the incumbent United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold that honor. She is also only the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to serve three terms. Harjo is a member of the Muscogee Nation. She is an important figure in the second wave of the literary Native American Renaissance of the late 20th century. Harjo is the author of nine books of poetry, and two award-winning children's books. Her signature project to date as U.S. Poet Laureate is called "Living Nations, Living Words: A Map of First Peoples Poetry," which focuses on "mapping the U.S. with Native Nations poets and poems.


Li-Young Lee (born August 19, 1957) is an American poet. He was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents. Lee's father, who was a personal physician to Mao Zedong while in China, relocated his family to Indonesia. In 1959 the Lee family fled Indonesia to escape widespread anti-Chinese sentiment and after a five-year trek through Hong Kong and Japan, they settled in the United States in 1964. Lee is the author of four books of poetry and a prose poem memoir.


Pablo Neruda (12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973) was a Chilean poet-diplomat and politician who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. Neruda became known as a poet when he was 13 years old, and wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems such as the ones in his collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924).


William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616)[a] was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. His extant works consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, three long narrative poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.[7]  Published in 1609, the Sonnets were the last of Shakespeare's non-dramatic works to be printed. Scholars are not certain when each of the 154 sonnets was composed, but evidence suggests that Shakespeare wrote sonnets throughout his career for a private readership.


Alice Walker (born February 9, 1944) is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist. In 1982, she became the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which she was awarded for her novel The Color Purple. Over the span of her career, Walker has published seventeen novels and short story collections, twelve non-fiction works, and collections of essays and poetry.

About the Artist


Moe Brooker  (September 24, 1940 – January 9, 2022) was an American artist. Working in painting and fabrics. Brooker employed bright colors such as "saturated pinks, mellow yellows and lime greens (that) are feasts for the eyes," as well as stripes and checked patterns. He was nationally known and received a number of awards and honors, including the James Van Der Zee lifetime achievement award.

His work is displayed at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Montgomery Museum of Art, the Musee des beaux-arts de l’Ontario, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is represented by The Sande Webster Gallery in Philadelphia and the June Kelly Gallery in New York City. He was a member of Recherche, an African-American artists group whose works are known for "active engagement with life and a zestful manipulation of color and pattern”. He died on January 9, 2022, at the age of 81.

"If you are given a gift, using that gift in its fullest sense is true worship.”

--Moe Brooker

On The Way To Somehow ca 2010 oil & mixed media on canvas.png

 On The Way To Somehow, by Moe Brooker, oil and mixed media on canvas

Some Valentine’s Day Suggested Cocktails


Kir Royale

Splash of Cassis topped with Champagne

Garnish with fresh strawberry or Luxardo cherry


Lola 2022

2oz Vodka

Splash of Godiva chocolate liquor

Splash of raspberry puree (optional)

Garnish with fresh raspberries  


Hershey’s chocolate kiss 



2oz Vodka

2oz Godiva chocolate liquor

1oz Grand Marnier or Cointreau

Garnish with candied orange rind



2oz Gin

1oz Brandy or Cassis

Dash of lemon juice

Garnish with candied lemon rind, fresh raspberry


Hershey’s chocolate kiss


Spirited Mocktails


Sweet Heart

Ginger beer 

Grapefruit juice

Pinch of cinnamon

Garnish with blackberries


Cold Fashioned

Apple cider

Splash of pomegranate or Cranberry juice

Garnish with orange slice


It’s never too early for a cocktail.

                -Noel Coward

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