Category Archives: Featured Poets


World Poetry Celebrates Nick Grinder!









Ariadne’s Notes:  On May 9 at 1:30 PM PST, hosts Ariadne Sawyer and Diego Bastinutti welcomed the talented composer and musician, Nick Grinder to the show. Victor Swartzman , our super tech kept us on the air from two locations and also three phone calls. Nick Grinder was celebrating his new second album Farallon, was released in February 2019 on Outside In music. The CD captures the beautiful island seascapes with his music. For links go to

When I was going to the University of California at Berkeley, I remember seeing the island from a distance and the sense of mystery that it portrayed,  








Nick Grinder is a trombonist and composer based in New York City.

Hailed by Slide Hampton as “an important future voice in jazz trombone” and “the best blend of saxophone-like technique with the expressive nuances of the trombone” by Alan Ferber, Nick Grinder began playing professionally at age 15 in the Bay Area, California. He was a member of many in regional bands during his teenage years, including the SF JAZZ All-Stars, the All State Band, and the Marin and Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestras.

The child of two San Francisco artists – a former ballet dancer and visual effects engineer – he was encouraged to perform outside of school as much as possible. As a high schooler, he gigged frequently on both trombone and upright bass throughout the San Francisco Bay area.

From 2007-2011, Nick studied at Cal State Northridge in Los Angeles with Bob McChesney, and was offered scholarship to NYU in 2011. At NYU he was an adjunct faculty member during his pursuit of a master’s degree.

Nick currently works as a sideman and leader in a number of diverse projects in New York City, and has appeared at venues such as Small’s, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, The Jazz Gallery, Lincoln Center, The Jazz Standard, Rose Hall, and many other venues. He has performed internationally in Egypt, Quatar, the Netherlands, and Canada.

Nick has performed in the big bands of Alan Ferber, Darcy James Argue, Arturo O’Farrill, John Daversa, Bobby Sanabria, and the Mambo Legends Orchestra, as well as with Wycliffe Gordon, Jimmy Owens, Ralph Alessi, Donny McCaslin, Marcus Printup and many others.

He is also very active in the commercial world, where he has played in the pit orchestras of nearly two dozen Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, and has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Lorde, Lin-Manuel Miranda, St Vincent, Patti LaBelle, DMX, and Deltron 3030.

Nick’s original music aims to achieve a familiarity without adhering to a status quo. Many pieces are simple head charts, with open improvised sections for the band, others are sectioned ensemble writing.

Nick self-released Ten Minutes, an album of original compositions in 2014, and his second album Farallon, was released in February 2019 on Outside In music.

Reviewed by Daniel Lehner for All About Jazz June 8th, 2014

“Grinder’s music, as well as the compatriots he chose for the record date, seem to have been tailor made to subvert boring virtuosity in favor of making music.
His attacks, sustains and phrasings touch the surrounding musical environment like sunbursts, as if he were dabbing with a large brush dipped in red watercolor.
He’s an intriguing addition to the language of the instrument, and his first effort gives a great deal of promise for his development.”

Another wonderful musician brought to us by Braitwaite and Katz. Source: Braitwaite and Katz.

World Poetry Celebrates Nima Tshering !






Painting by Mahmood Jan. Peace Poet from Afghanistan  

Ariadne’s News: On May 2, 1-2 pm PST, CFRO 100.5 FM, the World Poetry Café radio show had a fascinating show with celebrating two book launches with Nima Tshering from Bhutan and Ahmad Ahmad Al-Khatat, a talented Iraqi Canadian poet! I will do separate features for each guest.

The show began with a healing song by a Hopi Elder and later continued with a solo woman’s voice song in a cave in Albania that is supposed to have the best acoustics in the world.

Featured e-poem Rain of Peach Petals was also from Bhutan sent by Ngawang Tenzin ,currently working as Radio Jockey for Tsangla (Native dialect of eastern populace) for Bhutan Broadcasting Service Corporation.

This was an  special show for us with two book launches, a recorded message from Bhutan and a poem in Arabic by Ahmad Al-Khatat, a short story from Sharon’s new book More Big Bessie Stories  and more!






“The title of my book is “songs of lonely raven” here is the synopsis of my book, I heard the old, old men say, poetry is a tapestry of thoughts and wonders. And I truly believe that one cannot be a poet without connecting with nature: a strong bond exists between the nature and the poet. To live and die without wondering and asking questions is a life wasted. Life has a lot to offer us and if we even try to unlock these treasures buried deep inside us, its has the ability to change us. Scientist use deduction and empiricism to understand nature: whilst poetry is the poet’s magic tool and always remember all that is wild is beautiful and wondrous like the daises.”

“You can purchase  the book from me. Email me at, “

Note: the material below was taken from messenger and may be hard to read.


World Poetry Welcomes Poet Laureate Pj Johnson!






Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café radio show, on April 25, 1-2 pm PST, CFRO 100.5 FM was honoured to feature the amazing Poet Laureate from the Yukon Pj  Johnson in a fascinating show of music, poetry and more!
She is a well-known poet, musician, storyteller and a wonderful animal advocate for abused sled dogs!

Poets, writers of the world! Please join her in supporting humane treatment for long distance sled dogs. Please support her at: and sign the petition.







On Canada Day July 1st 1994, Pj  Johnson the daughter of a Yukon trapper was formally invested and given the title Poet Laureate of the Yukon during a ceremony in Whitehorse at which time she became the first officially-invested poet laureate in Canada.
Her new book “it’s howlin’ time!” is a veritable cornucopia of previously-unpublished creative works composed in a variety of styles and genres chronicling the life and times of a northern Canadian poet laureate.
Also known as The Yukon Raven Lady, MS. Johnson is a passionate animal advocate currently campaigning to protect northern sled dogs.
On Canada Day July 1st 2019 she will celebrate her 25th anniversary as Poet Laureate. She is the longest serving Poet Laureate in Canada.

Pj Johnson writes:
“I would like to speak about myself as a Yukoner and the upcoming anniversary as poet laureate and segue into the creation of the book – what it’s about and why it’s being published and also a mention about my NLD condition.
I would also like to talk a bit about myself as a Yukoner and about my and mention that I am an animal rights advocate. I would like to speak about the plight of the sled dogs as mentioned in my book and follow that with a recording of my poem “because i am a sled dog”. When the poem ends I wish to invite listeners to join me in supporting the sled dogs.

 There are two other poems I would like to read, then we can just finish with the recorded live performance of my song “Howlin’ Time”: After the song I like to answer to the question “What’s Howlin’ Time?” by reading a brief expert from the last page of my book.
In closing I wish to invite listeners to drop by my website at and to be sure to sign & share the petition to help the sled dogs. Also join me on Twitter  where my handle is @pjjohnsonYukon. I also administer a writer’s group on Facebook called “Poets & Scribes worldwide” and invite them to join me there as well.
The Book is available at: “it’s howlin’ time!” can be ordered online from Mac’s Fireweed in Whitehorse and also through Cole’s Bookstores across Canada. It’s also available on Amazon as an ebook & paperback.”

Sources: Pj johnson website and mail.