Allianz Life Launches New Retirement Foundation ADV Annuity

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz
Life®) announced today that it has launched the new Retirement
Foundation ADVSM Annuity, the first fee-based fixed index
annuity (FIA) offered by Allianz Life. Retirement Foundation ADV
features benefits such as protection of principal and credited interest
from market downturns, tax deferral and the potential to earn interest
based on external market indexes, all in a fee-based solution.
Retirement Foundation ADV also offers guaranteed income for life and a
death benefit for beneficiaries.

“Retirement Foundation ADV was designed for consumers seeking a
fee-based FIA that offers the opportunity for increasing income as a
part of their overall retirement portfolio,” said Allianz Life Senior
Vice President of Product Innovation Matt Gray. “There is a growing
market demand for fee-based products and we believe Retirement
Foundation ADV will be well received.”

Retirement Foundation ADV has a 7-year withdrawal charge period and can
help clients address both phases of retirement: accumulation – by
potentially earning interest through a choice of index allocations, and
income – in the form of lifetime withdrawals. The FIA includes the
Income Benefit rider that is automatically included at an additional
cost, which guarantees to increase income withdrawal percentages,
beginning at age 45 for every year a customer waits to begin taking
income. The choices for receiving lifetime income withdrawals are
available as early as age 50.

With Retirement Foundation ADV, clients can receive their income via
predictable payments that remain the same throughout their lifetime, or,
if clients are concerned about the rising costs of living during
retirement, via payments that have the opportunity to increase in
exchange for a lower initial payment percentage.

Retirement Foundation ADV uses a simple design with one crediting method
that brings growth potential provided by four index allocation options
or a fixed interest allocation option. Additional features of Retirement
Foundation ADV include a cumulative withdrawal amount, a Nursing Home
Benefit, a Flexible Annuity Option Rider, and a Flexible Withdrawal
Rider (available for an extra fee).

For more information about Retirement Foundation ADV visit here.

The annual benefit charge for the Income Benefit rider is 1.05% of the
accumulation value, deducted monthly from the accumulation value and
guaranteed minimum value (in most states).

Distributions are subject to ordinary income tax and, if taken prior to
age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal additional tax.

Guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying
ability of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.

• Not FDIC insured • May lose value • No bank or credit union guarantee
• Not a deposit • Not insured by any federal government agency or
NCUA/NCUSIF

Products are issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America,
5701 Golden Hills Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55416-1297.

C95493-MVA, R95374-MVA

About Allianz Life Insurance Company of North
America

Allianz
Life Insurance Company of North America, one of FORTUNE’s 100 Best
Companies to Work For in 2016, has been keeping its promises since 1896.
Today, it carries on that tradition, helping Americans achieve their
retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuities and
life insurance products. In 2015, Allianz Life provided a total of $2.4
billion in benefit payments that supported policyholders’ financial
objectives. As a leading provider of fixed index annuities, Allianz Life
is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services
industry with 142,000 employees in more than 70 countries worldwide.
More than 85 million private and corporate customers rely on Allianz
knowledge, global reach, and capital strength to help them make the most
of financial opportunities.

New Research Demonstrates Participation in Coaching Moves the Needle

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HealthFitness recently conducted research
on wellness program participation and found that technology, although
crucially important, is only one piece of the puzzle. Participants are
seeking a highly personalized experience. And programs that can offer
this personalized experience, along with innovative technology, can
attract and keep participants active in the wellness program.

The research demonstrated that among clients, health coaching offers
measurable costs savings, health behavior improvement, risk reduction
and very high satisfaction as direct results of creating a uniquely
personalized experience for participants.

Health coaching presents more opportunities for cost savingsWhen
considering how various components of wellness programs impact medical
and pharmacy costs, research demonstrated that, based on the analysis of
HealthFitness clients, the 70:30 rule applies to coaching:

Overall, 30% of HealthFitness client participants enroll in coaching

70% of cost savings come from coaching participants

HealthFitness clients whose wellness program participants worked with
coaches recognized the incremental 6.1% of cost savings:

$586 – Average savings per year for coaching participants, or 11.3% of
medical costs

$261 – Average savings per year for non-coached participants, or 5.2%
of medical costs

Coached participants experience greater health impact compared to
non-coached wellness program participantsAnalysis of
HealthFitness clients found coached participants:

On average, gained 70% less weight (.24 lbs. for the coached
participant compared to .80 lbs. for non-coached participants). That’s
over half a pound per year!

Among 123,798 total program participants studied as part of our
research, nearly 20% (24,472 participants) worked with coaches and on
average lost approximately 8 lbs. when also adding whole grains, fruit
and vegetables to their diet, participating in strength training and
also taking part in the Colorful ChoicesTM six-week
challenge, which helps participants make produce a part of their daily
diet.

Clients’ program participants are satisfied with coachesAccording
to a recent client survey, participants value the combination of the
experienced, passionate coaches and technological resources
HealthFitness provides.

93% are satisfied with their health coach

90% reach their health goals

91% are satisfied with resources, information and tools available
online

84% report improved productivity after working with their health coach

“When considering how to bring personalization to your wellness program,
it’s important to think of how best to match the program with the
people,” says Cherie Buraglio, HealthFitness senior director, product
management. “A program is comprised of all the different activities,
resources, devices, apps and challenges; actions participants take that
are part of a wellness program. But it’s the people— especially our
coaches—who bring the program to life and provide participants with a
personalized experience.”

Coaching participation measurably impacts healthy behaviorsThis
personalized approach to wellness, made possible through coaches, is
leading to measurable changes in participants’ healthy behaviors. A new
study demonstrates that participants enrolled via live session stayed in
the program longer, had more coaching sessions and, as a result, were
more successful in building healthy, sustainable habits.

To learn more about the impact of coaching on healthy behaviors, read
Cherie Buraglio’s recent blog post.

About HealthFitnessHealthFitness, a Trustmark company, is
an award-winning, URAC and NCQA-accredited provider of health
management, corporate fitness and condition management solutions. With
more than 40 years of experience, HealthFitness is a proven leader and
partner for infusing a culture of health. We maximize client results
through personalized interaction and a science-based approach to on-site
program management, engagement and prevention. Parent company Trustmark
provides a full spectrum of employee benefits to improve well-being
through better health and greater financial security. For more
information on HealthFitness, visit www.healthfitness.com.

Canal Insurance Company Deploys Adaptik Cloud for P&C Policy Administration

BETHLEHEM, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Adaptik Corporation, a leading provider of flexible, scalable and
configurable software solutions for property & casualty insurers, today
announced that Canal Insurance Company has deployed the Adaptik
Cloud software suite to administer its commercial automobile line of
business.

Canal, a leading commercial trucking and specialty transportation
insurer headquartered in South Carolina, chose the Adaptik Cloud with
the goal of modernizing its policy administration infrastructure. Now
successfully implemented and in production, the Adaptik Cloud will allow
Canal to bring new products to market quickly, mitigate risk and
streamline workflows.

Hosted in a highly secure cloud environment, the Adaptik Cloud delivers
all the configurability and scalability of Adaptik’s traditional
on-premise solutions with no hardware for internal IT staff to maintain.
The result is enterprise-grade performance with exceptionally low total
cost of ownership.

“We are excited to go live with the Adaptik Cloud,” said John DiBlanda,
SVP and CFO of Canal Insurance. “As we strive to meet the ever-changing
demands of our clients, it is imperative that our policy administration
solution gives us the agility to introduce and modify products quickly.
The Adaptik Cloud’s rapid deployment capability, coupled with Adaptik’s
expertise in specialty insurance, is already helping us manage our
complex business requirements and putting us on a path for future
growth.”

“The Adaptik Cloud empowers property and casualty insurers to turn even
their most complex and niche products and lines into opportunities for
sustainable growth,” said John Pettit, President and CEO of Adaptik
Corporation. “With its implementation of the Adaptik Cloud, Canal has
the tools it needs to continue to grow and thrill its clients. We
applaud the Canal team for their dedication to this project and look
forward to our continued partnership.”

About Canal Insurance Company

Canal Insurance Company, headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina,
has specialized in providing insurance to commercial trucking operations
through selected professional general agents for more than 75 years. By
offering auto liability, motor truck cargo, physical damage and truckers
general liability coverages, Canal is able to provide comprehensive
options for its insureds.

About Adaptik Corporation

Adaptik Corporation provides leading P&C insurance carriers with
software solutions that empower them to efficiently handle their most
vexing challenges. Adaptik offers policy administration and
billing solutions designed to drive operational agility, simplify
product implementations, improve speed to market and scale to support
large numbers of users and high transaction volumes – regardless of the
complexity of the product or line of business.

Founded in 2000 and based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Adaptik has been
named a “Best Place to Work in PA” every year since 2010.

To learn more about Adaptik or to see a demonstration of our suite of
core solutions, visit adaptik.com.
You can follow us on Twitter @adaptik,
or view our LinkedIn page here.

New Research Demonstrates Participation in Coaching Moves the Needle

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HealthFitness recently conducted research
on wellness program participation and found that technology, although
crucially important, is only one piece of the puzzle. Participants are
seeking a highly personalized experience. And programs that can offer
this personalized experience, along with innovative technology, can
attract and keep participants active in the wellness program.

The research demonstrated that among clients, health coaching offers
measurable costs savings, health behavior improvement, risk reduction
and very high satisfaction as direct results of creating a uniquely
personalized experience for participants.

Health coaching presents more opportunities for cost savingsWhen
considering how various components of wellness programs impact medical
and pharmacy costs, research demonstrated that, based on the analysis of
HealthFitness clients, the 70:30 rule applies to coaching:

Overall, 30% of HealthFitness client participants enroll in coaching

70% of cost savings come from coaching participants

HealthFitness clients whose wellness program participants worked with
coaches recognized the incremental 6.1% of cost savings:

$586 – Average savings per year for coaching participants, or 11.3% of
medical costs

$261 – Average savings per year for non-coached participants, or 5.2%
of medical costs

Coached participants experience greater health impact compared to
non-coached wellness program participantsAnalysis of
HealthFitness clients found coached participants:

On average, gained 70% less weight (.24 lbs. for the coached
participant compared to .80 lbs. for non-coached participants). That’s
over half a pound per year!

Among 123,798 total program participants studied as part of our
research, nearly 20% (24,472 participants) worked with coaches and on
average lost approximately 8 lbs. when also adding whole grains, fruit
and vegetables to their diet, participating in strength training and
also taking part in the Colorful ChoicesTM six-week
challenge, which helps participants make produce a part of their daily
diet.

Clients’ program participants are satisfied with coachesAccording
to a recent client survey, participants value the combination of the
experienced, passionate coaches and technological resources
HealthFitness provides.

93% are satisfied with their health coach

90% reach their health goals

91% are satisfied with resources, information and tools available
online

84% report improved productivity after working with their health coach

“When considering how to bring personalization to your wellness program,
it’s important to think of how best to match the program with the
people,” says Cherie Buraglio, HealthFitness senior director, product
management. “A program is comprised of all the different activities,
resources, devices, apps and challenges; actions participants take that
are part of a wellness program. But it’s the people— especially our
coaches—who bring the program to life and provide participants with a
personalized experience.”

Coaching participation measurably impacts healthy behaviorsThis
personalized approach to wellness, made possible through coaches, is
leading to measurable changes in participants’ healthy behaviors. A new
study demonstrates that participants enrolled via live session stayed in
the program longer, had more coaching sessions and, as a result, were
more successful in building healthy, sustainable habits.

To learn more about the impact of coaching on healthy behaviors, read
Cherie Buraglio’s recent blog post.

About HealthFitnessHealthFitness, a Trustmark company, is
an award-winning, URAC and NCQA-accredited provider of health
management, corporate fitness and condition management solutions. With
more than 40 years of experience, HealthFitness is a proven leader and
partner for infusing a culture of health. We maximize client results
through personalized interaction and a science-based approach to on-site
program management, engagement and prevention. Parent company Trustmark
provides a full spectrum of employee benefits to improve well-being
through better health and greater financial security. For more
information on HealthFitness, visit www.healthfitness.com.

GMC Software Announces General Availability of Feature-rich GMC Inspire R11

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–www.gmcsoftware.com:
GMC Software, the award-winning leader in Customer Communications
Management (CCM), announced today the general availability of GMC
Inspire R11 (Release 11). The enriched version of GMC
Inspire, created by the world’s largest dedicated CCM development
team, includes more than 500 new enhancements and 25 major new features.
Twenty months in the making, GMC Inspire R11 incorporates industry
firsts developed in response to the cross-industry need for a solution
that enables business-wide collaboration, visibility throughout the
customer journey, and the ability to take immediate action to improve
the customer experience.

Among the many new enhancements, GMC Inspire R11 contains the first-ever
cloud-based Customer Experience (CX)/CCM collaboration tool, the first
CCM solution to offer integrated customer journey mapping technology,
and the first mobile software development kit (SDK) to deliver customer
communications as a mobile service:

GMC Inspire R11’s cloud-based CX/CCM collaboration tool allows for
social commenting on every cloud application, which helps keep the
lines of communication open throughout the asset development and
delivery process. This level of collaboration was developed to help
enterprises, and the service providers that serve them, maintain brand
integrity throughout the customer journey; provide customer service
representatives with relevant upsell and cross-sell opportunities; and
accelerate changes and approvals to documents within pre-set limits,
without IT involvement.

GMC Inspire R11’s integrated Customer Journey Mapping, which was
included in Gartner’s
June 2016 Market Guide for Customer Journey Analytics, is a
cloud-based solution that makes it easy to connect to any third-party
tools and data sources. The technology breaks down the silos between
communication projects managed by different teams and serves as a
powerful decision-making tool, allowing CX and marketing executives to
review and take action to improve their organization’s entire
portfolio of CCM assets through a single web interface.

The solution’s SDK, GMC Inspire Mobile
Advantage, makes it possible to create a responsive, interactive
and regulatory compliant mobile experience with little reliance upon
IT or external support.

“The new features and enhancements in GMC Inspire R11 address the
momentous shift in the marketplace and in the CCM industry as a whole,”
said Tamir Sigal, CMO, GMC Software. “Today everyone within an
organization is being held responsible for creating the most positive
customer experience possible. R11 enables stakeholders throughout the
organization to take part in the process of CX transformation.”

GMC Inspire R11 will be generally available on February 7, 2017. To
learn more about the key features, attend GMC Software’s CX
Transformation Day webinar session, “GMC Inspire R11,” presented by
Scott Draeger, VP of Product, GMC Software, on Tues. February 7 at
1:10-1:50pm EST. Click
here to register.

About GMC Software

GMC Software helps companies communicate with their customers and
employees. GMC Software empowers organizations to create stronger
engagements with timely and relevant communications. A Neopost Digital
Company, GMC Software provides the means for business users to develop
contextual, highly individualized communications across all channels
that span the entire customer journey. A leader in customer
communications, GMC Software supports thousands of clients and partners
in banking, insurance, healthcare and service providers around the world.

Brooklyn Rail Applauds Szymaszek’s Journal of Ugly Sites

Poetry News
By Harriet Staff
Stacy Szymaszek’s Journal of Ugly Sites & Other Journals is a book about the self, Chris Campanioni writes in this Brooklyn Rail web exclusive. The notebook, a rigorous catalog of the ugly, the beautiful, the ordinary, becomes a complex portrait of the narrator. Nothing is unsightly or “too beautiful for the ugly journal,” she writes. Campanioni attests to this in his assessment: “Transit generates constant arrivals, and Szymaszek’s astute quips of the quotidian which might have been boring or facile in another context, are instead imbued with the gravitas of drama, heightened by the very fact of their brief mention and fast passing.” Moving with the text:

The polarization of highs and lows mirrors our hyperpolarized cultural worldview and meticulously curated lens—which she, of course, includes too, in the form of trending topics on Twitter: (“swallowed by hippo / 3 bodies found on farm / 105 year old bacon woman / gold medalist dead //”) or what’s playing on the television at the gym (“pelvic mesh recall / Christian Mingle/Obama and the gays //”). She scrolls across the page with careful distance and deliberation, a constancy that remains unbroken, as Szymaszek writes in “Late Spring Journal,” “‘no news is good news’/as a policy/doesn’t work for me.” Readers, too, experience the vertiginous sensation of simultaneously reading a historical document and knowing this is happening right now. Documentation is also an integral component of the text, especially its grounding in a New York City that is relentlessly changing. To receive a memento of what it was like in 2013 to be here, amid a HopStopped, cupcake-frenzied Manhattan is to also engrave your name in the sidewalk and claim your experience of witness: what’s lost or abandoned, what’s already left us—and what stays. Journal of Ugly Sites & Other Journals, as it follows an arc made tragic by the deaths of two beloved animals, becomes a project of endurance, a project for enduring. Every entry is a fragment that abandons punctuation and embraces the gerund where she is constantly moving, the euphoria and self-surprise of relating one’s life in the present tense. Szymaszek’s continuous use of the gerund is an especially appropriate grammatical turn because of its linguistic origins, from the Late Latin gerundium, from Latin gerundus, meaning to bear, carry on—and she is doing both, through commentary and investigation.

Continue reading at Brooklyn Rail.

Tags: Chris Campanioni, Stacy Szymaszek, The Brooklyn Rail
Posted in Poetry News on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 by Harriet Staff.

2017 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Recipients Announced

Poetry News
By Harriet Staff
The 2017 PEN/Heim Translation Fund recipients have been announced! Alongside the inaugural winner of the PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature, this year’s awardees span 15 projects and 13 different languages, including Arabic, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Nepali, and more. “Each project will receive a grant of $3,870 to assist in its completion, and the inaugural winner of the Italian Literature grant will receive a $5,000 grant.” Poetry winners:

Nick Admussen for his translation of Floral Mutter, a collection of poems by the contemporary Sichuanese poet Ya Shi. A master of disjunctive imagery, Ya Shi brings language to the precipice of the absurd and holds it over the abyss for all to see. Admussen’s translations, which are perfectly balanced and polished, recreate the source poems for us in a language the judges described as “haunting.” In an age when contemporary Chinese poetry is profoundly influenced by its eastern urban centers, Ya Shi stands out as an inimitable voice from the interior. (Forthcoming from Zephyr Press.)
[…]
Iain Galbraith for his compilation and translation from the German of Raoul Schrott: Selected Poems, a dual language collection of poetry by the celebrated polyglot Austrian poet, novelist, and essayist that has been published over the last 20 years. Galbraith’s great gift as a translator and poet is to render the wide and challenging range of Schrott’s subjects–eruptions of the earth and of history, the ancient world, science, art, and the experience of the sublime—in stunningly lucid and exquisite imagery. (Available for publication.)
[…]
Michelle Gil-Montero for the crystalline elegance that shines through her translations of the work of award-winning Mexican poet, translator, and visual artist, Valerie Meyer Caso. The collection of poetry, Edinburgh Notebook, named for a city the author never visited, vividly recreates a sense of the speaker as she interrogates the inner landscapes of her memories in intense, imagistic verse and prose poems. (Available for publication.)
[…]
Kaitlin Rees for her excellent translation of Nhã Thuyên’s poetry collection A Parade. The prose pieces that make up this collection—which seem to be built around the edges of a narrative—introduce a compelling new Vietnamese voice. (Available for publication.)

Publishers and editors who wish to express an interest in any of these projects are invited to contact PEN Literary Awards Manager, Arielle Anema, for the translators’ contact information. Her info, and more details on other funded projects, can be found here.
We also happened to notice that some of Admussen’s translations of Ya Shi (seen at top) are up at Asymptote. “The tenderness of self-love can go to hell!”

Tags: PEN/Heim Translation Fund, Ya Shi
Posted in Poetry News on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 by Harriet Staff.

Rita Dove on Eloquent & Degraded Languages

Poetry News
By Harriet Staff
The always-eloquent, always-insightful Rita Dove talks to David Masciotra at Salon. Their conversation focuses on the power of poetry to illuminate and widen our perceptions of the world, and Dove notes how essential the role of poetry is in an era of double-speak, factual erosion, and the degradation of the language under the leadership of Donald Trump. Dove begins by looking at the power of the lyric:

A good lyrical poem allows us to look around, and feel present in our own skin. That is important today because we are being bombarded by so many shocking things — things that are striking us. We forget to ask ourselves, “I’m a human being. How do I want the world where I live? How do I feel about my neighbor?” That kind of communication is getting lost in the kaleidoscopic barrage of events that are happening. We are being scattered. I think it is deliberate, and now we are getting political. We are forgetting to focus on that which is elemental.

Later on in the conversation, Dove compares Obama’s use of language (rich, eloquent, and inclusive) to Trump’s narrow linguist alleyway, and then brings these thoughts to bear on poetry:

Yes, I agree with the assessment that language is being reduced, especially in comparison with Barack Obama, who was quite eloquent and understood the value and effectiveness of language in all of its registers. He could not only be eloquent, as a leader, in a high, classical speech manner, but he also knew how to get down. That is how you reach people, and make them realize that a leader speaks their language — to demonstrate an understanding of the intimations and syncopations of a common, but elevated language.
Human beings have the language we can write down, which means it can be communicated to other human beings who do not even see the original author. Now, we have this gift, and for it to be reduced, also reduces our capacity to progress and develop. Language is now being reduced to the level of an undeveloped 2-year-old. Everything is “tremendous” or “disastrous.” This drives me mad, because once you have a limited vocabulary for articulation, it blinds your vision. You are no longer able to describe that which exists outside the borders of that cage of language you have put yourself into. What the arts do, especially literature, is to try to push those borders, so that we can always say more, and therefore do more. That expands your consciousness. It sounds hippie to say that, but it is true. If we don’t have a language to describe an experience, it is almost as if we cannot really experience it.
So, we have no real words of communicating helplessness among people who are relatively well-off. When we hear “helpless,” we think of people who are destitute or a child who is orphaned. But, many of us are feeling helpless right now. The poet’s mission might be to articulate how unusual and unique this is feeling right now. I’m not saying that the poet must be political. Each of us are many different beings. I can speak out as a citizen, and then write something about flowers. Poets, however, are sensitive to their surroundings in the world where they live. So, speaking out is almost unavoidable. That can sustain people, because if someone reads a poet’s description of an experience for which they had no words before, it again offers the reassurance of telling them that they are not alone.

Continue on at Salon for all of the goods.

Tags: David Masciotra, Rita Dove, Salon
Posted in Poetry News on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 by Harriet Staff.

On the Power of Warsan Shire and Beyoncé

Poetry News
By Harriet Staff
The Editor-at-Large for Literary Hub, Marta Bausells’s recent commentary ruminates on the state of international politics (the Syrian refugee crisis, President Trump’s Muslim ban, Black History Month) and applauds Warsan Shire and Beyoncé’s on-going collaboration. Shire, who wrote a poem to accompany Beyoncé’s photoshoot announcing her pregnancy, immigrated from Africa and grew up in London. “Whether she is writing about the refugee experience, war, family or relationships, Shire grants humanity and individuality to people who have for too long been subsumed under collective terms like ‘refugee’ or ‘immigrant’—or not talked about at all,” Bausells writes. More:

A Kenyan-born British-Somali poet, Shire embodies Audre Lorde’s notion of language as resistance. Her work is raw, bloody, painful, while at the same time it can be read as hopeful—by affirming the pain, we free ourselves from it. Recognized as the inaugural Young Poet Laureate for London in 2014 (alongside other awards) she has published two pamphlets: her first was “Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth” in 2011, which already displayed narratives of journey, war, and trauma that hit the reader in the face. Mouthmark, the small imprint that first published her in Britain, put it like this: “[Shire’s] poetry is a kind of literary pointillism applied on a jazz-blues-blood-sex-rock-and-rolled canvas with sweat, tears and spittle as primary colours; if you don’t get it you’re not listening.”
The timing couldn’t have been better for Beyoncé to lift everyone up, yes, but also for Shire’s poetry to consolidate as the words we turn to in this dark period. To me, their collaboration represents the duality of this cultural moment: the anger and the hope, the despair with a politics that eliminates all pretense of normal life, the need to take action while also just putting one foot in front of the other. The visual combination of old snaps of Beyoncé’s family life, baroque pictures of her pregnancy—surrounded by flowers, saint-like, submerged in water—and Shire’s words—an ode to a black Venus and the mysterious power of motherhood—feels at once divine and grounded in nature, both saintly and full of life. It reads like a sublime declaration, made even more powerful by the artists’ silence around it. They let the art do the talking.

Continue reading at Literary Hub.

Tags: Beyoncé, Literary Hub, Marta Bausells, Warsan Shire
Posted in Poetry News on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 by Harriet Staff.

These Are the Two Republicans Who Voted Against DeVos

Two Republican senators voted against President Donald Trump’s secretary of education nominee Betsy DeVos Tuesday, forcing Vice President Mike Pence to cast a historic vote to break the tie to confirm her.
Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, and Susan Collins, of Maine, sided with every Democrat and two Independent senators to oppose DeVos. Pence then cast the deciding vote, which marks the first time a vice president has had to break a tie regarding a cabinet nomination.
Murkowski and Collins announced their opposition to DeVos ahead of the vote on the grounds she is not qualified to be the education secretary. “I simply cannot support her confirmation,” Collins said on the Senate floor last week.
DeVos has been criticized for showing a lack of depth of knowledge of the education system in her confirmation hearings, but is primarily opposed by Democrats because of her standing as a wealthy conservative who is pro-school choice. Murkowski and Collins were accused by some conservatives of voting no because of influence from teacher’s unions in their districts who are opposed to DeVos.
Murkowski was just re-elected to another six years in the Senate, and Collins is not up for re-election until 2020.
This article was originally published by The Daily Caller News Foundation.