SICA-USA is now honoring five writers who are contributing their work to the First Annual Online Silent Auction launching on June 17th and running through July 17th.
Our purpose is two-fold: to raise money to expand our SICA Grants Program which benefits Subud Cultural Projects, and to showcase the amazing spectrum of the Subud Cultural/Artistic Community. This week we’re featuring the following five writer-contributors:

Paul Nelson
Poet and interviewer, Paul E. Nelson is the son of a labor activist father and Cuban immigrant mother. Born on Chicago’s west side in 1961, he’s lived in Seattle since 1988. He founded the Cascadia Poetics LAB and the Cascadia Poetry Festival, which has produced hundreds of poetry events, plus 700 hours of interview programming with legendary poets such as Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Robin Blaser, Diane di Prima, and many others. Paul’s books include Haibun de la Serna (2022), American Prophets (2018), American Sentences (2015/2021), A Time Before Slaughter (2009), and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (2013). He’s presented poetry in London, Brussels, Nanaimo, Los Angeles, Beijing. His work has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese.
Paul Nelson is contributing a chapbook entitled The Day Song of Casa del Colibri: Como Sacramentos. This amazing poetry book was written in a single day as Paul’s response to the sudden death of Evan Padilla. He named the form Day Song, explaining “my Subud receiving has taught me that my grief is toxic unless it is related to my own loss and not that of my dear brother Evan, whose time had clearly arrived. It is my hope that This Day Song will be seen as an offering to the memory of Evan Padilla, to Dogen, and to writing mentors who have inspired my life but are no longer here: Sam Hamill, Michael McClure, and Wanda Coleman.

Benedict Herrman

Benedict has always written; he wrote his first Sci-Fi story in the 7th grade. He wrote numerous Subud newsletters over the years and produced the Lifedance Newsletter for 5 years including writing, layout and editing. He adapted Imaginary Invalid, a play by Moliere, in the early days of Masque Alfresco. He was retired when Covid hit and began feeling like he should write when in latihan his fingers began moving as if they were keyboarding. It still happens. In Porto, a city in Portugal, we tested about Bapak’s presence manifesting in our lives, and his arms, hands and fingers immediately began keyboarding, feeling another set of arms and hands covering his own. “I’ve often felt guidance writing these books as ideas flowed quickly, one into another.”
Benedict is contributing a science fiction novel entitled Too Far from Home. It’s the first of a trilogy. The second book is titled Seeking Home and the third is Coming Home. All three are in the spiritual science fiction genre, and sizeable page-turner reads.

Heather Starsong
Heather Starsong has loved and told stories all her life. As a child she’d gather with younger children in her neighborhood under a big forsythia bush to tell stories, making them up as she went along. As a teenager she was the storyteller and song-leader in her local Girl Scout Day Camp, moving from unit to unit creating stories for the different age groups. As a mother she told stories to her children about the mischievous adventures of their stuffed animals. As a grandmother she created “story packs” for her grandchildren using the covers from greeting cards from which each child drew out a card that Heather would then tell a story about. Finally in 2007 Heather began to write her stories down in book form.

Heather Starsong is offering three books for the SICA Online Auction:

Song of Eliria: Harriet falls through the ice of a frozen lake; she should have died. Instead, she returns to consciousness standing on a ridge above the lake at sunrise, singing with others a haunting, exquisitely beautiful song. No one else is there and there are no footprints in the snow, not even hers.

Never Again:

On her 18th birthday Clara climbs a mountain to a remote place she loves and is struck my lightning. She is rescued by beings from the planet of Eliria who carry her to their ship to heal her, not only from the effects of lightning, but also from the ravages of aging.

The Purest Gold:

In 1866 Lilly and Rose, beautiful identical twins, aged 15, set out in a covered wagon to the Colorado Territory with Daniel Wright, their stern minister father. The girls face an identity crisis and loss as the challenges and attractions of their new life draw them apart.

Reynald Ruslan Feldman

Ruslan Feldman, a Subud member for 62 years, is a retired university English professor, dean and academic vice-president. He received his masters and doctoral degrees from Yale. He also served as a national education consultant, foundation consultant, nonprofit administrator, grant writer, and professional fundraiser. In Subud he is a long-time helper, including International Helper. In 2013 he and his wife, Dr. Cedar Barstow, taught at the BCU International Subud School in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Ruslan speaks eight languages including Bahasa Indonesian.
Mr. Feldman is donating his book entitled Stories I Remember – My Pilgrimage to Wisdom. Ruslan is offering a signed copy of his memoir published for his 70 th birthday in 2009. This book includes stories from is first 49 years in Subud including his experiences with Bapak, Ibu Sumari, Ibu Rahayu, Sudarto, Brodjo, Prio, Iksan, and Varindra.

Don Berg

Don Berg is an author, education researcher, alternative education practitioner and leader. Peer-reviewed journals Other Education and The Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior have published his research. He has over 20 years’ experience leading children in self-directed educational settings. He has taught psychology at the Village Free School in Portland, Oregon. As the Executive Director of Deeper Learning Advocates, he is on a mission to embed the psychology of learning into policy, so that policy stops undermining learning. He has presented his work in education at conferences in the USA, Canada, Chile, the Netherlands, and in China.
Don Berg is contributing his latest book Schooling for Holistic Equity: How to Manage the Hidden Curriculum for K-12. Don wrote six self-published books between 2004 and 2020. He made the leap to working with Publish Your Purpose noting that he had to write this book because he hadn’t found anything else that goes deeply enough into rethinking education from a scientifically grounded perspective.
The SICA-USA Board is really excited about showing more than a hundred works by Subud creatives across the country in one place, the first time this has been done. Remember, the site launches on June 17 th . We encourage everyone to have a look, register to bid, find the pieces you would like to own, and bid away! Next week we will feature four more artists who have offered their work for this showcase.

Please leave your comments in the field below and share the blog as widely as possible.

Meet the Cultural Contributors, Week 3