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Debbie Guzzi's Blog

About Debbie Guzzi
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Deborah Guzzi travels for inspiration: China, Nepal [during the civil war], Japan, Egypt [two weeks before ‘The Arab Spring’], and most recently Peru. First published at the age of sixteen, she writes articles for Massage and Aroma Therapy Magazines. Her poetry has been accepted in the Literary Journals of Western CT. University, Inclement Magazine, Pyrokinections, Jellyfish Whispers, Grey Wolf’s Summer Legends Anthology, The Germ, Wilderness Literary Review, The Anthology Sweet Dreams & Night Terrors, Bitterzoet Magazine, haiku journal, Contemporary Haibun Online, Bella on line, The Autumn Sound, Eskimo Pie, and Ribbons, The Inwood Indiana Review, Five Poetry, Tanka Society of America Journal, and 50 haiku. She has published two illustrated volumes of poetry, The Healing Heart and Heaven and Hell in a Nutshell.

Oh The Roses in MY Cheeks

Blog Posted:6/14/2013 3:41:00 PM

Just dropping by to let you know what we poets have to deal with in the RW [real world] below is a magazine editor actually attempting to help! GAH! Do you know how many of my writes fall into this category shall I kill myself now?

Poetry Clichés to Avoid

* A wall separates us from others.
* Life is like a tree, the seasons cycle around.
* You miss a loved person and want to see them again.
* You are growing and changing and have to accept the alterations.
* Life is difficult but you can persevere.
* A person is a lump of clay to be molded by someone else.

          These are all wonderful thoughts, but remember that we have already read them
          many, many, many times. After the first 300 times or so, they can feel a bit stale.

If your poem is very basic - "I miss him. He has been gone for so long. When can I see him again?" then it is the same as hundreds of other poems. Your poem will not stand out.

Make sure your poem is unique to you and your situation. Are you pining away in the dusty basement, gazing through a grime-smeared window? Are you sadly desolate on a sunny hilltop, sitting beneath the apple tree where you shared your last picnic? Are you morosely walking down a flight of concrete stairs into the depths of a subway platform, turning your head to avoid the stench of pee from the wooden bench? It is all of those specific details that help the reader really connect to YOUR experience, to learn why your heartbreak or joy or resolution is individual and visceral.

Think about the details. Yes, hair can "blow" in the wind. That is a generic, non-specific image. Hair can more explicitly curl delicately in a breeze, whip like a flag in a gale, stream gently behind you, rise playfully in a gust. Paint a visual image for your reader, let them know exactly what you mean.

Here are some clichés which are best to avoid.

Building a Wall

One of the most common poems we see involves a sad person and "a wall" which blocks out family, friends, and society. The wall was built to protect the person - but over time they realize that the wall has held them in as well. They want to tear down the wall, but they are nervous about it, or unable to do it, or run into other problems.

To see just how cliché the wall image is, get yourself the double album of "The Wall" by Pink Floyd, and rent the movie! Not only did they do two full length albums on this topic, but they even made a full length movie going
into this topic. There are thousands and thousands of poems by innumerable poets on the topic of walls. This is one of the most common themes in poetry. If you are going to make your "wall" poem stand out, it absolutely
must be unique, with great visual details and with a very unique point of view. If not, it will be no different than the myriad of other wall poems which have already been read.

Life is a Cycle of Nature

Especially in the fall and winter, we are inundated with poems about "Life is like nature. In the spring, the little seedlings grow. In the summer, we enjoy the food! In the fall, the crunchy leaves hit us on the head. In the
winter, everything is cold and nasty."

Fall seems to bring these poems out in force. We always get an avalanche of poems in fall about how fall represents a cycle of nature. It becomes quite mind numbing.

Yes, the theme is cute the first ten or twenty times - but by the time you've read this the 1,000th time it gets to be a bit overwhelming. Yes, we know life is like nature. Yes, we know that old age is like winter. Please find another
metaphor to express your thoughts on how life progresses.

Longing for Someone who is Gone

Maybe the nature of poetry is that the desire to write poetry strikes when you are miserable and alone. Maybe that is why so many poets write angst-filled poem after poem pining after the boy or girl who is no longer in their life.
These poems tend to run along the same course. "Before, things were great. We walked hand in hand in sunny meadows. Two hearts were never so in tune! Now, I hear your voice on the wind. The meadow is barren. The flowers have stopped flowering. The butterflies have stopped butterflying. I am alone...

Yes, we have all been there. We all know the angst of losing a loved one. You need to tell us YOUR version of what happened. Instead of generic, seen-a-thousand-times images of "happy hand in hand in meadows", tell
us YOUR specific images. Did you used to have cappuccino in a red-brick café by a cobblestone fountain? When you go by the café now, do you see the menu lying at your favorite cast-iron table? What visions are important to YOU? We want to be drawn into your world.

If you take a serious look at your own poetry posted here on Soup, have you written as many of these cliché topics as I have??

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  1. Date: 6/15/2013 5:21:00 PM
    Hey, Debbie... I think it all depends on who the poet is writing for :D Same goes for writing (as you know I split my writing between the real world and the kinder one ;) ) Now, if (for say) a mom/dad is writing for their family (and also sharing these poems with soup) then I think the cliché is A-Okay. Maybe, they will speak of the old oak planted at the family farm, the graveyard beside it, how that tree means life and death... now, won't turn on an editor, but the granddaughter after her grandpa's death? Ah, then... that poem will be a beloved inheritance... cherished and honoured. So, I think all is good, and I'm proud of you for pushing ahead! But don't be pink-cheeked... all is good!

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 6/15/2013 5:24:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Nette is one of the best poets of today, off and on soup. Her style is strong, her voice WHOLLY hers and her mastery of language stuns the reader with a completely new look at what may be a familiar situation or location... she could teach this! How to avoid the common... :D
  1. Date: 6/15/2013 5:59:00 AM
    Chris so nice to here from you, and thanks for the boot in my butt as you see I am submitting less here and saving more for the publishers who don't accept reprints, even after I whined to you in soup mail YOUR advice did help!

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  1. Date: 6/15/2013 5:57:00 AM
    Well, I think I got my first paying publication 3 verses in an anthology pay $12 & 2 copies, [I got a contract!!] LOL

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  1. Date: 6/14/2013 7:40:00 PM
    Bravo, Chris! I like your honesty. Honest, but not brutal. You are among the few. (No, I'm not kissing you up, pal. And I'm not a masochist, either.)

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 6/15/2013 5:27:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Bet, looking forward to the next "daily." I writing for your contest, come Monday, I hope and then back to my crown, the poor thing is withering on a shelf... Hugs!!!
    Guzzi Avatar Debbie Guzzi Date: 6/15/2013 5:54:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    just join my group & we will edit your verses and give you actual line by line critiques when needed
  1. Date: 6/14/2013 7:11:00 PM
    Oh! And poems about writing poems....such a pet peeve of mine.

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    Chircop Avatar Charmaine Chircop Date: 6/15/2013 12:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    : ) or I 'm here.. You're there : )
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/14/2013 7:31:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    ... and of course, the comment ends with the classic: I've been there! : D
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/14/2013 7:29:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/14/2013 7:28:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/14/2013 7:28:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 6/14/2013 7:16:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    The infamous "Writer's Block" poems: "I have writer's block, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-so sad-blah-blah-poor me-blah-blah-blah, hey! I no longer have writer's block because I just wrote a poem about it! Yay me!" ....... those types of poems. And then the comments added to such poems are like: "Bravo! A Masterpiece! This is the best poem I have ever read! Made me breathless!"
  1. Date: 6/14/2013 7:09:00 PM
    Yeah, of course I've written my share of cliche poems. I do try very hard not to anymore. The biggest culprit for me isn't always an overall cliche topic, but writing a line within the poem that is cliche. I suppose when writers are new, only taking their first baby-steps(<----a cliche right there lol), they tend to do this more often. I had several lines that I didn't even realize were famous cliches until much later. The Pink Floyd analogy in your blog, is a good one. I have to be careful not to do the "autumn-life-is-a-cycle" one, and I have quite a few poems with the "Life-can-be-difficult- but-one-must-persevere" topic.

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  1. Date: 6/14/2013 7:05:00 PM
    Actually, this is exactly the kind of professional feedback that can be helpful, if you're mature enough (I don't doubt that you are, Debbie, just making a point.) I feel that we have to walk on eggs here on PS way too much. The least little misunderstanding gets blown way out of proportion. Theodore Sturgeon said 90% of everything is crap, anyway. We have so few clues to know what is really good, despite contests and comments. I know what people think is really bad, because it doesn't get any comments. Can't seem to get a real critique. Maybe trying to publish????

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  1. Date: 6/14/2013 5:58:00 PM
    Hello my sweeties... ;) so nice to hear from all 3 of YOU, Frank how was your painting trip? Ruben where hades have you been, little is your wee one? I wonder how many contest winners are in these categories aye?

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    Chircop Avatar Charmaine Chircop Date: 6/15/2013 5:51:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hi my little one is nine months old now Deborah.. She s trying to do her first steps..Such a nice time in life and She s growing so fast.Have a lovely weekend sweet lady-big hugs
  1. Date: 6/14/2013 4:53:00 PM
    Thanks for posting this interesting blog Deborah..and yep I'm guilty too :)

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    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/15/2013 8:42:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Waaaaaaaaa hahhahahhahhaha! When you're mad at me ... you're super adorable !!
    Chircop Avatar Charmaine Chircop Date: 6/15/2013 12:59:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    The song is amazing stunning wonderful.i ve been there :p
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/14/2013 5:03:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    And the song?
  1. Date: 6/14/2013 4:50:00 PM
    YES! Im guilty!! : D Thanks for posting this blog, dear Deborah! How are you? I have to check your poems ... A big hug!

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My Past Blog Posts

Things That Make You Go Hmmm
Date Posted: 10/11/2014 10:48:00 PM
The Power and Peril of Punctuation
Date Posted: 10/9/2014 8:49:00 AM
Aiming for Poetry as an ART
Date Posted: 10/4/2014 2:19:00 PM
More, More, More
Date Posted: 9/30/2014 5:22:00 PM
Published Poetry of the 21st Century [not mine]
Date Posted: 9/28/2014 2:41:00 PM
HELP the Meow Meow Pussycats!!!
Date Posted: 9/8/2014 3:54:00 PM
What Does Debbie Sound Like???
Date Posted: 8/29/2014 11:53:00 AM
Eunoia Review
Date Posted: 8/23/2014 7:58:00 AM
Date Posted: 7/30/2014 3:16:00 PM
Thank Ruben! OH Oh, Mr. O
Date Posted: 7/24/2014 7:38:00 PM
SHUF Home of Experimental Poetics
Date Posted: 7/22/2014 3:52:00 PM
Grrrr PS please STOP
Date Posted: 7/17/2014 8:27:00 AM
Dead Snakes
Date Posted: 7/15/2014 11:30:00 AM
I got 'splaining to Do!
Date Posted: 7/7/2014 11:03:00 AM
Date Posted: 6/14/2014 3:42:00 PM
Tincture - A Fine Magazine
Date Posted: 6/5/2014 3:22:00 PM
Smart and Small, Yet Says it All
Date Posted: 6/1/2014 5:42:00 PM
I'm Waiting!!
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 8:22:00 PM
Help Me
Date Posted: 5/17/2014 12:40:00 PM
Last Call Anyone Else want help? Spring haiku Contest
Date Posted: 5/13/2014 11:37:00 AM
Some Good Advise
Date Posted: 5/9/2014 3:21:00 PM
Andrea Dietrich, Joanne Grisetti, Susan Burch
Date Posted: 4/14/2014 9:17:00 AM
A Ghost Hunt by Jack Horne
Date Posted: 4/9/2014 5:32:00 PM
Intro to a VERY Friendly Publisher
Date Posted: 4/6/2014 5:17:00 PM
Thoughts on Faith
Date Posted: 3/29/2014 7:07:00 PM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
10/22/2014Blessed OutcomesAlexandrinedesire,devotion,love,myth
10/21/2014Above the BroadVersemen,woman,
10/21/2014The Oracle's DescentRispettomythology,
10/20/2014The Party's OverVersebetrayal,
10/20/2014Fall's BountySonnetbeauty,
10/15/2014Dark Angels of HighgateSestinadeath,
10/3/2014Destiny Number 5Limerickfunny,
9/30/2014Forever Blowing BubblesLimerickhumor,
9/28/2014Free FormVerselife,
9/23/2014Eccentric EyesSonnetpain,
9/23/2014Hiding PlacesHaibunabuse,
9/23/2014Daddies GirlFree versechildhood,
9/16/2014Holy is the LambFree versepeople,philosophy,
9/3/2014The Devil Made Me Do ItHaibunanger,feelings,relationsh
9/2/2014Watching the Shadows GrowTrioletnature,
8/26/2014Love Froze the FlameGhazallost love,love,
8/21/2014Mist RiseOttava rimabeauty,
8/19/2014Bewitching PowerRhymemen,power,
8/15/2014Unknown InnocenceSonnetfaith,
8/13/2014Mi CorazonLyricromance,
8/12/2014What Ever Gets You Through the NightVersefaith,
8/10/2014A Different FearVerseabuse,
8/7/2014Prayer for HarvestVersesky,
8/4/2014Black Ships SailTail-rhymeabsence,
7/31/2014The Sky Larked MoonVersemoon,
7/31/2014White Shoulder DreamsFree versemissing you,
7/31/2014Masked at MidnightBlitzmurder,mystery,
7/28/2014Velvet as Laughter - BlitzVersejoy,
7/24/2014Soar Among StarsVersegrowth,
7/22/2014Peek A BooVersebaby,
7/19/2014Ride Sally RideBalladsexy,
7/19/2014sun showerHaikucelebration,
7/19/2014Turtle BridgeFree versemythology,
7/17/2014The Scent of WaterVerselife,
7/15/2014The Great Turtle and Sky Woman Rhymemythology,
7/12/2014The Clarity of EyeSonnetuplifting,visionary,
7/11/2014Shattered StagesVerseloss,
7/4/2014Debbie's Rhyme SchemaVersefun,
7/1/2014Moonlight KissesGhazalsea,
6/24/2014Going DownLimericklust,
6/24/2014Dick's PickLimerickgirlfriend,
6/17/2014Lord Harry's FrontLimerickfunny,gender,
6/13/2014Sea SawVersesea,
6/10/2014Dream CatchersSijoappreciation,change,
6/9/2014Glass BellsFree versebeauty,
6/7/2014The Virgin, the Villian and the Black DogSonnetlost love,
6/2/2014Munch's Moon Verselonely,longing,
5/18/2014Smiling CharmedVersetime,
5/17/2014The Day's MourningTerzanellebereavement,
5/16/2014blonde bombshellSenryudeath,
5/16/2014I See Your ShellTerza Rimaabuse,introspection,sad l
5/15/2014Picture PerfectVersebeauty,
5/15/2014Sunset ComplimentDizainbeauty,
5/7/2014MacCool's ToolLimerickallusion,humor,
5/2/2014The Red TideKyriellechildhood,violence,war,wi
4/30/2014Antique KnightsGhazalcar,cool,
4/22/2014Blood MoonCoupletchange,death,eulogy,
4/22/2014-drainpipes rattle on - TankaTankaspring,
4/21/2014Thunder DomeSonnetlife,
4/17/2014Wolf PactsSonnetpolitical,pollution,pover
4/17/2014Thread TimeVerseuplifting,
4/16/2014Itty Bitty SpringTankanature,
4/16/2014Wind BornFree versedream,
4/12/2014Crest FallenVersecolor,
4/8/2014Skin DeepFree versemagic,
4/7/2014Dark And Mystical Versenight,
4/5/2014Tick Tock - Itty BittyFree verseage,funny,
4/4/2014Sweety PeepsVersecandy,child,
4/2/2014Trash Talkin'Free versepoems,
4/1/2014The Handy ManLimerickfunny,funny love,
3/28/2014 March GoosebumpsSonnetspring,wind,
3/23/2014St Catherine's WheelFree versesky,
3/19/2014He Crowed the NightFree versenight,
3/15/2014Memories on the BranchRhymeseasons,
3/14/2014Crotches and ScotchesLimerickfunny,
3/13/2014Pushing the EnvelopeFree versespring,
3/7/2014Life is What You Make ItSonnetloss,
2/28/2014Dewberry CobblerHaibungrowing up,
2/24/2014Remember Kent StateFree versewar,
2/22/2014What's White Got to Do With ItRhymenostalgia,parody,
2/21/2014The Naughty BoyQuatraincare,
2/21/2014Dumb BroadAcrosticlost love,
2/9/2014Corpus delictiCrown of Sonnetsaddiction,family,grief,lo
2/8/2014For Get Me KnotsRhyme royaldeath,eulogy,funeral,lost
2/7/2014A Stone in the Cold 7th VerseSonnetnature,
2/2/2014Cafe MusingsFree verselove,
1/28/2014Be Not JulietItalian Sonnetchildhood,death,love,love
1/22/2014Death's Courting - ConstanzaVerse 
1/19/2014Snap ShotsAcrosticcute love,emotions,film,f
1/17/2014The Inside GirlKimochild,rain,
1/8/2014Westward MovementFree versedevotion,love,peace,
1/5/2014Eternities MawFree verseabsence,visionary,
1/4/2014Comin' Hame - Coming Home -Scottish DialectTerza Rimaabsence,culture,faith,far
1/3/2014Diamonds in the SnowCoupletnature,

My Photos

Fav Poems

Poem TitleFormCategories
GodFree verselife,mystery,
Hard TimesCowboycowboy-western,family,fun
For Things Once CountedRhymeintrospection,loss,uplift
Defender of the WastesFree verseart,life,parody,world,
this is why i woo wordsVerseart,inspirational,philoso
ForbearFree versesad,
Gold FeverFree versefaithfaith,political,
SplatteredI do not know?life
EchoQuatrainlost lovewords,love,
Bells (after Poe)Lyricpassion
Respectfully, Emily DickinsonLyricintrospection
Give the End Back to the BeginningFree versededication,faithme,
The Bruised and Rotting PearCoupletfaith,hope
flyFree verseanimals
ABC's for a Young CaptainABClife
Not Entirely About Living In New YorkFree verselifeworld,light,light,
WoodcutterI do not know?warold,old,
DreamsFree versefaith,forgiveness
A Feed of ChipsNarrativefunny
Weep O WillowsVersedeath
Harlem BluesFree verseblack-african amerchildre
Summers EverlastingFree versenostalgia
EASTER IVYNarrativefriendshipeaster,,cousin,
The Sowing Free versedevotion,
End of daysRhymeinspirational,lifeme,war,
Past-Life NightmareNarrativemystery,autumn,
I dream of you (to JEW)Free verseimagination,lovenight,swe
jellyfish back stropheImagismallegory,nature,on writin
Disposable WisdomRhymeage,cat,life,wisdom,
Remission (In Memory of William Watt).Elegybrother,death,nostalgiawo
The Day That Died ForeverFree verseadventure,angst,art,confu
Summer MatineeNarrativebrother,me,
The Moon and II do not know?hope,life,love,nature,pea
Seeking, SearchingFree verseimaginationlove,
BEFORE SPRING CAMENarrativeadventure,animals,childho
Wild Cherry TreeFree versechildhood,devotion,nature
Words from the OracleLayallegory,philosophy
ScienceFree verse 
Mona Lisa resemblesChokaart
AND WITH MERRIEST SPIRITQuintain (English)faith,father,holiday,insp
Cotton-Pickin' ParadiseVersechildhood,life,nostalgia,
Where The Sycamore GrewFree verseautumn,family,house,life,
LarksFree versedeath,devotion,imaginatio
Big BangLimerickfunny,science
winter (do not forget among the loss of flowers) meFree verse 
LetI do not know?loveme,me,
He Was Smoking HotI do not know?funny
Alabaster NightFree versenature,sea,
Haunted OrbHaikufantasy,nature
This Night Sonnet 
Tombstones & TeacupsRhymeallegory,childhood,death,
Today Not TomorrowFree versededication,depression,gir
Years Of The RoseFree verselost love,loveday,
The Joy that Sweetly StaysFree versehappinessjoy,
Cinder GirlRhymelovelove,
Biography (Thesis Statement)Versehistory,life,philosophyli
Figure FusionVerseart,sports
Dancing Bird - with video linkFree verseanimals,introspection,nat
Poem for a sensuous poetFree versefantasy,on writing and wo
The Road Walked Down Through the YearsRhymelife,on writing and words
The Iceman Cometh!Rhymenostalgia
He says/ She saysNarrativelife
I've seen so manySonnetintrospectionnight,night,
Searching for MichelangeloFree verseart,hope,life,people,imag
When Madness Rides on MoonlightSestinalovegod,light,god,life,li
Falling StarsFree versehopestar,star,
Before the City WakesSonnet 
realisation of self (War Child)Free verseme,me,
Reporting Live On The Soup (Colorado)Rhymefunnyme,me,
Late at nightLyricimaginationme,fear,me,
Reverencing NatureBalladfaith,naturenature,heart,
Simple PleasuresRhymehappinesssummer,summer,
I ExistPantoumintrospectionlife,me,
Leaving Madrid Blank versenostalgia,travel
Magnolia SongFree verselove,romance,
yellow bus roars throughHaikuallegory,nature,places
Ethel's RemediesRhymefunny,people
A Dream In The MistNarrativefantasy,imagination,natur
volga 1 - 3Prose Poetryfantasy
Mama's CleaningQuatrainintrospection,life,mother
UPROOTING THE HEART VEINSFree verseangst,hope,mysteryme,
Revelation Free verseimagination,lifesong,epic
Sports LimerickLimerickfunny
Don't Come Free versedeath,lost love,me,
The SnowflakeItalian Sonnetgirlfriend-boyfriend,roma
Love Beyond the PaleQuatraindevotion,lost love,
Night VisionsFree verselost love,passion,
The Ghost That Travels FarPersonificationnature
Kite Flying - TestFree verseallegory,art,imagination,
Dining with CrowRhymeanimals
Beauty, yesSijohope,imagination,philosop
Smart and Final ProseProse Poetrypeoplepeople,red,city,peo

Fav Poets

Carolyn Devonshire United States Flag United States Read
Carrie Richards United States Flag United States Read
Deirdre Omaidin Ireland Flag Ireland Read
Andrew Crisci United States Flag United States Read
Jim Fish United States Flag United States Read
Debbie Guzzi United States Flag United States Read
Nigel Fawcett Italy Flag Italy Read
L'nass Shango United States Flag United States Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Robert L. Hinshaw United States Flag United States Read
Chris D. Aechtner Canada Flag Canada Read
nette onclaud Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Sidney Beck Russian Federation Flag Russian Federation Read
Sami Al-khalili Canada Flag Canada Read
Charlotte Puddifoot United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Cyndi MacMillan Canada Flag Canada Read
T Wignesan _Not Listed Flag _Not Listed Read
Elaine George Canada Flag Canada Read
sharon Winter United States Flag United States Read
Michael Smith United States Flag United States Read
jack horne United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read