Dandelion Rising: visual poetry book of resilience

Dandelion Rising
A Book of Visual Poetry

Come join us to lift up voices often missed and stories rarely told.  Your investment supports the development and publication of a book of resilience and sustainability for these changing times. In a series of poems by Dawn M. Ellis and visuals by Dawn and Gordon Sasaki, we join in the coming of age of a young girl and a wild edible plant.  The two journeys intertwine through the pages.  We witness as a girl grows into a young woman facing down meanness in our society as she finds her courage and hope. 

© Gordon Sasaki, 2018.

When we look downward, we spy a partner in her journey, as a dandelion grows from winter into spring.  This "weed" plant persists while others try to destroy it.  It rebounds and thrives providing beauty, salad leaves, and tea roots.   The book arrives at a time of sun and strength, as the young woman launches and the seeds of joy fly. 

Poetry Excerpts:


 As daylight returns,
Connected, you grow
Downwards and up,
Tapping deep water flow,

 With hollow, slim stem,
To draw sustenance
From forsaken dirt,
Discarded by men.     

 Look closely-
You break ground.


Roots propel shoots,
To spark hope buds
Of living and learning
Wrapped up in mud.

Stretch to the sun,
Gift riches from soil,
Riding shoulders and boulders
Of olders who toiled.

You shift shape.

© Dawn M. Ellis, 2018

A book for all ages that families can read together to inspire their daughters and sons to hear that they can shape the brighter days to come.  For social workers and counselors to reach children as they see themselves on the pages.  For environmentally conscious readers to shine light on sustainability principles.  For the reader seeking to meditate on graceful power in small places.

The poetry, six illustrations, and four drawings are complete; other visuals are sketched.  Your support will finish this work, publish it, and launch it, so it may be shared widely with others.

When You Donate, You Support:

Creative Development:

Visual development of acrylic illustrations of girl’s journey
Visual development of drawings/ prints of the dandelion’s journey
Collage integration of the journeys
Visual composition and page layout of the book, including use of Adobe inDesign software
Text and visual editing

Target Timing:  Raise funds early Winter 2019, creative work winter to spring 2019.


A socially-responsible business self-publishing printing package of a color softcover book
An initial run of 250 printed books
An environmentally sustainable offering of print-on-demand books placed in a variety of book venues.
An environmentally sustainable e-book offering placed in a variety of digital book venues.

Target timing: Summer 2019


A donation of 30 books to public and school libraries to make the books accessible to families who may not be able to purchase it.
Mileage and support for the author to visit counties across Vermont and read from the book and offer interactive, educational, accessible presentations around resilience, inclusion, and sustainability.

Target timing: Fall 2019

If we raise extra funds, we will be able to increase the print run, shift to hard cover, and with enough support, offer both a digital e-book and a printed book to the public.

© Dawn M. Ellis, 2018

Reframe perspectives.  Celebrate dignity.  Teach the everywhere wild edible.  Invest in a book of possibility for tomorrow’s hope.

Thank You Donation Appreciations
up to $24 thank you note
at $25 thank you card with digital print from book
at $50 ebook download
at $100 signed poem from the book and ebook
at $300 signed book copy
at $500 signed framed digital print from book from either artist and signed book
at $1,000 signed framed digital print from book by both artists and signed book
at $5,000 audio recording of author reading the book and signed book
at $10,000 author's visit to a library or educational group mutually chosen by author and donor for a discussion of the book and signed book (up to $250 travel costs included)

Dawn M. Ellis Bio:  Dawn grew up in Washington, DC and lives in Vermont.  She is a creative who works with performing, visual arts, and word to tell stories and highlight new perspectives.  She has performed across Asia and America.  Dawn founded and runs a consulting firm that helps those in the business of helping people.  Her work takes her across the country, from Wyoming to New Jersey, Tennessee to California, with clients from the Ford Foundation, to state governments, to coalitions working to make change.  Walking the walk, Dawn ran for public office and came within 1% of a state senate seat.  Now serving on the Vermont Human Rights Commission, Dawn sees opportunities to stop bigotry and discrimination before it takes hold. At home, she hopes to give her teenage twin boys Miles and Theo light in their journeys into creativity and possibility.  Click here for Dawn art sample 

Gordon Saskai Bio: Gordon Sasaki is a visual artist and was born in Honolulu. His art has taken him all over the world, from Los Angeles to New York City, Japan, Spain, Iceland, and even Latvia. He lives in Honolulu with his wife Cecelia and their dog Maki.  A former inclusion educator for the Museum of Modern Art, he and Dawn have collaborated in institutes to teach arts, education, and accessibility across the U.S..  Click here to find Gordon's work on Access Living 
For more information, resources, seminars, workshops, presentations, and author/artist visits contact:

Dawn M. Ellis
DME  P.O. Box 5336, Burlington, VT 05402   USA

Thank you for your support!


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Dawn Ellis 
Burlington, VT
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