Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, December 2014

IN THIS ISSUE

Guild Announcements:

  • A good turn-out for the annual HVWG writers conference

Member Announcements:

  • “Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease” retreat January 24 & 25
  • Keith Willis announces publication of debut novel

Area Announcements:

  • Writers Institute presents novelist Joseph O’Neill December 2
  • Caffè Lena to feature Andy Clausen & Pamela Twining December 3
  • Writers Institute presents “1971: THE FILM” December 5
  • First “Bookmarks” reading of 2014-15 series: December 8
  • ARTHUR’S Market & Cafe Poetry December 10
  • Colin C. Boyd & Michael Oatman discuss “Abecedarius” December 10
  • Next “Second Sunday” open mic: December 14
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Adam Tedesco December 18
  • Storytellers Conference & Expo, March 21-22

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

A good turn-out for the annual HVWG writers conference
There was a good turn-out for the annual HVWG writers conference held at the East Greenbush library on November 2. It answered area writers’ questions on how to get published.  Panelists included Albany’s Susanne Alleyn, HVWG VP M.E.Kemp (as moderator), Averill Park’s Julie Lomoe and Troy Bookmaker’s Jessika Hazelton. Guest Speaker Robyn Ringler gave a rousing pep-talk to encourage the audience to make themselves heard.

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

“Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease” retreat January 24 & 25
The on-rushing energy of “the holidays” is here. When it has settled down, the question will remain: How do you take care of yourself, physically and otherwise, as you write, create and live your days?

On January 24 & 25, 2015, Diane Kavanaugh-Black from Of-the-Essence Holistic Wellness offers her quarterly “Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease” workshop at Still Point Retreat Center, near Saratoga Battlefield. 10 am-4 pm each day. $59 per day ($29/day limited income); attend one or both days.

As we write, we’ll incorporate stretch breaks and gentle yoga (no experience necessary!), meditative walks or snowshoes (trails and labyrinth on-site). Visit Diane’s website for further information and to reserve a spot. P.S. If not for yourself, this could be a nice gift for someone you love!

Keith Willis announces publication of debut novel
Keith Willis has signed a contract for publication of his debut fantasy novel Traitor Knight with Champagne Book Group of Alberta, Canada. Publication is slated for July 2015.

A knight mantled in secrets and reviled by the very people he’s sworn to defend must salvage the shreds of his honor and defend the kingdom from both a ravening dragon and a scheming traitor. His only hope of success lies in the aid of a feisty damsel-in-distress who’s not at all certain he can be trusted. Traitor Knight (a semi-finalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest) is swashbuckling fantasy-adventure in the tradition of The Princess Bride and Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Writers Institute presents novelist Joseph O’Neill December 2

  • Seminar — 4:15 p.m., Standish Room, Science Library
  • Reading — 8:00 p.m., Assembly Hall, Campus Center

Joseph O’Neill received the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for his bestselling novel, Netherland (2008), the story of a multiracial group of immigrant cricket players living in New York City. O’Neill’s new novel, The Dog (2014), longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014, is the story of a luckless middle-aged man who flees New York City after a traumatic break-up with his long-term girlfriend in order to take a job as the household manager of a rich and capricious family in Dubai. Calling it, “funny, smart, and sad,” Publishers Weekly reviewer Jonathan Segura said, “I’ve liked a few books this year, but this is the first one I’ve loved.” Click here for more about Joseph O’Neill.

Caffè Lena to feature Andy Clausen & Pamela Twining December 3
On Wednesday December 3, Caffè Lena will host Andy Clausen and Pamela Twining. Open mic sign-up starts at 7 p.m., and readings begin at 7:30.  Plan to read two short poems (less than one page) or one long poem (max of five minutes). The featured readers will perform for about 20 minutes each. Cost is $5. Hosted by Carol Graser

Andy Clausen is the author of Home of the Blues, 40th Century Man, Without Doubt and The Iron Curtain of Love among others. He has traveled and read his poetry all over North America and the world.He has maintained a driven intrepid lifestyle and aspired to be a champion of the underdog.He has written about his friendships with Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Ray Bremser, Janine Pommy Vega, Peter Orlovsky and many others of the Beat Generation. He has lectured at many universities, and for 12 years he conducted poetry workshops in the NY state prison system for Incision Arts. Andy now resides in Woodstock, NY. http://www.poetspath.com/

Pamela Twining lives in Woodstock, as well, where she raised her children and studied organic farming and healing with herbs. She has read her poetry in many venues, alongside Andy Clausen, Peter Lamborn Wilson, Mikhail Horowitz and Anne Waldman. She’s the author of three chapbooks, i have been a river… (Heyday Press, 2011), utopians & madmen (Dancingfool Press, 2012) and A Thousand Years of Wanting (Shivastan Press, 2013).

For more information, visit caffelena.org or call (518) 583-0022.

Writers Institute presents “1971: THE FILM” December 5

  • Informal seminar — 4:15 p.m., Science Library Room 340, on the UAlbany Uptown Campus.
  • Film screening and discussion with film editor Gabriel Rhodes and author Betty Medsger — 7:00 p.m. [note early start time], Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus

The film is directed by Johanna Hamilton and is based on the nonfiction book, The Burglary (2014) by Betty Medsger. On March 8, 1971, eight ordinary citizens broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and obtained files that revealed the existence of COINTELPRO, a secret and illegal program of spying on American citizens. Those responsible have never revealed their identities—until now. “1971: THE FILM” was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

Betty Medsger was a young reporter at the Washington Post in 1971 when she received from anonymous sources copies of stolen FBI files that revealed the existence of COINTELPRO. She recounts the story, revealing the burglars and their motives, in her new book, The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI (2014). The New York Times Book Review called it, “Impeccably researched, elegantly presented, engaging….”

Gabriel Rhodes is both an editor and a filmmaker. His work has premiered at Sundance and Cannes and has been broadcast on Sundance Channel, A&E, Animal Planet, CNN, PBS and on the NPR radio show “This American Life.” His theatrical documentary credits include “1971: THE FILM” (2014), “Without Shepherds” (2012), “The Tillman Story” (2009) and “Control Room” (2004). Three of his edited films — “The Tillman Story,” “Quest for Honor” (2008), and “MY BLIND BROTHER” (2003) — were shortlisted for the Academy Awards. His commercial clients include Conde Nast, Google, Virgin America, YouTube, Harper Collins and Revlon. He received his Master’s Degree in Documentary Film from Stanford University in 2000.

This event is sponsored in conjunction with UAlbany’s School of Criminal Justice’s Civility, Surveillance and Public Spaces Film Series.

First “Bookmarks” reading of 2014-15 series: December 8
The first “Bookmarks” reading of the 2014-15 series will be “Famiy at the Holidays.” It will take place Monday, December 8, at 7 p.m. The reading is free for both members and non-members of the Arts Center. Family and the holidays. An exquisite combination of provocative forces, isn’t it? Perfect for a memoir. Got a story? Come share it with us, and let’s kick off the holiday season in style. The theme is curated by author Marion Roach Smith.

ADDITIONAL UPCOMING BOOKMARKS DEADLINES

  • “As the Light Returns.” Curated by local writer and veteran Dan New. Submission deadline: Monday, January 5. Reading: Monday, January 26.
  • “Gardening as Metaphor.”  Curated by Diane Kavanaugh Black. Submission deadline: Monday, January 19. Reading: Monday, February 9.
  • “Transformation.” Curated by Abby Lublin of the Front Parlor Series. Submission deadline: Monday, February 23. Reading: Monday, March 23.
  • “Speaking Truth to Power.” Curated by local poet/spoken word artist Victorio Reyes. Submission deadline: Monday, March 23. Performance: Monday, April 20.
  • “Sonic Stasis.” Co-Curated by composers Ryan Ross Smith and K. Michael Fox. Submission deadline: Wednesday, April 20. Performance: Monday, May 18.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Interested writers/creators should submit online via Submittable.
  • All submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. on the date indicated. The submission window will close at that time.
  • Submissions should not exceed length specified on the submission form.
  • You may submit to multiple curators but only once per theme.
  • All applicants will be notified at least 10 days before the event or once the curator has chosen readers/presenters.
  • Keep the date OPEN in case you are selected!

Find links to each reading, including deadlines, submission guidelines and other details, by clicking here.

ARTHUR’S Market & Cafe Poetry December 10
Open mic & featured reader. Second Wednesday, December 10. 7 p.m. sign-up; 7:30 begin readings. Featured reader for December is Luis Pabon. Hosted by Catherine Norr.

Colin C. Boyd & Michael Oatman discuss “Abecedarius” December 10
The public and members of the media are invited to an artist talk featuring “Emerging Artist” award winner Colin C. Boyd and “Established Artist” award winner Michael Oatman, with guest moderator Ian Berry from The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. Boyd and Oatman will be discussing their current joint exhibition titled “Abecedarius.”

  • WHEN: Wednesday, December 10 at 7 p.m.
  • WHERE: The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River Street, Troy
  • RSVP: Free and open to the public and all press.

“Abecedarius” explores the natural world and the roles humans have played in its misshaping over the years. Having opened on Halloween, a holiday that embraces monsters, “Abecedarius” ushers viewers into a visual history lesson on extinction, scientific mishap and mythology. The show features encounters with ideas unknown, undercooked, and just plain stupid. Finally, Abecedarius will import/export the violence and majesty of worlds otherwise labeled, “out there,” “in here” and “the future.”

Using the literary format of an Abecedarian (“A is for Apple”, “B is for Bear”, “C is for Crops Patented by Monsanto”), the two artists have turned the gallery into a walk-able cautionary tale – with a few nervous laughs – and the goal of the observer to walk away with a better understanding of how our actions impact the earth.

Next “Second Sunday” open mic: December 14
The next “Second Sunday @ 2 Open Mic for Poetry and Prose” will be Sunday, December 14, at 2 p.m. Please bring two poems or five minutes of prose to read. All are welcome. The event is co-hosted by Dan Wilcox and Nancy Klepsch at The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River Street, Troy.

Here are dates for the rest of the 2014-15 series (save the dates!):

  • January 11
  • February 8
  • March 8
  • April 12
  • May 10
  • June 14

Third Thursday to feature poet Adam Tedesco December 18
Albany poet Adam Tedesco will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, December 18, at 7:30 p.m. Adam Tedesco has worked as a shipbuilder, a meditation instructor, a telephone technician and cultural critic for the now disbanded Maoist Internationalist Movement. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in dcomP, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, MadHat Lit, Pine Hills Review, Similar:Peaks::, Freeze Ray Poetry and Cartridge Lit. Most recently, his unique poetic voice has been utilized by Canadian conceptual artist Isabelle Pauwels as part of her upcoming “27 Across 25 Down” project. He lives in Albany, New York, with his wife and two children.

The evening will also include the annual Holiday visit from “Sanity Clause,” with a gift of poetry for all who read in the open mic.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center. The event includes an open mic for audience members to read. Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30. The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox. The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center.  For more information about this event contact Dan Wilcox, (518) 482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Storytellers Conference & Expo, March 21-22
A message from Anne Jordan of the Northern California Writers:

Greetings, fellow writers! I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting many of you in my classes or at our other writer events. This [note] is to let you know that yes, we are finally having another expo. This one will be held on March 21-22 at the Hyatt Regency near the San Francisco Airport.

This exciting event is for ALL WRITERS – including poets, novelists, cookbook authors and screenwriters. In fact, we are the only expo that brings Hollywood to Northern California! At the 2015 StoryTellers Expo, we’ll have the Emmy-nominated Head writer of “Everyone Loves Raymond,” Ellen Sandler, giving presentations and workshops for writers interested in adapting their stories for television and film. Ellen is a warm, funny, and supremely talented screenwriter who is also an author of two books. You’re going to enjoy meeting her!

At the expo, we’ll also have publishers (both traditional and self-publish), Hollywood studios and production companies, along with editors and agents to listen to your pitches. At our last event, we had HBO, DreamWorks, Universal, Warner Brothers, Lifetime, Syfy, CAA and Lionsgate eagerly listen to our attendees pitch their exciting projects.

Excited yet? Well, here’s the icing on the cake . . . we’ll also have several wonderful novelists appearing as presenters. One of the biggest and best is NY Times best-selling mystery writer and the winner of the Agatha, Anthony, Barry, Bram Stoker, Edgar, and Shamus awards: John Connolly.  This author is one of my personal favorites – he (deservedly) is acknowledged as one of the best (and most popular) writers in the world. For those of you who don’t already know his books. . . John writes wonderful, supernatural mysteries. Several of John’s outstanding books have been made into movies, and/or are currently in development. John will be teaching attendees how to build tension and suspense in a novel, and how to create characters that readers can connect with.  As a special treat, John will also be autographing his books and meeting with fans afterwards, so be prepared to purchase his books while you’re at the expo!

Currently, we have three tiers of tickets for sale:  Platinum tickets are $650. These VIP tickets include two (3 course) keynote luncheons and a free pass to our famous wine-tasting event. Gold tickets are $550 and include two keynote luncheons, and the Bronze tickets are $325.

I hope you’ll attend the StoryTellers Expo in March.  It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to meet with the people who can make your literary dreams come true!

For more information, please go to www.StoryTellersExpo.com.

Best regards,
Anne

HVWG Annual Meeting November 9

The Hudson Valley Writers Guild will hold its annual meeting, Sunday, November 9, 2 – 4 p.m. at the Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY. The meeting will include a reading by winners in the recent Guild essay contest.  The meeting is free and open to the public, members and non-members alike.

The annual meeting will also include a report on the year’s activities and projects and the election of members to the Executive Board. This year, three of the current board members will have completed their terms and will step down; additional positions on the board are open, as well, so we need volunteers.

There really is no “Hudson Valley Writers Guild.” It is the members who are “the Guild.”  We need you to create interesting and informative programming and to keep the Guild functioning to serve our members and the greater writing community of the Capital District. 

The Board meets on the odd-numbered months, except in November, so effectively there are only five meetings a year. The Executive Board selects officers (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer), plans programming and reviews and approves requests for funding for literary projects.

So please think about joining the board, and join us at the Guild’s annual meeting.

Questions or further information, contact Dan Wilcox via email (dwlcx@earthlink.net) or phone (518-482-0262).

Winners of the 2014 HVWG Non-Fiction Essay Contest

The Hudson Valley Writers Guild has announced the winners of its 2014 Non-Fiction Essay Writing Contest. The winners were chosen from 75 essays submitted from writers throughout New York State. Members of the Guild served as judges of the contest, which was coordinated by Albany writer Jan Tramontano.

The winner in the humor category is David Eye (Syracuse) for his essay, “A Mile in Her Shoes.”

Honorable mentions go to Susan Clements (Buffalo) for “Managed Care” and Robert Dodd (Hillsdale) for his essay, “Cul de Sox.”

The winner in the memoir/personal essay category is “Public Information” by Mary Murphy (Albany).

Honorable mentions are awarded to Carol A. Derfner (Kinderhook) for her essay “Hardball” and Geoffrey Rose (Niskayuna) for “Bonnie.”

The winners will be honored at an award ceremony and reading during the Hudson Valley Writers Guild Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Bethlehem Public Library located at 451 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, New York. The program is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Jan Tramontano: by phone (518) 588-5537 or email: jantramontano@gmail.com.

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, October 2014

IN THIS ISSUE

Member Announcements:

  • Leslie Neustadt to read at two local venues in October

Area Announcements:

  • New York State Writers Institute Fall 2014 Visiting Writers schedule
  • Arts Center of the Capital Region announces upcoming writing classes
  • Bernadette Mayer’s workshop commences fall session October 4
  • Schenectady’s Second “2nd Wednesday” Poetry Reading to be October 8
  • Paul Doty at Pine Hollow Arboretum October 10
  • Books for Troops fundraiser October 14
  • Publication party for Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woes October 14
  • Third Thursday to feature Elaine Cohen October 16
  • Poets Forum at NYU and The New School October 16-18
  • The Write Stuff: A One-Day Writers’ Festival, November 8
  • County of Kings by Lemon Andersen performed November 13
  • Schenectady Community of Writers annual reading November 23

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Leslie Neustadt to read at two local venues in October

  • Local author and visual artist Leslie B. Neustadt will discuss and read from her new book, Bearing Fruit: A Poetic Journey (available now at The Open Door Bookstore), in a presentation at the Niskayuna Branch Library on Saturday, October 18 at 1 p.m. Following the reading and book signing, Neustadt will lead a group writing exercise. The focus will be on writing from personal experiences. Participants will be given prompts and time to free write a poem or short prose piece. The program is free and open to the public and no prior writing experience is necessary.
  • Leslie will also read from Bearing Fruit at the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany on Thursday, October 30, at 7 p.m. The entire purchase price for each book sold at the event will go to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter. Free literature about the nonprofit organization and resources for patients and families living with blood cancer will also be available. Living with an incurable form of blood cancer and amyloidosis, Neustadt says she is “committed to being both visible and vulnerable” so that others may be touched by her life experiences.

About Leslie
A retired Assistant Attorney General of the state of New York, Neustadt’s essays and poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Cure Magazine and< The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. Her writing is illuminated by her Jewish upbringing and expresses her experiences as a woman, daughter, wife, mother, cancer patient, lymphoma patient (specifically) and incest survivor. Bearing Fruit, her debut collection, has been called “an autobiography in poetry…raw and real and fearless.” Proceeds from the book are donated by the author to nonprofit organizations that benefit cancer patients, aid children who have been abused, or use expressive arts as a healing modality. Neustadt lives in Niskayuna with her husband, Dr. Gary Kronick. For more information, visit www.LeslieNeustadt.com.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

New York State Writers Institute Fall 2014 Visiting Writers schedule
The NYS Writers Institute is pleased to announce an exciting schedule of visiting writer appearances for Fall 2014:

  • October 1: John Lahr, Senior Drama Critic for the New Yorker (1992-2012), Tony Award winning playwright and son of Wizard of Oz “Cowardly Lion” Bert Lahr, presents his acclaimed new biography of troubled playwright Tennessee Williams.
  • October 9: Pulitzer-winning journalist David Finkel, author of the bestseller The Good Soldiers (2009), about being embedded with US troops in Iraq, presents his sequel to that book,Thank You For Your Service (2013), about those same soldiers adjusting to post-war life at home.
  • October 15: American Shakespeare Center’s Much Ado About Nothing. Admission charged. Contact the PAC box office for tickets:  (518) 442-3997
  • October 16: Two first-time novelists and rising stars of Black historical fiction, Tiphanie Yanique (Land of Love and Drowning) and Jacinda Townsend (Saint Monkey) will share the stage.
  • October 21: Major American poets in conversation— Edward Hirsch, MacArthur Fellow, President of the Guggenheim Foundation, and author of the surprise bestseller How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry, presenting his magisterial reference volume, A Poet’s Glossary (2014); Kimiko Hahn, American Book Award winner, presenting her new volume Brain Fever (2014); and Marie Howe, the reigning New York State Poet (2012-14).
  • October 24, November 1, 6 & 13:  Events connected with the life and work of Lemon Andersen, Tony award winning member of the Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam, child of heroin addicts and 3-time felon, who found purpose and redemption in the art of poetry. We screen Lemon: The Movie on October 24 and November 1. Lemon visits UAlbany on November 6. And a dramatization of Lemon’s life story is presented on November 13.
  • October 28: Actress and playwright Najla Said, daughter of Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said, presents her memoir, Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family (2013).
  • November 7: Major American composer of film music David Shire, winner of 2 Grammy Awards for Saturday Night Fever, and the Oscar for Norma Rae, discusses his score for Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation,” following a 40th Anniversary screening of that film.
  • November 9: William Gibson, one of the most influential living writers of science fiction, author of Neuromancer (1984), which helped define the pop culture of the Computer Age, will present his new far-future novel, The Periperhal (2014), about cybersecurity, drone warfare, video gaming and lots of other things, at RPI’s EMPAC Concert Hall.
  • November 11: Two young novelists share the stage — Angela Pneuman, former UAlbany grad student and an exciting new voice in Southern American literature, presenting her first novel, Lay It on My Heart, and Julie Orringer, author of the bestselling Holocaust novel, The Invisible Bridge.
  • November 18: Neuroscience writer and developmental psychologist Susan Pinker, author of the international bestseller, The Sexual Paradox, presents her new book, The Village Effect: How Face to Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier and Smarter (2014).
  • November 20: Eminent historian of the American presidency and frequent PBS NewsHour commentator Richard Norton Smith presents his definitive biography of Nelson Rockefeller, On His Own Terms (2014).
  • December 2:  Joseph O’Neill, author of the bestselling novel Netherland, presents his new 2014 novel The Dog (long-listed for the Man Booker Prize).
  • December 5: Author Betty Medsger and filmmaker Johanna Hamilton present their award-winning 2014 documentary “1971: The Film,” based on Medsger’s book, The Burglary (2014), about eight ordinary citizens who broke into FBI offices and revealed the existence of COINTELPRO, an illegal program of spying on law-abiding Americans (the burglars’ identities have been kept secret until now). Medsger also broke the original story in the Washington Post in 1971.

For more details, times and locations, please visit our website at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/.

Arts Center of the Capital Region announces upcoming writing classes
Here is a list of writing classes starting at the Arts Center in October and November:

  • “Master Class: Memoir” with Marion Roach Smith
  • “Fireflies: A Writing Workshop” with Coleen Paratore
  • “A Writer’s Circle: Encouraging Feedback and Advice for Writers” with Coleen Paratore
  • “Novel Writing 101″ with Elizabeth Brundage
  • “Writing What You Know” with Marion Roach Smith
  • “The Art of the Interview” with Michael Eck
  • “Poetry: The Spoken Word” with Victorio Reyes

For more information and to register, visit http://www.artscenteronline.org/writing/.

Bernadette Mayer’s workshop commences fall session October 4
Bernadette Mayer will lead her continuing workshop series on a fall session beginning October 4. She will once again provide participating poets with the opportunity to engage in her language experiments. She will also talk about her mentors and contemporaries and suggest new directions in verse. She will suggest books you should have to aid in your writing and how to publish your poems. The workshop is not a traditional critique of participant’s previous work but an opportunity to fulfill Bernadette’s creative writing assignments. Completed assignments are then presented to the group and used as springboards for wide ranging discussion. Bernadette will continue to write and distribute new poems for the benefit of workshop participants and subject matter. Kevin Killian, writing on famous poetry workshops, mentions Bernadette Mayer’s Poetry Project Workshop in NYC “that gave birth to all those exercises.” Locally, Bernadette has been exercising and teaching those poets who have taken advantage of poetry workshops held in her living room.

Bernadette Mayer’s poetry writing workshop takes place at her home in East Nassau, NY. The workshop will meet on six Saturdays: October 4, November 1, December 7, January 3, February 7 and March 6. Each meeting will take place 2 – 4 p.m. Mayer will facilitate a conducive atmosphere that will bring forth enhanced new poems from each of the participants. Total Cost: $65, including drinks and light refreshments. Workshop limited to eight participants.

Bernadette Mayer (born May 12, 1945 in Brooklyn, NY ) is a poet and prose writer. In 1967 she received a BA from New School for Social Research. She has since edited the journal 0 TO 9 with Vito Acconci and the United Artists Press with Lewis Warsh, and worked as Director of St. Mark’s Poetry Project. Her book Helens of Troy is a Spring 2012 release by New Directions. For more than a decade, she and poet Philip Good has lived in East Nassau. From the beginning of this series of workshops in September 2011, she has provided an expansive menu of poetic technique and belief as well as her careful listening to an appreciative core of workshop participants. New participants are welcome to their lively get togethers.

E-mail ACASLINE@AOL.COM to reserve your place. The mailing address, if e-mail is not available, is Rootdrinker, P.O. Box 522, Delmar, NY 12054.

Directions to the workshop: Take Route 20 east from the Capital District. Just pass Brainard, turn left on Route 66 north towards Troy. After a short time on Route 66 take a left on to Tatsawawassa Rd. Mayer’s house is 53 Tatsawawassa Rd. Red in color, it is the first house on the left side of the road. Google map using 53 Tatsawawassa, East Nassua, NY, as destination is recommended. Car pool from Albany area is available.

Payment:  Payment of $65 may be made by check or money order. $40 of the total is a tax deductible contribution. Payment check should be made out to “Committee on Poetry.” IMPORTANT: write “Friends of Bernadette Mayer Fund” on check memo. Provide your mailing address to receive a letter to include in your tax returns for your deductions. Send your payment to Alan Casline, Rootdrinker Institute, PO Box 522, Delmar, NY 12054. We will verify your payment for the workshop and forward your contribution for your tax deduction.

Schenectady’s Second “2nd Wednesday” Poetry Reading to be October 8
The new Schenectady “2nd Wednesday of the Month” Poetry Reading had a grand kick-off in September with 16 poets, young and old, published and beginners, signing up to read alongside a wonderful featured poet.  Come join us at our warm and friendly venue!

The event is held at Arthur’s Market and Cafe, 35 North Ferry Street, Schenectady, in the Historic Stockade District. It continues with a second gathering on Wednesday, October. Sign-up for open mic is at 7 p.m. Readings begin at 7:30. The featured poet for this coming event is Virginia Bach Folger. The evening will be hosted by Jackie Craven. Tasty food and beverages are available.

Paul Doty at Pine Hollow Arboretum October 10
Paul Doty will be the featured reader at the Pine Hollow Arboretum, 16 Maple Avenue, Slingerlands, New York, on Friday, October 10, at 6:30 p.m.

Paul Doty is a reference librarian at St. Lawrence University and has served in that capacity for 16 years. Before joining the staff at St. Lawrence, he was a reference librarian at the University of Wisconsin Superior and the University of Utah. He resides in Canton, New York, with his wife and youngest daughter, a house full of books and a garage full of canoes. Paul has published essays or poems in publications such as the Reference Librarian, The Leaflet, The FODYLL Bulletin, Mississippi Review, Stone Canoe, Cortland Review, and Rootdrinker. His poetry is also found in the 2010 Natural Object Press publication glyph of poetry at the yoga loft which commemorates the November 6, 2009, group reading in Canton, New York, by Paul Doty, Dale Hobson, Albert Glover and Alan Casline.

The Pine Hollows Arboretum event includes a featured reader and an open mic. Open mic poets can read three short poems or two longer poems, also two pages of prose will be acceptable. Light refreshments. Donations welcomed. Contact Alan Casline at acasline@aol.com for more information.

Funding to support this reading series comes from Hudson Valley Writers Guild and Rootdrinker Institute.

Books for Troops fundraiser October 14
Ellen Keegan, a retired teacher, has found a simple, yet effective way to do something concrete to thank our troops for their service. She saw a need and founded an organization called Books for Troops. Her initial idea was to give our soldiers books as a source of escape from the horrors they were seeing each day—to offer them a release from loneliness, boredom, stress, homesickness and fear. She also wanted the books to be a tangible reminder of our gratitude.

Founded in 2010, first working out of her garage alongside four volunteers, then growing through force of will and the cooperation and generosity of cadre of dedicated volunteers and community support, she  she has been successful in sending 50,000 boxes of books to military bases in Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan and Africa; 10,000 boxes of books to twenty Veterans Administration hospital, the American Red Cross Wounded Warriors Program and veterans transitory homes and shelters; and 10,000 books to the families of the troops, in particular the children. The donated children’s books are sent to deployed troops so that they may read to their children via SKYPE or by recording on DVD using the military’s newly developed United Through Reading Program.

An infusion of monetary donations for postage of the books is imperative now to keep up with the demand of our ever growing presence throughout the world and the devastating and long recuperation and rehabilitation of our wounded. A fundraising dinner will be held on Tuesday, October 14, from 6-8 p.m. at the Grecian Gardens Restaurant, 1612 Route 9, in Halfmoon. The cost is $25 per adult, $45 per two adults and $10 for children under 12. Send check payable to BOOKS FOR TROOPS, c/o 258 Moe Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065. While book donations are the backbone of the operation, monetary donations are critical right now!

Activities will include a basket raffle, 50/50 drawing and an opportunity to adopt a box of books. Proceeds will help pay the $12.50 postage needed to send a box of 50 donated books, comics and DVDs to both deployed and recuperating troops. Books for Troops is a 501 © (3) organization registered with the NYS Charities Bureau.  All donations are deductible as designated by the tax law.

Publication party for Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woes October 14
Local author Damon Stewart will host a book publication party for Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woes on Tuesday, October 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at The Hollow Bar + Kitchen at 79 North Pearl Street, in downtown Albany. The party is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The author will also lead a “Toast To Bad Decisions” (yours and others). Improv performers from the Mop & Bucket Co. will riff on passages from the book. There will be drink specials inspired by the seedy characters who haunt Damon’s sordid imagination, as well as free finger foods. The band Hard Soul will perform a tribute song to the author and play a set during the after party.

About the book
A local author explores the experiences of those who surrender to their character flaws in a new collection of short stories. Damon Stewart’s Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woes (162 pages) presents 12 stories written over the span of 15 years, some previously published in various literary magazines, such as Word Riot, Salvage, Big Toe Press, Hobart, Amoskeag, Full Circle and The Morpo Review. The stories in Woe provide a glimpse into lives that have gone off in unpredictable directions, both bad and good.

“Not all the tales are truly about ‘woe’ — some characters find hope, even contentment, in this collection,” said Stewart. “But we can relate to all of them, or at least get a sense of our neighbor’s fear or wonder. Sometimes it’s not about where you end up, but how you got there.”

“Woe” is available through Amazon in paperback and e-book editions. For information, and to read a sample story, visit: http://peopleswoe.com.

About the author
Damon Stewart lives in New York’s Capital Region. He has published short stories in several literary journals, as well as travel and outdoor articles for national and regional magazines and newspapers. In 2007, he wrote and co-produced a pilot for a reality series, “The List.” In 2009, he wrote, produced and starred in a short film called “Shot Through The Heart.” His screenplay, “Termini Station,” was a finalist in the Fall 2011 Buffalo-Niagara Screenplay Competition. He is seeking publication for a recently completed novel.

Third Thursday to feature Elaine Cohen October 16
Poet and visual artist Elaine Cohen will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, October 16,at 7:30 p.m.

Gloversville native Elaine Cohen is the co-author of Unfinished Dream: The Musical World of Red Callender, the autobiography of the great jazz bassist, and author of the poetry chapbook Solita: A Sojourn in Mexico. She currently lives on Cape Cod where she paints and composes photographic collages.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center. The event includes an open mic for audience members to read. Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30. The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox. The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center. For more information about this event contact Dan Wilcox, (518) 482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Poets Forum at NYU and The New School October 16-18
On October 16-18, the Academy of American Poets will present the 8th annual Poets Forum at New York University and The New School. Over the course of three days, more than 30 award-winning poets will gather to present inspiring readings and provocative conversations about poetry. This is an excellent opportunity for literary fans to engage with some of the most celebrated poets of our day, including inaugural poet Richard Blanco, National Book Award contenders Edward Hirsch, Claudia Rankine and Brian Blanchfield, as well as newly named MacArthur fellow, Khaled Mattawa.

For tickets and to see the full lineup, visit https://poetsforum2014.eventbrite.com.

The Write Stuff: A One-Day Writers’ Festival, November 8
The Write Stuff is a one-day writers’ festival taught by local authors at the Roe Jan Community Library, Hillsdale, New York, on Saturday, November 8, 8:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. A keynote address will be delivered by Ellen E.M. Roberts. She will speak on “What Kind of Book Should You Be Writing? How to Choose the Right Form for your Truth and your Art —- And Make Money Too!”

Workshops:

Conflict and Character: Creating a Short Story with Bobbie Slonevsky
This workshop will focus on the elements of conflict and character representing the beginning and middle of a story. The format will include brief remarks, examples from literature for each element and in-group writing from prompts.

Creative Writing for New Writers with Regina Colangelo
This workshop will target the primary building blocks of writing. Through discussion, examples and in-group writing exercises, participants will learn and practice skills every writer needs to tell a good story.

Memoir in Miniature with Laura Didyk
The mini-essay (750 words or less) —also called the micro- or flash essay—is quickly emerging as a respected and powerful genre in contemporary literature.  Focusing on true stories from our own lives, we will explore how to sustain, from beginning to end, the quiet urgency that is a hallmark of the short-short form.

Narrative Voice in Fiction with Wesley Brown
The participants in the workshop will be given brief examples of first and third person narrative voices. This will be followed by a writing exercise in which participants will be asked to write a paragraph in each one of the narrative voices. The writing exercise will include discussion with the entire group.

The Six Rules for Writing Non-Fiction that Sells with Janet Spencer King
While there are many types of non-fiction, the rules are the same whatever the genre:
•      Choose the subject that’s right—and right for you
•      Know your audience
•      Find your hook
•      Write a proposal (even if you are self-publishing)
•      Incorporate your voice/personality in your writing
•      Keep your writing lively
Attendees will present subjects they are writing about or considering; who they perceive as their audience and how that affects the writing process; and the take-away message of their story.

The Creative Process with Dara Lurie
Each participant will be asked to share one story or experience – whether fictional or lived – that has made a lasting impression. Then, working with the chosen story or experience, will move through an exploration sequence using guided writing and visualization exercises to uncover and develop the hidden levels of that story.

In addition, there will be a panel on getting published, including self publishing, and festival participants will have the option for individual manuscript review at an additional cost ($50). Manuscripts due October 15.

Registration is required! The early registration fee for the full day writers’ workshop is $40.  After October 1, the fee is $50. Please BYOL (bring your own lunch) or order and pay: The Front Porch 518-329-FOOD (3663). Beverages will be available with a wine and cheese networking session at the end of the festival.

For registration and additional information visit: www.roejanlibrary.org/the-write-stuff-registration-form/. This program is generously supported by The Hudson Valley Writers’ Guild.

“County of Kings” by Lemon Andersen performed November 13

  • Performance — 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
  • Pre-performance discussion at 7 p.m.
  • Advance Tickets: $15 general public / $10 students, seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff
  • Day of Show Tickets: $20 general public / $15 students, seniors & UAlbany faculty-staff
  • Box Office: (518) 442-3997; tickets@albany.edu.

Originally developed and directed by Elise Thoron, American Place Theatre took Lemon’s life story and adapted it into a solo play now performed by Michael Angel Viera. Weaving hard-edged drama with urban poetry and gritty prose, the work follows Lemon’s coming-of-age memoir in an astonishing journey toward self-discovery. “County of Kings” is a Literature to Life stage presentation of Young Audiences New York. Funding for this project is provided by The University at Albany Foundation; University Auxiliary Services at Albany; UAlbany’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Intercultural Student Success, and Alumni Association; and the Holiday Inn Express. Promotional assistance provided by the Campus Programming Board.

Schenectady Community of Writers annual reading November 23
The Schenectady Community of Writers Annual reading — sponsored by the Guild, Friends of the Schenectady Library and the Library — is scheduled for Sunday November 23 from 2-4 p.m. in the afternoon at the Schenectady Public Library. This year’s readers include Schenectady Poet Laureate Steve Swartz, Therese Broderick, Bunkong Tuon and Schenectady novelist James Pavoldi, among others. Light refreshments will be served and the event is free to everyone. Former Guild president Dan Wilcox with be the host of the reading.

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, September 2014

IN THIS ISSUE

Area Announcements: 

  • Paul Pines & Mike Jurkovic to read at Caffè Lena September 3
  • Sign up by September 8 to read at Banned Books Week event
  • New open mic venue to start in Schenectady September 10
  • Expressive Writing Workshop with Suzanne S. Rancourt September 13 at Camp Little Notch
  • Poet Samson Dikeman to read at Third Thursday September 18
  • Navasky to discuss political cartoons at Skidmore’s Fox-Adler Lecture September 18
  • Simona David’s “Art in the Catskills” is now available as paperback & e-book
  • NYS Writers Institute to offer fiction master class with Lydia Davis and memoir workshop with Jo Page
  • Arts Center of the Capital Region announces upcoming writing classes
  • The Write Stuff: A One-Day Writers’ Festival, November 8

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Paul Pines & Mike Jurkovic to read at Caffè Lena September 3
On Wednesday, September 3, Caffè Lena will present poetry readings by Paul Pines and Mike Jurkovic. An open reading will follow. Doors open for sign-ups at 7 p.m., and the readings will start at 7:30. The host for the event will be Carol Graser, and the cost is $5. Caffè Lena, 47 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, (518) 583-0022, www.caffelena.org.

Sign up by September 8 to read at Banned Books Week event
“Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read” is September 21−27. Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out the frequently challenged books section to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

On Tuesday, September 23rd, 6 p.m., the New York State Civil Liberties Union, Capital Region Chapter with the Albany Public Library, will sponsor a local ReadOut! at the Albany Public Library Main Branch!  A ReadOut is an event where local actors, writers, poets, and prominent community leaders read  brief excerpts from books that have been banned or challenged in America. Historically, people have read from children books, classics, and modern works of literature.

The NYCLU- Capital Region Chapter is recruiting 10 -12 readers for this year’s Albany event.  If you are interested in participating in the event as a reader, please email your name toJoanna.Palladino@gmail.com.  We typically get a more volunteers than time slots available, so please RSVP as quickly as possible.  If you have a book in mind, you can include your selection as well. To encourage a great selection of material, we encourage no “repeats” and ask that each reader chooses a selection not read by anyone else.

Each reader is encouraged to select a passage from their selected book.  We encourage readers to select a passage no more than 2-3 minutes in length.  This way we can accommodate more readers during each ReadOut!  For a list of banned and challenged books you can go to:  www.ala.org.  If you have any questions regarding the event, feel free to contact Joanna Palladino atJoanna.Palladino@gmail.com or John Cirrin at millais@nycap.rr.com. 

If you are interested in attending (but not reading) the Albany ReadOut!, use this email as a reminder for you to SAVE THE DATE and we’ll see you on September 23rd! Please RSVP no later than September 8th.  Readers will then be contacted during the month of September to confirm their bios and reading selections for inclusion in our event program.

Confirmed readers and selections for this year’s Albany ReadOut! are:

  • A.C. Everson- Slaughterhouse 5
  • Gary Maggio- Of Mice and Men
  • James Yeara- The Things They Carried
  • Janet Womachka- The Giver
  • David Hochfelder- Catch 22
  • Bob Resnick- (To be determined)

New open mic venue to start in Schenectady September 10
NEW! – venue for Open-Mic & Featured Poet! Here are the details:

  • Where – Arthur’s Market, Schenectady Historic Stockade District, 35 North Ferry Street, Schenectady
  • When – Second Wednesdays of the month beginning September 10
  • Sign-up @ 7 p.m., begin reading @ 7:30 p.m.
  • Hosted by Catherine Norr, Jackie Craven & friends
  • Featured Poet for September is Catherine De Salle

Expressive Writing Workshop with Suzanne S. Rancourt September 13 at Camp Little Notch
Suzanne creates a safe, supportive writing community using a variety of writing exercises and response practices from the Amherst Writers and Artists method. No prior writing experience is necessary. This workshop is NOT psychoanalysis and is NOT a grammar class. All genres welcome as we “bear witness” in the telling of our stories in a safe and confidential setting. Writing supplies are provided.

This workshop is FREE.

Friends of CLN will charge a small fee for those wishing to stay overnight and eat meals at Camp Little Notch. We do need all participants to pre-register, even if you are bringing your own food. Please click here to register now.

Morning and afternoon sessions include songwriting followed by an evening performance of “Suzy Blue Flame’s” original poetry, song and stories.

Veteran, and author of the award winning book, Billboard in the Clouds, Suzanne Rancourt, MS, MFA, CASAC-T, is an artist of uncommon diversity. To learn more about Suzanne, her methods, qualifications, and educational philosophy, go to www.expressive-arts.com  or email: kataahdin@gmail.com.

NO CHARGE for those attending the Workshop ONLY and bringing your own food (no meals or overnights).

OVERNIGHT & MEAL FEES

ADULTS
$25 – Saturday only, NO OVERNIGHT (includes 2 meals)
$50 – One (1) OVERNIGHT, (includes 3 meals*)
$75 – Two (2) OVERNIGHTS, (includes 4 meals*)

CHILDREN (ages 6-16)
$15 – Saturday only, NO OVERNIGHT (includes 2 meals)
$30 – One (1) OVERNIGHT, (includes 3 meals*)
$45 – Two (2) OVERNIGHTS, (includes 4 meals*)

*PLEASE NOTE: There will not be a meal served on Friday evening. Please come prepared with your own food for Friday evening if you are staying overnight on Friday.

SATURDAY SCHEDULE

8:30 – 9a – arrive, registration, coffee, tea, etc.
9 – 11a – writing session one
15 minute break
11:15a – 12:30p – writing session two

LUNCH

1:30 – 3:30p – writing session three
15 minute break
3:45 – 5p – final writing session and closure

DINNER

6:30 – 7:30p – reading and performance by Suzanne Rancourt

Well-behaved dogs are welcome but you must bring a hard copy of an updated rabies vaccination certificate. Please note: Dogs are not allowed in the dining hall during meals or meal preparation.

Payments are handled through PayPal. You are not required to have a PayPal account. You can pay with your credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) — all without having a PayPal account. Complete the registration, then click on the button to pay and follow the “Pay with a credit card” link on the PayPal page (or login to pay via your PayPal account).

Overnight and meal fees for this event are NON-REFUNDABLE. Please email Kitty@friendsofcln.org prior to that date if you need to cancel your registration.

Note: You can register multiple people on the same registration form by clicking the “Add” button under the heading “Register children and additional adults here.” toward the bottom of the form. Note: you will only receive one email confirmation per registration form.

This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc., with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Poet Samson Dikeman to read at Third Thursday September 18
Poet Samson Dikeman will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenur, Albany, on Thursday, September 18, at 7:30 p.m.  Samson Dikeman is a local poet active in Slam competitions and poetry open mics; he is a student at the College of St. Rose in the Creative Writing MFA program and a senior editor for The Pine Hills Review. 

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center.  The event includes an open mic for audience members to read.  Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30.  The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox.  The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center.  For more information about this event contact Dan Wilcox, (518) 482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Navasky to discuss political cartoons at Skidmore’s Fox-Adler Lecture September 18
Author, editor and publisher Victor S. Navasky will draw on his most recent book when he delivers the 26th annual Fox-Adler Lecture at Skidmore College in September. “The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power” is the title of Navasky’s talk, to be presented at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, September 18, in Gannett Auditorium of Palamountain Hall. A reception and book signing will immediately follow in the Class of 1967 lobby adjacent to the auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.

Navasky’s talk has the same title as his newest book, which describes how transformative and incendiary cartoons can be. He said, “Cartoons and cartoonists are usually thought of as irrelevant, trivial, ‘not serious.’ However, that is not true. Daumier was thrown into prison for his cartoons, Herblock was near the top of Nixon’s enemies list, and the leading Palestinian cartoonist was murdered on the streets. My lecture will discuss the role of political cartoons and editorial cartoonists in light of all of the above.”

Navasky has served as editor, publisher and now publisher emeritus of The Nation, which he joined in 1978. He is also the George Delacorte Professor of Magazine Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he directs the Delacorte Center of Magazines and chairs the Columbia Journalism Review. In the 1970s he served as an editor on The New York Times Magazine. In the 1960s he was founding editor and publisher of Monocle, a “leisurely quarterly of political satire” (that meant it came out twice a year).

His books include Kennedy Justice, Naming Names, which won a National Book Award, and (with Christopher Cerf) The Experts Speak: The Definitive Guide to Authoritative Misinformation and also Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won the War in Iraq, and A Matter of Opinion, which won the 2005 George Polk Book Award and the 2006 Ann M. Sperber Prize and of which The New York Times wrote, “Anybody who has ever dreamed of starting a magazine, or worried that the country is losing the ability to speak seriously to itself, should read A Matter of Opinion…”

Navasky is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most recent publications are The Art of Making Magazines: On Being an Editor and Other Views for the Industryedited by Navasky and Evan Cornog, and The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power (Knopf, 2013).

Skidmore’s Fox-Adler lecture series is named for Norman M. Fox and Hannah Moriarta Adler, connoisseurs and collectors of rare books. Adler first loaned her extensive collection of 19th-century books to Skidmore in 1967, and after her death Fox and his family took charge of it, later donating it permanently to Skidmore’s Scribner Library. Catherine Golden, professor of English at Skidmore, coordinates the Fox-Adler program at the college.

Simona David’s “Art in the Catskills” is now available as paperback & e-book
Art in the Catskills, Your Guide to the Catskills’ Rich Cultural Life is a compendium of 80 cultural institutions and artistic events in the Catskills and surrounding area, some in the neighboring Hudson Valley and others elsewhere upstate New York. The guide includes anything from museums and memorial sites to summer festivals, art galleries and residencies, as well as theater and literary retreats. It walks the reader through a wide geographic area, from Woodstock to Livingston Manor, and Saratoga Springs to Cooperstown. Easy to digest, Art in the Catskills makes for a fun summer read. A travel guide to the Catskill region for art and culture lovers. More information at artinthecatskills.com.

NYS Writers Institute to offer fiction master class with Lydia Davis and memoir workshop with Jo Page
The New York State Writers Institute will offer two creative writing workshops during the fall 2014 semester. Lydia Davis, New York State Writers Institute Fellow and winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize will conduct a fiction master class workshop, and Jo Page, New York State Writers Institute Writer-in-Residence will conduct a workshop on crafting memoir. 

The Fiction Master Class Workshop will focus on detailed discussion of students’ work, but there may also be assigned exercises and/or readings from published novels or short stories to broaden the discussion of topics such as character, plot, style and form. The workshop is intended for advanced writers – writers who have significant publications in literary journals. The fiction workshop will be held on five Tuesday evenings from October 7 through November 4 at the University at Albany’s uptown campus. 

The Memoir Workshop is intended for writers interested in crafting longer or shorter works or memoir, using readings and participants’ individual work to explore and develop the subtleties that make a memoir a compelling story as well as a re-collection of actual events. The workshop will be held on seven Wednesday evenings from October 8 through November 19 at the University at Albany’s uptown campus.

Both workshops are offered free of charge for no credit. Admission to either workshop is based on the submission of writing samples. Complete information on the workshops and submission guidelines may be obtained by calling the Institute at (518) 442-5620 or by visiting the Institute’s website.

Lydia Davis, fiction writer and translator, has received wide acclaim for her extremely brief and brilliantly inventive short stories. She has been called “one of the quiet giants . . . of American fiction” (Los Angeles Times Book Review), “an American virtuoso of the short story form” (Salon) and “one of the best writers in America” (O Magazine). In the spring of 2013 Davis received the Man Booker International Prize, one of the most prestigious prizes in the world of literature. The award is given every two years to authors of any nationality in order to recognize an outstanding body of work in English or available in English translation. Her newest book, which earned rave reviews, is Can’t and Won’t (2014). She is also the author of The Collected Stories (2009), a compilation of stories from four previously published volumes including Varieties of Disturbance (2007), Samuel Johnson is Indignant (2001), Almost No Memory (1997) and Break it Down (1986). Davis received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2003. A Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in France, Davis is also one of the most respected translators into English of French literary fiction by Proust and Flaubert, among others. Davis first received serious critical attention for her collection of stories, Break It Down, which was selected as a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. The book’s positive critical reception helped Davis win a Whiting Writer’s Award in 1988.

Jo Page’s fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Quarterly West, Drunken Boat, Our Stories, The South Carolina Review, Stone Canoe, The MacGuffin and other journals. She was a finalist in the 2009 Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize. Her memoir, Going Out, will be published by SUNY Press in 2015. An ordained Lutheran parish pastor, she has also taught writing at the University of Virginia, the University at Albany, Hudson Valley Community College and The Albany Academy and has led seminars on the spirituality of writing/reading poetry. Page received her MFA from the University of Virginia where she studied with John Casey. During graduate school, she was a finalist in the Mademoiselle Magazine Short Story Contest. For twenty years the author of the “Reckonings” column for Albany, New York’s alternative newsweekly Metroland, she now writes a column for The Albany Times Union.

Arts Center of the Capital Region announces upcoming writing classes
Here is a list of writing classes starting at the Arts Center in August and September (additional classes begin in October). For more information and to register, visit http://www.artscenteronline.org/writing/.

WRITING WHAT YOU KNOW

  • Wednesdays,September 10-October 15
  • 6:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Instructor: Marion Roach Smith
  • Member: $280. Non-Member: $310
  • Enrollment Max: 20

Flannery O’Connor said that anyone who survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life. She’s right, of course. But writing about yourself and your crazy (or not-so-crazy) family can be the big vein, if you’re ready, or the brick wall, if you’re not. This course will help you dig among your stuff and get it down on paper in some interesting, funny, enlightening, compelling, readable and possibly saleable way. Let’s go. It’s there for the mining. Marion Roach Smith is a former New York Times staffer, author of four mass-market books and commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Suggested reading for the class is her book, The Memoir Project, A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life (Grand Central, 2011).

WRITING THE CONTEMPORARY POEM

  • Mondays, September 15-November 3
  • 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Instructor: Susan Comninos
  • Member: $173. Non-Member: $192
  • Enrollment Max: 12

What makes a poem contemporary? Is it awareness of the public sphere? Inclusion of brand names? Creation of a conversational voice? Explore what it means, and how, to write contemporary poetry with local published poet Susan Comninos. During an eight week reading and writing course, together we’ll learn, through discussion and exercises, how to repurpose cliches; create “observational” poetry that lends itself to seeming humor and depth; and work on verse forms that counter-intuitively free us up to surprise both ourselves and our readers through self-imposed boundaries. Come prepared to write and participate. Susan Comninos holds a B.A. in English from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan. Her poetry has appeared in Subtropics, TriQuarterly, Quarterly West, The Cortland Review, Tulane Review, Nashville Review, Lilith, Tikkun, Literary Mama, J Journal: New Writing on Justice andGastronomica, among others. In 2010, she won the Yehuda Halevi Poetry Contest run by Tablet magazine. She lives in Guilderland.

FOOD WRITING 101: FROM PLATE TO PAGE

  • Thursdays, September 25-October 30
  • 5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Enrollment Max: 15
  • Instructor: Steve Barnes

Join Steve Barnes, restaurant columnist for the Times Union and author of the popular “Table Hopping” blog, for a 6-week exploration of writing about food, from the way it tastes to its role in our lives. Sometimes just fuel for our bodies, food more often nourishes us emotionally as well, and since we experience it primarily through taste and smell, senses rooted in primal parts of our brain, food connects us profoundly to our past, our families, our memories and our experiences. The class will cover writing about food in a variety of ways, including but not limited to memoirs, essays, descriptive features and criticism.

FACT TO FICTION: CRAFTING YOUR STORY INTO STORY

  • Saturdays, September 27, 2014
  • 10 a.m. to noon
  • Instructor: Coleen M. Paratore

Do you have a personal story you’ve been thinking of writing as realistic or historical fiction, memoir, or other genre? More than a decade ago, I began writing a coming-of-age piece about a girl in a troubled family in 1970’s Troy, NY. While therapeutic, it read like a weepy diary entry. I asked a noted author: “Should I keep writing it like this or wait until I can craft it into fiction?’ The one word reply was: “Wait.” That was good advice. My novel Dreamsleeves (Scholastic Press) is the result. If possible, read the book so we will have a common ground for our discussion of character, plot, setting and other topics. I will then lead us through several simple but powerful write-and-share rounds aimed at getting us closer to the heart of the story, an essential goal. Writer, teacher, and inspirational speaker Coleen Paratore is the author of 19 books. Visit her website: www.coleenparatore.com.

EXPLORING POINT OF VIEW

  • Tuesdays, September 30-October 7
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Instructor: David A. Salomon
  • Member: $58. Non-Member: $64
  • Enrollment Max: 15

In literature, the author’s point of view is the lens through which the reader looks at the world, therefore coloring everything taken in from that angle. This two-week workshop will explore the wide variety of available points of view in writing fiction. We will look at examples and then do some experimenting ourselves.

The Write Stuff: A One-Day Writers’ Festival, November 8
On Saturday, November 8, the Roe Jan Community Library in Hillsdale, New York will host a one-day writers’ festival entitled The Write Stuff, featuring local authors who will facilitate workshops in the areas of fiction, non-fiction, memoir, short story and the creative process.  The festival is designed for writers of all levels, including a workshop for new writers.  Workshops will be followed by a panel on getting published and a wine and cheese networking reception.

The keynote address, entitled “What Kind of Book Should You Be Writing?  How to Choose the Right Form for Your Truth and Your Art—-And Make Money Too!” will be delivered by author and publisher Ellen E.M. Roberts.  In addition, Ms. Roberts will offer individual manuscript reviews for an additional fee for festival participants only.

Other featured authors include Wesley Brown, Laura Didyk and Dara Lurie.

Workshop topics are:

  • Character and Conflict:  Creating a Short Story
  • Narrative Voice in Fiction
  • Creative Writing for New Writers
  • Memoir in Miniature
  • The Creative Process
  • The Six Rules for Writing Non-Fiction that Sells

Registration is required. To register, click here. The early registration fee is $40 before October 1 and $50 after October 1. We hope you will join us for a full day of writing and learning. This program is generously supported by the Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, August 2014

IN THIS ISSUE
Guild Announcements:

  • Reminder: HVWG non-fiction contest deadline is August 15
  • Hudson Valley Writers Guild 2014 Mid-Year Membership Report

Member Announcements:

  • Misfit publishes special issue: Misfit 10 1/2
  • Updates from M.E. Kemp
  • Barbara Traynor seeks feedback on self publishing experiences

Area Announcements:

  • Reading of John Hersey’s Hiroshima, August 6, 11 a.m.
  • Teresa Costa and Donald Lev to feature at Caffè Lena August 6
  • Sign up now for “Poets at the Fair,” August 15
  • Writers in the Mountains (WIM) presents personal essay workshop with Barbara Apoian
  • Mo’ Joe Comes to Smitty’s August 10
  • Poetry Workshop with Shin Yu Pai August 15
  • A sense of place: Winners and finalists of Regional Writers Contest read August 17
  • Poet Rebecca Schumejda to read at the Social Justice Center August 21
  • Arts Center of the Capital Region announces upcoming writing classes

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

Reminder: HVWG non-fiction contest deadline is August 15
All contestants must be residents of New York State. The entry fee is: $10 for HVWG members and $15 for non-members. Checks made payable to HVWG must accompany submissions. If $30 membership fee is paid with submission, please enclose a separate check. HVWG Board of Directors and their families and/or current or past students and family of judges are ineligible.Submission categories will be memoir/personal essay and humor. There will be a $100 award in each category, and winners will be invited to read their winning submissions at a special program in the fall of 2014. Entries must be postmarked between June 15-August 15, 2014. Contact information must not appear anywhere on the submission. A cover letter must include: name, address, phone number, email, title, submission category, and word count (1200 word maximum).

All submissions must be typed, double-spaced, in 12pt Times New Roman or Cambria font.  Send three hard copies by mail. No email submissions. Submissions must be previously unpublished. Please no pornography or erotica.

This year’s judges are Diane Cameron and Gene Damm (personal essay/memoir) and Anne Decker (humor). Diane Cameron is a writer, writing teacher and creativity coach. She is a syndicated newspaper columnist and blogger. Most recently, she’s written Out of the Woods: A Woman’s Guide to Long-Term Recovery and Looking for Signs: Essays and Columns. Humorist Anne Decker’s essays have appeared on public radio, in local newspapers and magazines. She has an MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College. Gene Damm is past president of the Friends of the Albany Public Library. He is the author of Guanyin and Other Poems, as well as A Chinese Folk Tale and Other Stories.

All entrants will be notified of winners by email unless an SASE is provided. Results will be posted on our website: http://hvwg.org.

Contact Jan Tramontano at jantramontano@gmail.com for more information. Mail submissions and entry fee to: HVWG CONTEST c/o Jan Tramontano, 14 Brookwood Avenue, Albany, NY  12203.

Hudson Valley Writers Guild 2014 Mid-Year Membership Report
By the end of June 2014, the Hudson Valley Writers Guild had 97 “active” members, defined as people who paid membership dues during 2013 and so far in 2014. Of them, 46 (47%) already paid their 2014 dues. These 46 dues payers contributed $1,375 to the Guild’s coffers.

There were 7 new members. One person (Leslie Neustadt) made a renewal voluntarily, i.e., without being asked. The other renewals (38) came from people who responded to membership solicitations. So far this year, 60 membership solicitations have been mailed out.

The Guild is especially pleased to welcome the following new members in 2014:

  • Cathryn Abbott
  • Elaine Doremus
  • Lynn Kinlan
  • Nancy Klepsch
  • Cecilia Macheski
  • Jessica Semon
  • Keith Spencer

The Guild had an honor roll by mid-year of three members who made extra financial contributions in addition to their membership dues. They were:

  • Phyllis Hillinger
  • Kathleen O’Brien
  • David Wolcott

The Guild’s Board is most grateful for the confidence expressed by new and renewing members in your ongoing support for the Hudson Valley Writers Guild and the work we do for writers in the Hudson Valley.

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Misfit publishes special issue: Misfit 10 1/2
Misfit magazine has posted a special one-time interim issue (a unique “work in progress”): What They Left Behind. These are verbatim selections from obituaries collated by local author Victor Smith with an intro by editor Alan Catlin. The issue, Misfit 10 1/2 is live now. Look for a regular issue (#11) by end of summer. We’ll be actively soliciting submissions in September, although as always, Alan will read anything that comes in before then. Check the new issue out: misfitmagazine.net. It really is special.

Updates from M.E. Kemp
M. E. Kemp taught her mystery writing course at two places during July: Wiawaka on Lake George and the Women’s Writers Retreat on Paradox Lake.  She also made a report on the HVWG Writers Conference for the Mustard Seed Marketing blog.  The conference theme was on marketing, and Kemp served as moderator for the panel, which included poet Dan Wilcox, self-publisher Barbara Traynor and TU Reviewer Elizabeth Floyd Mair.

Barbara Traynor seeks feedback on self publishing experiences
Barbara writes: I am considering self-publishing directly on-line i.e. Amazon, SmashWords, CreateSpace, etc. Has any author published directly via these services (or other)? I would love to speak with/meet with you and talk about your positive/negative experience. If you wish background, visit my website: www.secondcareervolunteer.com, then, please email atsecondcareervol@gmail.com.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Reading of John Hersey’s Hiroshima, August 6, 11 a.m.
A reading of John Hersey’s Hiroshima, Townsend Park, Albany (Henry Johnson Blvd. & Central Ave.). The event is free and open to the public, and the public is encouraged to join in the reading. Those interested in reading can sign up to participate when they arrive. Please bring folding chairs. Rain site is the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany.

On August 6, 1945, the United States of America used the atomic bomb for the first time to destroy the city of Hiroshima, Japan; on August 9, the U.S. used the atomic bomb again on Nagasaki, Japan.  Over 200,000 people died immediately in the two bombings, and over a hundred thousand more died in the following decades as a result of the effects of the radiation.

Hiroshima by John Hersey tells the story of the bombing on August 6, 1945, by following the stories of six of the survivors.  The book version has been in print since 1946.

Co-sponsored by the Poetry Motel Foundation, the Tom Paine Chapter Veterans for Peace, Upper Hudson Peace Action. For more information contact Dan Wilcox, 482-0262,dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Teresa Costa and Donald Lev to feature at Caffè Lena August 6
On Wednesday, August 6, Caffè Lena will present  poetry readings by Teresa Costa and Donald Lev.  An open reading will follow. Doors open for sign-ups at 7 p.m., and the readings will start at 7:30. The host for the event will be Carol Graser and the cost is $5. Caffè Lena, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022, www.caffelena.org

Sign up now for “Poets at the Fair,” August 15
It’s an annual tradition where poets from local counties meet at the Altamont Fair to read poetry. Many old, new and internationally famous poets have appeared in the past. There will be examples of performance and multi-media poetry and a Poetry Tribute to departed friends and historic writers from the Albany region. If you want to return or come out for the first time, e-mail Alan Casline to let him know at acasline@aol.com. If you have a performance or multi-media  work you would like to do let Alan know that as well. There is free admission to the fair if you read. 

We will have a schedule similar to the last few years using the stage inside the Carriage Museum. We will start at 2 p.m., and there will be a break at 3 p.m. to allow a Lumberjack Show (beer garden anyone?) and a return at 3:30 for our Legends Tribute. Last year Michael Burke came by just for the Tribute and read beautifully one of Art Willis’s poems. That remains a possibility for those who have a departed poet they want to read and can’t make it to our 2 p.m. start.

Here are the event details:

  • Altamont Fair Poetry Reading: Live Poetry, Wednesday, August 15 / 28th year celebration!
  • Hotal Altamont Stage in the Village and Carriage Museum on the Altamont Fairgrounds
  • Local poets read from their own work and the works of the past
  • Performance poetry presented live from our stage
  • Starting time is 2 p.m., continuing throughout the afternoon.

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) presents personal essay workshop with Barbara Apoian
Dare to write! Writers in the Mountains (WIM) presents a personal essay workshop with Barbara Apoian, July 31-September 4. The workshop will be held Thursdays, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Fairview Library in Margaretville. Barbara Apoian, a long-time workshop teacher at WIM, will be offering her new course called “Personal Essay.” This is really “Memoir with a Purpose.” Writers will recount experiences in their lives and the way they changed their future understanding of family, love affairs, career choices and emotional decisions. Essays in general need not be about a personal experience, butpersonal essay includes an experience that changed us in a particular way, and brought about an opinion that is important to share.

Various topics will be suggested, and writers can work on a long essay over the full course or take a number of subjects that they find stimulating or are prompted by hearing the work produced in the workshop. Each piece will be read aloud and gently critiqued to make sure that the message is clear. Hearing the reaction of listeners is so helpful in realizing that we have achieved our purpose or need to make some of the issues and experiences clearer.

This is a stimulating and challenging class. Barbara has taught a similar workshop in Bradenton, Florida, over the winter months for the past four years with great success. It has prompted many writers to enlarge their work into full-length memoir, or continue writing about a variety of opinions or experiences, all generated by truth and an honest urge to communicate with others.

To register, call (845) 594-3548 or e-mail writersinthemountains@gmail.com. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org, go to “Register Online” page and fill in the registration form. Class fee is $75.

Writers in the Mountains is a 501 ( c ) (3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide to the general public a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing.

Mo’ Joe Comes to Smitty’s August 10
A celebration of the new Joe the Poet book, Mo’ Joe the Anthology (Beatlick Press, Albuquerque), featuring editor John Roche, designer Jules Nyquist and contributors Alan Casline and Mark W. Ó Brien (and hopefully some others). Jules will also read from her latest book, Behind the Volcanoes. 
Open mic to follow. Hope many of you will stay to sup on Smitty’s great pizza! Details:

  • Sunday, August 10
  • 2-5 p.m.
  • Smith’s Tavern, 112 Maple Avenue, Voorheesville

Poetry Workshop with Shin Yu Pai August 15
Friday, August 15. 10 a.m. – noon. Rensselaerville Library. Registration Fee: $25. Description: In this two-hour generative poetry workshop, participants will focus on writing poems inspired by works of art. A variety of writing prompts will be provided to stimulate writing and conversation. Participants are invited to bring pictures of their favorite artworks. Images will also be provided.This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc., with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. This unique workshop is scheduled to take place during the Rensselaerville Library’s annual Festival of Writers.  All proceeds benefit the Rensselaerville Library. For more information, call the Rensselaerville Library at 518 797-3949.

A sense of place: Winners and finalists of Regional Writers Contest read August 17
On Sunday afternoon, August 17, at 2 p.m. at Conkling Hall, Rensselaerville, please join us for readings by the winners and finalists of our Regional Writers Contest, as well as by invited local authors.  Go to www.festivalofwriters.org for more info.

Here are the winners and finalists of the Regional Competition –

FIRST PLACE WINNERS:

  • Norman Cohen is a Delmar resident, who wrote a column “Family Matters” for the Spotlight Newspapers in the 1980’s, which published a paperback collection of his columns under the same title.
  • John Worth Gordon “Jack,” enlisted at age nineteen in the Canadian armed forces in 1940. Later, serving in India with the United States Air Force, he joined the 27th Troop Carrier Squadron in Assam. Returning to the Capital Region in 1945, he attended Cornell University and bought the farm in Livingstonville where he still lives, works, and writes.
  • Howard J. Kogan is a psychotherapist and poet living in the Taconic Mountains. His poems have appeared in Naugatuck River Review, Still Crazy, and many other publications. His latest book of poems, Indian Summer, is available from Amazon.

FINALISTS:

  • Diane Kavanaugh-Black, in addition to writing, leads Kripalu yoga classes, hikes with a passion, and teaches healthy cooking classes. Her work appears along with original photographs at OfTheEssenceBlog.co.
  • Mary Armao McCarthy of Albany, is a past president of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild and has published in various anthologies and periodicals.
  • Irene Mitchell, a longtime teacher of writing, is the author of A Study of Extremes in Six Suites and Sea Wind on the White Pillow. She is former poetry editor of the Hudson River Art Journal.
  • Barbara Louise Ungar has published three full-length collections of poetry. The Origin of the Milky Way won the Gival Press Poetry award, a silver “IPPY” from the Independent Publishers organization and a Hoffer award. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals. Ms. Ungar is a professor of English at the College of St. Rose and director of the MFA program there.

INVITED LOCAL GUEST WRITERS:

  • Peter Boudreaux is a local handyman and musician who has traded his shingle to join the large diversity of writers in our area.
  • Marion Menna is a retired special ed teacher originally from Long Island who has had poems published in a variety of journals, as well as two chapbooks.
  • Claire North, a writer in several genres, moderates a Poetry Writing and Reading Group in VT, has been a Minister of Spiritual Science for 22 years and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College.
  • Maryann Ronconi is former director of Minds – On Workshops at The Rensselaerville Institute for almost 20 years. A homesteading life on an old Helderberg farm and frequent travel have offered her

Poet Rebecca Schumejda to read at the Social Justice Center August 21
Kingston Poet Rebecca Schumejda will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, August 21, at 7:30 p.m.  Rebecca Schumejda is the author of five poetry chapbooks; Cadillac Men (NYQ Books, 2012), a poetic memoir inspired by her experience as a co-owner of a pool hall; and the recent collection of linked poems, Waiting at the Dead End Diner (Bottom Dog Press).

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center.  The event includes an open mic for audience members to read.  Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30.  The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox.  The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center.  For more information about this event contact Dan Wilcox, 518-482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Arts Center of the Capital Region announces upcoming writing classes
Here is a list of writing classes starting at the Arts Center in August and September (additional classes begin in October). For more information and to register, visit http://www.artscenteronline.org/writing/.A WRITER’S CIRCLE: ENCOURAGING FEEDBACK & ADVICE FOR WRITERS

  • Thursdays, August 7-21
  • 6-8 p.m.
  • Instructor: Coleen M. Paratore
  • Member: $100. Non-Member: $110.
  • Enrollment Max: 10

Led by prolific author and inspirational teacher Coleen Murtagh Paratore, each class time will be equally divided among participants, and when it’s “your turn” you may use your minutes as you wish: get critiques of a first page or chapter, feedback on a book idea, help with a title, advice on publishing, answers to questions that are blocking you — whatever will help you move forward with your writing. Come write away and be inspired in an encouraging atmosphere. Troy native and resident Coleen Murtagh Paratore is the award-winning author of 17 books. Her publishers include Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Scholastic Press. Her latest publication is FIREFLIES: A Writer’s Notebook (for all ages), pub. date 1-20-14, Little Pickle Press. Check out her website:www.coleenparatore.com.

WRITING WHAT YOU KNOW

  • Wednesdays,September 10-October 15
  • 6:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Instructor: Marion Roach Smith
  • Member: $280. Non-Member: $310
  • Enrollment Max: 20

Flannery O’Connor said that anyone who survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life. She’s right, of course. But writing about yourself and your crazy (or not-so-crazy) family can be the big vein, if you’re ready, or the brick wall, if you’re not. This course will help you dig among your stuff and get it down on paper in some interesting, funny, enlightening, compelling, readable and possibly saleable way. Let’s go. It’s there for the mining. Marion Roach Smith is a former New York Times staffer, author of four mass-market books and commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Suggested reading for the class is her book, The Memoir Project, A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life (Grand Central, 2011).

WRITING THE CONTEMPORARY POEM

  • Mondays, September 15-November 3
  • 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Instructor: Susan Comninos
  • Member: $173. Non-Member: $192
  • Enrollment Max: 12

What makes a poem contemporary? Is it awareness of the public sphere? Inclusion of brand names? Creation of a conversational voice? Explore what it means, and how, to write contemporary poetry with local published poet Susan Comninos. During an eight week reading and writing course, together we’ll learn, through discussion and exercises, how to repurpose cliches; create “observational” poetry that lends itself to seeming humor and depth; and work on verse forms that counter-intuitively free us up to surprise both ourselves and our readers through self-imposed boundaries. Come prepared to write and participate. Susan Comninos holds a B.A. in English from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan. Her poetry has appeared in Subtropics, TriQuarterly, Quarterly West, The Cortland Review, Tulane Review, Nashville Review, Lilith, Tikkun, Literary Mama, J Journal: New Writing on Justice andGastronomica, among others. In 2010, she won the Yehuda Halevi Poetry Contest run by Tablet magazine. She lives in Guilderland.

FOOD WRITING 101: FROM PLATE TO PAGE

  • Thursdays, September 25-October 30
  • 5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Enrollment Max: 15
  • Instructor: Steve Barnes

Join Steve Barnes, restaurant columnist for the Times Union and author of the popular “Table Hopping” blog, for a 6-week exploration of writing about food, from the way it tastes to its role in our lives. Sometimes just fuel for our bodies, food more often nourishes us emotionally as well, and since we experience it primarily through taste and smell, senses rooted in primal parts of our brain, food connects us profoundly to our past, our families, our memories and our experiences. The class will cover writing about food in a variety of ways, including but not limited to memoirs, essays, descriptive features and criticism.

FACT TO FICTION: CRAFTING YOUR STORY INTO STORY

  • Saturdays, September 27, 2014
  • 10 a.m. to noon
  • Instructor: Coleen M. Paratore

Do you have a personal story you’ve been thinking of writing as realistic or historical fiction, memoir, or other genre? More than a decade ago, I began writing a coming-of-age piece about a girl in a troubled family in 1970’s Troy, NY. While therapeutic, it read like a weepy diary entry. I asked a noted author: “Should I keep writing it like this or wait until I can craft it into fiction?’ The one word reply was: “Wait.” That was good advice. My novel Dreamsleeves (Scholastic Press) is the result. If possible, read the book so we will have a common ground for our discussion of character, plot, setting and other topics. I will then lead us through several simple but powerful write-and-share rounds aimed at getting us closer to the heart of the story, an essential goal. Writer, teacher, and inspirational speaker Coleen Paratore is the author of 19 books. Visit her website: www.coleenparatore.com.

EXPLORING POINT OF VIEW

  • Tuesdays, September 30-October 7
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Instructor: David A. Salomon
  • Member: $58. Non-Member: $64
  • Enrollment Max: 15

In literature, the author’s point of view is the lens through which the reader looks at the world, therefore coloring everything taken in from that angle. This two-week workshop will explore the wide variety of available points of view in writing fiction. We will look at examples and then do some experimenting ourselves.

Hudson Valley Writers Guild newsletter, July 2014

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter

Important note: Do not submit news items for future newsletters by replying to this email. INSTEAD, please send news items to hvwgnews@gmail.com. Thank you!

ALSO: Please note, due to summer schedules, the August edition of the HVWG newsletter will not be distributed until August 5 (instead of August 1). 
IN THIS ISSUE

Area Announcements: 

  • Caffè Lena features Jesse Muse & Elizabeth K. Gordon July 2
  • Poets in the Park 2014 Readings scheduled for July 12, 19 & 26
  • Third Thursday features Susan Maurer July 17
  • “Food Media Bootcamp” July 17-20 at Longhouse
  • Roeliff Jansen Community Library hosts literary events this summer

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Caffè Lena features Jesse Muse & Elizabeth K. Gordon July 2
On Wednesday, July 2, Caffè Lena will present poetry readings by Jesse Muse and Elizabeth K. Gordon. An open reading will follow. Doors open for sign-ups at 7 p.m., and the readings will start at 7:30. The host for the event will be Carol Graser, and the cost is $5. Caffè Lena, 47 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, (518) 583-0022, www.caffelena.org.

Poets in the Park 2014 Readings scheduled for July 12, 19 & 26
Poets in the Park is celebrating over 20 years of bringing poetry in July to the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park, Albany. The series was started in 1989 by the late Tom Nattell and is now run by Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox. This year the readings will be on July 12, 19  and 26 (Saturdays). The readings start at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public; donations are accepted. The series is co-sponsored by the Hudson Valley Writers Guild. The 2014 readers are:

  • July 12:  Nancy Klepsch & Luis “L-Majesty” Pabon - Nancy Klepsch has been published in Barzakh, Oberon, Chronogram, 13th Moon, Poetry, Salvage and 200 Proof, among others, and is also the co-host of the 2nd Sunday @ 2 at the Arts Center in Troy with Dan Wilcox. Luis “L-Majesty” Pabon is a singer, song-writer, artist and poet who originally hails from Bronx, NY. Luis currently lives in Albany where he regularly performs at various venues throughout the Capital District. Luis has just completed his first book of poems entitledTendencies, which will be released later this year. 
  • July 19:  Melody Davis & Brian Dorn with fire-dancer - Melody Davis is the author of three books, most recently, Holding the Curve, poems from Broadstone Books.  She has held fellowships for writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts and the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS.  She teaches art history at the Sage College of Albany. Brian Dorn is the author of two popular poetry compilations, From My Poems To Yours and The Live Versions. In addition to his printed material, Brian is currently focused on developing a stage production modeled after his poem of the same name (“We All”).  Much like his stage production, Dorn will be accompanied by a fire dancer (flow artist) during his “Poets In The Park” performance.
  • July 26:  Geraldine Green & George Wallace - UK poet Geraldine Green is a freelance creative writing tutor and mentor and associate editor of Poetry Bay. She is writer-in-residence at Swarthmoor Hall Ulverston, home of Quakerism. You can read more about her on Geraldine Green Salt Road. George Wallace is writer-in-residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace, author of 29 chapbooks of poetry and first poet laureate of Suffolk County, LI NY.  A regular on the NYC poetry scene, he teaches writing at Pace University and Westchester Community College.

The Robert Burns statue is located near where Henry Johnson Boulevard passes through Washington Park and crosses Hudson Avenue. Please bring your own chairs or blankets to sit on.  Rain site for each event is the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany. For more information contact Dan Wilcox, at dwlcx@earthlink.net; (518) 482-0262.

Third Thursday features Susan Maurer July 17
New York poet Susan Maurer will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m. Susan Maurer’s latest book of poems isJosephine Butler: A Collection of Poetry, from Phoenix Press International.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center.  The event includes an open mic for audience members to read.  Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30.  The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox.  The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center.  For more information about this event, contact Dan Wilcox, 518-482-0262; e-mail: dwlcx@earthlink.net.

“Food Media Bootcamp” July 17-20 at Longhouse
An advanced immersion experience tailored to aspiring authors/poets: long days, barn dinners, chefs to succor the soul, amazing surprise guests, bunkhouse digs. Serious fun! Also: pitch your book to a panel of editors, veteran authors and literary agents for keen insight, honing and next step strategy. You’ll be telling great food stories, crafting tasty words, capturing toothsome images, blogging with verve, imagining and selling your BOOK, working social media. Eating well is the best revenge; capturing the experience is even better. Make this the summer you bust outta the box! Here’s out cast of characters:

  • The Fabulous Lee Brothers – food writers, cookbook authors, irreverent savants of all things edible & all round good ‘ole boys;
  • Molly O’Neill – writer, author, founder of cooknscribble.com and The LongHouse Food Revival, impertinent opinion shaper & indefatigable connector;
  • Beth Kirby – writer, photographer, the genius behind Local Milk blog ,perpetually packing cast iron skillet and camera; and 
  • Kate Lebo – poet, bookmaker, author, diva of American Pie, deeply committed to large slices and well-crafted whiskey.

Here are the details:

  • WHEN: Thursday, July 17th, 5 p.m. through Sunday, July 20th, at 2 p.m.
  • WHERE: Rensselaerville, New York. A bucolic 19th century village that time forgot, aka NoWheresVille, Upstate. Camp days and dinners at the LongHouse Barn.
  • HOW MUCH: $1,250, includes all meals and dorm-style housing
  • REGISTRATION & INFO: www.cooknscribble.com
Roeliff Jansen Community Library hosts literary events this summer
The Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Rt. 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the intersection of Routes 22 and 23 in Hillsdale. It will host several activities this summer, including the following literary events:

  • Thursday, July 17, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Banned Book Group: Native Son by Richard Wright (facilatated by Len Barham);
  • Thursday, July 24, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Poetry Open Mic Night;
  • Thursday, August 7,6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Banned Book Group: The Glass Castle (facilitator Sheila Moss); and
  • Thursday, August 28, 6 to 8 p.m., Poetry Open Mic Night.

In addition, the library will be hosting several community, music and children’s events. For information on hours and events, call (518) 325-4101, or visit the library’s website atwww.roejanlibrary.org.

* * *

Editor’s Note


I enjoy putting together this newsletter for the HVWG. As a member of the Guild and a working writer in our community, I recognize its incredible value and hope it is a terrific resource for you, as well. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to improve it. Here are some housekeeping notes:

    • Want your news item published in a future newsletter? Submit it to me at hvwgnews@gmail.com. The deadline each month is the 25th, and the newsletter publishes on (or around) the 1st. Please note: All announcements are subject to editing. 
    • PLEASE INDICATE IF YOU ARE A MEMBER when submitting your publication credits and readings (personal accomplishments). If you indicate you are an active member, I can place your announcement in the member section; otherwise, it will be placed under “area announcements.”
  • Got issues with the newsletter formatting? other feedback? Please email that same address: hvwgnews@gmail.com.
  • The Hudson Valley Writers Guild offers space in its newsletter for submission and program opportunities but does not endorse any programs or publications that are not offered through the Guild.

~Carolee