Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter

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Guild Announcements:

  • Message from the President (that is, of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild): Annual Meeting November 15
  • Schenectady Community of Writer’s Program November 22

Member Announcements:

  • James Schlett’s book tour announced November dates

Area Announcements:

  • Caffè Lena will present George Drew and Nancy White November 4
  • November 8 is next 2nd Sunday @ 2 open mic for poetry and prose
  • 2nd Wednesdays at Arthur’s Market and Cafe to feature Peter Boudreaux November 11
  • “Veterans’ Voices: Ajax in America” on November 12
  • Writing craft talk with Dennis Mahoney November 12
  • Third Thursday to feature Carol H. Jewell November 19
  • Next “Write 4 a Day” retreat is November 22
  • Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Prize deadline January 29
  • Publisher interested in local and regional history titles from New York and New Jersey
  • Individual looking for a ghost writer


Message from the President (that is, of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild): Annual Meeting November 15
Be sure to mark you calendar for Sunday, November 15, for the Hudson Valley Writers Guild Annual Meeting to be held at the Albany Public Library in the Community Room on the second floor from 2-4 p.m. We used to call this the “Annual Members’ Meeting,” but since it is open to anyone — members and non-members — it is now the “Annual Meeting.”

The agenda will include a summary of the year’s activities, including finances, membership and our new Grant Committee. There will also be an election of new Board members. A couple Board members have served their maximum two 3-year terms (but will be eligible for the Board again in a year), a couple members are up for their second 3-year term, and there is room on the Board for new members.  If there are projects you think the Guild should be doing, why not join the Board and help make them happen?  We try to meet 5 times a year, but many issues are handled via email.

The highlight of the day will be the presentation of awards to the winners of the 2015 Poetry Contest: Karen Schoemer, 1st Prize; Tom Corrado, 2nd Prize; and Jackie Craven, 3rd Prize. This includes a reading by the winning poets (and maybe by the judges, Cheryl A. Rice and Howard Kogan, too).

I like to say that there is no such “thing” as the Hudson Valley Writers Guild. Rather, it is you, the members, that are the Guild, and without members working to make things happen — readings, workshops, writers conferences, etc. — there would be no “Guild.”  Help us to keep the Guild the vibrant organization it is.

See you on Sunday, November 15.

Schenectady Community of Writer’s Program November 22
The annual Schenectady Community of Writers Program at the Schenectady Public Library is Sunday, November 22, 2-4 p.m. Readers include

  • the husband and wife team of Jim and Carol McCord, who will be presenting poems by Jim and accompanying photos by Carol;
  • poetry by Kelly de la Rocha and Leslie Neustadt;
  • memoir from Esther Willison;
  • James Schlett discussing and reading from his new book on the Adirondack Philosopher’s Club; and
  • children’s author Nancy Castaldo.

Hosting will be Thom Francis, president of Albany Poets.


James Schlett’s book tour announced November dates
James Schlett’s book tour for A Not Too Greatly Changed Eden: The Story of the Philosophers’ Camp in the Adirondacks (Cornell University Press, 2015) will feature the following events in November:

  • November 18 at 12:40 p.m. — Presentation for SUNY Adirondack’s Writers Project series at the Dearlove Visual Arts Gallery, 640 Bay Road, Queensbury;
  • November 22 at 2 p.m. — Reading for the Schenectady Community of Writers at the Schenectady County Public Library, 99 Clinton Street, Schenectady; and
  • November 28 at 3 p.m. — Presentation at the Olana State Historic Site, 5720 New York 9G, Hudson.


Caffè Lena will present George Drew and Nancy White November 4
On Wednesday, November 4 , Caffè Lena will present poetry readings by George Drew and Nancy White. 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 is located at 47 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs.

Nancy White’s Sun, Moon, Salt won the Washington Prize; her second, Detour, came out from Tamarack Editions in 2010. She publishes in a range of literary journals, from Ploughshares and FIELD to Rattle and Nimrod. She is editor-in-chief and president at The Word Works based in Washington DC.

George Drew was born in Mississippi and raised there and in New York State, where he currently lives. He is the author of five collections of poetry: Toads in a Poisoned Tank from Tamarack Editions, The Horse’s Name Was Physics from Turning Point; American Cool from Tamarack, The Hand that Rounded Peter’s Dome from Turning Point and The View from Jackass Hill. The View was the 2010 winner of the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize from Texas Review Press. Drew’s sixth collection, Fancy’s Orphan, will be published in 2017 by Tiger Bark Press, and his new and selected, Pastoral Habits, by Texas Review Press in 2016. Down & Dirty, a chapbook, was released by Texas Review Press in June 2015. Drew is the winner of the 2014 St. Petersburg Review Poetry Prize.

November 8 is next 2nd Sunday @ 2 open mic for poetry and prose
We’ll be at The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River Street, Troy, at 2 p.m., of course! Here are some upcoming dates:

  • November 8
  • December 13
  • January 10

Writers can email for more info.

2nd Wednesdays at Arthur’s Market and Cafe to feature Peter Boudreaux November 11
Here are the details for the upcoming Poetry Open-Mic and Featured Poet at “2nd Wednesdays:”

  • November 11 (Veteran’s Day)
  • Arthur’s Market and Cafe, 35 North Ferry St. (at the Lawrence Circle), Schenectady
  • Featured poet: Peter Boudreaux, poet and singer-songwiter (12+1, 2005 CD), participates in the Rensselaerville Library poetry and writing groups. He is a long-time resident of Rensselaerville and a retired handyman.
  • Hosted by Catherine Norr
  • Sign-up – 7 p.m.; readings – 7:30 p.m.
  • Beverages, food and hospitable atmosphere!

In addition, a regular gathering to workshop poems occurs, facilitated by Colleen Wygal, at 6 p.m. at Arthur’s before the poetry reading.

“Veterans’ Voices: Ajax in America” on November 12
Local veterans will perform “Veterans’ Voices: Ajax in America” in Gannett Auditorium, Palamountain Hall Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, on Thursday, November 12, at 7 p.m. The presentation will begin with a dramatic reading from the Greek tragedy Ajax by Sophocles with amateur actors who are all military veterans, followed by a panel discussion of veterans, a clinician, a veteran family member and a Classics scholar. A moderated dialogue will then take place between audience members, the panel and the actors. The program is free and open to the public.

The reading will be directed by Paul Pines, novelist/poet/playwright, who retired after 16 years on the English faculty at SUNY Adirondack. He is now a psychotherapist in private practice where he works with a range of trauma issues. He served as a merchant seaman on the SS Esparta delivering supplies to combat zones in Vietnam. The cast of military veterans includes  Ryan Smithson as Ajax, Michelle Taylor as Tecmessa, and Charles Bearce, Robin Temple, and Dan Wilcox as the Chorus. Daniel Curley of the Classics Department of Skidmore College serves as technical advisor.

The goal of this presentation is to raise awareness and increase understanding of the challenges our veterans face when they return home from war, as well as the challenges faced by the communities that welcome them home. Peter Meineck, one of the authors of the adaptation being used, is a Royal Marine veteran and a classics scholar. He has stated, “If you want to understand catharsis, watch veterans watch a Greek play.” These plays, which are set in lands at war for nearly one hundred years, hold timeless truths for those of us from the West. There are, however, certain differences from the Warrior/Community experience of today. In the Greek City-States, everyone was committed and involved in some way. Slaughter faced losing armies and slavery for surviving families. This is in stark contrast to today when less than one percent of the population has served and those who have not are able to carry on with few consequences.

This event is made possible by support from Empire State College, Skidmore College, the Albany Vet Center and the Warren, and Washington County Veterans Service Offices. For further information contact Charles Bearce,

Writing craft talk with Dennis Mahoney November 12
College of Saint Rose alumnus Dennis Mahoney, author of Bell Weather and Fellow Mortals, will host a conversation on writing and publishing. Details:

  • November 12, 6:15 p.m.
  • Standish Rooms, 420 Western Avenue, The College of Saint Rose, Albany
  • The event is free & open to the public.

You can also find information on the Facebook event page.

Third Thursday to feature Carol H. Jewell November 19
Poet Carol H. Jewell will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, November 19, at 7:30 p.m. Carol is a poet, teacher, musician, librarian, MFA student and grandmother of the FABULOUS Charlie. She is insatiably curious, which is why she reads everything: newspapers, novels, poems, poems, poems, the backs of cereal boxes, painting instructions from Home Depot, and, of course, Facebook.

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 or

Next “Write 4 a Day” retreat is November 22
Don’t you deserve at least one day to write? Write 4 a Day is a new series of monthly one-day writing retreats in upstate New York. There is

  • no workshop
  • no agenda
  • no required activities
  • no assignments
  • no schedule
  • no WiFi

Write. Don’t write. Think. Daydream. Doodle. Outline. Come for the whole day or just for part of it; network, collaborate or write solo; wander the woods, hills, fields and streams of Universal Pathways for inspiration (bring sturdy shoes) or sit in a comfy chair and brainstorm. It’s up to you. Details, including address and cost, can be found at

Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Prize deadline January 29
Details on this call for submissions for the Stephen A DiBiase Poetry Prize:

  • $1,000 in total awards, with at least $500 to the top entry
  • Postmark deadline: January 29, 2016
  • No fee to enter.  Open to all.  Except as noted below, no rules regarding subject or format.
  • Send one copy of one poem that you have created.  No identifying information on or in the piece.
  • Include the following on a separate sheet of paper: your name, mailing address, email address where we can reach you, title or first line of your submission, county of residence (we ask this because there may be a bonus if the top entry is deemed “local”), indication of if you read or perform your poetry at open mics (tell us where you most often do this since there may be a bonus if the top entry is from a “community” poet).
  • Send your one poem and cover sheet to: Bob Sharkey, 19 Hunter Avenue, Latham, NY 12110
  • Email for inquires (not submissions):

Publisher interested in local and regional history titles from New York and New Jersey
A note from Stevie Edwards: I am the NY and NJ Commissioning Editor for The History Press, a publisher of local and regional nonfiction titles.The History Press and will be focusing upon local and regional history titles from New York and New Jersey. We are a traditional, full-service press that focuses exclusively on publishing accessible local and regional histories, and we love to work with authors who have strong ties to the communities they are writing about. We are always looking for new authors and have had quite a bit of success with past books in the Hudson Valley region, such as Lost Towns of the Hudson Valley, Upper Hudson Valley Beer, Hauntings of the Hudson River Valley and Hudson Valley Food & Farming.

As a bit more background, we publish a wide range of books, including brief histories of a town or neighborhood, the story of a local landmark, collections of folklore, local histories of marginalized groups and essays on the local culture. The History Press is focused exclusively on publishing works of local and regional history, and we believe that we provide a vital community service. We handle all stages of the publishing process – from editing, design, and production to sales and distribution — and compensate in the form of royalties. Typically, our books have around 30,000-40,000 words and 40-70 images and are written in an accessible and engaging third person voice. I invite you to browse our website at and look through our online catalog. Please don’t hesitate to contact me via email with any ideas or questions.

Individual looking for a ghost writer
A note from Jamie Eddie Verrillo: I’m looking for someone who has the capacity and willingness to write my story with me . I am an Access Consciousness Bars facilitator/Animal facilitator. You might want to check out these web sites and  to get an idea of who they would be working with. When I work with people or animals, I function from a space of expanded space  awareness which allows me to know what will work in the moment. So in saying all that my story could turn out to be a memoir or maybe something else … I know the story has the possibility to write itself, and I ‘m looking for someone with the creative capacity to be open to that possibility. So if any of this resonates with you contact me and we can talk about it. (518) 421-9181.

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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 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 do not submit your announcement as a PDF. All copy for announcements must be in the body of an email or attached as a Word document.
    • 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:
  • 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.


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