Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, September 2016

Member Announcements:

  • Pauline Bartel announces upcoming classes
  • New member requests editing help

Area Announcements:

  • Spencertown Academy Arts Center 11th Annual Festival of Books September 3-5
  • New Writers in the Mountains (WIM) classes begin in September
  • Caffè Lena reading to feature The Gossamer Stone Poets September 7
  • Creative writing workshop for those with chronic lung conditions starts September 10
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Daniel B. Summerhill September 15
  • Evening of Poetry & Prose September 29
  • Indie Author Day October 8
  • Register by October 29 for fiction writing workshop at Roe Jan Library

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Pauline Bartel announces upcoming classes
Pauline Bartel announces the following upcoming classes:

  • Learn How to Write Your Life Story / A course for those interested in writing a life story or family history will be held on Tuesdays, September 20, 27, October 4 and 11, 2016 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Hudson Valley Community College. “Writing Your Life Story” is offered through the Office of Community and Professional Education. Course fee is $71, which includes a coursebook. To register, telephone (518) 629-7339. Instructor Pauline Bartel will discuss the step-by-step process that transforms memories into memoirs, including techniques for stimulating memories, conducting personal and family history research and writing the story of your life. One-on-one consulting with the instructor and reader feedback about works in progress will help you preserve precious stories for future generations.
  • Learn How to Write Personal Essays / Transform the ordinary events of your life into extraordinary personal essays. Learn the step-by-step process in “Writing from Your Heart: The Art of Personal Essays,”  a course that will be held on Wednesdays, September 21, 28 and October 5, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at SUNY Adirondack’s Wilton campus, 696 US 9, Wilton, NY 12831. Course fee is $59, which includes a coursebook. To register, telephone (518) 743-2238. Instructor Pauline Bartel will discuss the process of using writing games to unlock your experiences; choosing the most-effective essay style; shaping your experiences into a first draft; and allowing reader reaction to refine your draft into a polished essay.
  • Learn How to Write a Memoir o Family History / A course for those interested in writing a memoir or family history, “Writing Your Life Story,” will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Schenectady County Community College in Schenectady, NY. Course fee is $59. A required coursebook ($15) is available from the instructor the day of the class. Register online (www.sunysccc.edu/wfdce) or in person. Instructor Pauline Bartel will introduce the step-by-step process that transforms memories into memoirs, including techniques for stimulating memories, conducting personal and family history research and writing the story of your life or your family.
  • Learn How to Write and Sell Fiction for Kids / If you’re a budding Beatrix Potter or a struggling Dr. Seuss, discover the secrets of writing and selling books for kids of all ages. “Writing and Selling Fiction for Kids” will be held on Thursdays, September 29, October 6, 13 and 20, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hudson Valley Community College. Course fee is $71, which includes a coursebook. To register, telephone (518) 629-7339. Instructor Pauline Bartel will discuss how to develop a compelling plot, create characters that come alive on the page, write believable dialogue and how to market stories to publishers. One-on-one consulting with the instructor and reader feedback about works in progress will help students move confidently along the path to publication.

Bartel is an award-winning writer and the author of seven published books. In addition, she has been widely published in more than 100 juvenile, teenage and adult periodicals. She is a member of the prestigious American Society of Journalists and Authors. Visit her website (www.paulinebartel.com) for further information.

New member requests editing help
A note from new member Robert Generali: “I am in need of some editing help with a work of fiction I’ve completed of about 43,000 words in length. I have gone as far as I am able and really need another set of eyes on it. The wonderful world of editors, agents and publishers these days is difficult to navigate, to say the least, and is the reason I am reaching out. I would prefer to work with an experienced editor, one on one, and understand that compensation will be necessary.”

You can reach Robert regarding this opportunity via email: rgenerali@earthlink.net.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Spencertown Academy Arts Center 11th Annual Festival of Books September 3-5
Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 11th annual Festival of Books takes place over Labor Day weekend, September 3-5. The festival features a giant used book sale, two days of discussions with and readings by esteemed authors and a children’s program. Featured authors this year include Christopher Breiseth, Elizabeth Brundage, Michelle Hoover, Courtney Maum, David Pietrusza, Ruth Reichl, Russell Shorto, Will Swift, Mark Wunderlich and Steve Yarbrough. Admission is free to all of the events, save for the early book-buying opportunities detailed below.

Authors’ books will be available for purchase (at special event prices) and signing. Healthy, delicious snacks and beverages will also be for sale throughout the weekend, including the Academy’s signature “To-Die-For, No-Alarm Vegetarian Chili.” The Festival of Books is funded in part by Poets & Writers 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.

The festival, which began in 2006 as a book sale to raise funds for the Academy’s community arts programs, has grown into one of the biggest and most eagerly anticipated cultural events of the year.

FESTIVAL MAIN STAGE / Saturday, September 3

  • The Festival kick-off at 11:30 a.m. — Prizes awarded to the top entries of the Festival of Books Teens’ Short Story and Poetry Contest.
  • 12:15 p.m. — Reading by poet Mark Wunderlich
  • 1:30 p.m. — Novelists Michelle Hoover and Courtney Maum discuss the narrative strategies of using one voice vs. many voices—how and why writers choose a point of view, along with the rewards and pitfalls of these approaches.
  • 3 p.m. — Bestselling author and food writer Ruth Reichl will talk about the joys of shopping for local ingredients, cooking and eating in Columbia County and the Berkshires in conversation with Madaline Sparks, principal of Madaline Sparks Garden Design and Spencertown Academy board vice president.

FESTIVAL MAIN STAGE / Sunday, September 4

  • 12 p.m. — Novelists Steve Yarbrough and Elizabeth Brundage will discuss the importance of setting in a novel. They will explore person, place, and thing— the elements involved in creating fictional worlds in novels.
  • 1:30 p.m. — Non-fiction author Russell Shorto will give a talk titled “From Amsterdam to New Amsterdam” in which he will discuss the common thread that connects his two most recent books: water. It was the battle to control water with dams and dikes that led the Dutch city of Amsterdam to rise to prominence. Amsterdam in the 17th century gave rise to New Amsterdam, which became New York. And water management is today a vital issue with which both cities—and much of the rest of the world—are grappling.
  • 3 p.m. — Sunday’s final program will be a panel discussion titled “FDR’s Legacy From The 1930s” with distinguished scholars Christopher Breiseth, David Pietrusza and Will Swift.

CHILDREN’S PROGRAM /The Festival of Books children’s program on Saturday, September 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. will feature a visit from the costumed character Pete the Cat of Eric Litwin’s popular children’s book series. Youngsters will get to shake Pete the Cat’s hand and pose for souvenir pictures with their storybook friend, as well as make book-related art projects in the crafts tent with Chatham art teacher Susan Grybas.

GIANT USED BOOK SALE /At the heart of the Festival is a giant book sale, one of the biggest in the region, featuring more than 10,000 gently used books, including fiction and non-fiction, hard and soft covers—all offered at very affordable prices. There’s a special Kids’ Corner for young readers and a media rack full of CDs and audio books. A first-floor gallery features a handpicked selection of specialty books, limited editions, out-of-print books and new books donated by leading national publishers. The book sale is open to the public on Saturday, September 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, September 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Monday, September 5 (bargain day), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.

In addition, there are two early-buying events. Spencertown Academy members will have first crack at the books and enjoy wine, cheese and shopping at the Member’s Preview Party on Friday, September 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $25. Tickets and memberships will be available for purchase at the door. Please note: This event is for Academy members and their guests only. (Book dealers are welcome at the early-buying opportunity Saturday morning.)

Shoppers and book dealers who want first pick of the stock can take advantage of an early-buying opportunity on Saturday, September 3, from 8-9:30 a.m. Admission for early buying on Saturday is $20 (cash only). Serious bargain hunters will want to return to the sale on Monday, September 5, when all remaining sale books will be just $1, and all specialty books will be half off the already low prices. There will also be closing hour surprise specials.

Housed in a beautifully restored 1840s Greek-Revival schoolhouse at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. It offers a variety of free and low-cost community arts events, including concerts, readings, theater pieces, art exhibitions, and arts-related workshops and classes. For more information about the Festival of Books, see http://spencertownacademy.org/events.

New Writers in the Mountains (WIM) classes begin in September
Writers in the Mountains will offer three diverse classes beginning this September:

  • A Journaling Workshop will back by popular demand with veteran instructor Ev Ellsworth. The class will be held Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, from September 6 to October 11,  at the Roxbury Public Library.  Class fee is $70. Ev Ellsworth, one of WIM’s most insightful, understanding and popular teachers, helps even the most skeptical and scared novice to dare to write. She is expert at offering writers, from new diarists to veteran journal-keepers, the tools and support they need to ease into journaling.
  • Where Does a Play Come From – And Where Can It Go?, led by The Open Eye Theater’s artistic director, Amie Brockway, will be held at the Open Eye Theater, 960 Main Street in Margaretville, Mondays, 6 to 8 p.m., from September 12 through October 17. Class fee is $70 if you register and pay three weeks before the class begins and $85 after that. Amie has directed dozens of world premieres and nurtured playwrights through three seasons of Summer Shortcuts at the theater in Margaretville and the Eye on Playwrights Lab at The Open Eye Theater in NYC.
  • Anique Taylor’s popular 16-week Creative Nonfiction Workshop will resume September 15, to January 12. The class will be held Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pine Hill Community Center, Main Street, Pine Hill,. Class fee is $220. In a college-like semester packed with excitement and growth, this extended class will offer writers possibilities for deepening their craft, group support and continuing work on long projects. Anique holds a poetry MFA from Drew University, a drawing MFA from Pratt Institute and a diplome in French Literature from the Sorbonne. She has taught creative writing for Benedictine’s Oncology Support Program, Bard LLI, Artworks and Phoenicia Poetry Workshop.

Visit www.writersinthemountains for full class descriptions and registration information.

Caffè Lena reading to feature The Gossamer Stone Poets September 7 
On Wednesday, September 7, Caffè Lena will present a poetry reading at Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga, by The Gossamer Stone Poets. An open reading will follow. Doors open for sign-ups at 6:30 p.m.,  and the readings will start at 7. The host for the event will be Carol Graser, and the event is free. Northshire Bookstore Saratoga is located at 424 Broadway (northshire.com).

The Gossamer Stone Poets began as The Northshire Poetry Reading Group in October of 2012, sponsored by Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT.  By January 2013, they had become a poetry writing group, as well.  In May of 2015 they self-published Border Lines: A poetry collection, which represents the poetry of six out of the eight Gossamer Stone Poets.  The poets are from Southwestern Vermont and over the border into New York State, hence the name of their book. They meet twice a month for reading and writing meetings, enjoy getting away together for writing retreats to monasteries and Montreal and are in demand for “The Poet Is In” event. Although diverse in their poetry forms and styles, they share a passion for poetry that’s been a beacon in their creative lives.

Creative writing workshop for those with chronic lung conditions starts September 10
Write With Carol–FREE! / Do you have asthma, emphysema, sarcoidosis or another chronic lung condition? Come to a wonderful 9-week creative writing class especially designed for you! The teacher is a Masters of Fine Arts student in her last term at the College of St. Rose, and she can’t wait to help you get your experiences and feelings on the page through poetry. Meet others who are going through the same things. Find support in the group. Come to learn, share and write!! Class will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. starting Saturday, September 10, in Albany. (You will be notified of exact venue.) Contact Carol, at (518) 441-7271 or cjewell601@strose.edu with any questions or for more information. She can’t wait to meet you!

Third Thursday to feature poet Daniel B. Summerhill September 15
Poet Daniel B. Summerhill will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, September 15, 7:30 p.m.  Daniel Summerhill was previously named “Youth Poet Laureate” in 2009. He is an Oakland native an a nationally recognized poet/performance artist.  His poetry collections include the 2016 Brown Boys on Stoops and the recent Crafted.

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 dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Evening of Poetry & Prose September 29
Greetings, Literature Fans!  Please join us for another special Evening of Poetry and Prose live from the Student Ghetto here in Albany, New York!

Where?  At the Hudson River Coffee House, 227 Quail Street, between Madison and Western (on the corner of  Quail and Hudson Streets)

When? 6:30 p.m., Thursday, September 29

The event is FREE, but if you like what you hear, books and chapbooks by the readers will be for sale. Coffee, tea and refreshments are for sale at affordable prices by Anton and his team! Please bring a friend.  It should be a legendary evening for all. For more information, please contact harveyhavel@hotmail.com. For more specific directions or question about the HRCH, please contact Anton at: hudsonrivercoffee@gmail.com. We hope to see you there!

Indie Author Day October 8
During the Inaugural Indie Author Day on October 8,libraries from all across North America will host their own local author events with the support of the Indie Author Day team. In addition to these local programs, each library’s indie community will come together for an hour-long digital gathering at 2 p.m. Eastern featuring Q&A with writers, agents and other industry leaders. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity for libraries and authors to connect on both local and global levels!

The two Capital District libraries so far signed up to participate are:

  • East Greenbush Community Library
  • Schenectady County Public Library

For any writers interested in participating, contact the library directly. For more information go to http://indieauthorday.com/

Register by October 29 for fiction writing workshop at Roe Jan Library
“The ABCs of Writing Page-Turning Fiction,” a writers’ workshop taught by author, teacher and scholar Joanne Dobson, will be held on Saturday, November 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Roeliff Jansen Community Library.

The workshop is designed for writers of all levels — from more experienced writers who wish to refresh and deepen their skills to new writers who want to learn the basics. Brief lectures will cover fundamentals of creating compelling fiction: character, plot, voice, setting, narrative momentum and point of view. Lectures will be interspersed with short, intensive writing exercises permitting participants to explore the topic being addressed.

The fee is $20 for those who register by October 29, and then increases to $25. The fee can be waived upon request. To register or to request fee waiver contact Bobbie Slonevsky at bslonevsky@slonevskygroup.com. Snow date for the workshop is November 19.

Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Route 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the Hillsdale intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call (518) 325-4101 or visit the library’s website at www.roejanlibrary.org. Follow the library on Twitter: @libraryroe.

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Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter August 2016

IN THIS ISSUE

Guild Announcements:

  • HVWG fiction contest deadline extended to August 15
  • Seeking board candidates
  • 2016 mid-year membership report

Member Announcements:

  • Upcoming dates for “Write 4 a Day”
  • Judith Prest publishes collection of nature poetry and photography
  • Mary Kathryn Jablonski poems published in Numero Cinq
  • HVWG member seeks editing help

Area Announcements:

  • Ken Hada to read at Caffè Lena August 3
  • Reading of John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” August 6
  • Judith Prest to read at Arthur’s Market & Cafe August 10
  • WIM business writing workshop starts August 11
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Martin Manley August 18
  • Debbie Mayer presents an interactive talk on self-publishing August 18
  • Outreach from Smith Publicity

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

HVWG short fiction contest deadline extended to August 15
Who says there are no “second chances” in life? The deadline for the 2016 HVWG short fiction contest has been extended to August 15.

The HVWG writing contest alternates genres annually. This year’s contest is short fiction. Winners will be awarded cash prizes and invited to read their winning piece at the Guild’s annual meeting in November 2016. Prizes will be awarded as follows: 1st prize, $100; 2nd prize, $75; 3rd prize, $50; and three honorable mentions, $20 each.

  • Eligibility: All contestants must be residents of New York State. Current members of the HVWG board and their families are not eligible.
  • Judges: Julie Lomoe, Joe Krausman and Andrea Portnick.
  • Guidelines:
    • Entries must be postmarked between April 1 and August 15, 2016.
    • Entry fee: $15 for non-members of HVWG; $10 for members. (Make checks payable to HVWG and include with submission. Visit www.hvwg.org for a copy of the membership application.)
    • Identification/contact information MUST NOT appear anywhere on the submission.
    • Cover letter should include the following: name, address, phone number, e-mail address, title of submission and word count.
    • Word count must not exceed 5000 words. Any submissions that exceed this number will not be considered.
    • All submissions must be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt. standard font such as Cambria, Calibri or Times New Roman.
    • Submissions must be previously unpublished.
  • Submit four copies through the mail and an SASE if you would like a hard copy of results. Submissions will not be returned.
  • All entrants will be notified of winners by e-mail or SASE. Results will also be posted on our website at www.hvwg.org.

For more information, please contact Faith Green at greenfaith2@gmail.com or (518) 253-8557.<

Mail submissions with entry fee to: HVWG Fiction Contest, c/o Faith Green, 25B Patterson Drive, Glenmont, NY 12077.

Seeking board candidates
NOTICE to all members of HVWG: At the September meeting, there will be a call for those willing to serve on the Board and/or elected office. Someone may be calling YOU. Please think about it. Thank you.

2016 mid-year membership report
By the end of June 2016, the Hudson Valley Writers Guild had 118 active members, people who’d paid their membership dues in 2015 and 2016. Of them, 50 (42%) paid their 2016 dues by mid-year, contributing $1,870 to the Guild’s coffers. There were seven new members (half of last year) and 34 renewing members during this period, plus nine people who’d paid two-year memberships last year. But only two people have paid two-year memberships so far this year. During the first half of the year, 88 membership letters were mailed out (seven new member welcomes, 34 renewal thank yous and 47 membership dues reminders).

The Guild is especially pleased to welcome the following new members so far in 2016:

  • Lann Bell
  • Pat Berger
  • Robert Generali
  • Peggy Kowalski
  • Cheryl Rice
  • Lynn Seftner
  • Amber Thornton

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

  • Anne Decker
  • Phyllis Hillinger
  • Kathleen O’Brien

The Guild’s membership efforts have slowed somewhat so far in 2016 compared to the last three years. That’s why the Guild’s Board is especially grateful for those new and renewing members who did express confidence by their support in the Hudson Valley Writers Guild and the work we do for writers in New York’s Hudson Valley.

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Upcoming dates for “Write 4 a Day”
Don’t you deserve at least one day to write? Write 4 a Day is a 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.

WHO – you! We haven’t had to limit attendance yet, but it’s getting to be a consideration. If you want to be sure to reserve a space, email me via the contact form.

WHY – because you deserve a day to devote to your writing (or daydreaming or sketching or scheming or knitting or…)

WHAT – $20 fee for the space (cash/check/PayPal/$15 for HVWG members) and food (a dish to share or your own lunch)

WHEN – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; August 28, September 18, October 23, November 20, December 18

WHERE – Universal Pathways, 692 Pleasant Valley Rd, Berne, NY 12023 – Phone: (518) 872-2272

Detailed directions:

  • 90 west to exit 1S
  • 20 west to
  • 146 west to
  • 156 west to
  • 254/Pleasant Valley Road (the left turn after the turn to East Berne)
  • The road winds along. Continue past the stop sign at Barber Corners, around two bends to the right and then down into the valley; look for the yellow house with a green roof and garage on the right hand side, just past the Browne Farm’s big brown barn with all the quilts.

Judith Prest publishes collection of nature poetry and photography
Judith Prest announces that she has a book coming out, in color. It is a collection of her nature poetry and photographs. The book, Elemental Connections, is self-published (Spirit Wind Studio, LLC) and printed at BookBaby. Book design is by vkdesign.  She can be reached at jeprest@aol.com for any inquiries about the book.

Mary Kathryn Jablonski poems published in Numero Cinq
Mary Kathryn Jablonski announces that she is grateful and thrilled to have five of poems appearing on the Numero Cinq website this month here. She hopes you’ll enjoy them, and feel free to comment on & share the page.

HVWG member seeks editing help
Here’s a note from new member Robert Generali: I am in need of some editing help with a work of fiction I’ve completed of about 43,000 words in length. I have gone as far as I am able and really need another set of eyes on it. The wonderful world of editors, agents and publishers these days is difficult to navigate, to say the least, and is the reason I am reaching out. I would prefer to work with an experienced editor, one on one, and understand that compensation will be necessary. As an unpublished writer, this is a big step forward and I think from the standpoint of comfort staying in the area is the best thing. Sincerely, Robert Generali (email: rgenerali@earthlink.net)

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ken Hada to read at Caffè Lena August 3
On Wednesday, August 3, Caffè Lena will present a poetry reading by Ken Hada. An open reading will follow. During renovations at Ken Hada to read at Caffè Lena, this event will be held at Northshire Bookstore, 424 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. Doors open for sign-ups at 6:30 p.m., and the readings will start at 7 p.m. The host for the event will be Carol Graser. This event is free.

Raised in the rural Ozarks, with close ties to his Hungarian ancestors in the gypsum hills of northwest Oklahoma, Ken Hada finds the natural order a powerful presence for writing. In addition to multiple journal publications, his work has been featured four times on The Writer’s Almanac. Ken has received national awards from the Western Heritage Museum and Western Writers of America. His six published books include Persimmon Sunday, Spare Parts, Margaritas & Redfish, The Way of the Wind and The River White: A Confluence of Brush & Quill. Ken Hada is a professor at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, where he directs the annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival. Reviews and other information are available at www.kenhada.org.

Reading of John Hersey’s Hiroshima August 6
Saturday, August 6, 11 a.m. Townsend Park (Henry Johnson Boulevard & Central Avenue), Albany. 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 story 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 and Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. For more information, contact Dan Wilcox at (518) 482-0262 or dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Judith Prest to read at Arthur’s Market & Cafe August 10
Open-mic & featured poet at Arthur’s Market & Cafe, 35 N. Ferry Street, Schenectady, Wednesday, August 10. Sign up at 7 p.m. Readings begin at 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Catherine Norr.

The featured poet is poet, photographer and mixed-media artist Judith Prest. Judith has been widely published in numerous poetry reviews and anthologies. She has two poetry collections — Sailing on Spirit Wind (1998) and Late Day Light (2011) — and two chapbooks. She has exhibited collage and photography in the Capital Region and facilitates expressive arts/creative writing in retreat centers, prisons, treatment clinics, libraries and community centers. Her studio is Spirit Wind Studio, LLC.  She lives in Duanesburg, NY, with husband Alan Kreiger and three cats.

Third Thursday to feature poet Martin Manley August 18
Schenectady poet Martin Manley will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, August 18, at 7:30 p.m.

Martin Manley is a long-time activist working for peace, justice and labor rights who has been arrested a number of times for civil disobedience. Although he rarely reads his poetry out, he has been writing for many years. His collection of poems, Flint Knives, contains poems from 1973 to 2014.

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 dwlcx@earthlink.net.

WIM business 6-week writing workshop starts August 11
Writers in the Mountains will hold a 6-week business writing workshop with Dara Lurie, running from August 11 to September 15. The class will be held Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Phoenicia Public Library.

This class, dubbed “Author Breakthrough,” is a program for small business owners, artists and freelance writers who wish to create valuable content and great marketing copy. No one understands the heart and soul of your business better than you do. Now it’s time to communicate your vision using effective stories and expert content. You do not have to be a professional writer to create great content. The most important function of your content – whether it’s a book, blog, story or expert article – is to connect with your core message and bring that message into sharp focus for your audience.

In Author-Breakthrough you’ll have access to the experience of like-minded entrepreneurs who will provide the valuable feedback you need to develop and refine your message. The class includes engaging writing and dialoguing activities, content development sessions, creative think-tank environment to develop and test your ideas. By the end of the program you’ll have ready-to-publish articles, stories or blogposts and client-attracting copy for email or social media posts, as well as an action-plan for best use of your content and copy.

Dara Lurie is an author, workshop leader and book coach who helps writers of all levels discover their passionate and original voices in stories. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film & Theater from Vassar College and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hunter College.  Her first book, Great Space of Desire:Writing for Personal Evolution, is a memoir and creative guide for writers. For over 12e years, Dara has facilitated writing workshops and retreats in diverse locations from college classrooms in New York City and the Hudson Valley to an open-air pavilion in the Costa Rican Rainforest. This year, she launched a new online mentorship program for small-business owners who want to create inspired content and marketing copy to grow their business.

Class fee is $125. To register, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802 or e-mail her at jtstone@catskill.net. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org.

Debbie Mayer presents an interactive talk on self-publishing August 18
Debby Mayer will give a free talk on self-publishing at the Cairo Public Library Thursday, August 18, at 6:30 p.m. This is an interactive talk based on Debby’s experience and with plenty of samples and discussion of what works and what doesn’t. Cairo Public Library, 15 Railroad Avenue. (518) 622-9864. cairolibrary@mhcable.com.http://cairolibrary.org/.Or find the Cairo Library on Facebook.

Outreach from Smith Publicity
Smith Publicity would love the opportunity to connect with your group. We feel that we would be a great fit for a speaking opportunity to provide expert publicity tips and advice to your writers. Smith Publicity is widely regarded as one of the premier book marketing companies in the publishing industry, well-known for our work ethic, tenacity and creativity. From self-published business books to traditionally published national bestsellers, our record is unparalleled.

Members of our executive team – Dan Smith, Sandy Smith and Corinne Moulder – have presented and spoken to many publishing and author associations, participated on expert panels and spoken at national and regional trade-shows. They would be happy to provide book publicity tips and insights to your organization.

Please contact Faith Koerner for more information: faith@smithpublicity.com.

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter July 2016

IN THIS ISSUE

Member Announcements:

  • Finishing Line Press announces publication of chapbook of poems by Kate McNairy
  • Keith Willis’ book tour continues July 21 & August 18
  • “Breathing These Words” call for submissions (deadline August 15)

Area Announcements:

  • Book donations accepted starting July 6
  • Caffè Lena to feature Marilyn McCabe & Cheryl Clarke July 6 (at Northshire Bookstore)
  • 2016 Poets in the Park readings scheduled for July 9, 16 & 30
  • Dinitia Smith to read at Roe Jan Library July 9
  • Writing exercises at the Tang Teaching Museum July 9
  • Barbara Ungar to read at Arthur’s Market and Cafe July 13
  • Third Thursday to feature Amani O+ July 21
  • Berkshire Festival of Women Writers presents “Write the Change” August 1-4
  • Registration now open for Festival of Women Writers
  • Balanced Rock submission deadline September 15
  • The Beiging of America submission deadline September 15
  • Fall 2016 Women At Woodstock retreats

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Finishing Line Press announces publication of chapbook of poems by Kate McNairy
In Light to Light, a new chapbook to be published by Finishing Line Press, Kate writes about comforts of love, losses of coming apart and all that is between—the bedlam of life. She has a previous chapbook, June Bug, also published by Finishing line Press (2014). It was a finalist in the Blue Light Press Poetry Contest (2013). Kate currently lives in Ballston Spa, NY. Of Kate’s work, Henri Cole states, “Kate McNairy’s poems carry inside them the mayhem of love and the aftermath, which is solitude.  I hear a wolf howling underneath their matter-of-fact minimalism.”

Order Light to Light by sending $14.99 plus $2.99 shipping per copy (check or money order made out to “Finishing Line Press”) to Finishing Line Press, P.O. Box 1626, Georgetown, KY 40324. Or order on online at www.finishinglinepress.com. (Click on “Preorder Forthcoming Titles” at “Bookstore.”)

Keith Willis’ book tour continues July 21 & August 18
Join Keith W. Willis, author of Traitor Knight (Champagne Books), for an evening of dragons, damsels and deception at one of the following events during the “Knight Out On The Town” tour:

  • Thursday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Altamont Free Library, 179 Main Street, Altamont, NY
  • Thursday, August 18 at 7 p.m. at the Lake Pleasant Free Library, 2864 Route 8, Speculator, NY

“Breathing These Words” call for submissions (deadline August 15)
Breathing These Words is in the planning stages. Breathing These Words is a pop-up poetry reading with instructional workshops for youth and seniors funded by Breathing Lights and its community hub partners, Do you live in Albany, Troy or Schenectady? We are in the process of curating poets and prose writers to research a vacant property/area and write about it with passion for inclusion in walking tours this fall in the areas where Breathing Lights’ hubs exist: the Albany Barn, the Sanctuary for Independent Media and the Boys & Girls Club of Schenectady and project partner Proctors.

Please send a brief proposal of one paragraph in length (include information on the vacant building/house you would research, a description or draft of your poem), a short bio and three samples of your poetry to nsktroy@aol.com. Include a cover page with your name, address, email, phone number and a short bio and remove all names and identifying information on your proposal and poetry. Please list the titles of your work samples on the cover page, so we can identify you later on. The deadline is August 15.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Book donations accepted starting July 6
Spencertown Academy Arts Center announces a call for book donations for the Festival of Books, which will take place over Labor Day weekend, September 3-5. The Festival, which began in 2006 as a book sale to raise funds for the Academy’s community arts programs, has grown into one of the biggest and most eagerly anticipated cultural events of the year, with readings and book signings by nationally known and local authors and a children’s program.

At the heart of the Festival is a giant book sale, one of the biggest in the region, featuring more than 10,000 gently used books, including fiction and non-fiction, hard and soft covers—all offered at very affordable prices. There’s a special Kid’s Corner for young readers and a media rack full of CDs and audio books. A first-floor gallery features a handpicked selection of specialty books, limited editions, out-of-print books and new books donated by leading national publishers.

Beginning on Tuesday, July 5, there will be a large bin in the parking lot behind the Academy where donors can drop off books 24/7—in boxes or sturdy bags, but please, no loose books. Collection times at the Academy, with an attendant present at the back door to receive books, will be on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., July 9 – August 21, which will be the last day for donations.

The Academy requests “gently used” books. The books need not be perfect, but they should not be damaged. For example, please do not donate books with cracked spines or loose pages, books with stains, mildewed or musty books, books with mouse or insect damage, or with torn, yellowed or brittle pages. The Academy also welcomes donations of book and music CDs and vinyl records in nice condition, as well as DVDs. Please note: the Academy does not accept textbooks, encyclopedias, magazines or VHS and cassette tapes.

Housed in a beautifully restored 1840s Greek-Revival schoolhouse at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center serving Columbia County, the Berkshires and the Capital region. It offers a variety of free and low-cost community arts events, including concerts, readings, theater pieces, art exhibitions and arts-related workshops and classes. For more information about the Festival of Books, see http://spencertownacademy.org/events.

Caffè Lena to feature Marilyn McCabe & Cheryl Clarke July 6 (at Northshire Bookstore)
On Wednesday, July 6, Caffè Lena will present poetry readings by Marilyn McCabe and Cheryl Clarke at Northshire Bookstore. An open reading will follow. Doors open for sign-ups at 6:30 p.m., and the readings will start at 7. The host for the event will be Carol Graser, and the cost is $5.

While the Caffè is undergoing renovations, these monthly poetry events will be held at Northshire Bookstore, 424 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.

Marilyn McCabe’s new book of poems, Glass Factory, was published by The Word Works in Spring 2016. Her poem “On Hearing the Call to Prayer Over the Marcellus Shale on Easter Morning” was awarded A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize (Fall 2012) and appeared in the Los Angeles Review. Her book of poetry Perpetual Motionwas published by The Word Works in 2012 as the winner of the Hilary Tham Capitol Collection contest. A grant from the New York State Council on the Arts resulted in videopoem “At Freeman’s Farm,” which was published at The Continental Review and Motion Poems. She blogs about writing and reading at marilynonaroll.wordpress.com.

Cheryl Clarke is a black lesbian feminist poet and the author of five books of poetry, the most recent of which is By My Precise Haircut published by The Word Works Press of Washington D.C. She is currently working on a collection of essays entitled Adult Black Culture: Gaining Entry.  She is one of the organizers of The 4th Annual Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers to be held Sept. 9, 10, 11, 2016 in Hobart, NY. Her website is cherylclarkepoet.com.

2016 Poets in the Park readings scheduled for July 9, 16 & 30
Poets in the Park is celebrating over 25 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 Saturdays July 9, 16 and 30. The readings start at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Donations are accepted. The rain site is the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany. The series is co-sponsored by the Poetry Motel Foundation and by the Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

The 2016 readers are as follows:

  • July 9: Catherine Arra & Jan Barry
  • July 16: Mary Crane & Victorio Reyes
  • July 30: Sarah Browning & Bunkong Tuon

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. For more information, contact Dan Wilcox at dwlcx@earthlink.net or (518) 482-0262.

Dinitia Smith to read at Roe Jan Library July 9
Award-winning author Dinitia Smith will read from her new novel The Honeymoon — centered on writer George Eliot’s late-life marriage to a much younger man — at the Roeliff Jansen Community Library, on Saturday, July 9, at 5:00 p.m.

Grounded in the study of the life, letters, journals, essays, poetry and novels of Eliot, her contemporaries, friends and loved ones, The Honeymoon is the imaginative fleshing out of a period in Eliot’s life about which little is known with certainty: Eliot’s honeymoon with John Walter Cross in Venice in June 1880.

“We are thrilled to be hosting Dinitia Smith, a seasonal resident of our area, who has interrupted her speaking tour to present this book to us,” says Maureen Rodgers of the library’s Literature Committee.

Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Route 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the Hillsdale intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call (518) 325-4101 or visit the library’s website at www.roejanlibrary.org. Follow the library on Twitter at @libraryroe.

Writing exercises at the Tang Teaching Museum July 9
As part of the Tang Teaching Museum’s annual community day (called Frances Day in honor of the Museum’s namesake), poet Catherine Pond will lead a series of poetry writing exercises inspired by the artwork on view from 3-4 p.m. Saturday, July 9.

Catherine Pond is a poet from Alpharetta, Georgia. She lives in Brooklyn, teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and is the Assistant Director of the New York State Summer Writers Institute. Her poems and prose have appeared in the Boston Review, the Antioch Review, the LA Review of Books and many others. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University and a BA in English from Skidmore College. She is assistant editor of Salmagundi Magazine as well as the associate poetry editor of H.O.W. Journal. She is also co-founder and co-editor of the online magazine Two Peach with Julia Anna Morrison.

The Museum is located on the Skidmore College campus at 815 N. Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Michael Janairo at (518) 580-5542 or mjanairo@skidmore.edu.

Barbara Ungar to read at Arthur’s Market and Cafe July 13
Open-Mic & Featured Reader | Wednesday, July 13 | Sign-up for Open-Mic 7-7:30 p.m. | Readings begin at 7:30 p.m. | Arthur’s Market and Cafe |35 N. Ferry Street, Schenectady, NY | Featured Poet: Barbara Ungar, who has won the Hilary Tham competition at The Word Works and also the Best Poetry Book award at this year’s Adirondack Center for Writing competition.  She has been published in numerous journals, including Salmagundi and Rattle.  Barbara teaches at St.Rose.

Third Thursday to feature Amani O+ July 21
Poet and slam performer Amani O+ will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. Amani O+ was a member of Albany’s Nitty Gritty Slam Team that competed in the National Slam Championship and is the host of the Nitty Gritty Slam & Open Mic held at The Low Beat each first & third Tuesday.

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;dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Berkshire Festival of Women Writers presents “Write the Change” August 1-4
Berkshire Festival of Women Writers presents a 4-day writing workshop August 1–4, 1–4 p.m. at Bard College at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, MA, led by experienced authors and educators Jennifer Browdy and Jana Laiz. In this intensive, hands-on writing workshop, participants will be guided to turn their passions—whether it’s the environment, food, fashion, humor, politics, health issues, women’s issues or parenting—into powerful, hard-hitting prose. Over the course of the 4-day workshop, each workshop participant will hone her message, target her audience and explore different genres and publishing or media platforms.

“The landscape of digital information in the world today provides an opportunity to share our voices broadly, but it can also be daunting to be heard above the noise,” says Berkshire Festival of Women Writers Director Jennifer Browdy, Ph. D. “Our aim is to help writers to find their voice and to write effectively for the audiences they wish to reach. We will introduce essential tools, strategies and approaches to the subjects our participants care about, whether they write fiction, memoir, essays or blog posts.”

Jana Laiz, M.Ed, is the author of two award-winning novels, Weeping Under This Same Moon, about refugees in New York City, and The Twelfth Stone, an eco-fairytale. She has also published a young adult biography of Elizabeth Freeman, better known as “Mumbet,” which is now being developed as a major motion picture. The first writer-in-residence at Herman Melville’s home Arrowhead, Jana founded Green Fire Press in 2015 with Jennifer Browdy.

Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D, is a longtime college professor of literature, writing and media studies, with a special interest in media strategies for social and environmental justice. Her blog, “Transition Times” (bethechange2012.wordpress.com), has received hundreds of thousands of visitors since its inception in 2011, and her articles have been published at Yes! Magazine, Kosmos Journal, Common Dreams, Berkshire Magazine and many other publications. Jennifer is the founder of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and the Butterfly Leadership Program for teen girls.

Tuition is $300; $350 after July 8.  Space is limited; register at Berkshirewomenwriters.org or email info@berkshirewomenwriters.org for more information.

Registration now open for Festival of Women Writers
The Festival of Women Writers takes place September 9-11 in Hobart, NY (in the Catkills). Registration information available here: http://www.hobartfestivalofwomenwriters.com/.

Balanced Rock submission deadline September 15
Published by the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, Balanced Rock: The North Salem Review is accepting submissions of art, poetry, fiction and nonfiction through September 15. Send submissions via email to keelerbalancedrock@wlsmail.org. For more information, visit www.ruthkeelermemoriallibrary.org.

The Beiging of America submission deadline September 15
2Leaf Press announces its open submission call for its forthcoming book The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the Twenty-first Century. The publication is part of the 2LP Explorations in Diversity Series (Series Editor: Sean Frederick Forbes). The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2016, and the publication date is June 2017.

This collection takes on “race matters” and considers them through the experiences of mixed race people in the United States. Edited by Cathy Schlund-Vials and Tara Betts, who are both biracial (Schlund-Vials is Cambodian and white; Betts is African American and white), The Beiging of America will feature firsthand accounts and original works by authors and artists who, to varying degrees and divergent ends, identify as “multiracial.” Check out our submission guidelines before submitting your work.

For more information, contact beigingamerica@2leafpress.org.

Fall 2016 Women At Woodstock retreats
Women At Woodstock, the online community and annual gathering in Woodstock, NY, for women of the Woodstock generation is hosting two back-to-back writers’ retreats this November at Lifebridge Sanctuary in Woodstock. Novice writers, published authors, bloggers, memoirists, fiction writers: all are welcome. The first retreat runs from Monday, October 31, through Thursday, November 3 (check out Friday Nov. 4); the second runs from Friday, November 4, through Sunday, November 6 (check out Monday Nov. 7).

Each day will start with a 1-hour workshop taught by resident writing coach Linda Lowen or by one of our guest authors, and then the day will be open for you to write, think and map out your writing future in peace and quiet, surrounded by other like-minded women also pursuing their own creative quests. There will be plenty of space and opportunity for private coaching, collaborative conversations or total quiet — whatever it is that you need. In the evenings after dinner, we’ll gather by the fire with good wine, share what we wish from the day’s work and exchange feedback under the guidance of the inimitable Linda Lowen.<

You can come for just one writing retreat or stay for both and gift yourself a full week devoted to your creativity and your craft! Click here to register. Cost: $295 for the 4-night retreat October 31 – November 4; $245 for the 3-night retreat November 4-7. Plus a nightly room rate which depends on what kind of room you choose. Costs are all-inclusive: meals, snacks, beverages, wine, taxes, fees and program costs are all included in the fee. $65 discount if you attend both retreats.

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter June 2016

IN THIS ISSUE

Guild Announcements:

  • HVWG to host 1-day workshop to combat writer’s block June 4
  • Guidelines for the 2016 HVWG Fiction Contest

Member Announcements:

  • 18th issue of misfit magazine is live
  • Pauline Bartel offers “Writing Your Life Story” workshop June 11 at HVCC

Area Announcements:

  • Bernadette Mayer’s summer poetry workshop dates
  • William Weaver Christman Tribute June 1
  • Perry Nichols and Annie Christain to read at Caffè Lena June 1
  • Spencertown Academy presents Benjamin “Bernie” Kukoff poetry reading June 4
  • Writers in the Mountains offers workshop on writing the nonfiction book proposal June 5
  • Donna Wojcik to read at Arthur’s Market & Cafe June 8
  • Tech Valley Center of Gravity Writers Workshop summer schedule starts June 9
  • B-Fest National Teen Book Festival at Barnes & Noble June 10-12 seeks local writers
  • Joseph Luzzi to read from his memoir at Roe Jan Library June 11
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Karen Fabiane June 16
  • Upcoming featured poets at Pine Hollow Open Mic Series
  • Tables available for Saugerties Public Library Comic Con July 16
  • Annual 5-day workshop for women writers at Paradox Lake Retreat Center starts July 17

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

HVWG to host 1-day workshop to combat writer’s block June 4
The Hudson Valley Writers Guild is presenting a 1-day workshop,” Block Busting: How to Break Through the Barriers that Keep You from Writing,” to be held June 4, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the East Greenbush Community Library, 10 Community Way. The workshop, led by novelist and poet Julie Lomoe, is free (but please see below for information on pre-registration).

Writer’s block afflicts every author sooner or later. If you’ve ever found yourself paralyzed, staring at an empty piece of paper or a blank computer screen, you know the feelings of frustration and even downright panic that can keep you from writing. In this workshop for writers or would-be writers of all levels, we’ll explore the underlying feelings behind your personal blocks and learn a variety of techniques to help you overcome the barriers that keep you from reaching your fullest potential as a writer. This workshop will use creative visualization and writing exercises along with a discussion of successful writers’ tips and techniques for overcoming creative blocks. Free handouts will include a tip sheet and bibliography.

Julie Lomoe is a novelist and poet with over three decades of experience as a creative arts therapist and workshop leader.  She has published three novels: Mood Swing: The Bipolar MurdersEldercide and her most recent Hope Dawns Eternal (her first venture into paranormal fantasy fiction and the first of a series featuring the vampire and soap opera star Jonah McQuarry).

Writers may pre-register by calling the East Greenbush Community Library at (518) 477-7476 or by going to www.eastgreenbushlibrary.org.  For further information about the workshop, email Julie Lomoe at julielomoe@nycap.rr.com.

Guidelines for the 2016 HVWG Fiction Contest
The HVWG writing contest alternates genres annually. This year’s contest is short fiction. Winners will be awarded cash prizes and invited to read their winning piece at the Guild’s annual meeting in November 2016. Prizes will be awarded as follows: 1st prize, $100; 2nd prize, $75; 3rd prize, $50; and three honorable mentions, $20 each.

  • Eligibility: All contestants must be residents of New York State. Current members of the HVWG Board and their families are not eligible.
  • Judges: Julie Lomoe, Joe Krausman and Andrea Portnick.
  • Submissions: 
    • Entries must be postmarked between April 1 and June 30, 2016.
    • Entry fee: $15 for non-members of HVWG; $10 for members. (Make checks payable to HVWG and include with submission.)
    • Identification/contact information MUST NOT appear anywhere on the submission.
    • Cover letter should include the following: name, address, phone number, e-mail address, title of submission and word count.
    • Word count must not exceed 5000 words. Any submissions that exceed this number will not be considered.
    • All submissions must be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt. standard font such as Cambria, Calibri or Times New Roman.
    • Submissions must be previously unpublished.
    • No pornography or erotica.
    • Submit four copies through the mail and an SASE if you would like a hard copy of results. Submissions will not be returned.
    • All entrants will be notified of winners by e-mail or SASE. Results will also be posted on our website at www.hvwg.org.

For more information, please contact Faith Green at greenfaith2@gmail.com or (518) 253-8557.

Mail submissions with entry fee to: HVWG Fiction Contest, c/o Faith Green, 25B Patterson Drive, Glenmont, NY 12077.<

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

18th issue of misfit magazine is live
A note from Alan Catlin: “I would like to announce that the latest issue of misfitmagazine.net is posted. It is our eighteenth issue, jam-packed with poems, reviews and an essay on Poe as the first American freelance writer. Submissions are always welcome at submissions@misfitmagaine.net.

Pauline Bartel offers “Writing Your Life Story” workshop June 11 at HVCC
A course for those interested in writing a life story or family history will be held on Saturday, June 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hudson Valley Community College. “Writing Your Life Story” is offered through the Office of Community and Professional Education. Course fee is $43, which includes a coursebook. To register, telephone (518) 629-7339.

Instructor Pauline Bartel will discuss the step-by-step process that transforms memories into memoirs. Learn techniques for stimulating memories, conducting personal and family history research and writing the story of your life. Bartel is an award-winning writer and the author of seven published books. She is a member of the prestigious American Society of Journalists and Authors. Visit her website (www.paulinebartel.com) for further information.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Bernadette Mayer’s summer poetry workshop dates
Bernadette Mayer will lead her continuing workshop series in a summer session beginning in May 2016.  She will once again provide participating poets with the opportunity to engage in her language experiments.  She will talk about her mentors and contemporaries and suggest new directions in verse.   Bernadette has been on the road a bit in the last 12 months and is glad to be back home doing her front porch poems.  Her subject material promises to be immediate. She will also suggest books you should have to aid in your writing and how to publish your poems. Bernadette will write and distribute new poems for the benefit of workshop participants while continuing her effort to exercise new ideas and cognitions among those poets are taking advantage of the poetry workshops held in her living room.

Bernadette Mayer’s poetry writing workshop takes place at her home in East Nassau, NY. The workshop meets on five Saturdays: May 28, June 18, July 4 (party), July 16, August 20 and September 17. 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 new book will be released by New Directions in the near future. Copies of her Benevolent Bird book All Fall Down will be available.

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. These poets have become regulars who continue to attend each new workshop session. They welcome new participants to their lively get together.

Contact: email ACASLINE@AOL.COM to reserve your place. The mailing address if email is not available is Rootdrinker, P.O. Box 522, Delmar, NY 12054.

Directions:  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.

William Weaver Christman Tribute June 1
A William Weaver Christman Tribute will be held on Wednesday  June 1, at 6:30 p.m. with poetry by the Bozen Kill in honor of our own farmer, tree planter, nature lover and poet (held at the Christman Preserve).Take Trail to right to streamside. We meet on top of bank near large waterfall. Bring your own poems and Will Christman poems to read. Contact Alan Casline (ACASLINE@AOL.Com) if you plan on attending.

“Local poetry is contextual and includes everything about being at a location: biota, history, memory, geology, folklore, personal and reported events. When you open your eyes and look around—you admit a sensual moment, which is followed an instant later by another. The phenomenal world presents a reality gifted by our senses and made-up of some sort of physical joining of the inside with the outside.” from TOWARDS A BIOREGION OF LOCAL POETRY

Perry Nichols and Annie Christain to read at Caffè Lena June 1
On Wednesday, June 1, Caffè Lena will present  poetry readings by Perry Nichols and Annie Christain. 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, (518) 583-0022, www.caffelena.org.

Annie Christain is an assistant professor of composition and ESOL at SUNY Cobleskill with poems appearing in Seneca Review, Oxford Poetry, The Chariton Review and The Lifted Brow, among others. She received the grand prize of the 2013 Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest, the 2013 Greg Grummer Poetry Award, the 2015 Oakland School of the Arts Enizagam Poetry Award and the 2015 Neil Shepard Prize in Poetry. Additional honors include her being selected for the Shanghai Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency and the Arctic Circle Autumn Art and Science Expedition Residency. Her book Tall As You Are Tall Between Them will be released Spring 2016 from C&R Press.

Perry S. Nicholas is an associate English professor at Erie Community College North in Buffalo, NY, where he was awarded the 2008 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities and the 2011 President’s Award for Classroom Instruction. He received the SGA’s Outstanding Teacher Award on two occasions. He has published one textbook on writing prompts, six books of original poetry and one CD of poetry.

Spencertown Academy presents Benjamin “Bernie” Kukoff poetry reading June 4
Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents a poetry reading by Benjamin “Bernie” Kukoff on Saturday, June 4, at 4 p.m. An acclaimed film and television writer and producer, Kukoff will read from his debut poetry collection What This Country Needs (Conflux Press, 2015). The poignant, funny, wise and accessible poems explore his journey from a Brighton Beach youth as the child of Russian immigrants, to the upper tiers of entertainment industry success in Los Angeles, to trial separation from his wife and dating, to getting back together, to settling in the Hudson Valley, along with surprising digressions about major biblical characters. Following the reading, there will be a reception with light refreshments, and the author will sign copies of his book. Admission is free.

“I knew my old friend Bernie Kukoff could do almost anything. But write poetry? The hardest of the writing disciplines? Bernie’s done it, and in spades,” says Dick Cavett, author, journalist and host of The Dick Cavett Show. “And he can do it all. These superb poems are sharp, readable, sad, funny, painful, comforting, startling and profound. I dare you to read any three and try to stop.”

“I’m what my poetry teacher, Mary Stewart Hammond, calls a narrative poet. I’m a storyteller who writes about people, some I know or knew, some made up,” says Kukoff. “Much of my collection is autobiographical. None of it was pre-planned or thematic. I just wrote what came to me, or fairly gushed out of me, from what [my wife] Lydia refers to as my poetry vein. This happy happening was a total surprise, totally unexpected.”

Benjamin “Bernie” Kukoff has written poetry for more than 21 years, working with Mary Stewart Hammond in her master class at the New York Writers Workshop. Beyond poetry, he’s had a high-profile, eclectic career, having worked in television, film and theater. After graduating from the Yale Drama School, he acted Off-Broadway with Second City and was in the founding company of the Williamstown Theatre Festival. In a major career change, he moved to Los Angeles, where he created, produced and wrote TV series, specials and films over a span of 28 years. Among them were Diff’rent Strokes, The Cosby Show and shows starring Steve Allen, Jimmy Durante, The Everly Brothers, Glen Campbell, Milton Berle, Jerry Stiller and Howard Cosell. In New York, his first show as a theatrical producer was the blockbuster I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, which ran for 12 years and won a Drama Desk Award. He and his wife, Lydia, share a 19th century farmhouse in New York’s Upper Hudson Valley.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires and the Capital Region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please seewww.spencertownacademy.org or call (518) 392-3693.

Writers in the Mountains offers workshop on writing the nonfiction book proposal June 5
Writers in the Mountains will present “Selling Your Nonfiction Book: The Art of Proposal Writing,” a Sunday seminar with Leslie T. Sharpe, June 5, 1-4 p.m. at the Andes Public Library. In three information-packed hours, Leslie will effectively detail what it takes to write a winning nonfiction book proposal, illustrated with several handouts. In the second half of the seminar, she will invite writers to present their projects for evaluation and input in order to best shape their own top-notch “winning” proposals.

In addition to its diversity of forms, nonfiction also offers writers (which literary fiction usually does not) the possibility of having an incomplete manuscript accepted by an agent or editor— accompanied by a strong proposal. The proposal-including elements such as an overview of the book, annotated table of contents, author’s platform and market analysis are usually submitted with two or three chapters of text and is, first and foremost, a writing sample, as well as a sales tool. What agents/editors look for in a proposal is strong writing with a clear and cogent presentation of the book’s subject and/or narrative arc, depending on the form, and a persuasive rationale for why the book should be published and why the author is the best possible person to write it.

Leslie T. Sharpe is an author, editor, and educator. She began her editing career at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and is currently an editorial consultant specializing in literary nonfiction, literary fiction and poetry. A member of PEN American Center, she is the author of Editing Fact and Fiction: A Concise Guide to Book Editing (Cambridge University Press), which is regarded as the “modern editing classic.”

Leslie was a regular contributor to New York Newsday’s “Urban ‘I’” column, and her essays and articles have appeared in a wide variety of publications including the Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Global City Review, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, New York Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Village Voice, The Villager, The Writer and Psychology Today. She recently finished her memoir, Our Fractured, Perfect Selves, and her new book, The Quarry Fox and Other Tales of the Wild Catskills, a lyric narrative look at the wild animals of the Catskill Mountains, will be published by The Overlook Press. Her poems for children have appeared inLadybug Magazine, and she is currently at work on a poetry collection, Little Possums Book of Poems.

Leslie has taught writing and editing at Columbia University, New York University and the City College of New York.

To register, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802 or e-mail her at jtstone@catskill.net. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org, go to “Register Online” page and fill in the registration form. Class fee is $35. Registration deadline is May 31.

Donna Wojcik to read at Arthur’s Market & Cafe June 8
The next “Open Mic & Featured Poet Second Wednesday” is June 8 at Arthur’s Market & Cafe, 35 N.Ferry St., Schenectady, NY.

The featured poet is Donna Dakota, a.k.a. Donna Wojcik, born in Chicago, who has become a beloved member of the very active writer’s scene in New York’s Capital District. She’s a long-time participant in writing marathons like National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the August Postcard Poetry Fest. “I write on the steering wheel of my Honda Fit,” Donna says, “…but only at red lights.” Her lively, funny and irreverant writing includes three works in progress: Accident-Related Works, Love Poems For Someone I Have Never Loved and He 4 She. Sample some of her work at donnadakota.com.

The reading is hosted by Catherine Norr. Sign-up for the open mic starts at 7 p.m.; readings begin at 7:30. Food and beverages available on-site!

Tech Valley Center of Gravity Writers Workshop summer schedule starts June 9
Here’s the summer schedule for the Tech Valley Center of Gravity Writers Workshop: June 9 & 23, July 7 & 21, August 4 &18. Co-write with joy and focus on alternating Thursdays with the Tech Valley Center of Gravity Writers’ Group. Bring food and/or drink to share, your writing tool(s) of choice and a project on which to focus. All genres and platforms welcome. Electrical outlets, hot beverages, water and a snack provided. Wine and substantive finger foods encouraged!

6:00-6:25 – dine, settle in and socialize
6:30-8:25 – co-writing (no conversation; cell phones, text, FB and email silenced)
8:30-9:00 – sharing session (optional: stay to the end or leave at 8:30)

Bring other writers with you! Quiet co-writing time is the priority. TVCOG and TVGS members: free. All others: $5 at the door. Supports the TVCOG Kitchen. RSVP Rhonda Rosenheck, rhonda@reworkediting.com or srp-kitchen@tvcog.net.

B-Fest National Teen Book Festival at Barnes & Noble June 10-12 seeks local writers
A message from Laura D’Orazio, the Community Business Development Manager for Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc. in Colonie Center in Albany:

I have an opportunity which your organization is sure to be excited about! Barnes & Noble is hosting our first-ever B-Fest National Teen Book Festival. The event runs from Friday, June 10, through Sunday, June 12. We are looking for local authors who have published books in the teen genre to be involved in this festival. There are many ways in which your authors could participate.

  • Participate in a group author signing.
  • Help host a writing workshop.
  • Be part of a discussion panel.

Events are still being determined, but it is shaping up to be a fun event and a great way for your authors to advertise their books!

The requirements for participation in the group signing are as follows: the local author’s teen book must be available in our system to order, available at a trade discount and returnable to the publisher. Books will be ordered through the publisher, and no books will be taken on consignment.  If the author’s book becomes unavailable for any reason or fails to meet the three requirements during the time leading up to the event, that author will have to decline attendance in the Teen B-Fest author signing portion of the event.

Please have any of your interested local authors respond as soon as possible as the event is just around the corner!  They should send me their name, book title, book ISBN and what part of the festival they are interested in. If they are interested in the group signing, I will be able to determine their eligibility at that time. Keep in mind that all books must be categorized in the teen genre.

Contact: Laura D’Orazio via email: crm2275@bn.com

Joseph Luzzi to read from his memoir at Roe Jan Library June 11
Writer and Bard College professor Joseph Luzzi will read from his memoir In a Dark Wood at the Roeliff Jansen Community Library on Saturday, June 11, at 5 p.m. In this memoir Luzzi writes of the days and months that followed the terrible event that left him suddenly both a widower and a first-time father. Luzzi’s wife, Katherine, eight-and-a-half months pregnant, was in an automobile accident and died from her injuries less than an hour after giving birth to their daughter, Isabel. Vanity Fair’s Nicole Jones, describes Luzzi’s memoir as “Heartbreaking. Heartrending. Heart-stopping.”

Luzzi, a professor of Italian studies and a Dante scholar, begins his book with lines from Dante’s The Divine Comedy: “In the middle of our life’s journey, I found myself in a dark wood.” The memoir describes the challenges that Luzzi faced as a grieving widower trying to balance his responsibilities as a single father and an academic, and “to open …[himself] again to love.” The book explores the parallels between Dante’s journey through the Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise, and Luzzi’s own journey through “Grief, Healing and the Mysteries of Love.”

Joseph Luzzi, the first American-born child in his Italian family, holds a doctorate from Yale and teaches at Bard. He is the author of My Two Italies, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy, which won the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern Language Association. An active critic, his essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Bookforum and The Times Literary Supplement. Dante has been the focus of his teaching and writing for over 20 years, and honors for his work on Dante include a teaching prize from Yale and an essay award from the Dante Society of America.

Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Route 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the Hillsdale intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call (518) 325-4101 or visit the library’s website at www.roejanlibrary.org. Follow the library on Twitter: @libraryroe.

Third Thursday to feature poet Karen Fabiane June 16
Poet Karen Fabiane will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m.

Karen Fabiane has been writing and performing poetry for more than 40 years.  She has published since 1976 in such small press journals as Home Planet News, MisFit, Momoware, Newsletter Inago, New Voices and others and in anthologies released by Bright Hill Press, which also published her book, Dancing Bears, in 2011. A second book,Seeing You Again, was published by Grey Book Press in 2014.

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.

Upcoming featured poets at Pine Hollow Open Mic Series
Poets of Earth, Water, Tree and Sky. Pot luck at 6 p.m. Reading starts at 6:30 p.m. Pine Hollow Arboretum Visitors Center, 16 Maple Avenue, Slingerlands.

  • July 8: Katrinka Moore
  • August 12: 6th Annual Poets at the Arboretum Group Reading
  • September 9: The Birdbrain Players present Perious Frink and the Great Barrel Race Puppet Show
  • October 14: Dawn Marar
  • November 4: David Landrey

Also: Saturday afternoon, June 4, 1 p.m. for a Pine Hollow sponsored haiku writing workshop with Michael Czarnecki.

Tables available for Saugerties Public Library Comic Con July 16
Scifi and fantasy writers: Set up a table at the Saugerties Public Library Comic Con! It will take place Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Saugerties Senior Center. Tables are free, and we welcome you to sell your wares. Contact Christine at cpacuk@saugertiespubliclibrary.org or (845) 246-4317 for more information.

Annual 5-day workshop for women writers at Paradox Lake Retreat Center starts July 17
M. E. Kemp will lead a five-day workshop for women writers at the annual Paradox Lake Retreat Center for women writers beginning July 17.  Kemp’s workshop will feature the five steps to writing a mystery.  Other workshops at the retreat include poetry, memoir and nonfiction.  For more information about retreat classes – and to register – contact Jill Hanifan at: jhanifan@nycap.rr.com.

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter May 2016

Guild Announcements:

  • HVWG to host 1-day workshop to combat writer’s block June 4
  • Guidelines for the 2016 HVWG Fiction Contest

Member Announcements:

  • Richard Gotti play to be part of Short Play Festival in Rhinebeck May 6-8
  • New York Times blog features HVWG member Barbara Traynor
  • New press and chapbook add to local poetry and prose scene
  • Keith Willis announces upcoming appearances, debut novel recognized as award finalist

Area Announcements:

  • Joan Murray to read at Caffè Lena May 4
  • Poetry & poetics from Michael Peters at Pine Hollow Arboretum May 6
  • Next “2nd Sunday @ 2” open mic for poetry and prose May 8
  • Arthur’s Poetry Open-Mic features Carolee Bennett May 11
  • Read your own prose or listen to local talent at Roe Jan Library May 14
  • Stephen A DiBiase Prize winners and finalists to read in Albany on May 15
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Mike Jurkovic May 19
  • Writers in the Mountains launches 6-week illustration workshop June 4
  • Upcoming featured poets at Pine Hollow Open Mic Series
  • Tables available for Saugerties Public Library Comic Con July 16
  • Writing opportunities from beyond the Upstate/Hudson Valley region

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

HVWG to host 1-day workshop to combat writer’s block June 4
The Hudson Valley Writers Guild is presenting a 1-day workshop,” Block Busting: How to Break Through the Barriers that Keep You from Writing,” to be held June 4, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the East Greenbush Community Library, 10 Community Way. The workshop, led by novelist and poet Julie Lomoe, is free (but please see below for information on pre-registration).

Writer’s block afflicts every author sooner or later. If you’ve ever found yourself paralyzed, staring at an empty piece of paper or a blank computer screen, you know the feelings of frustration and even downright panic that can keep you from writing. In this workshop for writers or would-be writers of all levels, we’ll explore the underlying feelings behind your personal blocks and learn a variety of techniques to help you overcome the barriers that keep you from reaching your fullest potential as a writer. This workshop will use creative visualization and writing exercises along with a discussion of successful writers’ tips and techniques for overcoming creative blocks. Free handouts will include a tip sheet and bibliography.

Julie Lomoe is a novelist and poet with over three decades of experience as a creative arts therapist and workshop leader.  She has published three novels: Mood Swing: The Bipolar Murders, Eldercide and her most recent Hope Dawns Eternal (her first venture into paranormal fantasy fiction and the first of a series featuring the vampire and soap opera star Jonah McQuarry).

Writers may pre-register by calling the East Greenbush Community Library at (518) 477-7476 or by going to www.eastgreenbushlibrary.org.  For further information about the workshop, email Julie Lomoe at julielomoe@nycap.rr.com.

Guidelines for the 2016 HVWG Fiction Contest
The HVWG writing contest alternates genres annually. This year’s contest is short fiction. Winners will be awarded cash prizes and invited to read their winning piece at the Guild’s annual meeting in November 2016. Prizes will be awarded as follows: 1st prize, $100; 2nd prize, $75; 3rd prize, $50; and three honorable mentions, $20 each.

  • Eligibility: All contestants must be residents of New York State. Current members of the HVWG Board and their families are not eligible.
  • Judges: Julie Lamoe, Joe Krausman and Andrea Portnick.
  • Submissions: 
    • Entries must be postmarked between April 1 and June 30, 2016.
    • Entry fee: $15 for non-members of HVWG; $10 for members. (Make checks payable to HVWG and include with submission.)
    • Identification/contact information MUST NOT appear anywhere on the submission.
    • Cover letter should include the following: name, address, phone number, e-mail address, title of submission and word count.
    • Word count must not exceed 5000 words. Any submissions that exceed this number will not be considered.
    • All submissions must be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt. standard font such as Cambria, Calibri or Times New Roman.
    • Submissions must be previously unpublished.
    • Submit four copies through the mail and an SASE if you would like a hard copy of results. Submissions will not be returned.
    • All entrants will be notified of winners by e-mail or SASE. Results will also be posted on our website at www.hvwg.org.
    • Membership forms can be found here on this website.

For more information, please contact Faith Green at greenfaith2@gmail.com or (518) 253-8557. Mail submissions with entry fee to: HVWG Fiction Contest, c/o Faith Green, 25B Patterson Drive, Glenmont, NY 12077.

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Richard Gotti play to be part of Short Play Festival in Rhinebeck May 6-8
Richard Gotti’s play, The Wave, has been selected by Warrior Productions of Rhinecliff for inclusion in the 2016 Short Play Festival to be held at the Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck, May 6-8.

Information and tickets are available at www.warriorproductions.biz and www.centerforperformingarts.org.

New York Times blog features HVWG member Barbara Traynor
Barbara M Traynor was featured in the The New York Times Well Blog on March 29 in an article called “Reinventing Yourself: Stories From Our Readers.” Ms Traynor is author ofSecond Career Volunteer, a passionate, pennywise approach to a unique lifestyle.

New press and chapbook add to local poetry and prose scene
Nancy Klepsch, Lauren Pinsley and Dan Wilcox proudly announce the release of a new chapbook for poetry and prose and the establishment of a new local press called Riverside Community Press. The new chapbook called 2 is an historical anthology celebrating six years of the writers participating in the open mic called the “2nd Sunday @ 2 open mic for poetry and prose” at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY. The new press, called Riverside Community Press, is a literary journal for poetry and prose. You can order your copy for $5 plus postage by emailing nsktroy@aol.com.

There will be a call for entries with a theme to be announced in the near future. This publication seeks to reach out to diverse voices.

Keith Willis announces upcoming appearances, debut novel recognized as award finalist
Keith W. Willis’ debut fantasy novel Traitor Knight has been recognized as one of five finalists in the fantasy competition in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. NGIBA is the largest not-for-profit book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors. The winners and finalists will be officially announced on April 30 and will be recognized atBook Expo America in Chicago in May.

Traitor Knight weaves fantasy, adventure, intrigue, a dash of romance and a dollop of wit into a fast-paced tale of a dashing, heroic and (literally) hopelessly romantic knight; a disillusioned damsel-in-distress; a surfeit of sinister spies; and a fearsome dragon with an inconvenient case of hiccups. Published by Champagne Books (Alberta, Canada) in electronic (Sept. 2015) and paperback (March 2016) editions, Traitor Knight has garnered numerous five-star reviews.

Keith will present the work at the following upcoming appearances:

  • Thursday, June 2: Traitor Knight Book Launch Party, Book House, Stuyvesant Plaza, 1475 Western Avenue, Albany. (518) 489-4761. Event starts at 7 p.m. Light libations and munchies will be served.
  • Saturday, June 4: Reading & Book Signing, Eden Café, 260 Osborne Road, Loudonville. (518) 977-3771. Event from 2-4:30 p.m. Café menu available.
  • Saturday – Sunday, June 11 -12: Vendor at NY Capital District Renaissance Festival, Indian Ladder Farms, 342 Altamont Voorheesville Road, Altamont.
  • Monday, June 13: Reading/Q&A/Book Signing, Cohoes Public Library, 169 Mohawk Street, Cohoes. (518)  235-2570. Event starts at 6 p.m.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Joan Murray to read at Caffè Lena May 4
On Wednesday, May 4, Caffè Lena will present a poetry reading by Joan Murray.  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.

Joan Murray is a poet, writer and playwright, whose books include Swimming for the Ark: New & Selected Poems 1990-2015 (White Pine Press Distinguished Poets Series), Looking for the Parade (W. W. Norton), Dancing on the Edge and Queen of the Mist (both from Beacon Press), and The Same Water (Wesleyan University Press). A repeat guest on NPR’s Morning Edition, she is also a National Poetry Series Winner, a 2-time National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship Winner, a Wesleyan New Poets Series Winner and Winner of Poetry Society of America’s Gordon Barber Award.

Poetry & poetics from Michael Peters at Pine Hollow Arboretum May 6

  • Potluck 6 p.m.
  • Reading at 6:30 p.m.
  • 16 Maple Avenue, Slingerlands, New York

It’s a hard knock life for young professor and poet Michael Peters. On the creative frontier auding experimental verse, Michael is also profound in other media. Take his books where he is visually detailing merged fields of image and words on the printed page. His poetry is easier to comprehend on the page than it is when he is presented as performance poetry with unique cadences and stretched vocalizations.  We can expect at this Pine Hollow’s Open Mic (as has been experienced by those of us who have heard him before) his oral presentation promising an emergence field of sounds investing his poetry and performance with a unique tonal environment. At Pine Hollow, Michael is also going to take us behind the scenes with explanation of the poetics behind the work he is presenting.

I have heard it both ways: “I wish he wouldn’t read like that because I cannot understand his words when he does” and “Oh Michael, if only I could have you read my poems in the way you read your own.” If you have an appetite for un-ordinary work then this version of Pine Hollow’s Open Mic is for you.

Next “2nd Sunday @ 2” open mic for poetry and prose May 8
Upcoming dates: May 8 and June 12. Please bring two poems or five minutes of prose to read. All are welcome. The Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River Street, Troy, NY. The seventh season starts September 11!

Arthur’s Poetry Open Mic features Carolee Bennett May 11
The next Arthur’s Poetry Open Mic and Featured Reader is May 11 (always the second Wednesday): 7 p.m. sign-up for open mic; 7:30 p.m. readings begin. 35 N. Ferry Street, Schenectady, NY.

This month’s feature is Carolee Bennett, an artist and poet living in Upstate New York, who once was the “almost” poet laureate of Smitty’s Tavern (first runner-up in the annual contest). She has been published in a number of print and online journals, and in 2015 her poem “On not shielding young minds from the dark” placed as semi-finalist for the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize. She has an MFA in creative writing (poetry) from Ashland University in Ohio and works full-time as a writer in social media marketing.

Read your own prose or listen to local talent at Roe Jan Library May 14
Fiction, non-fiction and memoir writers are invited to read their work at a Short-Prose Open Mic at Roeliff Jansen Community Library on Saturday, May 14, 4-6 p.m. Non-writers and writers who do not choose to read are invited to enjoy and be inspired by the work of local talent.<

Writers must keep readings to a maximum of seven minutes in length. No pre-registration is necessary. For further information, contact Regina Colangelo at reginac18@verizon.net or(914) 954-3494.

Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Route 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the Hillsdale intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call (518) 325-4101 or visit the library’s website at www.roejanlibrary.org. Follow the library on Twitter:@libraryroe.

Stephen A DiBiase Prize winners and finalists to read in Albany on May 15
Winning and final poems from the 2016 Stephen A DiBiase Poetry Prize contest will be read on May 15 between 2 and 4 p.m. at the main branch of the Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Avemue. This event is free and open to the public. The reading will take place in the large auditorium at the library.

The top prize winner, Dawn Marar of Delmar, will be the featured reader. Other regional poets who plan to read their entries are Karen Fabiane, Jackie Craven, Sylvia Barnard, Lucia Cherciu, Howard Kogan, Joe Krausman, Jennifer Circosta, Joel Best, Dan Wilcox, Phil Good and Sally Rhoades. Special guest Mary Panza and other poets will read several of the top entrants from outside the region. Information about the contest, including plans for the 2017 edition, will be provided.

Contact: Bob Sharkey, Editor for The Stephen A DiBiase Poetry Prize, (518) 369-9055, riverrun@nycap.rr.com

Third Thursday to feature poet Mike Jurkovic May 19
Poet Mike Jurkovic will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany on Thursday,  May 19, at 7:30 p.m.

Mike Jurkovic’s poems and music criticism have appeared globally but have yet to generate any reportable income. His first full length collection, smitten by harpies is just out from Lion Autumn Press. Other publications include Eve’s Venom (Post Traumatic Press, 2014), Purgatory Road (Pudding House Press, 2010) and inclusion in the anthologies WaterWrites & Riverine (Codhill Press, 2009, 2007) and Will Work For Peace (Zeropanik, 1999).  In addition, he is the producer of CAPSCASTS, recordings from Calling All Poets, available atwww.callingallpoets.net.  Music features, interviews and CD reviews appear in Elmore Magazine and the Van Wyck Gazette.

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 dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Writers in the Mountains launches 6-week illustration workshop June 4
Writers in the Mountains (WIM) introduces “The Business and Art of Illustration” with Durga Yael Bernhard, a 6-week long workshop, running from June 4 to July 9. The class will be held Saturdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Phoenicia Public Library.

This class will be useful for artists who want to apply their talent to commercial use or for anyone who wants to learn the art of visual communication. Style development, visual research and the crucial importance of design will be discussed along with weekly hands-on exercises and group critiques. Business aspects of professional illustration will be covered, including freelancing, self-promotion, contracts, reproduction rights, computer skills and more. Special attention will be given to children’s book illustration if desired by the class. This is not a course in computer graphics or digital illustration.  A small art supply list will be given to registrants prior to the first class.

D. Yael Bernhard is the illustrator of over three dozen children’s books – all of which she designed except for one – including fiction and non-fiction, natural science titles and multicultural folktales. She has also written several unique concept books for children. Her illustrated books include A Ride on Mother’s Back (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); While You Are Sleeping (Charlesbridge Publishing); In the Fiddle is a Song (Chronicle Books); and Never Say a Mean Word Again (Wisdom Tales Press).  Yael’s work encompasses several different styles and has been published on everything from book, magazine and CD covers, to business logos, brochures, websites, corporate promotional materials and other projects. Her website is dyaelbernhard.com.

To register, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802, or e-mail jtstone@catskill.net. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org. Class fee is $70, if you register and pay by May 14, and $85 after that.

Upcoming featured poets at Pine Hollow Open Mic Series
Poets of Earth, Water, Tree and Sky. Pot luck at 6 p.m. Reading starts at 6:30 p.m. Pine Hollow Arboretum Visitors Center, 16 Maple Avenue, Slingerlands.

  • June 17: Walt Franklin
  • July 8: Katrinka Moore
  • August 12: 6th Annual Poets at the Arboretum Group Reading
  • September 9: The Birdbrain Players present Perious Frink and the Great Barrel Race Puppet Show
  • October 14: Dawn Marar
  • November 4: David Landrey

Also: Saturday afternoon, June 4, 1 p.m. for a Pine Hollow sponsored haiku writing workshop with Michael Czarnecki.

Tables available for Saugerties Public Library Comic Con July 16
Scifi and fantasy writers: Set up a table at the Saugerties Public Library Comic Con! It will take place Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Saugerties Senior Center. Tables are free, and we welcome you to sell your wares. Contact Christine at cpacuk@saugertiespubliclibrary.org or (845) 246-4317 for more information.

Writing opportunities from beyond the Upstate/Hudson Valley region

  • A message from Writer’s Atalier in Florida –> “My name is Racquel Henry, and I am the founder of the writing center, Writer’s Atelier, in Winter Park, FL. I am reaching out to writers to inform them of our offerings. We aim to offer writers affordable writing workshops and sometimes free events! I thought that our next online workshop might be of interest to some of the members of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild. It’s called, “First Five Pages,” and it will be lead by NYT bestselling author Anna Banks. The 4-week workshop (starting in May) features weekly lessons, weekly Q&A chats with the author, a five-page critique and a critique of the query letter. Writers of all genres are welcomed to participate. If you’re interested, you can email me directly at racquel@racquelhenry.com. Here’s the link to the workshop on our website.”
  • A message from Kazabo Publishing –> “Dear Hudson Valley Writers Guild, As your organization is dedicated to making authors successful, we thought you might be interested in a project we launched at AWP16 last month. Kazabo Publishing is something entirely new. At Kazabo, established authors are the publishers. In effect we give them an “imprint” and allow them to choose new authors to publish. It works like this. New and emerging authors submit their books to Kazabo and agree to review five books by other new authors. Based on the reviews their book receives, we put it into out editing process. At the end of that process, our established authors choose the books they believe will appeal to their loyal readers. Once the book is published, the established author uses their marketing platform to help promote the new author. For new authors, our royalty rates begin at 50% while the established author earns 15%. Initially, the new author is published to e-book and then moved into other media and languages as their sales progress. Before you ask, no, this does not cost the author anything. This is not vanity publishing. The only money we collect is from readers when they buy the author’s books! Nor is it, by any stretch of the imagination, self-publishing. Kazabo is very selective and no established author will back one of our new authors with their name and reputation unless they are genuinely impressed. Every book published by Kazabo will be a very good book indeed. So the vast majority of new authors who submit to Kazabo will not make the cut. But there is something in it for them, too. If your book is not selected for publication, you will still receive the five reviews that were done of your book. You will know that five of your fellow authors read your book, thought about your book and provided you detailed, written feedback about your book. There is a lot more to this program so I encourage you to visit our website, kazabo.com, for more information. Best Regards, Chiara Giacobbe, director, New Authors Division.”
  • A message from Writer’s Relief, Inc. –> “Announcing the WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest Judged by Ohio’s Poet Laureate Amit Majmudar. The WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook competition is hosted by Writer’s Relief, Inc. The chapbook contest runs until May 25. The winning poet will receive a $500 cash prize; publication of the poetry chapbook in both print and e-book formats; Amazon distribution for Kindle and print; and 25 free copies. The contest is limited to poetry chapbooks 24 – 48 pages in length, and the entry fee is $20. For complete contest submission guidelines, visit http://writersrelief.com/watersedge-poetry-chapbook-contest/. We’re thrilled and honored to have Ohio poet laureate Amit Majmudar judge our poetry chapbook contest. Majmudar is the author of two novels and several poetry collections. He was a finalist for a Poetry Society of America’s Norma Faber First Book Award, and his poetry was selected for a Donald Justice prize. His most recent collection of poems, Dothead, was published on March 29. Majmudar’s poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry Magazine and The Antioch Review. His work has been featured in several anthologies, including Best of the Best American Poetry, 1988-2012. Since 1994, the Writer’s Relief office has been located a stone’s throw from the New Jersey Meadowlands: a large ecosystem of wetlands in the metropolitan region and an important bird habitat. The water sedge is one of several endangered plant species struggling to survive in this environment. The efforts of water sedge to flourish despite difficult odds seems kindred in spirit to poets hoping to successfully publish their poetry books and chapbooks in an uncooperative publishing environment. With the WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Contest, we hope to help poets thrive and succeed.”
  • A message about the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award –> “The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is an international literary prize, now in its ninth year, and is currently open for entries, presenting a fantastic opportunity for emerging and established writers from around the world to showcase their work to a wider audience. Prizes include publication in an anthology of outstanding poetry and short fiction, a consultation with a literary agent, subscriptions to leading writing organisations and publications. As an international award, we would really like writers and poets around the world to know about this opportunity. Specifics on the prizes are as follows:
    • £500 each (poetry winner and short fiction winner)
    • publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual
    • consultation with Redhammer Management (short fiction winner)
    • full membership to The Poetry Society (poetry winner)
    • selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage
    • 1-year subscription to Granta

Short Fiction entries should be no more than 2,000 words. Poetry entries should be no more than 40 lines. Works previously published elsewhere are accepted. Deadline for submissions is August 31. To enter, visit www.aestheticamagazine.com/cwa. We are really excited about this year’s Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and hope that you can share the call for entries. Best wishes, Cassandra”

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, April 2016

IN THIS ISSUE

Guild Announcements:

  • Guidelines for the 2016 HVWG Fiction Contest

Member Announcements:

  • Harvey Havel to host poetry and prose reading April 18
  • Keith Willis’ debut fantasy novel now available in paperback
  • Publication news from Alan Catlin
  • Results of the first annual Stephen A. DiBiase poetry contest
  • This Is Not A Literary Journal to host 30 prompts for NaPoWriMo

Area Announcements:

  • Roe Jan Library announces poetry month poem-a-day challenge and open mic
  • Rensselaerville celebrates 11th annual National Poetry Month
  • Steve Berry launches national book tour at University Club (April 1) and NYS Museum (April 2)
  • Roe Jan Library hosts poetry month open mic April 2 featuring poet Karen Schoemer
  • Caffè Lena to feature Lisa Wiley and Peter Marcus April 6
  • Luncheon and reading with young adult author Linda Miller-Lachman April 9
  • Arthur’s poetry open mic to feature Kelly de la Rocha April 13
  • Writers Workshop at Tech Valley Center of Gravity announces new schedule starting April 14
  • Public History Conference April 15-17: The Underground Railroad and American Identities
  • Third Thursday to feature poet Tina Barry April 21
  • Cara Benson leads “Playing on the Page” poetry workshop at Roe Jan Library April 23
  • On April 24 “Meet the Authors,” WIM’s Third Annual Catskills Book Festival
  • Sequestrum writing award deadline April 30
  • Announcing the 2016 Fence Show Call for Entries
  • Roe Jan Library hosts short-prose open mic May 14

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

Guidelines for the 2016 HVWG Fiction Contest
The HVWG writing contest alternates genres annually. This year’s contest is short fiction. Winners will be awarded cash prizes and invited to read their winning piece at the Guild’s annual meeting in November 2016. Prizes will be awarded as follows: 1st prize, $100; 2nd prize, $75; 3rd prize, $50; and three honorable mentions, $20 each.

  • Eligibility: All contestants must be residents of New York State. Current members of the HVWG Board and their families are not eligible.
  • Judges: Julie Lamoe, Joe Krausman and Andrea Portnick.
  • Submissions: 
    • Entries must be postmarked between April 1 and June 30, 2016.
    • Entry fee: $15 for non-members of HVWG; $10 for members. (Make checks payable to HVWG and include with submission.)
    • Identification/contact information MUST NOT appear anywhere on the submission.
    • Cover letter should include the following: name, address, phone number, e-mail address, title of submission and word count.
    • Word count must not exceed 5000 words. Any submissions that exceed this number will not be considered.
    • All submissions must be typed, double-spaced, 12-pt. standard font such as Cambria, Calibri or Times New Roman.
    • Submissions must be previously unpublished.
    • No pornography or erotica.
    • Submit four copies through the mail and an SASE if you would like a hard copy of results. Submissions will not be returned.
    • All entrants will be notified of winners by e-mail or SASE. Results will also be posted on our website at www.hvwg.org.

For more information, please contact Faith Green at greenfaith2@gmail.com or (518) 253-8557.

Mail submissions with entry fee to: HVWG Fiction Contest, c/o Faith Green, 25B Patterson Drive, Glenmont, NY 12077.

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Harvey Havel to host poetry and prose reading April 18
At 7 p.m. on Monday, April 18, during Wordfest, Harvey Havel will host a poetry and prose reading at the Hudson River Coffee House, 227 Quail Street, Albany. Featured poets and prose writers will be:

  • Allen Parmenter
  • Daniel Nester
  • Heidi Pangratis
  • Harvey Havel (Host)
  • Brian Dorn

Keith Willis’ debut fantasy novel now available in paperback
Keith W. Willis is delighted to announce that his debut fantasy novel, Traitor Knight, which was initially released in ebook format only, is now available in a paperback edition through Champagne Books or Amazon.

Publication news from Alan Catlin

  • Alan Catlin had a new book of poetry, American Odyssey, published by Future Cycle Press. It is available in print and Kindle format from www.futurecycle.org.
  • Issue 17 of Misfit Magazine is now live. We are always interested in submissions at submissions@misfitmagazine.net. “It is about the poem, not the name.”

Results of the first annual Stephen A. DiBiase poetry contest
Bob Sharkey has announced the results of the first annual Stephen A. DiBiase poetry contest. The contest had 303 entries from 37 states and DC and from nine other nations. Local poet and Hudson Valley Writers Guild board member, Dawn Marar, took first place for her poem “Beyond the Naupaka Hedge.” Several other local and regional poets won awards or were finalists. A public reading by many of these poets will take place on Sunday, May 15, 2 p.m. at the Washington Avenue branch of the Albany Public Library.

A complete list of the awards and finalists follows:

  • First Place (bonus for community poet; bonus for local poet: $700): “Beyond the Naupaka Hedge” by Dawn Marar of Delmar, NY
  • Second Place ($250): “The Resolution of Neglect Syndrome” by Jen Karetnick of Miami Shores, FL
  • Third Place ($125): “Plantation’s Corn” by Paul Weidknecht of Phillipsburg, NJ
  • Fourth Place ($100): “On the Rising Prices of Corn at Festivals” by Michelle Chen of Whitestone, NY
  • Special Founder’s Award ($90): “Now, morning…” by Karen Fabiane of Troy, NY
  • Honorable Mentions ($65):
    • “Stopping By The Columbarium” by Jackie Craven of Schenectady, NY
    • “Siobhan In Washington Park (age 46)” by Sylvia Barnard of Albany, NY
    • “Argiope Aurantia” by Pat Tompkins of San Mateo, CA
    • “American Woman” by Lucia Cherciu of Poughkeepsie, NY
    • “Don’t Read This One Out Loud” by Merisa Dion of Derry, NH
    • “A Brief History of Fun” by Howard Kogan of Stephentown, NY
    • “Shipwreck” by Joe Krausman of Menands, NY
    • “Earthquakes in Oklahoma” by Lauren Elizabeth Delucchi of Washington, DC
    • “Nondescript” by Ashley Hyun of Tenafly, NJ
  • Other Finalists:
    • “I loved you long before I even met you” by Kirsten Textor of Lyngby, Denmark
    • “To a Child at Enlightenment” by J.C. Elkin of Annapolis, MD
    • “Winter Walk” by Francis DiClemente of Syracuse, NY
    • “Let Me View Life-The Way the Heart Feels…” by Jennifer Circosta of Campbell Hall, NY
    • “all told” by Joel Best of Niskayuna, NY
    • “Inside the Picture Frame-For Aiyana Stanley-Jones” by Keli Osborn of Eugene, OR
    • “Missing you” by Carol Kloskowski of Christmas, MI
    • “Sad Nymph” by Betsy Butcher of Iowa City, IA
    • “Richard Nixon Must Die (for all the victims of the War)” by Dan Wilcox of Albany, NY
    • “Salt Is The Spice Of Life” by Philip Good of East Nassau, NY
    • “modie badanov” by Canon Pau of Los Angeles, CA
    • “On a Night With a Poet” by Sally Rhoades of Albany, NY
    • “Meaning of Man” by Erin Gillett of Los Angeles, CA

This Is Not A Literary Journal to host 30 prompts for NaPoWriMo
Earlier this year, Carolee Bennett, HVWG member and newsletter editor, launched an online poetry prompt project called This Is Not A Literary Journal. The site typically publishes a prompt each week (Tuesdays) and plans to publish select poems from participants once the community begins to grow. This April, in celebration of National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) and in support of those poets — herself included — who plan to write 30 poems in 30 days, This Is Not A Literary Journal will publish a prompt each day. To keep up with the prompts in April (and afterward!), you can subscribe to the site or follow it on Twitter: @notajournal.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS
Roe Jan Library announces poetry month poem-a-day challenge and open mic 
Starting April 1, Great Barrington poet Janet Hutchinson will send out daily email poetry writing prompts during the month for the fifth annual “Poem-a-Day Challenge.” To receive daily prompts, send your email address to: janhutch44@gmail.com. Hutchinson says, “There are now more than 300 people in 12 states and three foreign countries receiving these prompts. Many people have told me that they did not actually complete 30 poems in April, but said that the five they did write were five more than they might have written otherwise.”

An open mic for Poem-a-Day Challenge participants to read some of the poems they wrote will be held at the Roe Jan Library, on Friday, April 29, 7-8 p.m.

Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Route 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the Hillsdale intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call (518) 325-4101 or visit the library’s website at www.roejanlibrary.org. Follow the library on Twitter: @libraryroe.

Rensselaerville celebrates 11th annual National Poetry Month
Rensselaerville will hold its 11th annual Poetry Month celebration with events throughout the month of April. Details:

  • Today’s Poem
    • 30 days … 30 poems. Starting April 1, we’ll post a new poem each day by a local poet. Visit www.rensselaervillelibrary.org and click the “Today’s Poem” button.
    • Featured poets: Peter Boudreaux, Dennis Sullivan, Howard Kogan, Linda Sonia Miller, Dan Wilcox, Katrinka Moore, Tim Verhaegen, Bob Sharkey, Philomena Moriarty, Nancy Dyer, Mark W. Ó Brien, Robert A. Miller, Thomas Bonville, Barbara Hatch Vink, Charlie Rossiter, Mike Burke, Cathy Anderson, Pam Clements, Mimi Moriarty, Alan Casline, Dianne Sefcik, Karen Schoemer, Dawn Marar, Therese Broderick, Edie Abrams, Ann Lapinski, Charles Burgess, Claire North, Emileigh Tanner and Tom Corrado.
  • Let Your Yoga and Poet Dance
    • Inspired by the Rensselaerville Library Poetry Group, poet and yoga dance instructor Ann Lapinski will combine her practice of Let Your Yoga Dance® with poetry focused on the body chakras.
    • April 9, 10:30 a.m – noon
    • Conkling Hall, 8 Methodist Hill Road, Rensselaerville, NY 12147
  • Visual Poetry Workshop: Asemic Writing
    • Asemic, or wordless, writing combines elements of visual arts and written language. Participants will begin by writing poetry and go on to create broadsides of their own asemic writing. The workshop will be facilitated by artist Nancy DeNicolo and poet Katrinka Moore. Open to beginning and experienced writers and artists.
    • Please register at (518) 797-3949 by April 8. There is a $5 registration fee, payable at the door.
    • April 16, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    • Rensselaerville Library, 1459 Co Road 351, Rensselaerville, NY 12147
    • library@rensselaervillelibrary.org
  • Cowboy Poetry
    • Janet Botaish returns for an afternoon of Cowboy Poetry with special guests Mark Munzert and Kimmy Hudson-Munzert. Kimmy is a western singer, and Mark is the current Western Music Association Western Wordsmith’s Secretary and administrates a Cowboy Poetry Facebook page, which has over 7,000 members.
    • April 16, 3 – 5 p.m.
    • Conkling Hall, 8 Methodist Hill Road, Rensselaerville, NY 12147
  • Wild Minds: Nature Poetry Reading 
    • Poet Gary Snyder calls writers and artists who look deeply into the connection of humans and the environment “explorers of the wild mind.” Come listen to poems inspired by the natural world in a natural setting, the Huyck Preserve in Rensselaerville, NY.  Free and open to the public.
    • Featuring poet Barbara Ungar and including Stuart Bartow, Charlie Burgess, Alan Casline, Tom Corrado, John Couturier, Carol Graser, Dawn Marar, Anita Marrone, Linda Miller, Robert Miller, Katrinka Moore, Philomena Moriarty, Claire North, Mark W. Ó Brien, Susan Oringel, Michael Peters, Joan Lauri Poole, Elizabeth Poreba, Dianne Sefcik, Lee Slonimsky and Emileigh Tanner.
    • April 23, 2016, 3 – 5 p.m.
    • Eldridge Research Station on Lincoln Pond, 284 Pond Hill Road, Rensselaerville, NY 12147
    • info@huyckpreserve.org
  • Singing in the Dark: Poetry of Courage/Poetry of Witness
    • The turbulent issues of the 21st century (including those related to refugees, terrorism, racism, nationalism, gender, age, free speech, climate and war) have resulted in a particularly fertile time for poetry, as well as for other forms of artistic expression. Poetry speaks to our deepest fears, as well as hopes.  Around the world, poets are not only writing in reaction to the issues of the day, but they are also confronting these new times with new poetic forms such as documentary poetry, ecopoetry, spoken word/slam poetry, multi-genre expression, etc. The Singing in the Dark event seeks to pack into two hours an introduction to poets who use both traditional and new forms to address the challenges of living in these uncertain times, as well as to poets who have addressed historical events with similar urgency. You will hear poems by regional poets, as well as readings (by guest readers) of poems by well-known poets. The diverse voices of those moved to engage these issues, including the often unfamiliar poetry of indigenous peoples, will be represented in both this event and the Huyck Preserve event.
    • Featuring poets Jamaluddin Aram, Nancy Klepsch, Leland Kinsey, Marianne Rahn-Erickson, Victorio Reyes, Daniel Summerhill and Dan Wilcox; and including Thomas Bonville, Charlie Burgess, Tom Corrado, Curtis Flach, Christian Matthew Harris, Ian Macks, Cheryl MacNeil, Dawn Marar, Anita Marrone, Marilyn McCabe, Linda Sonia Miller, Philomena Moriarty, Robert Nied, Claire North, Dianne Sefcik, Bob Sharkey and Lynda Wisdo.
    • April 30, 3 – 5 p.m.
    • Carey Institute for Global Good, 100 Pond Hill Road, Rensselaerville, NY 12147
    • (518) 797-5100

For info about these April events, contact Linda Miller (lsoniam@aol.com) or Kimberly Graff (director@rensselaervillelibrary.org)

Steve Berry launches national book tour at University Club (April 1) and NYS Museum (April 2)
Steve Berry, a master of thrillers with a historic twist, will launch the national tour for his latest book, The 14th Colony (Minotaur Books), at a “History Happy Hour” on Friday, April 1, 5:30 – 8 p.m. at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany, 141 Washington Avenue. One need not be a member of the University Club to attend.

The History Happy Hour will be followed by “Lessons from a Bestseller” at the New York State Museum on Saturday, April 2, from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by the New York State Museum, and more information on the writer’s workshop is online at www.universityclubalbany.com.

Steve Berry and his wife, Elizabeth, have traveled the world researching Steve’s many books and saw the effects of dwindling funds dedicated to preserving our heritage. They established the History Matters Foundation to assist communities around the world with historic restoration and preservation. The foundation supports the cost of their travel, and he accepts no appearance fee. They are traveling throughout the month of April, but are kicking off the tour with a pair of events in Albany.

Online ticketing for both events may be found online:

Roe Jan Library hosts poetry month open mic April 2 featuring poet Karen Schoemer 
Columbia County poet Karen Schoemer will read from her own work and host an open mic to begin the celebration of poetry month at the Roeliff Jansen Community Library on Saturday, April 2, 5-7 p.m. Schoemer, first place winner of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild 2015 Writing Contest, invites poets and poetry lovers “to share a poem and celebrate their own heritage and poetry’s shared heritage.” Participants can read one or two of their own poems or read poems from a favorite poet.

Karen Schoemer is a poet, author, performer and bookseller. Her poems have appeared in Chronogram, Up the River, Red Barn and Zephyrs. She is the author of Great Pretenders: My Strange Love Affair with ’50s Pop Music (Free Press, 2006), and her music journalism has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, Rolling Stone and Newsweek. The former book manager for the Spotty Dog in Hudson, she has hosted readings and book events for authors throughout Columbia County and curated Arts Walk Literary for the Columbia County Council on the Arts in 2015. She is the vocalist for the Schoemer Formation, a Catskill-based rock band.

Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Route 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the Hillsdale intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call (518) 325-4101 or visit the library’s website at www.roejanlibrary.org. Follow the library on Twitter: @libraryroe.

Caffè Lena to feature Lisa Wiley and Peter Marcus April 6
On Wednesday, April 6, Caffè Lena will present poetry readings by Lisa Wiley and Peter Marcus. 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.

Luncheon and reading with young adult author Linda Miller-Lachman April 9
Friends of the Albany Public Library is proud to sponsor Lyn Miller-Lachman, author of books for young adults, at the “Spring Book & Author Event”:

  • Saturday, April 9, 1:30 p.m.
  • Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Avenue, Second Floor Meeting Room
  • free and open to the Public.

A buffet luncheon will be served at noon at the University Club, 141 Washington Avenue, Albany. Cost for the luncheon: $20. Please RSVP for the luncheon by contacting Gene Damm, (518) 482-7675, or by email gdamm@nycap.rr.com.

Arthur’s poetry open mic to feature Kelly de la Rocha April 13
The next “Arthur’s Poetry Open-Mic and Featured Reader” will be Wednesday, April 13. Here are the details:

  • Featured poet: Kelly de la Rocha / Kelly’s quest to help others has lead her to Guatamala; Biloxi, Mississippi​; and​ the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains​, ​as well as close to home, including Schenectady Inner City Ministry’s food pantry. Many of the people she has met while volunteering color her work. Kelly’s love of nature also winds through her poetry​,​ ​which has​ been featured in multiple print and e-publications. She lives with her husband and two children in Glenville​, NY​.
  • 7 p.m. sign-up for open mic; 7:30 readings begin
  • Hosted by Catherine Norr
  • Arthur’s Market & Cafe, 35 N. Ferry Street, Schenectady, NY 12305

Writers Workshop at Tech Valley Center of Gravity announces new schedule starting April 14

  • Writers Workshop at Tech Valley Center of Gravity, 30 3rd Street, Troy, NY 12180 (Corner of Broadway)
  • Join us more frequently and on our new night: alternating Thursdays
  • Upcoming dates: Thursdays, April 14 and 28, 6-9 p.m.
  • The schedule:
    • 6-6:30 — Bring fun, healthy food and/or a beverage to share
    • 6:30-8:30 — Co-writing; quiet, focused time (bring ear plugs/buds, etc. if they help you focus)
    • 8:30-9 — Share and respond session, optional.
  • Sharing Rules:
    • If you stay at 8:30, stay focused until 9
    • 3-4 sharers, chosen by the evening coordinator
    • Share from what you write at the workshop
    • Be excellent to others as you listen and respond
  • Free for TVCOG and TVGS members; $5/session for others.
  • Email rhonda@reworkediting.com for info and to RSVP

Public History Conference April 15-17: The Underground Railroad and American Identities
You are invited to “The Underground Railroad and American Identities.” Mark your calendars and plan to attend April 15-17. This 15th annual Public History Conference, organized by Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc., offers an ala carte selection of workshops, cultural performance, art exhibit, bus tour and receptions designed for young and mature alike.

Racism in America: Where do we go from here?” begins conference proceedings on Friday, April 15. This will be followed by “Moving Between: Intersectional Identities in the Struggle for Justice.” Panelist Ms. Barbara Smith, civil rights activist, scholar and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, will join Ms. Angelica Clarke, executive director of the Social Justice Center in Albany and a leader in the Capital Region’s civil rights activities, to address movements past and present and how embracing a multi-issued approach deepens the impact and effectiveness of our political work. Dr. Janell Hobson, graduate director of Women’s Studies at University at Albany, will moderate.

Saturday topics include

  • “Adapting to the Promised Land: Freedom Seekers in Canada”
  • “Pivotal Events in the Struggle for Freedom”
  • “History Mystery – play it again SharpMinds competition”
  • “Disability and Slavery in the Antebellum South”
  • “Lott Cary and His Forgotten Legacy”
  • and much more.

Featured artists Marcus Kwame Anderson and Daesha Devón Harris will exhibit their work. The Young Abolitionists and the ‘Hutchinson’s Cousins’ will provide engaging, interactive cultural performances. Vendors, exhibitors and delectable culinary fare will round out the experience.

Sunday hosts a bus tour of AfroDutch heritage sites in the Capital Region. As part of the Mapping Slavery Project, initiated in the Netherlands and recently expanded to include New York State’s Hudson River Valley, tour operator and researcher Jennifer Tosch will lead this enriching experience to uncover the voices and stories of the AfroDutch residents who made the Hudson River Valley their home under Dutch colonial rule.

“The Underground Railroad and America Identities” will be hosted by Russell Sage College in Troy, New York.  Co-sponsors include Russell Sage College, New York Council for the Humanities and Rensselaer County Historical Society. Full details are available at www.UndergroundRailroadHistory.org/conference or by calling (518) 432-4432 and requesting a paper registration brochure.

Third Thursday to feature poet Tina Barry April 21
Poet Tina Barry will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Tina Barry’s poems and short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Drunken Boat, Elimae, The NewerYork, Lost in Thought, Flash-Frontier, Boston Literary Magazine and Exposure, an Anthology of Micro-fiction. Mall Flower (Big Table Publishing) is her first book of poems and short fiction. Two poems in Mall Flower were nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and one prose piece was a winner in “The Best Short Fiction 2016” (Queens Ferry Press). A long-time Brooklynite, Barry now lives in upstate New York.

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.

Cara Benson leads “Playing on the Page” poetry workshop at Roe Jan Library April 23
Poet Cara Benson will lead a poetry workshop, “Playing on the Page,” as a part of Roeliff Jansen Community Library’s Poetry Month celebration. The workshop is open to beginning and experienced poets, and it will run from 1-4 p.m., Saturday, April 23. Cara Benson says, “Let’s have some fun with language. We’ll pour it all out, then play with where the words go. Never made a poem before? Not sure what one is? Jump in—the water’s fine! Been loving poetry for decades? You’ll fit right in, too. We’ll read, write, talk and respond to each other’s work with kind attention. We’ll come away with a few new poems.”

Benson is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays and reviews. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Boston Review and Best American Poetry. She is a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Literature. She teaches creative writing in the graduate program at Prescott College and takes on students and clients one-on-one privately — or through Grub Street as a manuscript consultant.

The workshop fee is $15, and pre-registration is required. Some scholarships are available. Call the library at (518) 325-4101 to inquire about waiver of fee or to register.

Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Route 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the Hillsdale intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call (518) 325-4101 or visit the library’s website at www.roejanlibrary.org. Follow the library on Twitter: @libraryroe.

On April 24 “Meet the Authors,” WIM’s Third Annual Catskills Book Festival
Writers in the Mountains (WIM) invites you to a literary arts and community event and celebration we call “Meet the Authors,” the third in our series of annual book festivals. This year the event takes place on Sunday, April 24, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Union Grove Distillery in Arkville, NY, an exciting new enterprise in the area. Union Grove is housed in a big old barn-like building featuring comfortable spaces fitted with stainless steel and copper and wood, a roaring fireplace and the percolation of fine spirits — all making for a perfect environment in which to listen to, talk about and think about books and writing.

The daylong event welcomes all writers and readers, artists and audience and community members from every walk to brave the mud and chill of early spring and enjoy a warm gathering of successful and fascinating writers, illustrators, editors, educators, booksellers and publishers from Syracuse to New York City and points between and beyond. This year’s keynote speaker is Rosie Schaap, author of the celebrated memoir Drinking with Men, as well as the “Drink” column for The New York Times magazine. Rosie has been a bartender, a fortuneteller, a librarian at a paranormal society, an English teacher, an editor, a preacher, a community organizer and a manager of homeless shelters.

Come by to shop for books directly from their authors, hear readings and peer-to-peer discussions, join in an enticing raffle (books are the prize, of course) and vote in the “Best Book Cover Contest.”

The program is as follows:

  • 12:30 — Poetry reading led by poet Sharon Israel.
  • 1:30 — Group discussion on the latest news and trends in publishing.
    • Leslie T. Sharpe, a retired professor from Columbia University who also worked for Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and teaches for Writers in the Mountains and MediaBistro.com, will talk about traditional publishing.
    • Writer and consultant Simona David will touch on independent publishing.
    • Poet, painter and educator Anique Taylor will address getting published in literary journals.
    • Lillian Browne, editor-in-chief of The Reporter and editor of the Catskill Country Magazine, will share thoughts about her experience with the news media and travel magazine publishing.
  • 2 p.m. — Rosie Schaap will deliver the keynote address.
  • 2:30 — Carrie Bradley Neves, writer, musician, and editor (with a specialization in cookbooks), will talk about new ingredients in the cookbook scene during the “foodie” era. Other illustrated book authors will be in the spotlight.
  • 3:30 — The raffle, with a prize of 10 selected book titles, will be awarded (come early, tickets are limited!), and the winner of the Best Cover Contest will be announced.

Throughout the day, participating authors will read from their works and share their stories with the audience. Admission is free. For more information, visitwritersinthemountains.org or e-mail writersinthemountains@gmail.com. Writers in the Mountains is a 501 (c) (3) not-for–profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation, and sharing of creative writing.

Sequestrum writing award deadline April 30
A note from the editors at Sequestrum: “We’re all writers at Sequestrum and respect the vital role local and regional organizations play for writers in all stages of their careers. We’d appreciate if you could pass this note along to any writers who might be interested in contributing to the journal. Deadline: April 30 – Editor’s Reprint Award (2016-Spring-Issue-6). Submissions will close on April 30 for the second annual Editor’s Reprint Award, in which $200 will be awarded to one piece of previously-published fiction or nonfiction (plus runner-up prizes). Winners and finalists last year included writing from literary giants, such as The Atlantic and Tin House, as well as work from smaller presses, defunct journals and everything in-between. Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed. The Reprint Award is a chance for writers to nominate their own work for a second breath of life – a rare thing today. Editor’s Reprint Award guidelines are here: http://www.sequestrum.org/contests. Find publications, send submissions, and keep updated on everything we’re doing at www.sequestrum.org. Onward, Sequestrum.”

Announcing the 2016 Fence Show Call for Entries
The Arts Center of the Capital Region is pleased to announce the call for entries for the 2016 Fence Show, our annual members’ exhibition. All members of The Arts Center of the Capital Region are invited to enter and be a part of the tradition of our largest and longest running exhibition.

The Fence Show is an annual opportunity for all Arts Center members to display their artwork in our galleries. Works include paintings, drawing, photography, fiber arts, stained glass and sculpture. There is a separate category that welcomes submissions from young artists in grades K-12. Now in its 51st year, the Fence Show got its name when members’ artwork was exhibited on the iron fence surrounding Washington Park in Troy, the original location of the Arts Center. Today, the exhibition typically features approximately 500 pieces, displayed salon style (floor-to-ceiling) in our galleries. All levels of skill and ability are represented, from novice to professional.

Artwork drop-off will be from May 1-4. For more information about the exhibit and drop-off dates, visit artscenteronline.org/fence-show.

Roe Jan Library hosts short-prose open mic May 14
Fiction, non-fiction and memoir writers are invited to read their work at a short-prose open mic at Roeliff Jansen Community Library on Saturday, May 14, 4-6 p.m. Non-writers and writers who do not choose to read are invited to enjoy and be inspired by the work of local talent. Writers must keep readings to a maximum of seven minutes in length. No pre-registration is necessary. For further information, contact Regina Colangelo at reginac18@verizon.net or (914) 954-3494.

Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Route 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the Hillsdale intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call (518) 325-4101 or visit the library’s website at www.roejanlibrary.org. Follow the library on Twitter: @libraryroe.

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, March 2016

IN THIS ISSUE

Guild Announcements:

  • Website help wanted

Member Announcements:

  • Pauline Bartel’s “Learn the Art of Writing Personal Essay” starts March 3
  • Judith Prest offers visual journaling workshop on March 12
  • Harvey Havel shares review of his novel The Orphan of Mecca
  • Don’t you deserve at least one day to write?
  • Pauline Bartel’s “No Excuses: Writing and Selling  Your Book” begins April 4

Area Announcements:

  • Caffè Lena to feature Rodney Parrot March 2
  • Auditions March 5 and 19 for upcoming performance of art on mental illness
  • Arthur’s Market & Cafe Poetry Open-Mic to feature Joe Krausman March 9
  • Call for poets: Response needed by March 15
  • Third Thursday to feature Annie Christain March 17
  • Upcoming writers’ workshops at Tech Valley Center of Gravity, Troy
  • Authors: Register for Writers in the Mountains’ “Meet the Authors” by April 3
  • Opportunity for ghost writer

GUILD ANNOUNCEMENTS

Website help wanted
The Guild is looking for someone with the appropriate skills and experience to re-vamp, improve and re-design our website (hvwg.org). Essentially, we want to incorporate much of our current website, with important other features such as online membership sign-up and electronic payment, online sign-up for the newsletter and expanded listings/calendars comparable with current state-of-the-art sites. In addition to the initial re-design, we are also interested in an ongoing relationship to maintain the website over time, all at a rate of payment to be negotiated.

We are preparing a detailed request for proposal (RFP) that we will post on our current website, but in the meantime if you are interested and have the skills to do this, you may send an email to hvwginfo@gmail.com with a copy of your CV or resume and your proposed rate of payment (i.e., hourly rate). If you do so, we will email you a copy of the RFP when it is posted.

MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Pauline Bartel’s “Learn the Art of Writing Personal Essay” starts March 3
Transform the ordinary events of your life into extraordinary personal essays. Explore the step-by-step process in “Writing From Your Heart: The Art of Personal Essays,” a course that will be held on Thursdays, March 3, 10 and 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Hudson Valley Community College. Course fee is $59, which includes a coursebook. To register, telephone (518) 629-7339.

Instructor Pauline Bartel will examine the process of using writing games to unlock personal experiences, choosing the most effective essay style, shaping experiences into first drafts and allowing reader reaction to refine the draft into a polished essay. Bartel is an award-winning nonfiction writer and the author of seven published books. She is a member of the prestigious American Society of Journalists and Authors. Visit her website (www.paulinebartel.com) for further information.

Judith Prest offers visual journaling workshop on March 12
Arlene’s Artist Materials is thrilled to present a visual journaling workshop with Judith Prest on Saturday, March 12, 1-5 p.m.

Take your creative writing to the next level with visual journaling. This workshop is perfect for anyone who has ever kept a journal or wants to get started. Discover the magic of line, color and texture through collage, watercolor and other mediums. Most importantly: be ready to have fun and come prepared to play.

This workshop is $50 per person, and space is limited to 12 students. To register, please either come into the store at 57 Fuller Road in Albany or call in (518) 482-8881.

Harvey Havel shares review of his novel The Orphan of Mecca
The Orphan of Mecca is an ambitious novel that presents a tragic story of love and strife during Bangladesh’s Liberation War. Two idealistic students discover just how dirty a game politics can be in this romantic thriller from Havel (Charlie Zero’s Last-Ditch Attempt, 2014).

Readers meet Amina Mitra and Raja Gupta in 1969, optimistic college students from the first generation born after East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and West Pakistan were partitioned from India after World War II. They meet on registration day at Dhaka University, join the nationalist cause and gradually fall in love. But there are obstacles (“Dating wasn’t an option in East Pakistan. The children simply grew to a certain age, and then their parents gave them away to the husband of their choosing”.) To make matters worse, Raja is Hindu and Amina is Muslim; in the charged political atmosphere of a revolutionary land, simply holding hands on the street is sufficient to land them in jail, or worse.

Both are political idealists, working to gradually liberate the nation of their birth from the manipulative and homogenizing influence of Islamabad, but Bangladesh is a small country trapped between the conflicting interests of the major powers during the Cold War. (Pakistan is President Richard Nixon’s door to China—the weapons Amina and Raja fear falling prey to are American-made.) As their romance deepens, the young couple find their idealism manipulated, the worlds of politics and spycraft both cogs in “a multi-layered machine that already understood that human beings were essentially animals and had to be controlled whenever their chain of command saw fit.”

As Havel leads his readers from idyllic Bengali villages and cruel interrogation cubes to paradisiacal Calcutta hotels and the hidden slums of Mecca, he presents not only vivid personalities but a compelling vision of history. At one point, Raja muses about the Indians and Pakistanis: “The Indians seemed happier, while the Pakistanis were always paranoid of India’s culture. India appeared to be living in peace, while Pakistan existed in a perpetual state of war and unrest.” Havel understands how the abstruse mechanizations of geopolitical brinksmanship can influence everythin, from whispering lovers to struggling nations. Readers should feel caught up in the events of half a century ago as though they were happening now (which, in some impoverished country, they assuredly are).

The Orphan of Mecca by Harvey Havel is a suspenseful romance between a Hindu and a Muslim and a nerve-racking historical tale. America Star Books (272 pp.). $27.95 paperback. ISBN: 978-1-63508-040-7

Don’t you deserve at least one day to write?
Write 4 a Day is a new series of monthly 1-day writing retreats in upstate New York hosted by HVWG member K.A. Laity. It’s a low-stress day that includes:

  • 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.

  • WHO – you and host K.A. Laity
  • WHY – because you deserve a day to devote to your writing (or daydreaming or sketching or scheming or knitting or…)
  • WHAT – $20 fee [$15 for HVWG members] + your lunch (or a dish to share)
  • WHEN – upcoming dates: March 20 and April 17, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • WHERE – Universal Pathways, 692 Pleasant Valley Road, Berne 12023 – Phone: (518) 872-2272

Pauline Bartel’s “No Excuses: Writing and Selling  Your Book” begins April 4
The course “No Excuses: Writing and Selling Your Book” will be held on Mondays, April 4, 11 and 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Schenectady County Community College. Course fee is $85. A required coursebook ($15) is available from the instructor on the first night of class. Register online (http://www.sunysccc.edu/academic/acadser/webreg.htm) or in person.

Instructor Pauline Bartel will discuss the step-by-step process of transforming an idea into a published book, including creating a book proposal, finding agents and publishers and guiding a book to publishing success. Bartel is an award-winning writer and the author of seven published books. She is a member of the prestigious American Society of Journalists and Authors. Visit her website (www.paulinebartel.com) for further information.

AREA ANNOUNCEMENTS

Caffè Lena to feature Rodney Parrot March 2
On Wednesday, March 2, Caffè Lena will present a poetry reading by Rodney Parrot. 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.

Rodney Parrot has a PHD in Asian religion and has written in many forms: academic articles, a book of Indian philosophy, a novel, poetry, homemade chapbooks, two ghost written books and short stories about his business, Rescued Art. His newest poetry collection, Flying, was published in January 2016 with Northshire Press. He has been a regular at Caffè Lena poetry for many years and has consistently delighted our audience with his insights, musical language and imagery.

Caffè Lena is located at 47 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs. (518) 583-0022www.caffelena.org.

Auditions March 5 and 19 for upcoming performance of art on mental illness
Come take part in staged readings of stories, poems and original music about mental illness. You will be taking the stage with some of the incredible essayists of the critically acclaimed book, Shades of Blue, edited by Amy Ferris. The show will be performed at the Wood Theater, May 28, at 7 p.m.

In a recent interview, editor of Shades of Blue, Amy Ferris, said, “Mental health issues need more attention. So whether it’s a story about depression or an essay about a suicide attempt or a piece about the issue of family suicide, we need to start talking about this. We need to start shouting about it, because people feel so alone.”

Be part of this essential conversation. See the audition details below:

  • Where and when: Saturday, March 5, in the Christine McDonald Room Crandall Library in Glens Falls, 1:30-4:30 p.m.; or Saturday, March 19, in the H. Dutcher Community Room of the Saratoga Library in Saratoga Springs, 1-3 p.m.
  • What to prepare: An essay, poem or original piece of music that speaks of your experiences having or loving someone with a mental illness. No more than 5 minutes, please.
  • How: Email director Logan Beth Fisher at loganbethfisher@gmail.com to schedule a time.

The event is sponsored by Warren Washington Association for Mental Health.

Arthur’s Market & Cafe Poetry Open-Mic to feature Joe Krausman March 9
Joe Krausman was the MCA fellow in playwriting at Smith College. He has an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Massachusetts where he held the Massachusetts Fiction Writing Fellowship. He has taught at Grinnell College in Iowa and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. In 2015, he won second prize in the Raynes Prize Contest. His poem was selected from over 600 poems. He was a finalist in the contest in 2013 and 2014. Krausman is a graduate of the advanced Yiddish course in Oxford, England. He has translated stories and poems from Yiddish into English.

Sign-up for the regular 2nd Wednesday open mic is at 7 p.m. Readings begin at 7:30. The event is hosted by Catherine Norr with much support from Ginny Folger and Jackie Craven. Arthur’s is located at 35 North Ferry Street, Schenectady, 12305.

Call for poets: Response needed by March 15
The Rensselaerville Library’s Poetry Month committee is looking for a diverse group of poets to come to Rensselaerville for a poetry of courage/poetry of witness event and a nature poetry event. If you are interested in joining the stellar lineup of poets already enlisted, for either or both events, please send 2-3 poems and a 2-3 sentence bio. Email a single MS Word or PDF document for each event to poetrymonthrville@gmail.com by March 15, 2016. Please indicate the event(s) (Nature and/or Courage/Witness) in the subject line. Descriptions of the events follow:

  • Wild Minds: Nature Poetry at the Huyck Preserve, April 23, 3-5 p.m. / In Writers and the War Against Nature, Gary Snyder describes the wild side of the human mind as large, deep, complex…The explorers of the wild mind are often writers and artists.” We humans are part of the natural world, but it can be easy to lose sight of that as we move along our daily rounds. Nature poetry can help us remember our connection to our environment. Many nature poets celebrate natural beauty or describe personal responses to experiences in nature. Others confront environmental devastation and injustice. Possibly the most important reason to read, write or listen to nature poems is that they remind us to pay attention to our world. They call on us to use all our senses to discover aspects of wildness inside ourselves. The Research Station on Lincoln Pond (Pond Hill Rd., Rensselaerville) at the Huyck Preserve is a logical setting for an afternoon of readings of original work by regional poets, as well as readings of well-known poets by guest readers. It is a peaceful place where readers and audience members can respond to poetic explorations of the natural world.
  • Singing in the Dark: Poetry of Courage/Poetry of Witness at the Carey Center for Global Good, April 30, 3-5 p.m. / The turbulent issues of the 21st Century (including those related to refugees, terrorism, racism, nationalism, gender, age, free speech, climate and war) have resulted in a particularly fertile time for poetry, as well as for other forms of artistic expression. Poetry speaks to our deepest fears, as well as hopes. Around the world, poets are not only writing in reaction to the issues of the day, but they are also confronting these new times with new poetic forms, such as documentary poetry, ecopoetry, spoken word/slam poetry, multi-genre expression, etc. The Singing in the Dark event seeks to pack into two hours an introduction to poets who use both traditional and new forms to address the challenges of living in these uncertain times, as well as to poets who have addressed historical events with similar urgency. You will hear poems by regional poets, as well as readings (by guest readers) of poems by well-known poets. The diverse voices of those moved to engage these issues, including the often unfamiliar poetry of indigenous peoples, will be represented in both this event and the Huyck Preserve event.

Third Thursday to feature Annie Christain March 17
Poet Annie Christain will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m.

Annie Christain is an assistant professor of composition and ESOL at SUNY Cobleskill with poems appearing in Seneca Review, Oxford Poetry, The Chariton Reviewand The Lifted Brow, among others. She received the grand prize of the 2013 Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest, the 2013 Greg Grummer Poetry Award, the 2015 Oakland School of the Arts Enizagam Poetry Award and the 2015 Neil Shepard Prize in Poetry. Additional honors include being selected for the Shanghai Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency and the Arctic Circle Autumn Art and Science Expedition Residency.

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 dwlcx@earthlink.net.

Upcoming writers’ workshops at Tech Valley Center of Gravity, Troy
Gather on the PEN-ultimate Wednesday of each month for co-writing with the TVCOG Writers’ Group. Brown bag a dinner and bring your writing tool(s) of choice and a project. All genres welcome. Electrical outlets, hot beverages, water and snacks provided. (Brown bag any other beverages you enjoy.)

Dates: March 23, April 20, May 18, June 22, July 20, August 24

Location: TVCOG, 30 3rd Street, Troy 12181 (corner of Broadway); http://www.tvcog.net/

Agenda/schedule: 

  • 6:00-6:25 – dinner, settling in and socializing (optional)
  • 6:30-8:25 – co-writing (Shhhhh)
  • 8:30-9:00 – sharing session (optional: stay or leave by 8:25)

Cost: TVCOG and TVGS members, free; non-members, $5 at the door

Bring other writers with you! RSVP to Rhonda Rosenheck at rhonda@reworkediting.com or srp-kitchen@tvcog.net.

Authors: Register for Writers in the Mountains’ “Meet the Authors” by April 3
Writers in the Mountains (WIM) invites authors residing in, working in or otherwise connected to the Catskills and Hudson Valley regions to a literary arts and community event and celebration we call “Meet the Authors,” the third in our series of annual book festivals. This year the event takes place on Sunday, April 24, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Union Grove Distillery in Arkville, an exciting new enterprise in the area. Union Grove is housed in a big, old barnlike building featuring comfortable spaces fitted with stainless steel, copper and wood, a roaring fireplace and the percolation of fine spirits—all making for a perfect environment in which to listen to, talk about and think about books and writing.

Building upon the past two years’ success of our literary fair and fare, regional authors and other authors who have a connection to the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley are once again invited to join us. Come to sell your books, promote your work and network with fellow writers and publishing professionals. Authors attending are also heartily invited (although not required) to give readings as part of the lively program of presentations and entertainment throughout the afternoon. This year’s keynote speaker is Rosie Schaap, author of the celebrated memoir Drinking with Men, as well as the “Drink” column for The New York Times magazine.

Participating authors will receive additional exposure and visibility for their works through the marketing materials (space ads, calendar listings, posters and flyers) and media appearances (Facebook and WIM is very active at local radio station WIOX) associated with this event. A light breakfast will be served for participants the day of the event. The fee to join us. The cost is only $35.

For more information, visit writersinthemountains.org, or contact us by e-mail at writersinthemountains@gmail.com or by phone at (845) 594-3548. Registration deadline is April 3.

Opportunity for ghost writer
A note to members from Bryan Hull: “Hello, I was looking online to hire a ghost writer to help me with composing a book about a 30-year career of a Hudson Valley resident who was the manager of the local Holiday Inn hotel in Fishkill, NY, during its pinnacle throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s. During that time, this one person has come into contact with many famous people, including politicians, famous singers, local community leaders, actors and anyone else who traveled in New York since it was one of the only places for lodging in the area. I am looking for someone who will be interested in working with the person to get the entire story down to paper in a professional manner. I decided to search locally since I believe whomever I search for will have a connection to the area and a greater desire to help me complete the work. If you have any questions or would like to speak further please respond via email (bhull044@gmail.com) or phone (845-702-0711).