Newsletter released, March 1

In This Issue

Guild Announcements: Board Meeting, Call for Submissions to The Spotlight, Fiction contest winners, Special Offer for New Memberships, Poet Laureate Project

Area Announcements: Caffé Lena to Feature Elaine Handley, Poetry and Prose Reading at the Arts Center, Writing Workshop at East Line Books, Bookmarks Reading Series at the Arts Center, Writers Institute Programs, Teen Poetry Workshop at Caffé Lena, Call for Submissions for Community of Jewish Writers Event, National Poetry Month Events in Hillsdale, Gary Soto at Siena, Announcement for Second Annual Smith’s Tavern Poet Laureate Contest

Guild Announcements

Guild Board Meeting, March 7, 7 p.m.
The Board of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild will meet on Monday, March 7, at 7 p.m. in the Training Conference Room at the William K. Sanford Town Library (the Colonie Library), 629 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville. The meeting is open to all members of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild, however, only Board members may vote on issues before the Board. The Board meets every-other month.

Call for Submissions for The Spotlight
The Hudson Valley Writers Guild sponsors a poetry column in the weekly periodical The Spotlight. Mimi Moriarty edits this column and is looking for new submissions.

Guidelines: The poet must reside in one of the three counties The Spotlight serves: Albany, Schenectady, or Saratoga. The column space is limited; therefore the poems should be no more than 16 lines, with short line length. It is recommended that the poet be willing to work under the advisement of the editor if changes are necessary. Seasonal poems are especially appreciated, but not necessary. Humor is also appreciated. The Spotlight is a family paper, and the poems should be suitable for all members of the family to read. The Hudson Valley Writers Guild provides a stipend for poems published. All submissions should be sent to:

Fiction contest winners announced; reading scheduled April 2, 1 p.m.
The Hudson Valley Writers Guild is pleased to announce the winners of its 2010 Short Fiction Contest. The winners and honorable mentions will be recognized at a reading on Saturday, April 2, at 1 p.m. at the East Greenbush Public Library, 10 Community Way, East Greenbush. The first, second and third place winners, respectively, are Ken Holland, Fishkill; Jo Salas, New Paltz; and Carol Derfner, Kinderhook. Honorable mentions are John Velie, Albany; David Sylvester, Watervliet; and Susan Clements, Buffalo.

Details of the HVWG’s 2011 contest — which will be for non-fiction (personal essay, memoir, humor) — will be announced at the end of the afternoon reading. All writers living in the state of New York are eligible. The public is invited to attend the reading and hear from the winners. For more details, contact or visit the HVWG website (

Special Offer for New Memberships—Last Call
The Guild invites recipients of this newsletter who are not members to consider membership. Members are vital to the activities and events of the Guild through their participation and through their dues which enable the Guild to provide a wide variety of readings, workshops and other activities. Members receive discounts for Guild events where admission is charged (although most events are free) and for participation in the Guild’s writing contests. Members can also use the newsletter to publicize their publications and readings. As a special offer, the Guild is offering new members a copy of Peer Glass, An Anthology: Writings from Hudson Valley Peer Groups (while supplies last). Membership information and an application form are available at our website:

County Poet Laureate Project
The Capital Region has one Poet Laureate, Stephen Swartz, who represents Schenectady County. This Project aims to encourage Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties to name Poets Laureate, as well.

A resident or library group is needed to work with a legislator in each county who is willing to sponsor a resolution for vote to create such a post. Note that there are 12 other counties within New York State that have Poets Laureate. Bill Poppino spearheads this effort, and he may be contacted at or by phone at (518) 374-5410. Bill’s experiences in Schenectady County with this project will be most helpful to interested volunteers.

Area announcements

Caffè Lena Poetry Open Mic, Wednesday, March 2
7 p.m. sign-up, 7:30 readings. Featured Poet: Elaine Handley. $3 donation. Hosted by Carol Graser. Elaine Handley is Professor of Writing and Literature at SUNY Empire State College. She has published poetry and fiction in a variety of magazines and anthologies and has won the Adirondack Center for Writing Best Book of Poetry Award, with writing partners Marilyn McCabe and Mary Sanders Shartle, in 2005 and 2006. They have recently released Winterberry, Pine: Three Poets on Adirondack Winters. Their new book of poetry, Tear of the Clouds, will be released by Ra Press this spring. Handley’s most recent chapbook of poetry is Letters to My Migraine and she is completing a novel, Deep River, about the Underground Railroad in Upstate New York.

Poetry and Prose Open Mic, March 13, 2 p.m.
This series, which meets on the second Sunday each month, continues at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River Street, in Downtown Troy on March 13. Bring something to read and enjoy the variety of offerings which cover the full range of poetry and prose. This event begins at 2 p.m.

Workshop at East Line Books
After-school writing workshop: Creative writing for teens (ages 15-18), a 6-week class. Tuesdays, March 15, 22 & 29, April 5, 12 & 19. 4-6 p.m. Instructor: Robyn Ringler. Cost: $120. / Do you love to write? Come to this class to learn skills to make your writing more powerful. Learn the rules so you can break them! We will write fiction, flash fiction, hint fiction, memoir; we will cover blogging, tweeting, journaling, and/or whatever genres you are interested in. Come, have fun, learn, share and make new friends who also love to write! This will be an invaluable experience and you will love it!

East Line Books is located at 1714 Route 9, Clifton Park. For more information or to register, call (518) 371-4151 or visit

Bookmarks Reading Series Continues at the Arts Center, March 21
The next event in this series will be on the theme of Grace and will be curated by Donna Miller. The reading is free and begins at 7 p.m. at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, 265 River Street in downtown Troy.

Writers Institute Programs, March 15 & 22
The State Writers Institute will present historian and presidential biographer Edmund Morris on March 15 at Clark Auditorium of the NYS Museum in Albany at 8 p.m. On March 22 journalist and nonfiction writer Seth Mnookin will be at the George Education Center Auditorium at the School of Public Health on the UAlbany East campus in East Greenbush at 8 p.m.

Teen Poetry Workshop with Carol Graser at Caffè Lena
Thursdays, March 3, 10, 17 & 24, April 7 & 14. 3-4:30 p.m. For ages 13 to 18. Cost: $50. / During these 6 workshops the class will read poetry by contemporary writers and do short writing exercises during class. With an emphasis on creativity, the classes will run in a fun, supportive atmosphere that encourages experimentation and risk-taking. We’ll finish the series with the publication of a chapbook of poems by the class. Students do not have to be great fans of poetry to learn from and enjoy these workshops. All writing levels are welcome. For more information and to sign up for the class contact cgraser@nycap.

Submissions Sought for Community of Jewish Writers Event
The Adult Education Committee of Congregation Agudat Achim is sponsoring the second annual Community of Jewish Writers event on Wednesday, May 11, at 7:30 p.m. We are seeking fiction, memoir and poetry with Jewish themes. The deadline for submission is March 25. Writers should submit a short bio and poetry, or prose limited to 750 words, to Leslie Neustadt at High school and college students are encouraged to submit their work. Writers will be notified by April 15 whether they have been selected to read.

National Poetry Month at the Roeliff Jan Community Library
The Roeliff Jan Community Library invites the community to celebrate National Poetry Month in April with a wide ranging series of events, including poetry readings, speakers, films, and a poetry workshop at the Library’s new facility. The Library is located at 9091 Rte. 22, approximately 1/2 mile south of the traffic light in Hillsdale. (Hillsdale is in Columbia County east of Hudson near the Massachusetts line.) Following is the schedule of events.

Saturday, April 2, 4:30 p.m.
Joan Murray, poet and playwright, and Old Chatham resident, will open the festival. The theme of her reading and the open reading that follows is “Poems of Rural Life.” She is the author of prize-winning books from W.W. Norton, Beacon Press, and Wesleyan University Press, and is one of 41 US Poets to be awarded a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship. her website is Join us! Bring a favorite poem or one of your own.

Sunday, April 3, 2 p.m.
Bruno Navasky, poet and elementary school teacher, will talk about reading poetry with children and read some of his favorite poems. He will discuss teaching poetry in the classroom and his editorial process in selecting poems for his anthologies. He is editor of Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets (2011), Festival in My Heart: Poems by Japanese Children (1993), and Sixty Years of American Poetry (1996). His publications include poems, reviews, and translations in the New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. He is a former editor of American Poet and a current board member of The Academy of American Poets.

Friday, April 8, 7 p.m.
Film Screening of Dead Poets Society. English professor John Keating instills in his student a love of poetry and inspires them to seize the day. With Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles. Directed by Peter Weir.

Saturday, April 9, 11 a.m.
Poetry for Children. Bruno Navasky will lead parents or grandparents and children in reading and sharing favorite poems. He will provide poems or you can bring your own favorites.

Saturday, April 9, 2 p.m.
Shakespeare Performance. Costumed dramatic readings by Taconic Hills High School students.

Sunday, April 10, 2 p.m.
Peter Bergman, Executive Director, The Millay Society, will discuss Edna St. Vincent Millay’s neighboring home, Steepletop, and her place in the twenty first century. Through poetry, prose, and photography, Bergman will explore the world of Edna St. Vincent Millay, bringing her life alive again more than sixty years after an untimely death. Peter is a writer and reviewer for area papers and a regional playwright with seven dramas and comedies set in the Berkshires. His new novel, Small Ironies, is being published in 2011.

Friday, April 15, 7 p.m.
An Evening with Peter Dufault: Screening, What I Meant to Tell you: An American Poet’s ‘State of the Union,’ a film about Dufault, directed by his son, Ethan Dufault, followed by a short reading. In his poems, nature is the sublime bedrock that forms the basis for ethics and spirituality. A WW II pilot and 1968 Congressional candidate, Dufault remains a peace activist and musician. This is an opportunity to hear him read poems that bridge the gaps between the personal, physical, and political worlds. Author of seven poetry books, his poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, and Poetry.

Saturday, April 30, 2 p.m.
J. Daniel Beaudry, Reading and Poetry Writing Workshop / A Way of Poetry?—It is hard to tell if the world is just naturally more luminous to poets, or if it is made so through their engagement in the process of writing. One thing is certain, however: vibrant experiencing and poetry are intertwined. During this workshop, elements of the Buddhist and Imagist poetic traditions will inform participants’ personal explorations of the possibility that the process—the practice—of writing poetry can lead to a fuller and truer way of being alive.

Daniel Beaudry’s poetry has appeared in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Nature in Legend and Story, and world-renowned canopy biologist Dr. Nalini Nadkarni’s book, Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees. Daniel divides his time between Saint Rose and Hudson Valley Community College where he teaches Japanese Literature, the Literature of the Returning Soldier, and Composition and Rhetoric. He is studying to become a Tendai Buddhist priest and is the President of the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society. The reading is open to all. However, registration for the workshop will be limited to 12 participants. To register contact Cecele Kraus: 518 329 3056,

Gary Soto reading at Siena College, April 14
The English Department of Siena College is pleased to announce that award-winning poet Gary Soto will be visiting in April. The author of 23 books, Gary Soto is a poet, playwright, essayist and children’s book writer. Widely anthologized, he is a frequent contributor to magazines such as Threepenny Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Crazy Horse and Poetry, which has honored him with both the Bess Hokin and Levinson Prizes. He has received the Discovery/The Nation Award, as well as the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video, the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He has also received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the California Arts Council. A National Book Award finalist for New and Selected Poems, Soto divides his time between Berkeley and his hometown of Fresno, California.

Gary Soto will be visiting the campus of Siena College, meeting with students in formal and informal settings throughout the day. The visit will culminate in Soto reading from his work at 7 p.m. in the West Room of Serra Hall.

Smith’s Tavern Second Annual Poet Laureate Contest, April 17
Sunday, April 17, at noon sharp at Smith’s Tavern, 112 Maple Avenue, Voorheesville. Prizes are: Poet Laureate – $100; Second Place – $50; Honorable Mention – $25.

Open to the first 25 poets who register by emailing to, starting noon March 21. E-mail must be from the registering poet only. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by March 28.

Each poet will read three poems (one per round) of 25, 35, 45 (or fewer) lines respectively, the title of the poem not being counted. Poets will read the title of the poem followed by the body without introductory remarks, and only once. Poets must bring five hard copies of each poem to the contest to be handed in to Laureate Coordinator, Michael Burke, at time of registration. The poems for all three rounds must have lines visibly and neatly numbered in the margin for easy identification, and name at top, before they will be accepted.


The Hudson Valley Writers Guild offers space in its newsletter for submission and program opportunities but does not endorse any programs or publications that are not offered through the Guild. Two notes from the newsletter editors:

* Within each section, announcements/events are arranged, when possible, by relevant dates.

* We are always curious to know if the formatting “works” (appears neat and tidy) in your email or if it causes issues (is difficult to read). Send feedback and suggestions regarding any formatting issues to

* News items should go to Bob Sharkey at Please use Times New Roman size 12 font whenever possible.

Thank you!

Carolee Sherwood
Newsletter Co-Editor

Robert Sharkey
Newsletter Co-Editor