HVWG newsletter released, May 16

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter, May 15, 2011

In This Issue

Guild Announcements: Annual Reading of Song of Myself, 2011 Non-fiction Writing Contest

Member Announcements: Harvey Havel, K.A. Laity, Dawn Marar, Dan Wilcox

Area Announcements: Adirondack Reading Series in Saratoga, Open Door Bookstore Celebration in Schenectady, Mary Eliza Crane to read at the Social Justice Center in Albany, Poet-soldier Reading in Kingston, Hudson Valley Literary Festival in Hudson, Festival of Writers in Rensselaerville

Guild Announcements

Annual Reading of Song of Myself
Poets and other citizens will gather on Tuesday, May 31, at 6 p.m. at the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park in Albany, NY, to celebrate the birthday of the quintessential American poet, Walt Whitman, with a reading of his poem “Song of Myself.” The event is sponsored by the Poetry Motel Foundation and the Hudson Valley Writers Guild. It is free and open to the public. Persons interested in reading a section of Whitman’s poem can sign up to read at the event.

Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819, at West Hills, NY, near Huntington on Long Island. “Song of Myself,” composed of over 1,300 lines in 52 sections, first appeared in Whitman’s Leaves of Grass in 1855. The poem went through a number of revisions and changes until the 1881 edition of Leaves of Grass. Whitman died in 1892 in Camden, NJ. The theme of “Song of Myself,” as is of most of Whitman’s work, is the celebration of the individual, of the nation and of the spiritual possibility within us all.

The Robert Burns statue is located in Albany’s Washington Park, along the park road that parallels Willett Street and the intersection of Hudson Avenue. The reading will take place rain or shine; it is suggested that the public brings chairs or blankets to sit on. For more information email Dan Wilcox at dwlcx@earthlink.net; or visit the Guild’s website: hvwg.org.

2011 Non-fiction Writing Contest Accepting Submissions
The HVWG annual writing contest rotates genres each year, and our 2011 contest will be for Non-Fiction (humor, personal essay, and memoir). There is a $100 top prize in each of three categories. Submissions are being accepted through the end of August. The contest is open to residents of any part of New York State. The full guidelines are posted at our website – hvwg.org (under the “about” tab). Here is a direct link: hudsonvalleywritersguild.wordpress.com/about/contests/

Member Announcements

Please join Harvey Havel for a reading and a book signing to celebrate the release of his new book of short-stories, Stories from the Fall of the Empire. Book tour dates (All are welcome! Bring a friend!):

  • Friday, May 27, 6 p.m. – The Daily Grind, 46 3rd Street, Troy
  • Saturday, June 11, 8 p.m. – Hudson River Coffee Shop, 227/229 Quail Street, Albany
  • Saturday, June 18, 3 p.m. – Stuyvesant Book House, 1475 Western Avenue (in Stuyvesant Plaza), Albany

K. A. Laity’s play Lumottu [Finnish for “enchanted”] will receive a full cast reading at the Arts Society of Kingston on May 31. The play can be found in her 2009 collection UNIKIRJA [Dream Book]. See kalaity.com for details.

Dawn Marar‘s “American Sampler of Arabic Vocabulary,” a work of creative nonfiction, has been accepted for publication by the literary journal Jelly Bucket.

A.P.D. (another poeming day) announces the publication of the new chapbook of poetry by Dan Wilcox, Poeming the Prompt. The 16-page collection contains poems mostly written in November 2010 in response to prompts for a poem-a-day project sponsored by Writers Digest magazine. While some of the poems confront writing-from-prompts head on, others deal with Wilcox’s usual topics: sex, death and politics. Also included is the whimsical “Top Tips for Anxiety-Free Writing from Prompts.” Copies of Poeming the Prompt can be purchased directly from the poet when you see him at poetry readings or out and about for $5 or by mail for $6.00 (checks may be made payable to “A.P.D.”) from A.P.D. (another pleasant day), 280 South Main Avenue, Albany, NY 12208. For a complete list of publications available from A.P.D. (alternating poetic device) write to the above address or email apdbooks@earthlink.net.

Area announcements

Adirondack Center announces new reading series in Saratoga
The Adirondack Center for Writing and The Spring Street Gallery are proud to present the Something for Everyone Reading Series. Readings will be held on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. through the month of May at 110 Spring Street, Saratoga Springs. The series includes an eclectic selection of authors and poets from the North Country – from home gardening non-fiction to a regional mystery novel; from poems about the “imaginary human rights” of yetis to a collection of graphic novels. The readings are free and open to the public, with Q&A after every session. Seating is limited; call (518) 587-6433 to reserve.

Here are details of upcoming readings:

  • On May 23, Joseph Cutshall-King will read from The Burning of The Piping Rock, a Saratoga “history/mystery.” A former director of the Chapman History Museum, history columnist for the Post-Star, and Washington County Historian, Cutshall-King writes from Cossayuna.
  • Naton Leslie will read on May 30 from his recent collection, Small Cathedrals, along with some newer works. Leslie has been publishing poems and stories in fine literary magazines for 25 years. He has fellowships from the NEA and the NYFA, and his nonfiction is in Best American Essays. He lives in Ballston Spa.
  • On June 6, graphic artist and writer Sabrina Jones presents a selection from her comics, FDR and the New Deal For Beginners, Isadora Duncan, A Graphic Biography and Race to Incarcerate. A summer resident of Ballston Spa, Sabrina Jones has written and illustrated her edgy offbeat comic books for twenty years.

Open Door 40th Anniversary, May 17, 7:30 p.m.
Join this area independent bookstore at its gala book signing and reception honoring local authors and illustrators. Dessert and coffee will be provided by area restaurants. Donation of $5 will benefit Literacy Volunteers of Schenectady. The Open Door is at 128 Jay Street, Schenectady. RSVP by May 6 to (518) 346-2719.

Mary Eliza Crane to Read at Social Justice Center, May 19, 7:30 p.m.
Pacific Northwest poet Mary Eliza Crane will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m. Mary Eliza Crane grew up in New England, lived and worked in Schenectady and now makes her home in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington. Her most recent book of poems is At First Light (Gazoobi Tales, 2011).

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 p.m. 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.

Special Poetry Evening by Poet-soldiers in Kingston, May 21, 7 p.m.
Hudson Valley WW II veteran Jay Wenck and Viet Nam veterans Thomas Brinson, Jim Murphy, Walt Nygard, Dan Wilcox, Larry Winters and Dayl Wise will read. There is also an open mic segment; $5 donation, $2.50 for open mic readers. This event will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 320 Sawkill Road, in Kingston; phone 331-2884.

6th Annual Hudson Valley Literary Festival, May 21, from 11 a.m.
The 6th Annual Hudson Valley Literary Festival: All LIT Up is back after a one-year hiatus. The daylong festival, produced by The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, with The Hudson Opera House and Hudson Wine Merchants, celebrates literature and literary publishing.

From 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. a Literary Magazine and Small Press Book Fair will take place at the Hudson Opera House (327 Warren Street). Hundreds of books and magazines published by regional and national independent literary publishers will be on sale for only $2 an issue and $4 a book, with many publishers there to meet and greet! Shoppers can discover hundreds of literary publications they would never see in a single store and take advantage of the bargain prices.

At 5 p.m. a reading and reception at Hudson Wine Merchants (341 1/2 Warren Street) will feature Rebecca Wolff, Jonathan Dixon, and Monica Youn. Rebecca Wolff is the author of three books of poems (Manderley, Figment, The King) and a forthcoming novel called The Beginners. Jonathan Dixon is the author of Beaten, Seared, and Sauced, a memoir of his recent education at the Culinary Institute of America. Monica Youn’s second poetry collection Ignatz, was a 2010 finalist for the National Book Award. A wine and cheese reception will follow the readings.

Festival of Writers 2011: A Sense of Place July 28-July 31
To kick off the Rensselaerville Library’s Festival of Writers 2011, two exciting writing workshops, with memoirist Nick Flynn and poet Howard Nelson, will be offered to the public on Friday, July 29. Please call the library at 797-3949 or go to the library’s website – rensselaervillelibrary.org – to register and to check out the week-end’s literary riches, featuring readings and discussions with Jean Craighead George, Francine Prose and Mary Morris among many other award-winning writers. The fee is $50 for each writing workshop. Readings/discussions are $10 each or less if a week-end pass is purchased. Register early for the writing workshops because space is limited to 20.