Hudson Valley Writers Guild newsletter, June 2015

Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter

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


Member Announcements:

  • Misfit Editor Alan Catlin reports on upcoming misfit magazine
  • Leslie Neustadt to facilitate writing & collage class starting June 17
  • Around and Into the Unknown by Hillary Savoie available now at Amazon
  • Publishing news from member Charles Curry

Area Announcements:

  • Caffè Lena to present a poetry reading by Jordan Smith June 3
  • Arthur’s Market & Cafe Second Wednesday Open-Mic to feature Susan Kress June 10
  • 6th Annual Community of Jewish Writers Poetry Reading, Book Sale and Reception June 14
  • Third Thursday to feature Mike Jurkovic June 18
  • Celebration of Women’s Voices Conference – Women Writers Past and Present
  • “2,” Call for submissions: Poets and prose writers of 2nd Sunday @ 2
  • Springfield (Missouri) Writers Guild invites HVWG members & others to submit to writing contest
  • Berkshire Festival of Women Writers Summer Leadership Institute for Teen Girls & Young Women
  • Registration open for two workshops with Pat Schneider (assisted by Kate Hymes)
  • Cornell University Press to publish book by James Schlett of Rotterdam


Misfit Editor Alan Catlin reports on upcoming misfit magazine
Coming soon, on or about, June 1, an interim issue of misfit magazine, #14, “The Traveling Wilbury’s: Misfit Editors Edition.” This stand-alone half issue, between our regular issues, will feature work by each of the three editors on their recent travels abroad: Jennifer in Spain, Gene in Paris and yours truly, Alan Catlin, in England. Expect some great art, killer photos, poems and a travelogue (of sorts) covering all the overseas bases.

Leslie Neustadt to facilitate writing & collage class starting June 17
The Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley (ILCHV) presents “Claiming Our Power; Sharing Our Stories: A Writing and Collage Class for People with Disabilities.” Join Leslie Neustadt, artist and poet, to

  • participate in a 6-week class to learn to write poems and essays about your personal experiences with disability;
  • produce collages and poems and/or essays you have written to include in a chapbook; and
  • read your work at a reading and reception in celebration of National Disability Awareness Month (October 2015).

There is no cost to participate. Classes will take place at ILCHV, 15 Third Street, Troy, from 5-6:30 p.m. starting June 17. For more information or to register, call Barbara at 518/274-0701. This project is made possible in part through a Community Arts Grant, a program funded by The Arts Center of the Capital Region through the New York State Council on the Arts.<

Around and Into the Unknown by Hillary Savoie available now at Amazon
In the beautiful Around And Into The Unknown, American writer and disability rights activist Hillary Savoie and her daughter, Esmé, journey from the first ultrasound through ICU through diagnosis after diagnosis to acceptance during Esmé’s first four tumultuous years of life. The story is available both as an e-book and as part of a paperback anthology.

Publishing news from member Charles Curry
Garbanzo Literary Journal has recently published “Ragged Glories” by Charles Curry in Volume 5 (page 37). For more information about this magazine or to purchase this issue, visit its website.


Caffè Lena to present a poetry reading by Jordan Smith June 3
On Wednesday, June 3, Caffè Lena will present a poetry reading by Jordan Smith. 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,

Arthur’s Market & Cafe Second Wednesday Open-Mic to feature Susan Kress June 10
Arthur’s Market & Cafe, 35 North Ferry Street, Schenectady, NY. Wednesday, June 10. Susan Kress has ​published numerous essays and articles and a book, Carolyn G. Heilbrun: Feminist in a Tenured Position (University Press of Virginia), reissued in paperback​ with a new epilogue​ on Heilbrun’s suicide.​ ​After 38 years​ as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of English at Skidmore College​, Kress is now focusing on poetry.​

Sign-up begins at 7 p.m. Readings begin at 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Catherine Norr.  Food and beverages available along with a warm, welcoming atmosphere for sharing poetry.

6th Annual Community of Jewish Writers Poetry Reading, Book Sale and Reception June 14
Congregation Agudat Achim is pleased to host the 6th Annual Community of Jewish Writers Poetry Reading, Book Sale and Reception on Sunday, June 14, 3-5 p.m. It will feature poets Susan Comninos, Jay Rogoff and Barbara Ungar:

  • Susan Comninos is a teacher and poet whose work has been widely published in such literary journals as Subtropics, TriQuarterly, Quarterly West, The Cortland Review, Nashville Review, Tulane Review, Judaism, Lilith and Tikkun, among others. Her arts journalism has appeared in such news publications as the Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Jewish Daily Forward and Atlantic Online. In 2010, she won the Yehuda Halevi Poetry Contest run by Tablet magazine.  Later this year, her poetry is forthcoming in the Harvard Review Online, Malahat Review, Subtropics and Catskill Made. Recently, she completed a debut book of poems called Out of Nowhere. She has taught creative writing at the University of Michigan, RPI, the Troy Arts Center, Schenectady JCC and Temple Sinai in Saratoga.
  • Jay Rogoff has published five books of poetry, most recently Venera (2014), a consideration of love and art; The Art of Gravity (2011), a collection obsessed with dance; and The Long Fault (2008), which deals with history and mortality, all published by Louisiana State University Press. His poems have appeared in many journals, including AGNI, The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, Literary Imagination, Ploughshares, Salmagundi and The Southern Review. He serves as dance critic for The Hopkins Review and also writes on dance for Ballet Review, The Saratogian and other publications. He lives in Saratoga Springs and teaches at Skidmore College. His next book of poems, Enamel Eyes: A Fantasia on 1870 Paris, will appear from LSU in 2016.
  • Barbara Ungar’s latest book of poetry, Immortal Medusa, was released in 2015. She is also the author of Charlotte Bronte, You Ruined My Life, Thrift and The Origin of the Milky Way, which won the Gival Press Poetry Award, a Silver Independent Publishers’Award, a Hoffer Award and the Adirondack Center for Writing Poetry Award.  She is the author of the chapbooks Sequel and Neoclassical Barbra, as well as Haiku in English. She has published poems in journals such as Rattle, Salmagundi and The Nervous Breakdown. A professor of English at The College of St. Rose, Ungar directs the MFA program there.

There will be a poetry reading, panel discussion, book sale and reception. Free and open to the public. Congregation Agudat Achim, 2117 Union Street, Niskayuna, NY 12309.

Third Thursday to feature Mike Jurkovic June 18
Poet Mike Jurkovic will read from his work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany on Thursday,  June 18, at 7:30 p.m. Mike Jurkovic is the co-director of Calling All Poets in Beacon, NY, & producer of CAPSCAST, live recordings from the series. His most recent collection of poems is Eve’s Venom (Post Traumatic Press, 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:

Celebration of Women’s Voices Conference – Women Writers Past and Present
Wallkill Valley Writers will celebrate the publication of a second anthology on June 27, 7-9 p.m. at Boughton Place, 150 Kisor Road, Highland, New York. These writers are extraordinary because they take the stuff of daily life, fire it in the kiln of imagination and produce works of art that glisten with the joys and sorrows of human experience. You are invited to celebrate as they claim writing as their art.

Readers include: Bythema Bagley, Claudia Battaglia, Tim Brennan, Gloria Caviglia, Susan Chute, Greg Correll, Meg Dunne, Barbara Edelman, Kim Ellis, Jeanne-Marie Fleming, Allison Friedman, Colleen Geraghty, Kate Hymes, Barbara Martin, Linda Melick, Barry Menuez, RoseMarie Navarra, Jennifer “Jen” Roy.

See for more information. In addition, you can find a Facebook page originally created for the Conference but now a bulletin board for writers here.

“2,” Call for submissions: Poets and prose writers of 2nd Sunday @ 2
“2nd Sunday @ 2” co-hosts Dan Wilcox and Nancy Klepsch invite poets and prose writers that have attended our open mic to submit two poems or two pages of prose for publication in our first chapbook called, what else, “2.” The deadline is July 2nd, 2015. Please submit your work in MS Word, 12-point type, Times Roman, spell-checked, etc., by July 2, 2015, to; please type “2 submission” in the subject line.

Space is limited, so we ask you to consider the length of poems.  Preference will be given to long-time and consistent attendees.  One copy of the chapbook will be provided free of charge to 2nd Sunday poets and prose writers published in our chapbook at our September 13 open mic, which will officially begin our 6th season. You may also purchase copies for $2 at one of our open mics throughout the 2015-16 2nd Sunday Open Mic season.

Thank you so much for supporting our open mic.

Springfield (Missouri) Writers Guild invites HVWG members & others to submit to writing contest
Springfield Writers’ Guild announces its 22nd Annual Prose and Poetry Contest, June 15 – September 15. Here are the details:

  • Fee: $5 per entry. No limit to number of entries, but the same entry may not be entered in more than one category.
  • Prose Division: Maximum 1,000 words, double-spaced. Categories: 1) fiction, any genre; 2) nonfiction, any subject & 3) humorous.
  • Poetry Division: Maximum one page, single-spaced. Categories: 4) humorous, any form & 5) any subject, any form.
  • Awards each category 1-5: First Place $50, Second Place $25, Third Place $15, Two Honorable Mentions.
  • Jim Stone Memorial Poetry Division: Fee $5, one entry per person. Entry must not have been entered in Categories 4 or 5. Poetry any subject, any form. One page, single spaced. Awards this division: First Place $150, Second Place $75, Third Place $50, Two Honorable Mentions.
  • Best of Springfield Writers’ Guild Award: SWG members who enter any category automatically will be considered for a $100 award at no additional entry fee and in addition to other awards they may receive. This category judged separately.
  • Bonus for SWG Members: Submit two entries and receive a special link to submit a third entry free of charge.

Submission Guidelines

  1. Read these guidelines carefully. Failure to follow the guidelines may disqualify your entry.
  2. Contest period is 12:01 a.m. Central Time, June 15, 2015, to midnight Central Time, September 15, 2015. Entries and fees will be accepted only during the contest period and only at; see link at Payment by debit card, credit card or PayPal. Each entry must be unpublished, original work of contestant and entered in only one category. You keep all rights to your entries; entries will not be published.
  3. Double space prose, single space poetry. Title each entry except haiku. A list of your entries will be accessible at Enter the prose word count or poetry form in the box provided. Number prose pages. Do not put your name on entries.
  4. Once an entry is submitted to Submittable, it will not be extracted or exchanged for another entry for any reason. Writers may resubmit another entry accompanied with the $5 fee.
  5. Awards will be presented at the Springfield Writer’s Guild meeting, October 24, 2015, or by mail for those unable to attend. For a list of winning entries and judges, visit after October 24, 2015.

Questions? Contact Contest Chair, Yvonne Erwin:

Berkshire Festival of Women Writers Summer Leadership Institute for Teen Girls & Young Women
The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers announces a week-long Leadership Institute for teen girls and young women ages 13 – 18, to be held July 20 – 24 from 1 – 5 p.m. at The Mount in Lenox, MA. Led by Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D., founding director of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, with college senior Grace Rossman, the writing-intensive Institute, called “The Butterfly Effect,” will give girls the tools, strategies and confidence they need to step into leadership roles as they pursue their interests and passions.

Participants will build community as they share their ideas with each other in guided writing sessions, theater and public speaking workshops, multimedia presentations and in-depth discussions on the issues most important to young women today. The week will culminate in a reception at which the young women will speak their truths for an audience of parents and friends.

“We’re invoking the image of the butterfly both as a symbol of transformation, and because of the saying that the wind from one butterfly’s wings can change the world,” says Dr. Browdy, a professor of literature, writing and media studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. “Our aim is to awaken teen girls and young women to the power of their own voices, both written and spoken, and to give them techniques they can take out into the world to make a difference on issues they care about. And to have fun doing it, too!”

The summer week-long workshop will be followed by monthly Leadership Circles for Teen Girls and Young Women starting in September at different locations in Berkshire County. Participants will also have a chance to join the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers Youth Advisory Board and to contribute to an anthology of young women’s writing forthcoming from Green Fire Press.<

Tuition is $500; some full and partial scholarships will be available. The application deadline is June 21, 2015.  For more information, visit or email

Registration open for two workshops with Pat Schneider assisted by Kate Hymes
Everyone is a writer. Those who do not write stories or poems tell them, sing them, and, in so doing they are writing on the air. Creating with words is our continuing passion. We dream stories, make up stories, poems, songs, and tell them to ourselves. —Pat Schneider

  • How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice, June 27. Registration fee $200. Pat Schneider will guide writers on an inner journey of spiritual awareness.  The writing will gently and with grace lead you to find and explore the cracks of memory, grief and absence, failure, anger and pain in order to let the light the in, to let your light shine. The light you discover will illuminate the joy, forgiveness, quest for justice, and the comedy of being human. Pat describes writing as a form of prayer that allows us to praise, give thanksgiving, to rage, or to open one’s inner self and listen. Writing as spiritual practice of follows no established path or way. Pat quotes Rumi, “There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” She continues in her own words: I suspect there are as many variations on the experience of mystery as here are human persons. Write with Pat and find your path, your way.
  • You Are a Writer: A Weekend Writing Retreat, September 11-13. Registration fee: $420. Commuter registration: $420 plus $90 (facilities and meals) = $510. Overnight registration: $420 plus $190 (2 nights lodging) = $615. Pat Schneider says that it isn’t discipline we lack, but belief in our art, our creativity and in ourselves. Over a more than 40-year career leading writing workshops, she has helped novice and experienced writers believe in their stories and their ability to write them. She has developed a practice, the Amherst Writers and Artists method, that leads writers to write what they know and what they don’t know they know, to tell their deepest truth and to know that their deepest writing is their best writing. Commit to writing as your art. Experience personally writing with Pat who has been called “the wisest teacher of writing.”

About Pat
Pat is a poet, playwright, librettist and author of 10 books of poetry and non-fiction. She was born in the Ozark mountains of Missouri where she became intimate with fossils, creek beds, grasshoppers and box turtles. After a search for work took her single mother to St. Louis, from age 10 Pat lived in tenements and in an orphanage until she was given a scholarship to college. Those early experiences have deeply influenced her writing and fueled her passion for those who have been denied voice through poverty and other misfortunes.

Pat’s libretto, “The Lament of Michal,” was performed in Carnegie Hall by Phyllis Bryn Julson and the Atlanta Symphony directed by Robert Shaw. Her poetry has been read by Garrison Keillor on National Public Radio’s Writer’s Almanac 16 times.  A film about her work with women in low-income housing, titled “Tell Me Something I Can’t Forget,” is included in the DVD companion to her book Writing Alone and With Others.

Amherst Writers & Artists, founded by Pat in 1981 and directed and managed by Pat and Peter for 30 years, is now an international network of workshop leaders who use the writing method described in Writing Alone and With Others. Pat’s newest book, How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice, was released from Oxford University Press in April 2013.

To register for either workshop and get more information about fee schedules and deadlines, visit

Cornell University Press to publish book by James Schlett of Rotterdam
On June 30, Cornell University Press will publish A Not Too Greatly Changed Eden: The Story of the Philosophers’ Camp in the Adirondacks by James Schlett, of Rotterdam. The book tells the definitive story of the historic Philosophers’ Camp, an August 1858 gathering at Follensby Pond of 19th century America’s leading intellectuals, including the transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Harvard scientist Louis Agassiz and the Cambridge poet James Russell Lowell. They were led into the Adirondack wilderness by William James Stillman, a painter originally from Schenectady who co-founded the nation’s first art journal, the Crayon.

In this book, Schlett recounts the story of the Philosophers’ Camp from the lives and careers of — and friendships and frictions among — the participants to the extensive preparations for the expedition and the several-day encampment to its lasting legacy. Schlett’s account is a sweeping tale that provides vistas of the dramatically changing landscapes of the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century. As he relates, the scholars later formed an Adirondack Club that set out to establish a permanent encampment at nearby Ampersand Pond. Their plans, however, were dashed amid the outbreak of the Civil War and the advancement of civilization into a wilderness that Stillman described as “a not too greatly changed Eden.”

But the Adirondacks were indeed changing. When Stillman returned to the site of the Philosophers’ Camp in 1884, he found the woods around Follensby had been disfigured by tourists. Development, industrialization and commercialization had transformed the Adirondack wilderness as they would nearly every other aspect of the American landscape. Such devastation would later inspire conservationists to establish Adirondack Park in 1892. At the close of the book, Schlett looks at the preservation of Follensby Pond, now protected by the Nature Conservancy and the camp site’s potential integration into the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

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Editor’s Note

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

Here are some housekeeping notes:

    • Want your news item published in a future newsletter? Submit it to me at The deadline each month is the 25th, and the newsletter publishes on (or around) the 1st. Please note: All announcements are subject to editing.
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