Next Year's Words

Colleen Geraghty and Jeanne-Marie Fleming to Read at Next Year’s Words

Next Year's Words

Next Year’s Words, the readers’ series for writers of poetry, memoir and fiction presents writers Colleen Geraghty and Jeanne-Marie Fleming, and calls for a creative community response to recent national events. 

Colleen Geraghty‘s poetry and prose dream of the beauty that sorrow can bring, use what is spawned in life’s compost, tell what is transformed in the crucible of suffering, and breathe life into her belief that the wound can inform the gift. Her practice finds the divine in blood and soil and root and stone, bubbling in an uproar of rot and revival, in shamanistic celebrations of nature’s feast and its triumph over a flesh-searing Catholicism. The first lines of her poem, “Grieving Stones” summon a furious ghost

My Mother eats the moon at night

She spits and swears our lives

into a bloodbath of connection.


Jeanne-Marie Fleming describes herself as “Simply a woman who has been trying to figure out my role in the universe.” A middle-school teacher and mother of three sons, she moves in her writing through the lives of her students, her children, and the fits and starts of her present and younger selves, finding exasperation, pain, wonder, and often delight. Writing to a “Teenage Girl,” Jeanne-Marie names what can be lost––

I worry that you will give your heart to the wrong person and may be unable to get it back.


Following presentations from the two readers, an extended open mic invites the literary community to respond creatively to current events. Refreshments will be served. Suggested contribution: $2

This event will be held at the Jewish Congregation of New Paltz Community Center, 30 North Chestnut St., Rt. 32, New Paltz on February 15, 2017 at 7:30 pm

For more information, email or

You can find Next Year’s Words on Facebook and Twitter.

Next Year’s Words is presented by Wallkill Valley Writers and supported by the SUNY New Paltz Department of English, this program features two or three local voices and provides an open mic.