Robert Burns

Poets in the Park 2017


Poets in the Park is celebrating over 25 years of bringing poetry in July to the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park, Albany, NY.  The series was started in 1989 by the late Tom Nattell and is now run by Albany poet & photographer Dan Wilcox.   This year the readings will be on Saturdays July 15, 22 & 29; the readings start at 7:00 PM and are free and open to the public; donations are accepted.  Rain site is the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany.  The series is sponsored by the Hudson Valley Writers Guild and the Poetry Motel Foundation.

The 2017 readers are:

  • July 15:   Karen Skolfield & Jay Wenk
  • July 22:   Ian Macks & Liv McKee
  • July 29:   Richard Levine & Suzanne Rancourt

The Robert Burns statue is located near where Henry Johnson Blvd. passes through Washington Park and crosses Hudson Ave.  Please bring your own chairs or blankets to sit on.

For more information about this event contact Dan Wilcox,; 518-482-0262. More information about the Hudson Valley Writers Guild at


Karen Skolfield’s book Frost in the Low Areas (Zone 3 Press) won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry. She is the winner of the 2016 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in poetry from The Missouri Review and has received awards and fellowships from the Poetry Society of America, New England Public Radio, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Split This Rock, and elsewhere; she’s an Army veteran and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Jay Wenk is a World War II veteran.  He is the author of Study War No More: A Jewish Kid from Brooklyn Fights the Nazis (2010) & a poet who has been published widely & reads frequently in the Woodstock, NY area.  He says, “I’m a WW2 combat veteran who fought Fascism in Europe, and now I’m fighting Fascism here at home.”

Ian Macks is a poet and writer hailing from Troy by way of New York City. After the release of his debut chapbook A Loss and Gain of Comfort in December 2014, Ian has been reading at various open mics and readings in the Capital Region as well as Brooklyn. You can find his poetry on his Instagram account @imacks22.

As a core member of Albany’s Nitty Gritty Slam team Liv McKee performs and competes regionally and nationally on a regular basis. She hopes her poetry leaves you cut, bandaged, bathed, and heartened.

Richard Levine, a retired NYC teacher and activist, is the author of The Cadence of Mercy, A Tide of a Hundred Mountains, That Country’s Soul, A Language Full of Wars and Songs, and Snapshots from a Battle.  Also on YouTube: “Judge Roberts: One Man, One Woman One Vote” and “The Talkin’ Frackin’ Blues”.

Suzanne S. Rancourt is of Abenaki/Huron decent with work appearing in Bear Review, Dawnland Voices 2.0 #4, Northern New England Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, mgversion2>datura,  SlipstreamGinosko, Journal of Military Experience, Cimarron ReviewCallaloo, and more. Billboard in the Clouds, was the winner of the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award.  Ms. Rancourt is a US Marine Corps and US Army veteran.