The Year in Review
The Hudson Valley Writers Guild takes a look back at the year that was 2022. We rejoice at the highlights, scream at the lowlights, and try to make sense of the big ball of triumph and anxiety.
The evening features the region’s most dynamic and engaging wordsmiths and spoken-word artists – D. Colin, Elizabeth Gordon, Brett Petersen, Carol Durant, Alyssa Michelle, and Thom Francis – highlighted by immersive video.
About the Poets
D. Colin is a Haitian-American multidisciplinary artist who works in poetry, theater and visual art. She is a Cave Canem, VONA and NYS Writers Institute Fellow as well as the author of Dreaming in Kreyol and Said the Swing to the Hoop. Her work has appeared in Trolley, Ink & Nebula, Jaded Ibis Press, and Porter Gulch Review. She is the 2022 Excellence in Arts & Letters Award recipient for UAlbany’s Alumni Association. She believes in Nina Simone’s words that “an artist’s duty is to reflect the times” and often says, “if the art didn’t move you, then I didn’t do my job.”
Elizabeth (elizag) K. Gordon teaches college literature courses and lives in Cohoes. She is the author of two books, Love Cohoes and Walk with Us, both available at Amazon and through her website www.ekg3.com. She was a member of the capital district’s first slam team, the Nitty Gritty Slam, and also represented them at the Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS), later representing New York City’s Urbana slam at WOWPS. She has served as a writing coach and mentor and recently began an open mic and slam at Troy’s Cafe Euphoria (first Fridays). She paints too, abstracts (Instagram see @elizakwork).
Brett Petersen is the author of The Parasite From Proto Space & Other Stories, drummer for alt-rock group The Dionysus Effect, and frontman of sludge punk duo Raziel’s Tree which is currently looking for a drummer (could that be you?) He also reads Tarot, creates bizarre psychedelic art, and is proudly autistic. He lives just outside of Albany NY.
Carol Durant (she/her) is an African American author, playwright, poet, and newly minted recording artist with the song, Mystified on Spotify and major music streaming platforms. Stage manager for Escaped Alone, Select Theatre Credits: Playwright One Cherished Day Hudson Valley New Voices Festival Westchester Collaborative Theater, playwright Screen I-R-L 10 Minute Play Fest Art in the Public Eye, Stage Manager Fences Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate New York at Siena College Founder and co-host of Stage & Stanza theater and poetry collaborative event with Russell Sage College Board Member: All Abilities Productions Upstate New York Final Thoughts: Stay Mighty
Alyssa Michelle is a mother, poet, self-published author, and spoken word artist. Her poetry sheds a light on life as a single mother, domestic violence, addiction, mental health, healing, and self-empowerment. Three of her chapbooks include Growing Pains, The Awakening, and Blooming Season. Today, her writing continues to empower and liberate others who are in need of her heartfelt words.
Thom Francis has been organizing, promoting, and hosting open mics and events in Albany such as Nitty Gritty Slam, School of Night, Albany Poets Presents…, and the Albany Word Fest for over 20 years. As a poet and performer, Thom has been featured at many of the upstate poetry and spoken word events from Saratoga to Woodstock as well as LarkFest, Art on Lark, and 1st Friday.