My son and his friend have created Vast Walk Films, a small Indie film company. They’ve got one short in the can (pictured above), which was recently a finalist for a silent shorts festival. Now, they’re looking toward their next project and raising some funds to get things off the ground. Check out their Indiegogo campaign to see the silent short and their campaign trailer.
The Red Mountain Poetry Prize at Red Mountain Press is open now through September 15th for submissions of full length poetry manuscripts: 48-72 pages. Winner receives a $1,000 prize and publication of his/her collection through Red Mountain Press. My collection Church of Needles (see sidebar) won the 2013 Red Mountain Poetry Prize. The press has an impressive list of poets on its growing roster, including Kate Gale, Editor of Red Hen Press, 2015 prize winner Irena Praitis, Gregory Lawless and Jeffrey Thomson, among others. Among the poets are winners of numerous prizes including NEA fellowships, Pushcart Prizes, Fulbright Scholarships, and state cultural council fellowships, with publications in a myriad of journals including Rattle, 2River, Fourteen Hills, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily and others.
And…..I will be judging this year’s contest! Remember, this is not a first or second book contest. Poets at all phases of their careers are welcome to submit. I will individually read every manuscript submitted through the RMP submission manager. And all submissions will be read blind (names removed). If you have a full-length manuscript in hand please consider submitting. Having lots to choose from will make my job easier (and harder, but in a good way). I can’t wait to read your work!
A last reminder that I will be reading along with fellow Cultural Council recipients Richard Michelson and Michael Teig on Wednesday, April 27th at 7 p.m. at the Pelham, MA library on South Valley Road in Pelham. We will each read for 15 minutes and sell and sign books afterward.
The last day of registration for June 2016 Squam art Retreats is May 12th! If you’ve considered going, have always wanted to check out the Squam retreats, or are on the fence about going, I’m here to push you off! I first experienced Squam two years ago when I gave a reading and held the book launch for my first poetry collection in the camp’s playhouse. It was a great crowd of knitting women, encouraging me with their warm smiles and clicking needles. Last year I went back to Squam as an instructor. I led The Found Poetry Project with another great group of women (there are men too, really). Each left with a handful of poems she’d written during our six hour workshop, a binder filled with goodies, plus a nifty mini magnetic poetry kit (see above) which each woman decoupaged with cool vintage ephemera included in their kits. Sooooo, it’s nearly May and I’m ramping up to teach The Found Poetry Project for a second year. This year’s retreat is held June 1-5 on beautiful Squam Lake in Holderness, NH. Let me just say, if you’re not from the woods or blessed to be living in a beautiful New England landscape, the experience will be a spiritual one. I watched it happen to many Squamies last year. Not only are the lake, woods, the flora and fauna (swimming deer, yes, true!) a calming tonic for body, mind and spirit, but the place just has great energy, due, in large part, to founding director Elizabeth Duvivier. Squam Art Retreats are retreats in the true sense of the word. You’ll relax, create, take your time by the lake and on the paths, eat good food and make friends. It’s summer camp for adults, with all the fun and none of the awkwardness of being 12. Join me!
I have two upcoming poetry related events to share. First, on April 27th at 7 p.m. in the main area of the Pelham Library in Pelham, MA, I’ll be reading at a special event with two other Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellows (I’m a 2016 fellow). Richard Michelson, Michael Teig and I will each read for 15 minutes. The reading was organized by former MCC fellow and MCC 2016 reader Karen Skolfield. Would love to see familiar and new faces.
On April 30th I’ll be at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival taking part in a panel on poetry and motherhood at 12:15, Salem Arts Association building. The Full Catastrophe: Poets on Motherhood includes poets Amy Dryansky, Marie Gauthier and myself. From our program description: “Three poets from western MA will look at how contemporary women poets use a variety of approaches to navigate the territory of “mother-poet.” These poets and their poems fall all along the aesthetic continuum, and their work takes different approaches to the “condition” of motherhood. Using their own experience, as well as examples from other poets, they’ll talk about the struggle to find time and focus for their writing; the challenges of writing and parenting in a rural area; how motherhood is or isn’t present in their own work; the issue of including their children in published work; and whether the awareness of writing about motherhood has constrained or freed them in any way. They’ll also look at the distinction between motherhood as subject, and the impact of motherhood on creative process and formal strategies. The discussion will include poems as handouts for audience members and time for audience questions.”