Amherst Poetry Festival Events

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I will be taking part in the Amherst Poetry Festival in two events on October 3rd and 4th. First off, on October 3rd from 3:45-4:45 I’ll be on the panel “From Zero to One: First Books and What We Wish We’d Known” along with Amy Dryansky, Susan Kan, Karen Skolfield and Michelle Valois. We’ve held this panel at both The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Moderator Karen Skolfield has also conducted the panel, with different participants, at AWP.  The panel will be held at the Jones Library Woodbury Room on Amity Street.

On October 4th I’ll be leading the ‘Found Poetry Workshop’ (a shorter version of the one I taught at Squam Arts Retreats) from 2:15-3:45, also at the Jones Library Woodbury Room on Amity Street. The workshop is heavy on prompts with optional sharing of one or two prompt-generated pieces at the end.

The festival lasts 4 days and is filled with readings, workshops, lectures and wacky poetry fun like poetry tarot and the annual poetry marathon where participants read Emily Dickinson’s poems (relay-style) non-stop for days!

A Successful Reading, An Upcoming Workshop!

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Last night’s poetry reading at the APE Gallery with three amazing woman poets was a huge success! There were well over 60 people, all chairs taken, many standing, with several wandering in off the street. It didn’t hurt that Northampton was in full summer weekend revelry. It was like a block party down there. I may have to rethink my bias against reading first, it was a great slot. The audience was enthusiastic and putting out some great energy. The variety of tone, subject matter and style of the poems, coupled with the short 15 minute readings made for one of the best readings I’ve ever been to, let alone been part of. I’d like to thank photographer Kate Way for her photography, Susan Kan for pulling together such a successful event, my fellow readers Carol Edelstein, Amy Dryansky and Michelle Valois, all talented, smart, kind and supportive. And a big thank you to the audience for choosing a poetry reading over all the other exciting, more fun, things you could have been doing on a warm night in August. You bolstered my spirits!

I got word yesterday that my proposal for a workshop, titled: The Found Poetry Workshop was accepted for inclusion in this fall’s Amherst Poetry Festival. The workshop will be 1 to 1.5 hours of prompts that give the poet a little something to start with, or, in the Cento’s case, the entire poem cribbed from other sources. I taught a (much) longer version of this workshop early in the summer and was amazed at the stunning poems my poet/students produced. They were a little amazed too. The Amherst Poetry Festival takes place the first weekend in October. More to come on the time, place and particulars of my workshop.

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