Poetry News, January 2016


Here is your Poetry News for the month of January, 2016
Scroll down to see or link to more poetry in Worcester, the Berkshires, Boston, Vermont and other areas.
Poetry News is now published monthly. Please send events as you normally do. The site will be updated regularly.
To receive Poetry News in your email or to request posting of events write to lori@thepoetrynews.com.

Some Highlights of This Month in Western MA (more below, including workshops & calls for submission):
Mon. Jan. 4 – Wagon Wheel Word Open Mic & Adam Grabowski, Gill, 6pm
Tue. Jan. 5 – Straw Dog Writers Night Out with Leslea Newman, The Basement, Northampton, 7pm
Tue. Jan. 5 – CR Avery & Open Mic, The Deuce, WWII club, 8pm
Sun. Jan. 10 – 7 Minutes Literary Spotlight, Spfld Central Library, 1pm
Sun. Jan. 10 – Suzanne Michelle Smith & Marc Berman, Neilson Library, Smith, Northampton, 3pm
Mon. Jan. 11 – New Year Open Mic at the Lakehouse, Ashfield, 8:30pm
Tue. Jan. 12 – Unbuttoned, Luthier’s Co-op, Easthampton, 7pm
Thu. Jan 14 – Florence Poets Society, business 6:30, Poetry Share 7pm, Lilly Library, Florence.
Tue. Jan. 19 – Writers Read, 4 under 40, Lee Library, Lee, 5:30pm
Tue. Jan. 19 – Greenfield Word: Adam Grabowski & Veda Leone plus open mic, 9 Mill St. Greenfield, 7:30pm
Thu. Jan. 28 – Jeanne Braham, Odyssey Bookshop, S. Hadley, 7pm
Sun. Jan. 31 – Patchwork Farm Manuscript Group reading, Smith Poetry Center, Northampton, 4pm
Sun. Jan. 31 – Eve Marko and Norma Akamatsu, Gallery of Readers, Neilson Library, Smith, Northampton, 3pm.




Wagon Wheel Word Open Mic
Featuring Adam Grabowski
Monday, January 4, 6pm
Please join our awesome monthly Wagon Wheel Word! 5 minute open mics slots available, followed by our featured Poet.
Wagon Wheel Word!!! Poetry open mic with feature Adam!
Next month on Feb 1st we are featuring Paul Richmond.
Trish Crapo will feature in March.
Come hungry and feed your body and your yearning for art.
Looking forward to seeing you then!
Wagon Wheel Restaurant
39 French King Highway, Gill, MA



Writer’s Night Out
Tue. January 5, 7:00pm
The Basement
21 Center Street
Northampton, MA
Open mike: 7:15; followed by featured writer, Lesléa Newman. After that, time to schmooze, drink, make merry, and find out what’s happening in the local writing world. Free admission, but donations gratefully accepted, And please support The Basement by buying a drink!
Lesléa Newman is the author of 70 books for readers of all ages including the short story collection, A Letter to Harvey Milk, the children’s classic, Heather Has Two Mommies, and the novel-in-verse, October Mourning; A Song for Matthew Shepard. Her literary awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation; the Burning Bush Poetry Prize; and second place runner-up in the Solstice Literary Journal poetry competition. From 2008-2010 she served as the poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts. Her newest poetry collection, I Carry My Mother was recently published by Headmistress Press.



The Gallery of Readers Series presents
Suzanne Michelle Smith
Marc Berman
reading from their recent work

Sunday, January 10, 2016, 3 PM
Neilson Library Browsing Room
Smith College
Northampton, Massachusetts

Refreshments will be served.

Suzanne Michelle Smith is the youngest of eight children. Born and
raised outside of Boston, she spent her childhood observing the
goings-on in her family with a combination of wonder and
bewilderment. She continues to view love, loss, and grief from this
perspective and her writing life is an attempt to sort it all out. A
graduate of Smith College and UMass-Amherst Economics departments,
she now works in Higher Education. She lives in Northampton, MA,
where she raised her two sons.

Marc Berman lives in Florence. He has been writing for 10 years.

Since its inception in 1990, The Gallery of Readers has presented
monthly readings September through June that showcase the work of
local writers. All readings are free and open to the public. In
addition to organizing this series, Robin Barber and Carol Edelstein
lead the Vernon Street Writing Workshops. In 2010 they began the
Gallery of Readers Press, a nonprofit literary publishing company.

For more information on other events in the series, and for more of
our work, please visit



7 Minutes: A Literary Spotlight

Sunday, January 10th from 1:00 to 3:00,
Springfield Public Library
220 State Street, Springfield
Richard Horton
Lesléa Newman
Barbara Jean Walsh
Brenda Hill
Brooks Robards
Gerald Waller



Monday, January 11th, 8:30pm
at the Ashfield Lake House
141 Buckland Rd. Ashfield
Come dive headfirst into 2016 and share the past, present, future, or nonexistent with a poem, a sonnet, a haiku, or spoken word, all types of original writing are welcome! 2016 is gonna be a prosperous year and to prove it you all have a chance to do a double feature- 2 poems (about 2 minutes each)! Feel free to come and read or just listen or get inspired, and cheer on our lovely community! Sign-ups start at 8:00pm- get there fast, there are a limited number of slots! The event is by donation.



Tue. Jan. 12, 7pm
This month’s Unbuttoned Spoken Word night at Luthier’s – Let’s start the new year with the most open open mic – I’ll bring some poems, you bring your words, we all share. Because sharing is good.There might be some last minute surprise guests, and people might walk in and start shouting. Let’s beat January into a pulp with words as weapons.. Come to sign up for the open mic at 7:00 p.m.  This is the coolest venue in the Valley! Great stage, great audience, great host Alison Murchie, great beer.
Luthier’s Co-op, Easthampton



Greenfield Word
9 Mill Street Greenfield
3rd Tuesday of the month
Doors open at 7:00
Reading starts at 7:30
January 19th, 2016
This month’s Features are:
Adam Grabowski and Veda Leone
 There are 10 open mic slots of 5 minutes each
$1 to $5 sliding scale donation
Hope to see you there




Writers Read Monthly Reading Series
TUESDAY, January 19th @ 5:30pm
100 Main St, Lee, MA
Guest Host: Kateri Kosek

Amanda Giracca’s nonfiction has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Aeon Magazine, Fourth Genre,Terrain, Flyway, and The Magazine, among others. She is a professor in SUNY Albany’s Writing and Critical Inquiry Program and a senior editor for Vela Magazine, where her writing frequently appears. Her work has been selected as “notable” in Best American Essays 2015, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and has received support from Playa Fellowship Residency Program, the University of Pittsburgh’s Nationality Room Scholarships, and the Berkshire-Taconic Community Foundation’s Boschen Fund for Artists. She received an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and lives in western Massachusetts.

Kristen Hewitt is a poet and nonfiction writer, and her work has appeared in Orion, Terrain.org,
and the Whitefish Review. She’s been an editor at Orion and Ecopoetics, and she recently began an MFA in poetry at Warren Wilson College.

Amanda Pleau received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Stonecoast MFA Creative Writing program at the University of Southern Maine. She served as managing editor of the Stonecoast Review, and her work has appeared in print and online. Amanda is a relatively new Berkshire resident, and is diligently working on her first memoir and her bowling average (but maybe not in that order.)

Elizabeth Brown is an Iowa native who has been living in the Berkshires, on and off, since 2012. Brown has been published in Edible Iowa and Edible Berkshires. In the Berkshires, she has taken classes with local writer, editor, and teacher, Laura Didyk. She recently applied to a number of MFA programs across the country in creative writing and hopes to begin classes in the fall.



Jeanne Braham, Available Light: Philip Booth and the Gift of Place
Thursday, January 28, 7:00 pm
The Odyssey Bookshop, S. Hadley

Join us at the Odyssey to welcome local author, Jeanne Braham, for her new book Available Light: Philip Booth and the Gift of Place. Philip Booth published ten volumes of meticulously crafted lyric poems in his lifetime, most of them set in and inscribed by the landscapes and cadences of Downeast Maine. Like other major poets writing from New England who were his contemporaries, the echoes of Robert Frost register in Booth’s structure and language. Booth knew Frost personally and if his mentor’s poetic example shaped Booth’s art, Castine, Maine, home of Booth’s maternal ancestors for five generations, provided “the gift of place”: the historic, geographic, and experiential canvas on which to paint his poems. This biography aims to ignite new interest in a poet who spent a “lifetime looking into how words see.”

Jeanne Braham is author of five books on American arts and letters, she has taught literature and creative writing at a number of colleges and universities including Allegheny College, Smith College, Hampshire College, the University of New Hampshire, and Clark University. She is the founding editor of Heatherstone Press, a fine arts publisher of poetry chapbooks. Braham lives in western Massachusetts.



Patchwork Pieces: Readings from the
Patchwork Farms Manuscript Group
January 31, 4pm
Smith Poetry Center
Wright Hall Smith College, Northampton
This reading and celebration offers area residents a rare opportunity to be among the first to hear new work, before publication. The hour of readings will include fiction and nonfiction, a rich and varied selection.
A performance by the Hallowell Singers of Vermont, conversation and refreshments will follow the reading.

Patricia Lee Lewis leads a yearlong Patchwork Farm Manuscript Series to give writers the structure and collegial support to make substantial progress on a book-length project for publication. Each series includes eight deadlines and four intensive weekend workshops to help talented writers prepare their new work to share with a wider audience.

Authors Liz Bedell of Northampton MA, Penfield Chester of Halifax VT, Ceacy Henderson of Colrain MA, Kathy Leo of Westminster VT, Nancy Smith of Ashfield MA and Rebecca Southwick of Barre MA will read from their manuscripts.



The Gallery of Readers Series presents
Eve Marko
Norma Akamatsu
reading from their recent work
Sunday, January 31, 2016, 3 PM
Neilson Library Browsing Room
Smith College
Northampton, Massachusetts
Refreshments will be served.



Collected Poets
Continues in February
Please join us Thursday, February , 2015, at 7:00 pm, when poets Diane Lockward and Mary Clare Powell will continue the ninth season of the Collected Poets Series. Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)



25th Annual Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest
Open to residents of Franklin County
Two categories:  Adult and Young Poet (ages 12-18)
Submit up to three poems. Indicate “Adult” or “Young Poet,” and Young Poets write your age in lower right hand corner of front page, circled.  Write name, address, phone number, and e-mail address (if available) on reverse.  No personal identification on front.  Submit on white 8.5 x 11 paper, printed clearly in ink or type; title of poem on each page, no staples (paper clip please).  Poems will not be returned. Notification of entry will be via email, unless SASE is provided.  Only unpublished poems may be submitted. Previous 1st place winners may not submit (though youth can, if entered in a new age category!)
* First Prize, Adult:Poet’s Seat Chair for one year and name engraved on plaque; hand-crafted, poet’s ceramic platter; $20 book store gift certificate; and gift certificate for one night’s stay at Poetry Ridge B&B, Greenfield

All other prizes:2nd and 3rd Place Adult, as well as top 4 Youth Poems (Youth poems judged in separate categories, ages at time of submission 12-14 and 15-18): hand-crafted poet’s ceramic mug, $20 book store gift certificate

Awards Ceremony:Thursday, April 28, 7 p.m., Capen Room, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, 574 Bernardston Road, Greenfield

Send poems to:  POET’S SEAT CONTEST
Greenfield Public Library, 402 Main St., Greenfield, MA 01301
Deadline:  March 7, 2016 (postmark)



Sam’s Pizza and Cafe presents an open reading night
First Wednesday of the month
7pm Sam’s Pizza, Northampton

Weekly Poetry Open Mic at The Deuce
Every Tuesday Night 8pm – 10pm
Open Mic Signup starts at 7pm.
World War II Club, Conz St. Northampton,MA
Please bring a 3-5 minute selection of your work to share
Fabulous website with featured poets
Jan. 5- C.R. Avery & Open Mic
Jan. 12 – WOWPS Qualifying Slam & Open Mic
Jan. 19 – Alex Charalambedes & Open Mic
Jan. 26 – Poetry Slam & Open Mic



“In Our Nature” Writing Workshop ~ winter session
Whether you are a beginning writer or advanced, new to writing with others or an old hand at it, passionate about nature, human nature, or other topics altogether … come write with us!
Day: Thursday mornings in February & March
Dates: Feb. 4 – March 31  (9 wks)
Time: 10am – 12:45pm  (2 3/4 hrs)
Can’t come to the first meeting? If room, you’re welcome to join us after the first meeting.
Cost: $33/week, or save $27 by paying $270 in one or two advance lump sums.  Not sure? Try a meeting at no cost.
We meet at my Ashfield home, in a supportive environment using guidelines developed by Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA). Tuition includes occasional manuscript critiques for those who want them.
For more information, contact me at (413) 628 -4039
or  smiddle@crocker.com

Susan Middleton’s poems have appeared in a number of literary and environmental publications. In 2004 she and several other western MA poets founded Slate Roof, a collaboratively run small press, which published her chapbook, Seed Case of the Heart (Slate Roof Press, 2007). In 2013 she won 2nd prize for a short story in Write Action’s 8th Annual Prose & Poetry Writing Contest. Susan has been participating in workshops and peer-run groups based on the AWA method since 1996, and leading AWA workshops since January 2013. She also has extensive editing experience, having participated in critique groups for over 15 years and edited books as a freelance for over 25 years.


Our Bodies Are The Keepers of Our Stories

In this monthly workshop, writers and yogis of all levels will gather to practice yoga and writing concurrently in order to excavate and gain access to the infinite wisdom, language, and stories held within the body. Using meditation, asana, yoga philosophy, atypical writing exercises, and illustrative texts, each themed workshop will be both study and practice. We’ll explore how yoga supports and enhances the craft of writing as well as our writing process. The result will be tremendously rich, vibrant writing, a true sense of creative freedom, and a sure-fire way to never have writer’s block again.

Students will have the opportunity to share their work in class and to continue the conversation online between workshops.

January 10 – Resting the Brain & Playing in the Vastness

February 14 – Valentines Day! Who Are You & What Do you Love? Loving conversations with language and the body

March 6 – Mi Casa es Su Casa—Embodying Characters and Consciousness’s

April 17 – Moving Mountain Practice—On Changing Perspectives

May 15 –Writing What’s Difficult—The Emotional Body

June 19 — Practice is Practice is Practice — Lessons from Gertrude Stein and Vinyasas

Maria Williams-Russell is the author of A Love Letter to Say There Is No Love and the founding editor of Shape&Nature Press. A longtime yoga enthusiast, Maria received her Embodyoga 200 hour yoga teaching certificate in at Yoga Center Amherst in 2014. She spends much of her time teaching writing and yoga, writing her own poetry, poring over manuscripts, and driving her kids around. She believes all our stories: real, imagined, past, present, and future reside in the vast universe of the body and that yoga offers deep access to those stories and to our creativity while making visible our connection to everything else.



Belchertown based poetry critique group
looking to add one or two new (published) members.
Currently meeting 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month, 10 – 11:30 am.
Contact: Denise 413-244-3290 or dcfontaine@yahoo.com

Fiction Writing Group at East Forest Park Library
122 Island Pond Road (Next to Rite Aid in the plaza) Springfield First Wednesday of Each Month Time: 6:00 pm Contact: Theresa Boulrice (413) 263-6836)

Emily Dickinson International Society
(EDIS) presents: “Poetry Conversation”
Jones Library, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA; in the Amherst Room, 2nd floor 1st Friday of each month — 2pm – 3:30pm 2nd Thursday of each month — 5:45pm – 7:15pm All who are interested in sharing thoughts and ideas in a group discussion based on selected poems/letters by Emily Dickinson are welcome.



The next business/sharing meeting is Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 6:30pm. Poetry share at 7.
Please consider joining the Florence Poets Society. Your $20 membership dues (Sept. – Aug.) support our annual journal, Silkworm, as well as public readings and events. We meet monthly at the Lilly Library in Florence on the 2nd Thurs. of each month, and all are welcome. Please visit our web site for more information: http://www.florencepoets.com or contact us at info@florencepoets.com.



Beginning on December 14th, for the Winter Session, Poetry à la Carte will air on Mondays, 5 to 5:30 pm.
I hope you all can tune in at this new time! Best wishes for a happy holiday season, and a joyous 2016 ! WMUA-Amherst (the student and community radio station of UMass-Amherst) can be listened to at 91.1 FM within range of the transmitter. WMUA is also streamed live at http://www.wmua.org/. The program, produced by Daisy Mathias, includes reading aloud from past and contemporary poets, and occasionally features live interview and poetry-reading with a local poet.




Greenfield Word
9 Mill Street Greenfield
3rd Tuesday of the month
Doors open at 7:00
Reading starts at 7:30
January 19th, 2016
This month’s Features are:
Adam Grabowski and Veda Leone
There are 10 open mic slots of 5 minutes each
$1 to $5 sliding scale donation
Hope to see you there





~Writers Read Monthly Reading Series~

Tuesday, January 19th at 5:30pm at the Lee Library Association, 100 Main Street, Lee –parking at the library. If you have questions and/or are interested in reading in the series, though we can make no promises initially, please email David Giannini, coordinator of the WRITERS READ series, davidgpoet@gmail.com




There’s a vibrant and active poetry community in the Albany area.

Go to http://www.albanypoets.com/ for schedules and events!



The Hangover Hour Poetry Salon
is every other Sunday afternoon, with a poet from the community reading the works of a poet from history. The open mic before the feature is a tight 5 minutes, for poems, stories or other spoken word propaganda. Spread the word nerd! The future is a drag, man!!! We start promptly at 5:00 p.m. every other Sunday, so come early, have a tasty beverage and be cool cats. 18+ Nicks (124 Millbury Street, Worcester)

Poetry, People!

Every Thursday 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (sometimes later)
@ The Coffee Loft 406 Lincoln Street Marlborough, MA
508.251.1431 Poetry, verse, and short stories are are welcome at this very friendly, informal open reading.
Now booking for features to start in March.
Please contact Jarad at CoffeeLoftBooking@gmail.com for more info or to become a featured poet.

The Little “a” Poetry Series
Every Thursday night at 7pm, with an open mic preceding the feature. It is free and all ages, and will be held at The Strange Attractor, 97D Webster St, Worcester MA. Hosted by “Cowboy” Matt Hopewell, who also does the booking and can be reached at themadcowboy@gmail.com or by phone at (508) 479 8311 .



Since CT has a wonderful and comprehensive newsletter online, I have decided to cut the CT Poetry section from Poetry News and only post special events that might be of interest to MA poets. Write to Terri Klein at ctpoetnews@yahoo.com to get the CT Poet newsletter in your email, or the CT Poetry Calendar is online at http://www.ctpoetrycalendar.com



If you want more events in the Boston area (and there are many more!) write to Dan Bouchard to get his poetry calendar in your email at bouchard@MIT.EDU



Poetry Slam
Every first and third Wednesday of the month. First, Poetry Slam, then is an open mic Equilibrium 14 Elm Street sign-up at 7:30 event is 8-10pm http://www.facebook.com/BrattleboroPoetry For a VT poetry events calendar go to: http://www.phayvanh.com/ For info on Brattleboro poetry and Write Action visit their website – http://www.writeaction.org Poetry readings at the Putney Library 55 Main Street, Putney VT (802) 387-4407


News for Poetry News should be sent to lori@thepoetrynews.com. Please send your announcements in text only – do not format (no special fonts, left-align, no colors, etc.) and check it for errors. Send by Wednesday for Thursday publication. Thank you, Lori Desrosiers – Publisher, Editor, wearer of all hats.

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