Poetry News – January 2018


Here is your Poetry News for Western Massachusetts for the month of January 2018.
Poetry News is published monthly. Please send events to lori@thepoetrynews.com. The site will be updated regularly.
To receive Poetry News in your email or to request posting of events write to lori@thepoetrynews.com.

Happy New Year!! May 2018 bring peace and great poetry.

Poetry Highlights of This Month in Western Massachusetts:

Poetry Events in the Pioneer Valley and Beyond

Tue. Jan. 2 – Straw Dog Writers Night Out, Open Mic & Featuring Richard Wayne Horton, The Basement, 21 Center St. Northampton, 7pm CANCELED DUE TO COLD WEATHER
Tue. Jan. 2 – Open Mic & feature at “The Deuce” WWII Club, Northampton, 8pm
Fri. Jan. 5 – Pulp Slam! Marshall Gillson & Music open Mic, The Roost, 1 Market St. Northampton, 7pm
Sun. Jan. 7 – Writers Read at the Inn at Norton Hill, Jane Yolen & Open Mic, Inn at Norton Hill, 10 Norton Hill Rd. Ashfield, 3pm.
Collected Poets’ Series: no readings in January. Back in February!
Sun. Jan. 7 – Gallery of Readers: Norma Akamatsu & Steve Bernstein, Seelye Hall 106, Smith College, Northampton, 4pm.
Tue. Jan. 9 – UNBUTTONED presents The No No Project & open mic  Luthier’s Co-op, Easthampton, 7pm.
Tue. Jan. 9 – Open Mic & feature at “The Deuce” WWII Club, Northampton, 8pm
Thu. Jan. 11 – Florence Poets Society meeting and poetry share, All welcome! Lilly Library, Florence, 6:30pm
Sat. Jan. 13 – Straw Dog presents “How does it Work to Work with an Editor? With Libby Maxey, Lilly Library, Florence, 10:30 – noon. Free
Tue. Jan. 16 – Greenfield Word – Featuring Janet MacFadyen and Richard Wollman plus Open Mic, 9 Mill St. Greenfield, 7:30pm
Tue. Jan. 16 – Open Mic & SLAM at “The Deuce” WWII Club, Northampton, 8pm
Wed. Jan. 17 – “Midwinter Fire, Poetry of Midlife” Gail Thomas, Leslea Newman & Joy Ladin, Forbes Library, Northampton, 7pm
Sat. Jan. 20 – Free workshop with Janet Aalfs: Poetry for Truth, Ancient and New, Springfield Central Library, Springfield, 2-4pm
Wed. Jan. 31 – Teatro V!DA Youth Open Mic, Bing Arts Center, 716 Sumner, Springfield, 7pm



Pulp Slam: Poetry & Music Open Mic!
Friday, Jan. 5 – Marshall Gillson 

Pulp Slam is a three-part poetry and music show at The Roost. Every 1st and 3rd Friday, it hosts a poetry slam, a poetry feature, and a “Can’t believe It’s Not Poetry” music open mic.
Marshall Gillson is this week’s (Jan. 5) featured artist.
Music Open Mic sign-up begins when doors open at 7:00 pm.
No one will be turned away for lack of funds. For more information, visit pulpslam.com. This event is open to the public.
The Roost, 1 Market Street, Northampton, MA


Poetry for Truth, Ancient and New

Date: Saturday, January 20, 2018
No Fee: please register
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: Springfield Central Library, Community Room, 220 State St., Springfield, MA 
Trainer: Janet Aalfs



Open Mic Night for Youth

Every last Wednesday of the month from 7-9 p.m. from September through April, youth ages 12-25 are invited to Ign!te the Mic, The Valley’s only open mic for youth by youth.

A safe and non-competitive space for youth to share poetry, spoken word, music, monologues, theatrical scenes, dance, visual art, puppertry, or whatever your imagination can conceive!

All languages welcome. Admission $5 (no one turned away for lack of funds) Come and experience the healing power of the arts!

Co-sponsored by Teatro V!da and the The Bing Arts Center
Every last Wednesday of the month from 7-9 p.m.
Performers sign up at 6:45 p.m.

Bing Arts Center
716 Sumner Avenue
Springfield, MA

In the Forest Park neighborhood: free on street parking
www.teatrovida.com            www.bingartscenter.org

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

This month’s Florence Poets Society meets Thursday, Jan. 11th. Socializing at 6:30, poetry s at 7:00pm. 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.

Greenfield Word
9 Mill Street Greenfield
3rd Tuesday of the month
Doors open at 7:00
Reading starts at 7:30
There are 10 open mic slots of 5 minutes each
$1 to $5 sliding scale donation
Hope to see you there 


I’ve been writing since 1968, but every time I sit down to write I am a beginner. I face the blank sheet of paper. I face my own doubts. I forget every good thing I’ve ever written and my insecurities begin to rattle their cages. But when I actually start to write, the fear subsides. Joyce Carol Oates offers this wonderful description of her own process:

“I’ve found this to be true: I have forced myself to begin writing when I’ve been utterly exhausted, when I’ve felt my soul as thin as a playing card, when nothing has seemed worth enduring for another five minutes…and somehow the activity of writing changes everything.”

Remembering a voice, the smell of honeysuckle, and we’re off. Or we find inside the writing of another writer the door to our own imagination. There are any number of ways to enter writing and give into its fluidity.

We hold language in our bodies. Films of children in their cribs listening to their parents talk show that the child is doing movements, a little dance if you will, in response to the words she’s hearing. Taking language into the body. It is this relationship of language and body that tells us what to do. Begin. Move the hand. Unlike talking, the body begins to give up its secrets in ways we didn’t expect. This revelation is where the writing is to be found. To quote Joe Orton in What the Butler Saw, “The body has a mind of its own.”

In this workshop, we will do exactly that. I have a long catalogue prompts and techniques I’ve discovered in the process of my own writing, and I have plenty of experience of the vicissitudes of a writer’s life and how to survive it. I’m offering them here. Much of it has to do with getting out of our own way.

If you’re interested, email or call:


About the workshop leader:

Doug Anderson’s first book of poems, The Moon Reflected Fire, won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and his second, Blues for Unemployed Secret Police a grant from the Academy of American Poets. His memoir, Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam, the Sixties and a Journey of Self-Discovery, was published by W. W. Norton in 2009. His most recent book of poems is Horse Medicine, from Barrow Street. He has written criticism for the New York Times Book Review, the Boston Globe, and the London Times Literary Supplement. His play, Short Timers, was produced in New York City in 1980. He has taught in the MFA programs at Pacific University of Oregon and Bennington College, and creative writing and literature at Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts. He has won awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, Poets & Writers, The Virginia Quarterly Review and the MacDowell Colony. He has twice held a residency at Fort Juniper, the former home of the poet Robert Francis, in Amherst, MA. He is at present working on a novel about the Vietnam War.


Write Like a River: Women’s Writing Workshops with Chivas Sandage

Jumpstart, restart, and develop your writing in a supportive circle of women. Discover and generate new material, explore and diversify, or make progress on an ongoing project. Expect intriguing prompts, short and long writing periods, regular opportunities to read your work aloud and receive helpful, inspiring feedback. Near the end of each workshop, we read and discuss one participant’s work-in-progress. Participants will offer a spring reading at Studio 413 in the Eastworks Building in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Genres: nonfiction, fiction, poetry, plays, & more.

“This room is like a laboratory for the triumph of the human spirit.” Nora Jamieson, author

6-Week Winter Series / Easthampton, Massachusetts
When: all workshops held on Wednesdays, 1:00-4:00 pm.
January 31, February 7 & 28, March 14 & 28, April 11
Where: Studio 413, Eastworks Building, 116 Pleasant Street, Easthampton, MA
Sliding scale fee: $270-240-210 (per series)
Registration: 2 openings left (8 participants max). For more information & registration, use the contact form at https://www.writelikeariver.com.

Chivas Sandage is the author of Hidden Drive, a finalist for the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards in poetry. Coming soon: her online column about emerging and established feminist poets for Ms. Magazine. Naomi Shihab Nye chose her work for an award and publication as runner-up for the Southern Humanities Review 2017 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize. Her essays and poems have appeared in Artful Dodge, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Drunken Boat, Equality TexasEvergreen ReviewHampshire Life MagazineHartford CourantKnockout Magazine, Ms. MagazineNaugatuck River Review, The New Civil Rights Movement, The Rumpus, SmokeLong Quarterly, Southern Women’s Review, Upstreet, Verse, Manthology: Poems on the Male Experience (Univ. of Iowa Press, ‘06), Morning Song: Poems for New Parents (St. Martin’s Press, ’11), Paradise Found: A Walking Tour of Northampton, Massachusetts through Poetry and Art (Levellers Press, ’14), and Same-Sex Marriage: The Moral and Legal Debate (Prometheus Books, ‘04). She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, a BA from Bennington College, and has taught composition and literature at Westfield State University. Currently, she is at work on a second collection of poems and a narrative nonfiction book about the 2012 double shooting of a lesbian teenage couple in Texas. Chivas is a writing coach and editor. She lives with her wife in Easthampton, Massachusetts and San Marcos, Texas. Her website is http://www.csandage.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChivasSandage.




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)

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 .



CT has a wonderful and comprehensive newsletter online. Write toctpoetnews@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
Cape Cod Poetry is under Barry Hellman’s Cape Cod Poetry Group on Facebook.



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 8-10pmhttp://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 please check it for errors. Send by the end of the month for publication. Thank you, Lori Desrosiers – Publisher, Editor, wearer of all hats.

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