This Week: Readings & Such

Poetry & Parenting

Monday, April 25, 7-8:30pm

Reading & Discussion as part of the Writing Life Series
Coolidge Museum, Forbes Library
Northampton, MA

In which I tell the story of Pokey Mama, live.

massachusetts-poetry-festival-2016

I’ll also be at the MaPoFest in Salem, MA, this coming weekend, participating in two programs:

The Full Catastrophe:
Poets on Motherhood
Saturday, April 30 • 12:15pm – 1:15pm

Three poets from western MA (me, Marie Gauthier & Sarah Sousa) will look at how contemporary women poets use a variety of approaches to navigate the territory of “mother-poet.” Details here.

How Did I Get Here:
MA Book Awards Winners Tell All
Sunday, May 1 • 11:30am – 12:30pm

Jeffery Harrison, Daniel Tobin and I are all recent winners of the Massachusetts Book Award for Poetry, a prize that’s sponsored by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. Each of us will read from our work, and talk briefly about our experience as writers- not just about our achievements, but our struggles, the diverse paths each of us has taken that brought us to where we are today, and where we might go in the future. Details here.

The MaPoFest has lots of great reading, panels, a book fair, and of course, us witches! Hope to see you there!

 

 

Errata! Venue Change at Ma Po Fest

The good news is, I get to post this pic of Sherman and Mr. Peabody so we can all get in the Wabac machine for a do-over, because:

1) It turns out our panel is in the Hawthorne Hotel library, NOT the Peabody Museum library.

2) Even though it says our event is FULL on the Ma Po web site, the skinny is that you can just show up and we’ll find a way to show horn you in.

Gee whiz, Mr. Peabody, it looks like the folks at the Ma Po Fest put us in the wrong room!

Don’t fret, Sherman, there’s plenty of room at the Hawthorne Hotel library for all who want to attend our splendid panel discussion.

In case you missed it, here’s the panel info:

From Zero to One: First Books & What We Wish We’d Known

Amy Dryansky, Karen SkolfieldSarah Sousa and Perugia Press Director, Susan Kan

Saturday, May 2, 12:15-1:15

Hawthorne Hotel Library, Salem, MA

We can’t promise you’ll get published, but we will share what we’ve learned, which turns out to be a decent amount.

This event will be of special interest to writers submitting a manuscript or about to publish a first book. We’ll discuss the happy but often bewildering aftermath of acceptance: book design, publicity, the vulnerability of being newly published, post-publication contests, second and beyond books, and the importance of continuing to write after a manuscript has been assembled or even published. We’ll also talk about pre-publication editing, researching presses and contests, realistic publishing expectations, and dealing with a difficult publisher. Although the panel will focus on life after an acceptance, we will have handouts that address the business side of preparing a manuscript.

Discussion will be audience driven – bring your questions!

From Salem to Straw Dogs: Pokey Poetry Events

May approacheth, and with it, a couple of events to share with you:

Ma Poetry Fest

Three days packed with readings, talks, panels and a small press book fair, including this panel featuring yours truly, along with the fabulous poets Karen Skolfield and Sarah Sousa and equally impressive Perugia Press Director, Susan Kan:

From Zero to One: First Books & What We Wish We’d Known

Saturday, May 2, 12:15-1:15

Peabody Essex Museum Library, Salem, MA

We can’t promise you’ll get published, but we will share what we’ve learned, which turns out to be a decent amount.

This event will be of special interest to writers submitting a manuscript or about to publish a first book. We’ll discuss the happy but often bewildering aftermath of acceptance: book design, publicity, the vulnerability of being newly published, post-publication contests, second and beyond books, and the importance of continuing to write after a manuscript has been assembled or even published. We’ll also talk about pre-publication editing, researching presses and contests, realistic publishing expectations, and dealing with a difficult publisher. Although the panel will focus on life after an acceptance, we will have handouts that address the business side of preparing a manuscript. Discussion will be audience driven – bring your questions!

Writers Night Out

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
The Basement (formerly Bishop’s Lounge) 
21 Center Street, Northampton
7:00 – 9:00pm

I’ll be the featured reader at this longstanding event sponsored by the good people at Straw Dogs Writers Guild.  It starts with an open mic, and if you want to read, put your name in the hat up until 7:10. The reading starts at 7:15,  and each reader will have five minutes.

And if you have questions:  Jacqueline Sheehan (413) 582-0661

There’s a bar.  Meet me there.

Pokey Returns (Sort Of) Part 1

Motherwell-Map 2 (2)Yep, it’s been a while.

When I started this blog I was smack-dab in the middle of navigating the territory of Mom-poet. Trying to figure out how to make the time and head-space for my creative life. Now, five years later, I’m in a different place, and yet…

still trying to find that time.

The difference is, whereas yet another snow day five years ago would’ve brought me to the brink, now, as I write, one kid has walked himself over to a friend’s for some sledding, and the other is practicing guitar. Yes, she’s in the same room, but not really *requiring* anything. I can tune her in and out.

But, (and it’s all about the but these days, isn’t it?) I now have a full-time-out-of-the-house job. So there’s that.

But we all have something, right? And I’m not complaining, because where I am now is a boatload better than where I was a while back. I’m just kind of thinking aloud about this space and how best to keep it alive. Because, frankly, I love it here.

So, let’s try a compromise. No promises. Just this for today.

And OK, some updates about readings, events, interviews and such. (That sure wouldn’t have been happening five years ago!)

And an intention to get back here.

close your eyes. Let’s intention it together—that extra creative time for ourselves.

If Oprah were here she’d tell you to look under your chairs—everybody gets a new car!!! Oprah

Sorry, that’s not going to happen. But, barring something crazy expensive, what would you want to find under your chair? Can you leave a comment and tell me about it?

In the meantime, here’s some news:

UPCOMING EVENTS

Berkshire Festival of Women Writers

From Zero to One: First Books and What We Wish We’d Known

Lecture and panel discussion moderated by Karen Skolfield with Amy Dryansky, Susan Kan, Sarah Sousa, &  Michelle Valois

March 1, 11am
Miss Hall’s School, Centennial Hall
492 Holmes Road, Pittsfield

Also…
Laundry Line Divine presents Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others

Hosted by Suzi Banks Baum, featuring readings by Amy Dryansky, Sarah Hains DiFazio, Janet Elsbach, Lorrin Krouss, Linda Jackson, Nichole Dupont, Leigh Strimbeck, Serene Mastrianni, Rachel Siegel, and Suzi Banks Baum

March 7, 7pm
Dewey Memorial Hall
91 Main Street, Sheffield

Suggested donation at the door $10

The Writing Life: Reading & Discussion

Forbes Library Community Room
Northampton, MA
April 27, 7pm-8pm

Massachusetts Poetry Festival

May 1-3
Salem, MA

More details to follow…

MAPOFEST 2013

mass-poetry-2013

Somewhat appropriately (or ominously), the venue for this year’s MaPoFest is Salem, MA, notorious for its history of dunking any citizens suspected of being…different. What better place for a bunch of poets to gather?

Lots of great readings, workshops and music will be going on, including the Boston Typewriter Orchestra (going to that!)

I’m taking part in two events Saturday, May 4:

New Books Reading

with Aimee Sands, Jennifer Barber, Howard Faerstein, Annie Finch

Amy Dryansky, Steven Cramer & Michael Cantor

12-1:30

Omen (really, that’s the name of the venue!)

184 Essex St.

&

Our Side of the Pond

a reading by poets publishing with the Irish Press, Salmon Poetry–

with Lori Desrosiers, Amy Dryansky, Mary Pinard, Valerie Duff

Aimee Sands & Mary O’Donoghue

1:30 – 2:30

Hawthorne Hotel Library

Hope to see you there! (No dunking)

Get Thee to Massachusetts Poetry Fest

MA Poetry Festival

The poetry will be flying in Salem, Massachusetts, May 12, 13, and 14 at the 2011 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Sadly, Pokey will probably not be attending as her girl turns 13 Friday the 13th and she will be all about that celebration.

But I did go last time, and loved the homegrown, democratic feel, the great assortment of poets and poetry, and the fabulous small press fair. You can see the full festival schedule here, and a clip of featured poet (and my former teacher!) Mark Doty. You should go!

Here be the details, via the MAPOFest PR folks:

The 2011 Massachusetts Poetry Festival, a three-day poetry extravaganza, is taking over Salem, Massachusetts the weekend of May 12th, 13th, and 14th. Festival programming includes more than 70 events: readings, workshops, panel discussions, talks, musical performances, and a small press fair with over fifty presenters. This year we will have 100 plus participating poets, artists, scholars, and musicians representing the creative legacy of Massachusetts and beyond!

Highlights of the festival include a day of workshops for high school students led by esteemed poets, a showing of the award-winning film Louder Than a Bomb, a performance by the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, and a reading of favorite poems by poetry lovers of various walks of life. Headline events, taking place Friday and Saturday nights, will feature special appearances by internationally renowned poet Mark Doty, singer-songwriter Kim Richey, and slam artist Patricia Smith, as well as Enzo Surin, Brian Turner, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jericho Brown, Elisa Gabbert, Tom Sexton, and Ravi Shankar.

You will hear everything from hip-hop to haiku, New Formalism to the new poets on the block. Celebrate Elizabeth Bishop’s 100th birthday with a talk by Bishop scholar and editor, Lloyd Schwartz. Enjoy a coffee and share conversation with book lovers at a reading of poets connected to the Boston Review. Attend a reading, to be held in the Japanese Art Gallery of the beautiful Peabody Essex Museum, by members of Boston’s Haiku Society. Participate in a workshop at the historic House of the Seven Gables. You can even travel to the festival on Saturday by riding one of our MTA sponsored Poetry Trains, departing North Station at 10:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., with area poets reading on board.

Events will take place at a variety of locations around Salem, but the festival centers around the publishers’ fair at Old Town Hall and the main stage at Salem’s Derby Square, where there will also be vendors selling delicious things to eat and drink.

Many festival happenings can be experienced for free. For others, all-festival admissions buttons can be purchased in advance or on the day of the festival: $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. You can reserve buttons in advance on our website, where you will also be able to sign up for events which require pre-registration. Extra seats for pre-registered events will be given away at the door of individual programs.

The 2011 Massachusetts Poetry Festival is hosted by MassPoetry, a non-profit founded to support the Massachusetts poetry community.

OK, Pokey did her civic duty, and now she’s getting ready for important birthdays, Mother’s Day and Pokey’s one-year anniversary—stay tuned for details! Oh, and don’t forget, April 30 is the last day to enter the Big Poetry Giveaway and win free books!