Tuesday, May 11, 2010

your spring annogram

New Jumpstart web site
I welcome spring with a new web site, created by award-winning designer Lorraine Serra, for my coaching and creative communications business. Everyone wants their work lives to reflect their authentic selves, and I help professionals make that happen. I also advise executives on creative communication strategies, something I’ve been doing for more than 20 years at Fortune 10 companies. Visit the new web site to learn more!

Tribute to two greats
It gives me no pleasure to tell you about a poem in the current Autumn Leaves. The journal’s lovely editor, Sondra Ball, passed away in March. Her husband, Mario, invited submissions for a final issue. “Where Words End” recalls one of my mentors, New England Writers founder Frank Anthony (1922-2005), as well as Sondra who published his work. Here’s to you, dear Sondra and Frank!

Offbeats reunite
Back in the day, Jay Shulman made Scarsdale High girls swoon when he sang “Gloria.” On May 1, Jay (second from right) was at it again—when his band, the Offbeats, reunited for a Scarsdale Teen Center benefit at Vintage CafĂ© in White Plains. Original guitarist John Moses (far right) joined rhythm guitarist Michael Cefola (red guitar), bass player Larry Schwartzman (second from left), drummer Teddy Spencer (in back), and blues harp wailer/vocalist Thom Pernice (far left) for a return engagement hosted by the Peak’s Jimmy Fink. The benefit raised the most funds ever for the Teen Center.

Unicorn Writers Conference
What a pleasure to be the featured poet at the inaugural Unicorn Writers Conference! Literary agent Jan Kardys and professional writer Maureen Amaturo put together an impressive range of workshops at the beautiful Oronoque Country Club in Stratford, CT. My poetry workshop drew talented writers of all ages who pulled out amazing poetic abilities in our brief time together. I was thrilled to have this wonderful experience.

Poetry Translation Workshop
Thanks to Beth Gersh-Nesic for inviting me to give a Contemporary Poetry Translation Workshop at Manhattanville College. The seminar last month was part of a French translation course. How many schools give a course in translation like that? Brava to French chair and assistant professor Binita Mehta for this progressive curriculum. I had a great time with an international group of students savvy to the subtleties of language.

Hadad book party
Greenburgh Cultural Arts Director Sarah Bracey White knows how to put on a party, and that’s what she did recently for Herb Hadad to celebrate his short story collection, Finding Immortality (iUniverse, 2010). In one selection, Herb recalled a college course on Thoreau, where the professor insisted the writer’s name be pronounced “thorough.” When Herb dozed in class, the professor thundered, “Did you read the text?” Herb woke up to say, “Thoreau-ly.” And that’s why we love Herb….

Women in the world economy
New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof and journalist Sheryl WuDunn spoke at Scarsdale High School to celebrate the school system’s 225th anniversary. This Pulitzer Prize-winning couple gave inspiring examples of women worldwide who overcome odds to prosper themselves, their families and villages through ingenuity and hard work. More can be found in their book, Half the Sky (Vintage, 2010).

Racoco at Mary Anthony Studio
One pleasure of my 2007 Santa Fe Art Institute residency was meeting Rachel Cohen, director of Racoco, a New York Times-profiled performance group. Racoco's "I-Fold" will be performed to Telemann's Sonata in F Minor this Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, and Sunday at 3 pm, at the Mary Anthony Dance Studio. The piece features Rachel Cohen, Rebecca Ketchum, Kelly Kocinski and Erin Posanti. For reservations, call 212-674-8191.

Celebrating African American experience
Hear poet-artist Nikki Williams read at the opening reception for her exhibit, “Beautiful, Also, Are the Souls of My People” on May 16 at 3:30 pm at the Madeline Gutman Gallery at Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Avenue Greenburgh, NY. Call 914-682-1574 for more info. Her exhibit of photography-poetry collages, celebrating the beauty and resilience of the African American experience, runs through July 7.

Port Chester Fest
The Port Chester Poetry Fest will take place at Copacabana, 29 N. Main Street, Port Chester, on May 22, 3 pm – 7 pm. The fest features multicultural artists and high school poets. If you love poetry, make a tax-deductible contribution payable to Council of Community Services (indicate on check that donation is for “Poetry Reading”) and send to P.O. Box 322, Port Chester, NY 10573. Many thanks!

Emily Dickinson in the Bronx
In an exhibit entitled, “Emily Dickinson’s Garden: The Poetry of Flowers,” The New York Botanical Garden has recreated a Victorian homestead and flowers that would have been most likely grown by the famous poet (1830-1886). The exhibit, which runs through June 13, features readings and a ballet this upcoming weekend. Tickets $20.

Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge
Poet’s House Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge is June 14 at 6:30 p.m. Poets Tina Chang, Galway Kinnell and Thomas Lux will read Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore, Langston Hughes and others beneath Roebling's famous arches, followed by dinner in Brooklyn. Tickets $250 (Poets House Members $225). Reservations required: call 212-431-7920, ext. 2830, or e-mail krista@poetshouse.org.

‘Round the Net

Thanks to the people below for sending me these fascinating links:

· Maureen Amaturo for this story about the quest for a day to honor dead poets

· Lucy Barber for this sweet story of a woman and her beloved wheels

· Julie Renszer for her new poetry book, Handmade Love (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2010)

· Linda Simone for video of her poem “Grapefruit” in Alimentum and this New York Times article on machine translation

· Russell Valentino for this intriguing translation project.

Spring means intense creativity—both for the earth and for artists. Hope your muse is blooming!

Until next time,