Saturday, June 20, 2009

Poets & Writers, Inc., Supports Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat

It is with great pleasure and no small amount of pride that I share with you news received today from Poets & Writers, Inc. For the third year this great organization will grant funds for the Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat, supporting for the second time Irene Sherlock's workshop presentation. Those of you who know Irene will not be surprised. Her credentials are outstanding:

Irene Sherlock is associate director of publications and design at Western Connecticut State University and an adjunct lecturer in the Writing department where she teaches undergraduate and graduate writing classes. She holds an M.A. in English from WCSU, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College and an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Southern Connecticut State University. Her poems, essays and short stories have been published in Amaranth, Calyx, Chautauqua Literary Journal, Cloven Sphere, Cream City Review, Connecticut Review, Fairfield Review, Miranda Magazine, Poem-memoir-story, Poetry Motel, Primavera, Roux, Runes, Slipstream, Tar Wolf Review, The New York Times, White Pelican Review and in several anthologies, including “Single Woman of a Certain Age” (re-released by New World Library in May) and “Modern Love: 50 True and Extraordinary Tales of Desire, Deceit, and Devotion.” Her essays have aired on WSHU National Public Radio.

Irene Sherlock’s memoir workshop at last year's Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat was enthusiastically received by participants, one of whom wrote, “Irene created an environment that was firmly defined. Critiquing was honest, direct and heartfelt, but always offered with kindness and respect.” I can't wait for our session August 20 - 23, 2009. About half the participant slots have been filled, and already it promises to be an engaging and stimulating group. I need a little jump-start for my novel in progress, and this is guaranteed to do the trick. Check the website if it sounds good for Email me from the site if you have questions.

Meanwhile, thanks to Poets & Writers, Inc, for the partial funding from The New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, to help make this workshop available this summer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Correction re Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat

This is a quick note to let you know that, upon further discussion with writer friends, I have decided not to add to the Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat a public reading at Willows Bistro. It really complicates many things at the retreat. So the announcement in my June 14th post that there would be an August 22nd reading at Willows is now incorrect.

Do know, though, that our second Thursday readings will continue as planned. Writers who would like to be readers for our future readings should stop in at Willows Bistro and ask Debbie to add their names (and contact information) to the list. Reading times will need to be kept short so the program does not last overly long and so several will have a chance to share their works. Once you've signed up, we can fill you in on the details. The list is set up in advance of the date so the readers' names and selections can be publicized. Don't be shy; stop in to sign up. (You know you want a cup of that coffee, maybe a wrap to go with it....)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Wind in the Willows

Okay -- it wasn't "wind," it was reading, and good reading at that. Seven local writers laid it all on the line and read from their works (many were works in progress, not finished, published pieces) at Willows Bistro on Thursday evening.

We all were so gratified to find ourselves speaking to a full house! The audience was warm and friendly, clearly in tune with the readers, laughing in the right places, silent in the right places. It was a wonderful experience for us as writers reading our raw works and, in a manner of speaking, baring our souls.

Debbie Swan was wonderful, rearranging her furniture, dishing up scrumptious desserts and brewing bottomless carafes of rich coffee. Her adorable grandson (don't tell him I said that) served and bussed tables like a pro. If you missed us on Thursday evening, you'll have a second chance, and a third and more. Debbie has invited us to join her each month on the second Thursday. There will be openings for other writers, as well, and some have already signed up. Do forward this blog to those who might like to participate, either as readers or listeners.

In addition to the regular second Thursday readings, mark your calendars to attend a special August 22nd evening of readings presented by participants in the 2009 Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat, led by poet/writer/teacher Irene Sherlock. I'll remind you.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Writers to Read at Willows Bistro, Warrensburg, NY

Tomorrow, June 11th, marks the occasion of the first "Readings at Willows Bistro," an evening that promises to be fun for all. Eight local writers will be on tap to share bits of their work, which, when you think about it, is kind of a leap of faith. Reading aloud from your personal writings to a group of mostly strangers is a bit like standing naked in public (not that I've ever done that, you understand). The core of this group is comprised of members of a small writers' group formed last fall after the 2008 Adirondack Mountain Writers' Retreat. Since then we've picked up a few others who thought the readings would be fun and challenging.

Willows Bistro proprietor Debbie Swan graciously offered to host our group in her funky place at 3749 Main Street in Warrensburg, and to make her delicious coffees and desserts available. Those visiting for the first time will be charmed by the hand-painted furniture, the old store-front feeling and the rotating exhibits on the walls. This month Debbie is featuring the photography of John Parker, who shoots high resolution panoramic photos. His Adirondack scenes are breathtaking. John will be on hand tomorrow evening to answer questions about his work, so we will have a full lineup. Those presenting short readings will be David J. Pitkin, Barbara Edwards, Diane Golden, Carla Palmirotto, RayLene Corgiat, Pat Leonard, and Doug Deneen. And me. The content of the readings include fiction, memoir and poetry, so it will be a varied program. We've already learned of some writers who would like to sign up for "next time." We'll let you know when that is going to happen. If you are in the Warrensburg area and want a great place to relax and enjoy a little homegrown literature in a charming ambiance, stop in at Willows Bistro tomorrow evening. Be there or be square!