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Poets of Franklin County
Shutesbury poet Adrie Lester's new collection of poems, "The Salt," draws from her experiences as a farmer, baker, daughter and mother. Recorder/Trish Crapo

Poets of Franklin County: The things that mothers do that are amazing

Friday, May 9, 2014

Adrie Lester has her hands full. Quite literally, in that as she walks down the hall toward my downtown studio she is holding the hand of her toddler son, Gabriel, as well as carrying bags of supplies for him and her daughter, Ella, 7, who darts out ahead. The supplies include things for the kids to do and eat—including homemade … 0

2014 Poet's Seat Poetry Contest: A diversity of voices

Friday, May 2, 2014

A woman recalls her fighter-pilot father teaching her to drive, swallows fly in the rafters of an old milking barn, a young man wrestles his father to the floor for the last bowl of ice cream. These are some of the scenes evoked by poems read at the 23rd Annual Poet’s Seat Poetry … 0

Poets of Franklin County: A moment of grace

Friday, April 25, 2014

In the mid-1980s, Turners Falls poet and devout Catholic Paul Mariani went every Sunday to nursing homes in Greenfield, bringing communion to elderly patients unable to attend church. Bringing communion to the elderly was one of many acts of service Mariani chose to partake in over the years. One Sunday, as he entered … 0

Poets of Franklin County: 'Ruins Assembling'

Friday, April 18, 2014

The poems in Greenfield poet Dennis Finnell’s new book, “Ruins Assembling,” are different than the poems he and I talked about back in the fall of 2012, when he had won the Bellday Prize, which included publication of … 0

Poets of Franklin County: Laura Gail Grohe, The Linens Project

Friday, April 11, 2014

Late one afternoon, Laura Gail Grohe sat in the window light of a storefront in Greenfield, embroidering. To see a woman calmly embroidering in public is not an unusual sight perhaps, though embroidery seems more antiquated than knitting, … 0

Reclaiming ‘Awe’

Friday, April 4, 2014

On a spring night in 2003, not long after the United States military fired as many as 3,000 satellite-guided, precision missiles on the city of Baghdad within a 24 to 48 hour period, poet L. R. Berger attended … 0

Poets of Franklin County: 'It's my job to imagine'

Friday, March 28, 2014

Almost 16 years ago, two young men convinced a third to leave the bar where they’d all been drinking and get into a truck with them. They then drove him out to a remote spot on the high … 0

‘The Fence’ by Lesléa Newman

Friday, March 28, 2014

THE FENCE (that night) I held him all night long He was heavy as a broken heart Tears fell from his unblinking eyes He was dead weight yet he kept breathing He was heavy as a broken heart … 0

The ‘laughing goddess’

Friday, March 14, 2014

A grown woman encourages some neighborhood children, including her niece and nephew, to sneak out of their homes after bedtime, dress as “gypsies” and run with her through woods and across fields into town to catch a glimpse … 0

The Poets of Franklin County: Lynette Baker Varnon

Friday, February 28, 2014

Because she has two young children and a full-time job as a high school English teacher, Lynette Baker Varnon often writes at night. Not surprisingly, her poems often take place at night, too. Varnon’s poem, “I Rub Her … 0

‘Funny, sadness’

Friday, February 21, 2014

When Lisa Limont was a kid growing up near the sea in Scituate, she and her four siblings played ball on their big lawn or horsed around with their dad, who Limont described as “a really fun guy.” … 0

'Funny, Sadness," a poem by Lisa Limont

Friday, February 21, 2014

Funny, Sadness Funny, sadness was always there and therefore unremarkable. In those years we laughed and sang as we walked to the brook: There’s a hole in the bucket, there’s a hole in the bottom of the sea. Remember when you could walk? We played with your removable … 0

Poets of Franklin County: Heath poet John Palmer

Friday, February 14, 2014

“I don’t know if ‘hero’ is the right word but I’ve always just loved Cézanne,” Heath poet John Palmer said, when asked how he came to write his poem, “Houses by Cézanne.” The poem appears in Palmer’s full-length … 0

John Palmer poem: “Houses by Cézanne”

Friday, February 14, 2014

‘Houses by Cézanne’ By John Palmer of Heath The road swings south of the dusty houses, slopes past outcropped mules to the sculpted fruit of orchards by the coast, to flowers whose essence rides like gold-green oil in cruets, to the sea. Nobody built these houses. They came … 0

What is it to exist?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

About a year ago, one of Greenfield poet and musician Daniel Hales’ friends asked if he’d be interested in setting poems from Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice books to music for a performance she was working on. Hales was … 0