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Poets of Franklin County
GREENFIELD (April 14, 2014) — Poet Dennis Finnell's new book of poems, "Ruins Assembling," is the first book published by Shape and Nature Press, a new publishing venture in Greenfield. Recorder/Trish Crapo

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 his full-length collection “Pie 8.” Finnell describes the poems in “Pie 8” as “Fragmented. Shorter. Lots of little ‘quick takes.’” The poems in the new book, many of which run two pages, some even longer, “Do take their time to develop,” Finnell says, smiling not with apology but with full awareness of the expansiveness of the new poems. Would he describe the new poems as “narrative?” Finnell … 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, which many people — mostly women — bring along to occupy their hands at lectures, … 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 a poetry reading in her home state of New Hampshire. In the wake of what … 0

Poets of Franklin County: Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno

Saturday, July 20, 2013

One night, as he sat on the verandah in the hill station of Mussoorie in the foothills of the Himalayas, Montague poet Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno overheard someone call out in a language he didn’t know. Perhaps it was Hindi or Kashmiri or any one of the several hundred languages … 0

Spinning riffs

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Take a sample of 10 people who are 6 foot, 3 inches, line them up and then see how different 6 foot, 3 inches can look. That’s how poet and publisher Jess Mynes suggests thinking about the experience of reading British poet Richard Caddel’s series of poems titled … 0

Words Carry Weight

Thursday, August 29, 2013

People began to gather near sunset at 17 Miner St. on June 21, the night of the summer solstice. It was around 6:30 p.m. and folks helped themselves to chips and other snacks then wandered through the quiet backyard near the rotary in Greenfield, carrying bottles of soda … 0

Poets of Franklin County

Friday, June 7, 2013

It’s not an exaggeration to say that poet Kristin Bock grew up with a paint brush in her hand. She lives now in a beautiful Greek Revival home in Montague Center with her husband, painter Geoff Kostecki. Their home is filled with paintings, in both modern figurative and … 0

Act of creation

Saturday, May 25, 2013

When a fish falls from the sky, South Deerfield poet James Heflin knows what to do with it. Drawn to “what’s unusual,” Heflin said that when he began writing his poem “Sage” he had been thinking about an unusual phenomenon called “fish rain,” a scientifically observed event in … 0

Honoring mystery

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Ashfield poet Abbot Cutler’s new book, “Say Dance, Say Night,” makes a sturdy 10th addition to the Slate Roof Press list of books by local poets. The collection gathers poems from 12 years of writing, ranging from a poem about Cutler’s experiences in Borneo in the Peace Corps … 0

Looking closer

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Conway poet Amy Dryansky came to my studio on April 16, the day after two bombs detonated in Boston, killing three people and wounding at least 140 others. I admitted that the event weighed heavily on my mind. Though we did not dwell long on the events in … 0

Poems that sing

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Alice Parker takes a quieting breath and then, in a haunting voice, delivers the beginning line of an Emily Dickinson poem she has set to music. “I sing to use the waiting,” Parker begins. The melody is spare and slow and at moments uncomfortably vulnerable, not unlike a … 0

‘Ripples on the water’

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lozenges of light fatten and stretch across the water’s surface as participants in a water fitness class move slowly and deliberately at the far end of the Greenfield YMCA’s pool, sweeping foam dumbbells through the water or raising and lowering their legs. Each movement sends strands of light … 0

Poets of Franklin County: Poetry loves cocktails

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mix equal amounts gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and freshly pressed lime juice. Shake with ice and strain: You’ve just made a pale green cocktail called a “Last Word,” a Prohibition-era drink originally made with bathtub gin. This, and other unusual cocktails make their way into the poems … 0

Poets of Franklin County:
Dennis Finnell

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Greenfield poet Dennis Finnell admits that the poems in his new book, “Pie 8,” may not be the easiest reads. He smiles as he recalls that some friends to whom he’d given a copy phoned and asked, “Can you give us some guidance here?” “Say them out loud, … 0

‘Why is it so hard to pray, yet so easy to sin?’

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The mood was lively at The Franklin County House of Correction on Dec. 13, the date of the second annual Poetry Slam organized by writing and poetry instructor Jim Bell. Twenty inmates and 11 staff gathered in the jail’s library to hear 10 contestants compete in three rounds … 0