Poets of Franklin County
Karen Sims photo 
Paula Sayword looks out from the ledge at Chaco Canyon where she and her partner, Karen Sims, created a funeral ritual for their granddaughter, Ashley Sims, who they raised as a daughter and lost to an accidental heroin overdose in December of 2012.

Poets of Franklin County: Soul Chant

Friday, September 19, 2014

Editor’s note: this is the second in a series of columns by Trish Crapo on poetry that explores aspects of addiction. Readers can find links to her first column on our website: www.recorder.com Ashley Sims died at the age of 22 of an accidental heroin overdose in her Greenfield apartment on Dec. 11, 2012. It was her grandmother Karen Sims’ birthday. Ashley had planned to come to Leyden that night for a celebratory dinner, said Paula Sayword, Sim’s partner and Ashley’s grandmother. “Instead, she was dead on the floor. She didn’t intend to die,” Sayword continued. “We never questioned whether it was on purpose.” Just … 0

Poets of Franklin County: What if I were inconsolable?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Editor’s note: this is the first of a series of columns by Trish Crapo on poetry that explores aspects of addiction. Showing your poems to other people can be tricky. What if whoever’s reading your poem hates it? What if she doesn’t “get” it? Worse, what if she gets it but still hates … 0

Poets of Franklin County: The houses that Emily Dickinson built

Friday, August 15, 2014

Walk or drive down Silver Street near Greenfield High School and you’ll see that three new houses have cropped up on what used to be a wide, grassy lawn. No, it’s not a sudden housing boom but an art installation hosted by Greenfield poet Mary Clare Powell and her partner Violet Walker at … 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

Carol Purington’s dreaming room

Monday, December 30, 2013

Is poetry fiction or nonfiction? Many people assume that poetry is autobiographical, and that a poem’s narrator is the poet. Colrain poet Carol Purington, who poses this question in the foreword of her new collection of tanka, a … 1

The poet’s poet

Thursday, August 8, 2013

OK, quick, name three important contemporary Romanian poets. Or two Spanish ones. Can you name one Italian? “It’s generally said that nothing sells worse than poetry in this country than poetry in translation,” poet and publisher Ed Foster, who runs Talisman House, Publishers in Greenfield, says with a … 0

Poets of Franklin County: ‘Clear mental space’

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Poet Jody Cothey, who writes under the name Pamela Stewart, has run Tregelly’s Fiber Farm in Hawley with her husband Ed Cothey for 18 years. The farm, which Stewart describes as “winding down now,” at one time produced beautiful natural-dyed wools and yarns. “I used to have six … 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