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Poets of Franklin County
GREENFIELD (October 4, 2014) — Greenfield Annual Word Festival organizer, Wendell poet and spoken word artist Paul Richmond, works on last minute details at a downtown coffee shop. Richmond launched GAWF five years ago, inspired by the Austin Poetry Festival in Austin, Texas. Recorder/Trish Crapo

Poets of Franklin County: Greenfield Annual Word Festival

Friday, October 10, 2014

Want to read your poems to members of Franklin County’s eclectic literary community? Want to take a stab at storytelling (no notes!) in front of a live audience? Or maybe you’d like to just relax and listen to other people do these things. Either way, you’re in luck. Writers and spoken word artists from the Pioneer Valley and beyond will … 0

Poets of Franklin County: Daniel Hales

Friday, October 3, 2014

So begins the poem “: prayer” by Greenfield poet Daniel Hales: “Once we stop praying to anomalies and impossibilities is when bad luck starts.” And it continues: “The headlights lit up the backyard/climb the ailanthus/and for some reason remind me of being little or different people I miss.” The poem is a moment … 0

Poets of Franklin County: ‘Dear Lady Heroin’

Friday, September 26, 2014

Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of columns by Trish Crapo on poetry that explores aspects of addiction. In her first column, Crapo wrote about the loss of her niece Aria to a heroin overdose. In the second column, Crapo focused on Leyden poet Paula Sayword, whose granddaughter Ashley Sims … 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

Poets of Franklin County: Maya Smith Janson

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Florence poet Maya Smith Janson recently took some time between her end-of-the-day office hours and an evening poetry group to talk about her first full-length collection of poems, “Murmur & Crush.” Janson’s is the fourth collection from Hedgerow Books, the poetry imprint of Levellers Press in Amherst. Janson … 0

Tumbling into place

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Every once in a great while something astonishing happens to those of us who write. Every now and again, a poem just “falls” on us, tumbling into place in our minds and then onto the page with a clarity and sense of wholeness that startles. Poet Joshua Michael … 0

Poets of Franklin County: Shape & Nature

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Local poets, gather your poems! Shape & Nature, a new “creative projects press,” is holding a book contest for its 2012 “Things to Come” Poetry Prize. You’ve got 2 1∕2 weeks to submit a manuscript of 50 to 75 pages. No problem, right? You’ve got drawers and folders … 0