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Poets of Franklin County

Poets of Franklin County: Paul Richmond, "You Might Need a Bigger Hammer."

Friday, April 24, 2015

If you don’t know Wendell poet and spoken word artist Paul Richmond yet, chances are you soon will. He’s that long-haired guy with the wild laugh who tirelessly organizes poetry and spoken word events all over the valley — from Greenfield’s monthly Third Tuesday open mic readings at 9 Mill St. and its multi-venue Greenfield Annual Word Festival in October, to the long-running but now defunct All Small Caps open mic series at the Déja Brew in Wendell, and the popular spoken word stage at the North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival in Orange. Richmond is also working with the Easthampton arts council to produce … 0

Poets of Franklin County: Sequoia LeBreux

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sequoia LeBreux admits she has long been obsessed with the story of Peter Pan. The Mohawk junior says she read the book, written by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie, when she was younger, “And I loved the sort of mystical boy character who’s romanticized but he’s also kind of a horrible person.” … 0

Poets of Franklin County: Jay Goldspinner

Friday, April 10, 2015

Every day. Greenfield poet and storyteller Jay Goldspinner takes a walk around her neighborhood. “And it’s always the same places,” Goldspinner says. She names the streets on her route with obvious fondness, “Down Chapman, across Walnut, up Davis and then the little bit of Pleasant coming back into my parking lot and back … 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

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