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Poets of Franklin County

Poets of Franklin County: Molly Scott

Friday, May 22, 2015

Molly Scott was singing folk music in Greenwich Village in New York City in the 1960s, performing at clubs and concert venues as part of the burgeoning folk music revival. She also worked in theater, film and television, hosting her own show for children on CBS, “Around the Corner.” Scott left all this in 1969, “To come up here and be a hippie,” she jokes, then describes the reasoning behind the move to Charlemont more seriously as, “A yearning for the land, and deeper things — poems!” Scott is well known in our area as a singer-songwriter with a passion for peace and social justice. … 0

Poets of Franklin County: Carol Potter

Friday, May 15, 2015

Abecedarium: an inscription that uses the letters of the alphabet in order. Board books you might have read as a child or read to your children, designed to teach the letters of the alphabet, are one example. Carol Potter, a Vermont poet with decades-long roots in the Pioneer Valley, used the structure to … 0

Poets of Franklin County: Paula Sayword

Friday, May 8, 2015

Leyden poet Paula Sayword’s new full-length collection, “Canticle of Light and Dark,” published by the Synthesis Center Press of Amherst, can be read as a series of prayers for our world and the people in it. In the Catholic Church, a canticle is a hymn or song of praise based on a biblical … 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 Shake with ice and strain: You’ve just made a pale green cocktail called a “Last Word,” a Prohibition-era drink originally made with bathtub gin.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