Poets of Franklin County

Poets of Franklin County: Fred Pelka

Friday, December 5, 2014

In Easthampton poet Fred Pelka’s poem “Clots,” pricked fingertips toughen as they heal until they are “hard as elevator buttons,” allowing an unusual transcendence in the poem’s last lines. “You’re nothing without your scars,” the poem asserts. Pelka’s new full-length book of poems, “A Different Blaze,” was recently published by Hedgerow Books, an imprint of Levellers Press, a publishing house formed by the worker-owners of Collective Copies in Florence and Amherst. One inspiration Pelka cites for “Clots” is a photography exhibit by Alan Brightman called “Ordinary Moments” that he saw back in the early 1980s. Brightman’s photographs showed people with disabilities doing ordinary things, Pelka … 0

“Clots,” a poem by Fred Pelka

Friday, December 5, 2014

“Clots” You say stitches limit a person but dig deeper. You’ll see how they release as well as bind. Isn’t there a tranquility in that — a lovely still presence of wounds, salty as the moon ascending, drawing each tide behind it like a skirt? You’re nothing without your scars. There’s a whole mortal world to embrace where each pricked fingertip will grow … 0

Poets of Franklin County: ‘The Light We Leave’

Friday, November 21, 2014

What happens when images and words are given the chance to interact, not in a hierarchical way — say, an image illustrating a passage of text, or a caption explaining the content of a photograph — but in a way that invites conversation? Two Bement teachers, Amie Keddy of Wendell and Deborra Stewart-Pettingill … 0