Hudson Valley Writers Guild Newsletter July 2016


Member Announcements:

  • Finishing Line Press announces publication of chapbook of poems by Kate McNairy
  • Keith Willis’ book tour continues July 21 & August 18
  • “Breathing These Words” call for submissions (deadline August 15)

Area Announcements:

  • Book donations accepted starting July 6
  • Caffè Lena to feature Marilyn McCabe & Cheryl Clarke July 6 (at Northshire Bookstore)
  • 2016 Poets in the Park readings scheduled for July 9, 16 & 30
  • Dinitia Smith to read at Roe Jan Library July 9
  • Writing exercises at the Tang Teaching Museum July 9
  • Barbara Ungar to read at Arthur’s Market and Cafe July 13
  • Third Thursday to feature Amani O+ July 21
  • Berkshire Festival of Women Writers presents “Write the Change” August 1-4
  • Registration now open for Festival of Women Writers
  • Balanced Rock submission deadline September 15
  • The Beiging of America submission deadline September 15
  • Fall 2016 Women At Woodstock retreats


Finishing Line Press announces publication of chapbook of poems by Kate McNairy
In Light to Light, a new chapbook to be published by Finishing Line Press, Kate writes about comforts of love, losses of coming apart and all that is between—the bedlam of life. She has a previous chapbook, June Bug, also published by Finishing line Press (2014). It was a finalist in the Blue Light Press Poetry Contest (2013). Kate currently lives in Ballston Spa, NY. Of Kate’s work, Henri Cole states, “Kate McNairy’s poems carry inside them the mayhem of love and the aftermath, which is solitude.  I hear a wolf howling underneath their matter-of-fact minimalism.”

Order Light to Light by sending $14.99 plus $2.99 shipping per copy (check or money order made out to “Finishing Line Press”) to Finishing Line Press, P.O. Box 1626, Georgetown, KY 40324. Or order on online at (Click on “Preorder Forthcoming Titles” at “Bookstore.”)

Keith Willis’ book tour continues July 21 & August 18
Join Keith W. Willis, author of Traitor Knight (Champagne Books), for an evening of dragons, damsels and deception at one of the following events during the “Knight Out On The Town” tour:

  • Thursday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Altamont Free Library, 179 Main Street, Altamont, NY
  • Thursday, August 18 at 7 p.m. at the Lake Pleasant Free Library, 2864 Route 8, Speculator, NY

“Breathing These Words” call for submissions (deadline August 15)
Breathing These Words is in the planning stages. Breathing These Words is a pop-up poetry reading with instructional workshops for youth and seniors funded by Breathing Lights and its community hub partners, Do you live in Albany, Troy or Schenectady? We are in the process of curating poets and prose writers to research a vacant property/area and write about it with passion for inclusion in walking tours this fall in the areas where Breathing Lights’ hubs exist: the Albany Barn, the Sanctuary for Independent Media and the Boys & Girls Club of Schenectady and project partner Proctors.

Please send a brief proposal of one paragraph in length (include information on the vacant building/house you would research, a description or draft of your poem), a short bio and three samples of your poetry to Include a cover page with your name, address, email, phone number and a short bio and remove all names and identifying information on your proposal and poetry. Please list the titles of your work samples on the cover page, so we can identify you later on. The deadline is August 15.


Book donations accepted starting July 6
Spencertown Academy Arts Center announces a call for book donations for the Festival of Books, which will take place over Labor Day weekend, September 3-5. The Festival, which began in 2006 as a book sale to raise funds for the Academy’s community arts programs, has grown into one of the biggest and most eagerly anticipated cultural events of the year, with readings and book signings by nationally known and local authors and a children’s program.

At the heart of the Festival is a giant book sale, one of the biggest in the region, featuring more than 10,000 gently used books, including fiction and non-fiction, hard and soft covers—all offered at very affordable prices. There’s a special Kid’s Corner for young readers and a media rack full of CDs and audio books. A first-floor gallery features a handpicked selection of specialty books, limited editions, out-of-print books and new books donated by leading national publishers.

Beginning on Tuesday, July 5, there will be a large bin in the parking lot behind the Academy where donors can drop off books 24/7—in boxes or sturdy bags, but please, no loose books. Collection times at the Academy, with an attendant present at the back door to receive books, will be on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., July 9 – August 21, which will be the last day for donations.

The Academy requests “gently used” books. The books need not be perfect, but they should not be damaged. For example, please do not donate books with cracked spines or loose pages, books with stains, mildewed or musty books, books with mouse or insect damage, or with torn, yellowed or brittle pages. The Academy also welcomes donations of book and music CDs and vinyl records in nice condition, as well as DVDs. Please note: the Academy does not accept textbooks, encyclopedias, magazines or VHS and cassette tapes.

Housed in a beautifully restored 1840s Greek-Revival schoolhouse at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center serving Columbia County, the Berkshires and the Capital region. It offers a variety of free and low-cost community arts events, including concerts, readings, theater pieces, art exhibitions and arts-related workshops and classes. For more information about the Festival of Books, see

Caffè Lena to feature Marilyn McCabe & Cheryl Clarke July 6 (at Northshire Bookstore)
On Wednesday, July 6, Caffè Lena will present poetry readings by Marilyn McCabe and Cheryl Clarke at Northshire Bookstore. An open reading will follow. Doors open for sign-ups at 6:30 p.m., and the readings will start at 7. The host for the event will be Carol Graser, and the cost is $5.

While the Caffè is undergoing renovations, these monthly poetry events will be held at Northshire Bookstore, 424 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.

Marilyn McCabe’s new book of poems, Glass Factory, was published by The Word Works in Spring 2016. Her poem “On Hearing the Call to Prayer Over the Marcellus Shale on Easter Morning” was awarded A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize (Fall 2012) and appeared in the Los Angeles Review. Her book of poetry Perpetual Motionwas published by The Word Works in 2012 as the winner of the Hilary Tham Capitol Collection contest. A grant from the New York State Council on the Arts resulted in videopoem “At Freeman’s Farm,” which was published at The Continental Review and Motion Poems. She blogs about writing and reading at

Cheryl Clarke is a black lesbian feminist poet and the author of five books of poetry, the most recent of which is By My Precise Haircut published by The Word Works Press of Washington D.C. She is currently working on a collection of essays entitled Adult Black Culture: Gaining Entry.  She is one of the organizers of The 4th Annual Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers to be held Sept. 9, 10, 11, 2016 in Hobart, NY. Her website is

2016 Poets in the Park readings scheduled for July 9, 16 & 30
Poets in the Park is celebrating over 25 years of bringing poetry in July to the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park, Albany. The series was started in 1989 by the late Tom Nattell and is now run by Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox. This year the readings will be on Saturdays July 9, 16 and 30. The readings start at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Donations are accepted. The rain site is the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany. The series is co-sponsored by the Poetry Motel Foundation and by the Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

The 2016 readers are as follows:

  • July 9: Catherine Arra & Jan Barry
  • July 16: Mary Crane & Victorio Reyes
  • July 30: Sarah Browning & Bunkong Tuon

The Robert Burns statue is located near where Henry Johnson Boulevard passes through Washington Park and crosses Hudson Avenue. Please bring your own chairs or blankets to sit on. For more information, contact Dan Wilcox at or (518) 482-0262.

Dinitia Smith to read at Roe Jan Library July 9
Award-winning author Dinitia Smith will read from her new novel The Honeymoon — centered on writer George Eliot’s late-life marriage to a much younger man — at the Roeliff Jansen Community Library, on Saturday, July 9, at 5:00 p.m.

Grounded in the study of the life, letters, journals, essays, poetry and novels of Eliot, her contemporaries, friends and loved ones, The Honeymoon is the imaginative fleshing out of a period in Eliot’s life about which little is known with certainty: Eliot’s honeymoon with John Walter Cross in Venice in June 1880.

“We are thrilled to be hosting Dinitia Smith, a seasonal resident of our area, who has interrupted her speaking tour to present this book to us,” says Maureen Rodgers of the library’s Literature Committee.

Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Route 22, approximately one mile south of the light at the Hillsdale intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call (518) 325-4101 or visit the library’s website at Follow the library on Twitter at @libraryroe.

Writing exercises at the Tang Teaching Museum July 9
As part of the Tang Teaching Museum’s annual community day (called Frances Day in honor of the Museum’s namesake), poet Catherine Pond will lead a series of poetry writing exercises inspired by the artwork on view from 3-4 p.m. Saturday, July 9.

Catherine Pond is a poet from Alpharetta, Georgia. She lives in Brooklyn, teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and is the Assistant Director of the New York State Summer Writers Institute. Her poems and prose have appeared in the Boston Review, the Antioch Review, the LA Review of Books and many others. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University and a BA in English from Skidmore College. She is assistant editor of Salmagundi Magazine as well as the associate poetry editor of H.O.W. Journal. She is also co-founder and co-editor of the online magazine Two Peach with Julia Anna Morrison.

The Museum is located on the Skidmore College campus at 815 N. Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Michael Janairo at (518) 580-5542 or

Barbara Ungar to read at Arthur’s Market and Cafe July 13
Open-Mic & Featured Reader | Wednesday, July 13 | Sign-up for Open-Mic 7-7:30 p.m. | Readings begin at 7:30 p.m. | Arthur’s Market and Cafe |35 N. Ferry Street, Schenectady, NY | Featured Poet: Barbara Ungar, who has won the Hilary Tham competition at The Word Works and also the Best Poetry Book award at this year’s Adirondack Center for Writing competition.  She has been published in numerous journals, including Salmagundi and Rattle.  Barbara teaches at St.Rose.

Third Thursday to feature Amani O+ July 21
Poet and slam performer Amani O+ will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Avenue, Albany, on Thursday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m. Amani O+ was a member of Albany’s Nitty Gritty Slam Team that competed in the National Slam Championship and is the host of the Nitty Gritty Slam & Open Mic held at The Low Beat each first & third Tuesday.

A reading by a local or regional poet is held each Third Thursday at the Social Justice Center.  The event includes an open mic for audience members to read. Sign-up starts at 7 p.m., with the reading beginning at 7:30.  The host of the readings is Albany poet and photographer Dan Wilcox.  The suggested donation is $3, which helps support this and other poetry programs of the Poetry Motel Foundation and the work of the Social Justice Center. For more information about this event, contact Dan Wilcox, (518) 482-0262;

Berkshire Festival of Women Writers presents “Write the Change” August 1-4
Berkshire Festival of Women Writers presents a 4-day writing workshop August 1–4, 1–4 p.m. at Bard College at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, MA, led by experienced authors and educators Jennifer Browdy and Jana Laiz. In this intensive, hands-on writing workshop, participants will be guided to turn their passions—whether it’s the environment, food, fashion, humor, politics, health issues, women’s issues or parenting—into powerful, hard-hitting prose. Over the course of the 4-day workshop, each workshop participant will hone her message, target her audience and explore different genres and publishing or media platforms.

“The landscape of digital information in the world today provides an opportunity to share our voices broadly, but it can also be daunting to be heard above the noise,” says Berkshire Festival of Women Writers Director Jennifer Browdy, Ph. D. “Our aim is to help writers to find their voice and to write effectively for the audiences they wish to reach. We will introduce essential tools, strategies and approaches to the subjects our participants care about, whether they write fiction, memoir, essays or blog posts.”

Jana Laiz, M.Ed, is the author of two award-winning novels, Weeping Under This Same Moon, about refugees in New York City, and The Twelfth Stone, an eco-fairytale. She has also published a young adult biography of Elizabeth Freeman, better known as “Mumbet,” which is now being developed as a major motion picture. The first writer-in-residence at Herman Melville’s home Arrowhead, Jana founded Green Fire Press in 2015 with Jennifer Browdy.

Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D, is a longtime college professor of literature, writing and media studies, with a special interest in media strategies for social and environmental justice. Her blog, “Transition Times” (, has received hundreds of thousands of visitors since its inception in 2011, and her articles have been published at Yes! Magazine, Kosmos Journal, Common Dreams, Berkshire Magazine and many other publications. Jennifer is the founder of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and the Butterfly Leadership Program for teen girls.

Tuition is $300; $350 after July 8.  Space is limited; register at or email for more information.

Registration now open for Festival of Women Writers
The Festival of Women Writers takes place September 9-11 in Hobart, NY (in the Catkills). Registration information available here:

Balanced Rock submission deadline September 15
Published by the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, Balanced Rock: The North Salem Review is accepting submissions of art, poetry, fiction and nonfiction through September 15. Send submissions via email to For more information, visit

The Beiging of America submission deadline September 15
2Leaf Press announces its open submission call for its forthcoming book The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the Twenty-first Century. The publication is part of the 2LP Explorations in Diversity Series (Series Editor: Sean Frederick Forbes). The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2016, and the publication date is June 2017.

This collection takes on “race matters” and considers them through the experiences of mixed race people in the United States. Edited by Cathy Schlund-Vials and Tara Betts, who are both biracial (Schlund-Vials is Cambodian and white; Betts is African American and white), The Beiging of America will feature firsthand accounts and original works by authors and artists who, to varying degrees and divergent ends, identify as “multiracial.” Check out our submission guidelines before submitting your work.

For more information, contact

Fall 2016 Women At Woodstock retreats
Women At Woodstock, the online community and annual gathering in Woodstock, NY, for women of the Woodstock generation is hosting two back-to-back writers’ retreats this November at Lifebridge Sanctuary in Woodstock. Novice writers, published authors, bloggers, memoirists, fiction writers: all are welcome. The first retreat runs from Monday, October 31, through Thursday, November 3 (check out Friday Nov. 4); the second runs from Friday, November 4, through Sunday, November 6 (check out Monday Nov. 7).

Each day will start with a 1-hour workshop taught by resident writing coach Linda Lowen or by one of our guest authors, and then the day will be open for you to write, think and map out your writing future in peace and quiet, surrounded by other like-minded women also pursuing their own creative quests. There will be plenty of space and opportunity for private coaching, collaborative conversations or total quiet — whatever it is that you need. In the evenings after dinner, we’ll gather by the fire with good wine, share what we wish from the day’s work and exchange feedback under the guidance of the inimitable Linda Lowen.<

You can come for just one writing retreat or stay for both and gift yourself a full week devoted to your creativity and your craft! Click here to register. Cost: $295 for the 4-night retreat October 31 – November 4; $245 for the 3-night retreat November 4-7. Plus a nightly room rate which depends on what kind of room you choose. Costs are all-inclusive: meals, snacks, beverages, wine, taxes, fees and program costs are all included in the fee. $65 discount if you attend both retreats.


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