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Western MA [clear filter]
Thursday, September 19


The 7th Annual Amherst Poetry Festival
Limited Capacity seats available

The Emily Dickinson Museum presents the seventh annual Amherst Poetry Festival! From September 19th to the 22nd, experience one-of-a-kind programs around downtown Amherst, including workshops, master classes, poetry discussions, and readings from headliners Adrian Matejka, Paige Lewis, and Paisley Rekdal. And don’t miss the Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon, an epic one-day reading of all 1,789 of Dickinson’s poems! Visit https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/apf/ for our full schedule of events.  

Tuesday, September 24


Terrance Hayes Poetry Reading
The day after Trump’s election, Terrance Hayes wrote the first of the seventy sonnets that comprise his new collection, American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin (Penguin Books, 2018). In poems that are in turn elegiac, funny, solemn and vengeful, Hayes engages with American politics, racism, history and artistic heritage. "Our sermon / Today sets the beauty of sin against the purity of dirt," Hayes writes, inviting his readers to examine & dismantle conventional ways of generating meaning that have historically diminished or ignored voices of color. American Sonnets was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. Hayes, a MacArthur Fellow and the author of six books of poetry, is also the recipient of a National Book Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among numerous other honors. He is currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, as well as a professor of English at New York University.

Supported by the Smith College Lecture Committee, the Department of English Language & Literature, and the Department of Africana Studies 

Tuesday September 24, 2019 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Smith College, Wright Hall, Weinstein Auditorium
Thursday, September 26


UMass Amherst Visiting Writers Series: André Alexis & Mona Awad
 André Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. His most recent novel, Fifteen Dogs, won the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. His debut novel, "Childhood," won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. His other books include "Pastoral" (nominated for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize), "Asylum," "Beauty and Sadness," "Ingrid & the Wolf," "Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa," "Lambton, Kent" and "Other Vistas: A Play."

Mona Awad's debut novel, "13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl" (Penguin), won the Amazon Best First Novel Award, the Colorado Book Award and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Arab American Book Award. It was also long-listed for the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour and the International Dublin Award. Her new novel, "Bunny," was released June 11, 2019 with Viking Press, Penguin Canada, and Head of Zeus in the UK. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, TIME magazine, Electric Literature, VICE, The Walrus, LARB and elsewhere. She was an instructor in the Literary Arts department at Brown University and in the English Department at the University of Denver. She has also worked as a freelance journalist and a food columnist for the Montreal-based magazine, Maisonneuve. She earned an MFA in fiction from Brown University and an MScR in English from the University of Edinburgh where her dissertation was on fear in the fairy tale. She recently completed a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and English literature at the University of Denver.


Thursday September 26, 2019 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Old Chapel, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Tuesday, October 8


Dana Levin Poetry Reading
In Dana Levin’s Banana Palace (Copper Canyon, 2016), the act of scrolling through a cellphone becomes linked with a sibyl’s prophetic voice and an overheard rant on the street swirls with the force of the oracular. In Levin’s work, this collision of voices becomes a means of interrogating the complex collage of information and human desires in an era that seems wracked with political and global anxieties. These are urgent and inventive poems, determined equally to confront the vicissitudes of our age as well as the interiority of the self. Dana Levin has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN, the Library of Congress and the Guggenheim Foundation. She teaches at Maryville University in St. Louis, where she serves as a distinguished writer in residence.

Tuesday October 8, 2019 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Smith College, Wright Hall, Weinstein Auditorium
Thursday, October 10


The Bookstore & Get Lit Wine Bar
 The Bookstore & Get Lit Wine Bar
11 Housatonic Street, Lenox, MA 01240
Call: 413-637-3390 website: www.bookstoreinlenox.com

Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 5:30 pm
Karen Chase
New Work In Progress:
Oedipus in the Backseat
Patrick Donnelly
Little Known Operas

The lush, lexically gorgeous and emotionally complex poems of Little-Known Operas guide us through the terrain of love, sex, same-sex marriage, illness, death, and art.

“MARIA CALLAS WENT TO HAMBURG” from Little-Known Operas

In 1959 when Maria Callas went to Hamburg her hair
was still neoclassical. In the film she emerges at 0 minutes:
7 seconds, silk legs the clapper of an underwater bell.
But the moment I need to tell about is at 42:30, prelude
of the Pirata aria, when resting her left hand
on the conductor’s cage, head down eyes closed, cloistered,
thirty seconds forty fifty, she doesn’t know us, we are nowhere and no one,
descending figure, strings distressed, dissonant, trembling, swelling,
(remember Mom in the ‘60s? her door closed sometimes till noon—)
Karen Chase is the author of FDR on His Houseboat: The Larocco Log 1924-1926: In the midst of the Jazz Age, while Americans were making merry, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was stricken by polio and withdrew from public life. From 1924 to 1926, believing that warm water and warm air would help him walk again, he spent the winter months on his new houseboat, the Larooco, sailing the Florida Keys, fishing, swimming, playing Parcheesi, entertaining guests, and tending to engine mishaps. During his time on the boat, he kept a nautical log describing each day’s events, including rare visits by his wife, Eleanor.
And: Polio Boulevard: Karen’s memoir is a truly remarkable piece of history.
– Olympia Dukakis


Thursday October 10, 2019 5:30pm - 7:00pm
11 Housatonic Street, Lenox MA 11 Housatonic Street, Lenox MA 01240
Friday, October 11


The Great Falls Word Festival - 4 Day Word Festival Oct 11-Oct 14th
For all info, please visit www.greatfallswordfestival.com

The Great Falls Word Festival
10 Year Celebration
Friday Oct 11th to Monday Oct 14th
Will be 4 days of Words
Of joy
Of rebellion
Of remembering
Of healing
Of calling out the injustices

Now is the time to put in your proposals
More info will be on the web site soon www.greatfallswordfestival.com
At the moment the Venues are

The Shea Theater - large theater
The Shea Theater - downstairs intimate space (seats 40)
Two other store fronts

Friday -
The pop up bookstore will open at the Shea Theater
Performances 7:00 to 8:00
Performance 8:30

Saturday -
The pop up bookstore will open at 11:00 at the Shea Theater
Reading / workshops all day starting at Noon
Break for dinner
Night shows

The pop up bookstore will open at 11:00 at the Shea Theater
Reading / workshops all day starting at Noon
Break for dinner
Night shows

The pop up bookstore will open at 11:00 at the Shea Theater
Reading / workshops all day starting at Noon
Break for dinner
7:00 Night show

Friday October 11, 2019 TBA
PO Box 838
Tuesday, November 5


Camille Dungy Poetry Reading
The title poem of Camille Dungy’s Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan Poetry Series, 2017) dares its reader to resist a connection between incremental—yet vast—changes to Yellowstone’s ecosystem following a reintroduction of gray wolves and Dungy’s thoughts on motherhood: “Don’t / you tell me this is not the same as my story. All this / life born from one hungry animal, this whole / new landscape.” The author of four collections of poetry and a book of essays, Dungy has also written extensively about the invisibility of African-American authors in the historically white-dominated field of nature writing; in 2009, she edited the anthology Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (University of Georgia Press, 2009), asserting that without the perspective of writers of color, nature writing becomes less a conversation than a monologue. Camille Dungy has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Cave Canem, and Yaddo, and recently won a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Colorado and is a professor in the English Department at Colorado State University.

Supported by the Otelia Cromwell Day Committee and CEEDS (the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design & Sustainability)

Tuesday November 5, 2019 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Smith College, Wright Hall, Weinstein Auditorium
Tuesday, November 19


Lee Ann Roripaugh Poetry Reading
Lee Ann Roripaugh writes with imagination and candor, fearlessly engaging with a broad range of topics: Japanese internment, the Fukushima disaster, and the semiotics of language. Roripaugh’s latest collection of poems, tsunami vs. the fukushima 50 (Milkweed Editions, 2019)  distills the grand scale of natural (and human-influenced) disasters through compassionate, complicated monologues and persona poems, capturing the anxieties of humans faced with the previously unthinkable. In the poem “mothra flies again,” a woman pregnant with twins wrestles with the unknown following the Fukushima disaster: “at night I lie awake and unpack / my worries like wooden kokeishi dolls, / nested one inside the other // what if? what if? what if?” Roripaugh has been awarded the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award in Poetry/Prose as well as the South Dakota Arts Council Artist Fellowship Grant. Her poem "Utsuroi" was recently featured on recent U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith's podcast, "The Slowdown." Roripaugh is currently the South Dakota Poet Laureate, and teaches literature and creative writing at the University of South Dakota. 

Supported by the Smith College Museum of Art and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures 

Tuesday November 19, 2019 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Smith College, Wright Hall, Weinstein Auditorium
Tuesday, December 10


Ciaran Berry Poetry Reading
In the opening poem of Ciaran Berry’s acclaimed third collection, Liner Notes (The Gallery Press, 2018), the speaker’s engagement with the past is first compared to a film playing backwards, then to reading the liner notes on a familiar album raised “grail-like into the wayward light.” In Berry’s work, there is no one way of engaging with the complexities of the past that could ever be sufficient. Reaching back into the recesses of a life growing up in Ireland that seems at once familiar and othered, these poems—both celebratory and elegiac—veer, rewind, and roam between subjects as diverse as the death of Elvis, a visit to a butterfly garden and Dolly the cloned sheep. Berry is also the author of The Dead Zoo (The Gallery Press, 2013), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and The Sphere of Birds (SIU Press, 2008), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. Originally from the West of Ireland, he lives in West Hartford and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Trinity College.

Tuesday December 10, 2019 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Smith College, Wright Hall, Weinstein Auditorium

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