Writerly Happenings: Friends Who Knew My Cat Way Back When (AKA April Writerly Events)

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We’ve made it to the light of April!

What Everyone Is Reading :: Theme: Friends Who Knew My Cat

The wind is blowing, seasonal allergies are beginning their ravaging Times Square hustle, and the sunsets are magnificent! But March dug her jagged little nails in at the very end and I had to put my cat of 16 years to sleep. So this introduction to Writerly Happenings will honor the reading habits of Friends Who Knew My Cat Way Back When.

Firstly, About My Cat

I rescued her as a tiny kitten from the roof of a crack house on South 12th Street on the way home from work in Philadelphia one July, and that all seems like a lifetime ago. The fact that I just eagerly started “I Must Be Living Twice” by Eileen Myles is fitting, I think.

When I got home with the kitten, my roommate, Miriam Singer, was an absolute angel about the new addition biting her toes. Right now she’s reading “M Train” by Patti Smith but feeling so-so about it. Maybe she should try the collection of short stories “Evening in Paradise” by Lucia Berlin because I am swooning over it. Swooning!

Our downstairs neighbor Alexandra was a champion of both cats and pink champagne at happy hour and she is now reading “The Art of Communicating” by Thich Nhat Hanh and “Who I Am” by Pete Townshend. She once gave me a Freddie Mercury biography by Lesley-Ann Jones that I ate up with a spoon, so her rock memoir recommendations are solid.

Back In The Hudson Valley Writing Community

This has past, but you should know about it, that on April 7th you could have gone to Get Lit at Oak Vino and read for 5 minutes yourself, and/or enjoy featured writer (and visual artist) Will Lessard and writer and musician Mike Faloon.

Get Lit is sponsoring a book drive for Special Education English classrooms at Beacon High School for Get Caught Reading month in May, and teamed up with Binnacle Books if you want to contribute! A Little Beacon Blog already wrote all about it here. Binnacle Books is otherwise taking a break for their monthly Book Club for a hot minute, partly because they were producing this event, “Reframing Urban Renewal: A Presentation and Discussion,” which was at Fullerton Center in Newburgh for a discussion about urban renewal in the Hudson Valley. It explored creative ways of mobilizing a contested landscape and featured panelists including Ben Schulman of Newburgh Packet, David Hochfelder and Anne Pfau of 98 acres and University of Albany, and artist, academic, and author of “Contested City,” Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani.

Down In Cold Spring…

In the meantime, Split Rock Books in Cold Spring came back from their winter break with a vengeance and is offering approximately 7,000 things for you to do in April. I’m super interested in their reading on April 13th with “author, poet and professor Caroline Hagood. ‘In Ways of Looking at a Woman’, a book-length essay that interweaves memoir with film and literary history, Caroline Hagood assumes the role of detective to ask, what is a ‘woman,’ ‘mother,’ and ‘writer’?” There’s also a discussion on April 18th of “An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History #3)” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, which I’ve been wanting to read. On May 16th they are hosting Susan Choi for her new book “Trust Exercise”and she just got a big write up in the NYTimes.

Back In Beacon…

The phenomenal poet Edwin Torres is teaching a series of workshops on Saturdays at Beahive which aims “to align our natural tri-lingual voice, our voice, with the humanity that defines us. “ Sounds so very good to me!

April 18th is “Poem in Your Pocket Day,” as part of National Poetry Month and you should totally put a poem in your pocket and then give it to someone. Also, sign up for Poem-A-Day emails while you are at it! Meanwhile, did you see the postcard books at Binnacle Books from local publisher Paravion Press who is located in the old Beacon High School off Fishkill Avenue.

John Blesso’s Adult Stories is back on April 28th if you want to share your work at Oak Vino. Looking ahead to May, we are certain that The Artichoke on May 25th is going to sell out again, so maybe get those tickets now!

In the spoken word world…

On April 20th is Poughetry Fest 2019, a not-to-be-missed festival of spoken and written word at the Cunneen-Hackett Center in Poughkeepsie. There will be a Youth Open Mic hosted by Derick Cross, LGBTQ Open MIc hosted by Jen Herman, the Calling All Poets Series hosted by Mike Jurkovic, the Poet Laureate room featuring the newly appointed Hudson Valley & beyond Poet Laureates, and the Audre Lorde room Co-curated by Armando Batista. Amazing line up!

In Newburgh…

Also Ruth Danon is teaming up with Atlas Studios to curate the monthly Spring Street Reading Series beginning on May 17th with Beacon’s own Julie Chibbaro and NYC hot ticket Laura Sims. We will be there with bells on. Well, we’ll probably take them off before the reading so as not to make a scene.

Also, up in Saugerties they are celebrating poetry all month with readings and sidewalk haiku and poetry and potions/ purls and pints(oh my!).

Saturday, April 27th is “Independent Bookstore Day” so give your local bookseller some big love that can’t fit into a big box.

Got more ideas about where to go for the writerliest of happenings? Please be in touch! phoebe@alittlebeaconblog.com. Or just let me know what you are reading and loving these days.