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 “Evening in Paradise,” a collection of short stories 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 event has already passed, but you should know about it, that on Sunday, April 7, you could have gone to Get Lit at Oak Vino and read for 5 minutes yourself, and/or enjoyed featured writer (and visual artist) Will Lessard and writer and musician Mike Faloon. (Don’t miss another Get Lit.)
Get Lit is sponsoring a book drive for Special Education English classrooms at Beacon High School for Get Caught Reading month in May! They’ve teamed up with Binnacle Books, and you can help 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 Saturday, April 13, 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 Thursday, April 18, 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 Thursday, May 16, Split Rock is hosting Susan Choi for her new book “Trust Exercise”. She just got a big write up in the New York Times.
Back In Beacon…
The phenomenal poet Edwin Torres is teaching a series of workshops on Saturdays at Beahive, aiming “to align our natural tri-lingual voice, our voice, with the humanity that defines us. “ Sounds so very good to me!
Thursday, April 18, 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, have you seen the postcard books at Binnacle Books from local publisher Paravion Press, who is located in the old Beacon High School off Fishkill Avenue? So neat.
John Blesso’s Adult Stories is back on Sunday, April 28, if you want to share your work at Oak Vino. Looking ahead to May, we are certain that The Artichoke on Saturday, May 25, is going to sell out again, so maybe get those tickets now!
In the spoken word world…
On Saturday, April 20, there’s 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 lineup!
Also Ruth Danon is teaming up with Atlas Studios to curate the monthly Spring Street Reading Series beginning on Friday, May 17, 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 27, 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! firstname.lastname@example.org. Or just let me know what you are reading and loving these days.