Category Archives: Writers

GPG Poet Nan Meneely Featured on National Video Anthology

Guilford Poets Guild member Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely has recently been added to the Brainwaves Video Anthology, a collection of more than 1,000 videos with 2 million views in 234 countries.

The Brainwaves Video Anthology is produced and filmed by Bob Greenberg, and includes thinkers, dreamers and innovators; some of the brightest minds in education. The series is meant to inspire and engage the viewer to dig deeper and learn more. In the words of Georges Melies, (The Invention of Hugo Cabret) “Now sit back, open your eyes and be prepared to dream.”

“Tired”
“Sunday in Park with George”
“Still Life With Grandmother”
Teachers Make a Difference – My Students

Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely, Smith College B.A. in hand and nothing at all to suggest she knew how to make a lesson plan, began professional life as an English teacher in Vermont’s Waterbury High School. When, after two happy years, Vermont suggested it was important that she sport a real credential, she acquired a Master of Arts in Teaching from Yale. After discovering her best students were listening to her from inside hallucinations, she moved into the work of training community/school teams in drug abuse prevention at Yale’s Drug Dependence Institute. Later, with a Master’s of Education in Human Relations from the UMass School of Education, she tacked back and forth across a career path in training, counseling and education, finishing paid employment in a twenty-year career with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, DC, where she worked first in emergency management training and then directly in support of response and recovery operations. She retired north to Guilford, CT, and now devotes much of her time to the Guilford Poets Guild, the Guilford A Better Chance Program, and the town’s Human Services Council.

Featured Poet: Evelyn Atreya

Evelyn Atreya lives in Guilford where she is a member and past president of the Guilford Poets Guild. She is a member of the Connecticut Poetry Society and attends its Greater New Haven Chapter workshops. Her poems have appeared in Caduceus, Long River Run, San Diego Poetry Annual, Plainsongs, Connecticut River Review, and in a chapbook, Olives, Now and Then, honoring Donald Hall on his 83rd birthday. Her first book, Regarding Rock, was published by Grayson Books in November 2015. Evelyn also is involved in the Guilford community as an active member of both the Guilford Rotary Club and the Leete’s Island Garden Club.


Summer Sunday Memory

In the January cold,
wearing layers of protection
boots, hat, and gloves
as I scraped my windshield,
I imagined a lazy beach day:
wearing just my bathing suit,
I walk barefoot in the sand,
jump into the cool, salty water,
then sit in my beach chair
to soak up the sun
and read on my Kindle.

But, today, on this July Sunday
it is smoldering hot.
Without flipflops, the sand
burns the soles of my feet.
There is no cooling off
in the water because a bloom
of jellyfish is drifting by.
The beach is crowded with umbrellas
that offer spots of comforting shade,
but sitting and relaxing is impossible
because of pesky horseflies.

I know next winter,
I will daydream again about my ideal
summer Sunday beach day
completely forgetting
these discomforts and irritations.
Strangely, in summer
I never find myself
daydreaming of winter.


Sound Choices

This summer afternoon
gulls and terns soar
over the rippling tide
with relaxed assurance
that hunger will be satisfied.
Each repeatedly dives
to catch a glimmering bite.

Then I see one young tern,
wings frenetically beating,
hover like a helicopter
just above the water.
With a silvery fish in its beak
and another swimming below,
it must choose one.

I understand, I think to myself.
I, too, wild with desire
have faced impossible choices.


Locked Out

He shuffles to the front porch
and sits silently staring into space.
I ask for the key to the shed.
He shakes his head, not knowing.

A dumpster sits in the driveway
overflowing with the old and used.
Emptying the shed is the final
preparation for Dad’s move.

Sitting there, Dad reminds me
of that padlocked old, green shed,
both weathered with signs
of fading, flaking and rust spots.

Both hold mysteries locked in.
I’m locked out of both.


Coming Clean

This morning a teenager
arrives at the coffee shop
wearing a breezy summer dress
and heavy-duty combat boots.

I’m reminded of the snowy
egret’s radiant white plumes,
spindly legs and feet tucked
into enormous yellow galoshes.

Perhaps both, wading into life’s
murky waters, seek protection
so they come out clean,
even if they muck-up.

Guilford Poets Guild, Madison Lyric Stage, Skunk Misery Ramblers, FOCUS Teen Improv Among Performers Selected for Festival

Press Release From The Guilford Performing Arts Festival

The Guilford Performing Arts Festival has announced its first wave of 38 performers for the 2019 festival. A full schedule of 50 to 60 acts should be in place in August.

The roster to date includes concerts by 24 musical artists; seven performances, readings and other events in drama, storytelling, poetry, literature and history; three dance performances; and interactive programs that include theater improv, a drum circle, musicians’ jam, and mind reading.

All of these events will be free to the public and will be held between Thursday, Sept. 26 to Sunday, Sept. 29 at more than a dozen venues on and around the Guilford Green and various other sites in town.

Artists committed to the festival so far include:

• Music: The Argyle Sax Quartet, Bassless Trio, Cherry Pie, Laura Clapp, the Derek Grippo Project, Driving Route 9, Duo Beltenstrum, Joe Flood, the Hagner-McKay Nonet, Living with Robots, Jim Paradis, the John Spignesi Band, The Racket Downstairs, River Run, Phil Rosenthal and the Guilford Ramblers, Seat of Our Pants, Steve Shelton, Suzanne Sheridan, the Skunk Misery Ramblers, String of Pearls Big Band, Tuxedo Junction Big Band, Wild Maple, and Youth XL will be joined by Noah Baerman and Friends, winner of the first Guilford Performing Arts Festival Artists’ Award in music.

• Drama/spoken word: Dennis Culliton, the Guilford Poets Guild, Dolores Hayden, Herstory Theater, Madison Lyric Stage, and Just One Sip will be joined by Susan Cinoman, the Artists’ Award winner in drama.

• Dance/movement: Natyamandala, Shoreline Ballet, and The Spot/Guilford Acrobatics.

• Interactive: FOCUS Teen Improv will present improvisational theater, Sarah Prown will organize a musicians’ jam, Peter Hawes will lead a drum circle, and Keith Zalinger will attempt to read festival goers’ minds.

The festival received more than 80 applications from performers throughout the Northeast; a volunteer staff of 12, with expertise in various forms of music, drama, and dance reviewed them and selected the artists for this year’s festival.

June 29: Moses Gunn Play Company Fundraiser

GPG members Gwen Gunn and Norman Thomas Marshall have recently created the Moses Gunn Play Company, dedicated to the memory of Moses Gunn. Together, they present staged and concert readings of dramatic and comedic plays for the shoreline community. Original and well-known plays will be presented as well as little known masterpieces.

Featured Poet: Carol Altieri

Carol Leavitt Altieri is retired from teaching English, American literature in New Haven Public Schools. Published five books of poetry and winner of the CT Environmental Award for helping to save the Griswold Airport Property in Madison, CT. She loves hiking, reading and the whole world of nature. She is a member of the Guilford Poets Guild.


Blessed Black Cherry Tree
The black cherry is native found from Maine to Florida. Used by native Americans in spiritual practice. Lakota people harvest its branches to mark the end of ceremonial ground. They use its sticks to hold red flags as a prayer to their ancestors.

I wedged myself within the branches
of a black cherry tree,
glad to be positioned there
next to our red barn.

Once its young bark was smooth, reddish- purple,
now plated, leathery, dark gray.
Silver-green lichen scatters on inner tree.
Saw- edged, gold leaves curl, touch one another,
form a pattern against purple- blue sky.
A delicious legacy and nectar for bees.

A Baltimore Oriole flies out from its basket nest
hanging from a fork of the cherry tree.
It catches a spider, then swoops away.
Dressed in rich plumage of flame orange and black,
a pair sings with rich whistles and chatter.

In spring , clusters of hanging blossoms
droop from the stem like locks of white hair.
Fragrant snow squalls of dropping petals
fall when they must.

When I return, I hope you’re still standing
there in your rightful place,
never to be hewn down.


Cedars of Lebanon

Here where mountaintops snare clouds floating
in from the Mediterranean ,we saunter
through the cathedral arched forests
of cedars. Once vast, used for temples and palaces
across Assyria, Persia, Egypt ,Greece and Lebanon.
They enhanced the territory of the Bible
where Jesus revealed himself to his followers.

Enormous trees seem as high as the Cliffs of Babylon
spill light through tracery of limbs.
Some stand alone with distinctive shapes,
others insinuate themselves into relations
with neighbors offering their majesty and homage.
Lines of solid branches crosshatch trunks
send roots into craggy limestone.

Branches in tiers sway in the wind.
Oval blue-green cones break open, scatter seeds.
Fragrant with balsam perfumed resin,
cedar trees intertwine with history of 10,000 years.

Now they must migrate up the mountains
chasing the cold winters
to escape warming, the conflicts of war lords
and colonizers.

Emissaries of the parade of civilizations
and what we owe them, Cedars of Lebanon
tremble. They have seen the past. Will
they see the future?


A Titanic Colony

In our cow pasture
amoebas exude through
New Hampshire soil
clonal, single-celled,
a vast and slippery empire,
40 feet across and genetically
identical.
A giant organized colony
spread by cows in muck.

A billion strong, they
cooperate and coordinate,
reproduce
by shuttling cell parts around
and assisting each other
in dirt and dung.

Scientists say they are persistent
living everywhere underfoot
nurturing life and death
feeding elements on
Earth, never running off
the land, faithful to their place.

Shouldn’t we worship
the ground we walk on,
instead of mocking
and blacktopping it over?

Patricia Horn O’Brien at Acton Public Library

Thursday June 13, 2019
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Acton Public Library
60 Old Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook

On Mother’s Day of 2017 Richard Manders, asked his mother, GPG poet Pat O’Brien, if she’d like to collaborate with him in writing a book about their journey through adoption, separation, reunion, and the years that followed. Thanks to that invitation, the book, The Laughing Rabbit: A Mother, A Son, And the Ties that Bind was written. Through its collection of chapters, by Richard and his mother, Pat, along with chapters by other family members, the book narrates a story that started in 1962 with chaos and heartache, a story that turned a momentous corner in 1982 with a reunion, and a story that continues today, with love and healing and ongoing wonder. Books will be available for purchase.

Free and open to all.

Click here for more information. Registration is suggested as seating is limited and is available one month prior to the event.

Moses Gunn Play Company: “The Sunshine Boys”

 


Moses Gunn Play Company presents:
“The Sunshine Boys” by Neil Simon

Saturday, May 4, 2:00 pm

at the Guilford Free Library
67 Park St, Guilford, CT 06437
Free and open to all. No registration necessary.

GPG members Gwen Gunn and Norman Thomas Marshall have recently created the Moses Gunn Play Company, dedicated to the memory of Moses Gunn. Together, they present staged and concert readings of dramatic and comedic plays for the shoreline community. Original and well-known plays will be presented as well as little known masterpieces.