Tag Archives: Writers

A good time was had by all…

On Thursday, November 14, the Guilford Poets Guild celebrated the publication of its 20th Anniversary Anthology, Our Changing Environment, with a special reading by poets featured in the book, including Laura and Victor Altshul, Barbara Batt, Sherri Bedingfield, Daniel Boroughs, Jill Carter, Dolores Hayden, Roberta Whitman Hoff, Joan Hofmann, Celeste Markle, John Muro, Isabelle Paris, Michael Pedevillano (reading for Tony Pedevillano), Stephen Roane, Krista Surprenant, Karen Torop, and Mary Buell Volk. Also in attendance was Carin Roaldset, whose photograph speaks volumes on the cover of the new book.

Gordy Whiteman was the superb emcee, weaving anecdotes and introductions for more than 50 new and long-time fans of the Guilford Poets Guild, including the anthology editor Edwina Trentham, and the anthology committee chair and book designer Jen Payne.

On Thursday, December 12, the annual Holiday Roundtable event will feature additional readings from the 20th Anniversary Anthology by members of the Guilford Poets Guild. Please watch for details.

CLICK HERE for more about the 20th Anniversary Anthology

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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.

August Poetry Reading Features Guilford Poets Guild and Madison Art Society

One of the Guilford Poets Guild’s favorite events is the ekphrastic poetry reading held in conjunction with the Madison Art Society’s Annual Art Exhibit. The exhibit is currently on view at Guilford Art Center’s Mill Gallery where the poetry reading will take place on Wednesday, August 14 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Ekphrastic poetry takes a painting, sculpture, or other artwork as its inspiration. For this event, members of the GPG will read their poems in response to selected art that is part of the 44th Annual Madison Art Society exhibit (July 29 – August 16) which includes more than 100 paintings and sculptures.

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, the Guilford Poets Guild is a group of poets from the shoreline who meet regularly to share poems and promote the love and engagement of poetry within the community. Throughout the year the GPG hosts a number of poetry readings including its popular Second Thursday Poetry Series, a Holiday Roundtable, the Guilford High School Poetry Contest, and coordinates poetry/art events with Guilford Art Center, the Madison Art Society and the Florence Griswold Museum. Its upcoming anthology, Our Changing Environment, celebrates the Guild’s 20th anniversary and will be available this fall!

The August poetry reading is free and open to the public.

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.

GPG Poets Featured in International Anthology

The Guilford Poets Guild is well-represented in Coffee Poems: Reflections on Life with Coffee, a new anthology from World Enough Writers.

Editor Lorraine Healy explains, “Whether central to the poem or sitting on a side table, a mere accessory; whether a prop in an internal conversation with a you absent these 25 years or a desperately needed substance without which there is no facing the day, a cup of coffee inhabits each of these poems…Breathe in the scent and may it keep you awake.”

Coffee Poems contains 167 richly-roasted, verbally aromatic poems by poets from 34 states, 5 provinces, and 12 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, France, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Singapore, Spain, and the United States.

Included among the 139 international poets are GPG members Gwen Gunn (“Cafe Cilantro Haven”), Patricia O’Brien (“Midnight Call”), Jen Payne (“Measuring Water by Sound”), and Ed Walker (“Drifting through Quarters”).

Click here for more information and where to buy copies Coffee Poems.

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.