From Salem to Straw Dogs: Pokey Poetry Events

May approacheth, and with it, a couple of events to share with you:

Ma Poetry Fest

Three days packed with readings, talks, panels and a small press book fair, including this panel featuring yours truly, along with the fabulous poets Karen Skolfield and Sarah Sousa and equally impressive Perugia Press Director, Susan Kan:

From Zero to One: First Books & What We Wish We’d Known

Saturday, May 2, 12:15-1:15

Peabody Essex Museum Library, Salem, MA

We can’t promise you’ll get published, but we will share what we’ve learned, which turns out to be a decent amount.

This event will be of special interest to writers submitting a manuscript or about to publish a first book. We’ll discuss the happy but often bewildering aftermath of acceptance: book design, publicity, the vulnerability of being newly published, post-publication contests, second and beyond books, and the importance of continuing to write after a manuscript has been assembled or even published. We’ll also talk about pre-publication editing, researching presses and contests, realistic publishing expectations, and dealing with a difficult publisher. Although the panel will focus on life after an acceptance, we will have handouts that address the business side of preparing a manuscript. Discussion will be audience driven – bring your questions!

Writers Night Out

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
The Basement (formerly Bishop’s Lounge) 
21 Center Street, Northampton
7:00 – 9:00pm

I’ll be the featured reader at this longstanding event sponsored by the good people at Straw Dogs Writers Guild.  It starts with an open mic, and if you want to read, put your name in the hat up until 7:10. The reading starts at 7:15,  and each reader will have five minutes.

And if you have questions:  Jacqueline Sheehan (413) 582-0661

There’s a bar.  Meet me there.

BIG ENERGY POETS OF THE ANTHROPOCENE: WHEN ECOPOETRY THINKS CLIMATE CHANGE

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pokey mama:

So happy to be part of this project!

Originally posted on AMY KING'S ALIAS:

 climate change ecopoets
Heidi Lynn Staples and I are c0-editing BIG ENERGY POETS OF THE ANTHROPOCENE: WHEN ECOPOETRY THINKS CLIMATE CHANGE, a selection of poets whose praxis offers ways for us to imagine and so respond to climate change. To be published by BlazeVOX in 2015/2016! In the meantime, please like this page!   Follow the anthology’s developments, read related news, and learn about projects like High Water Line: Visualizing Climate Change. Think the change::Be the change.

https://www.facebook.com/bigenergypoets?pnref=story

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Berkshire Festival of Women Writers

(Pokey says, yes, you should come…)

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From Zero to One: First Books and What We Wish We’d Known

Lecture and panel discussion moderated by Karen Skolfield with Amy Dryansky, Susan Kan, Sarah Sousa, &  Michelle Valois

March 1, 11am
Miss Hall’s School, Centennial Hall
492 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA

motherhood_out_loud

Laundry Line Divine presents Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others

Hosted by Suzi Banks Baum, featuring readings by Amy Dryansky, Sarah Hains DiFazio, Janet Elsbach, Lorrin Krouss, Linda Jackson, Nichole Dupont, Leigh Strimbeck, Serene Mastrianni, Rachel Siegel, and Suzi Banks Baum

March 7, 7pm
Dewey Memorial Hall
91 Main Street, Sheffield, MA

Suggested donation at the door $10

Pokey Returns (Sort Of) Part 1

Motherwell-Map 2 (2)Yep, it’s been a while.

When I started this blog I was smack-dab in the middle of navigating the territory of Mom-poet. Trying to figure out how to make the time and head-space for my creative life. Now, five years later, I’m in a different place, and yet…

still trying to find that time.

The difference is, whereas yet another snow day five years ago would’ve brought me to the brink, now, as I write, one kid has walked himself over to a friend’s for some sledding, and the other is practicing guitar. Yes, she’s in the same room, but not really *requiring* anything. I can tune her in and out.

But, (and it’s all about the but these days, isn’t it?) I now have a full-time-out-of-the-house job. So there’s that.

But we all have something, right? And I’m not complaining, because where I am now is a boatload better than where I was a while back. I’m just kind of thinking aloud about this space and how best to keep it alive. Because, frankly, I love it here.

So, let’s try a compromise. No promises. Just this for today.

And OK, some updates about readings, events, interviews and such. (That sure wouldn’t have been happening five years ago!)

And an intention to get back here.

close your eyes. Let’s intention it together—that extra creative time for ourselves.

If Oprah were here she’d tell you to look under your chairs—everybody gets a new car!!! Oprah

Sorry, that’s not going to happen. But, barring something crazy expensive, what would you want to find under your chair? Can you leave a comment and tell me about it?

In the meantime, here’s some news:

UPCOMING EVENTS

Berkshire Festival of Women Writers

From Zero to One: First Books and What We Wish We’d Known

Lecture and panel discussion moderated by Karen Skolfield with Amy Dryansky, Susan Kan, Sarah Sousa, &  Michelle Valois

March 1, 11am
Miss Hall’s School, Centennial Hall
492 Holmes Road, Pittsfield

Also…
Laundry Line Divine presents Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others

Hosted by Suzi Banks Baum, featuring readings by Amy Dryansky, Sarah Hains DiFazio, Janet Elsbach, Lorrin Krouss, Linda Jackson, Nichole Dupont, Leigh Strimbeck, Serene Mastrianni, Rachel Siegel, and Suzi Banks Baum

March 7, 7pm
Dewey Memorial Hall
91 Main Street, Sheffield

Suggested donation at the door $10

The Writing Life: Reading & Discussion

Forbes Library Community Room
Northampton, MA
April 27, 7pm-8pm

Massachusetts Poetry Festival

May 1-3
Salem, MA

More details to follow…

Give Grass Whistle a Sticker! MA Book Awards

Yep, my second book, Grass Whistle, won top honors from the Massachusetts Center for the Book!MBA Seal small

You can see the entire list of “must-read” books here.

Those of you who’ve followed Pokey Mama from her tightly bound beginnings will probably guess that this feels like a miracle to me. To get the book written, under the circumstances, was challenge enough. To find a publisher—ridiculous!

Now to find my book on the same list with past winners like Jorie Graham, Martin Espada, Henri Cole, Lucie Brock-Broido, David Rivard, etc., well, that’s just plain crazy.

This is what the judges said:

In Amy Dryansky’s Grass Whistle, we are invited into a world we know, but may have never seen. Her craft is subtle, yet engrossing. Her universal themes are given the perfect amount of loft with her language, her structure, and her unerring sense of the complicated simplicity of life.

So, take heart, Mothers, workers, people of the books. It can happen. Don’t stop, don’t give up, keep dreaming your dream.

You can still listen to my interview at Out of Our Minds,
& on Francesca Rheannon’s, The Writer’s Voice.

You can find the book at Salmon, on-line, or at your local bookseller.

NaPoMo Interview: A Writer’s Voice

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Here’s the link to my NaPoMo interview with Francesca Rheannon, on A Writer’s VoiceI had a really lousy head cold when we talked, but folks who’ve heard it say I sound smart. And I didn’t pay them.

Francesca asked me about my Pokey Mama journeythe struggles I had writing as a woman and mother after my kids were born; what’s changed for women writers and what hasn’t. That’s  where I gave a shout out to the VIDA count, which shows that as far as publishing is concerned, not enough progress has been made. But we’re working on it, right?

You have to skip to the second half of the show for my interview, but you might want to listen to the first part, too.  Great piece with Leah Vincent, who talks about her memoir Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood.