Sunday, September 25, 2016

a second farm-to-table dinner haiku from frecon farms.

cider, apples, and pears—oh my.

the second farm-to-table dinner hosted by frecon farms last night involved not one but two truckloads of dinner-goers. it only makes sense to have a good time when you're hopping onto the back of a truck with strangers who will eventually be your good friends hours later, all in the name of dinner amongst apple trees in september.

and a haiku to match the evening.


light shimmers across
branches of apples as smiles
span each lip, mid-sip

Thursday, September 22, 2016

river poems workshop for act 48 credits-- saturday, october 15 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

nolde forest state park is hosting my second river poems workshop on saturday, october 15 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. this will be for 3 hours of act 48 credits for public school teachers, but it's also open to the public.

the cost is $15, payable to me as the instructor the morning of the workshop.

registration for the workshop is available online at this link.

during this workshop, we'll explore river language and experiment with our own writing after we learn about some creatures who live in the water. we'll be carving poems out by pen and paper as newfound river writers.

muse: words that made a difference-- a call for submissions from studio b in boyertown, berks county.

this information is shared from studio b in boyertown, berks county. any questions about this call for submissions can be sent to jane stahl who serves as this gallery's community relations director. see below.


the writers’ challenge for 2017:


words that made a difference

studio b’s 4th book of prose and poetry in our series will be released and for sale on february 17, 2017, during the opening of our annual exhibit featuring literary and visual art. we hope you will submit several pieces of your work for the book.

theme: studio b’s 4th annual exhibit combining literary and visual art focuses on inspirations. for writers, inspiration often comes from words we have heard or read.

while words are small things, the right words, at the right moment have power to inspire or degrade, heal or wound, champion or discourage. their power is felt among all of us at any age or stage or position throughout our lives. words can transform our lives and the lives of others. perhaps your father’s advice inspired your courage; perhaps you recalled the words your mother was fond of repeating at a turning point in your life; perhaps a line of poetry, an ad line, a song lyric have helped you through a difficult time.

or, possibly you recall wielding your own power through words. with your well-chosen words, you became a supporting actor who gave someone else’s life story a happy ending or the encouragement to “carry on.”

the challenge: in poems or essays or short narratives, dialogues or monologues, share the words that shaped your thinking or behavior at some point in your life. in some form share the circumstances of your life at the time and the decisions and resulting behavior that those words inspired.

examples: share your father’s advice and how it came “into play” in a decision you made. tell how a song lyric provided the direction you needed in choosing your career. what line from shakespeare illustrates perfectly who you are, why you do what you do, and how you’ve attempted to make life better for yourself. perhaps an ad line helped you through a difficult time.

submission details: send 1 or 2 your pieces of writing to jane stahl, as a microsoft word document or inside an email message by december 1, 2016. no PDFs, please.

edit: the deadline for this was recently extended to december 30, 2016. also, be sure to include a short biography about yourself in 3 to 5 sentences.

flash fiction-- a first class.

monday night, my first flash fiction class started at the phoenixville middle school through the chester county night school. fittingly enough, like with my spring semester class, the pull of poems, we were in the same room again, an english classroom.

flash fiction, while sounding rather fiction-y by its name, is actually a lot like poetry despite usually being in full sentences with no line breaks. it is often very richly saturated with poetic language, and it's also incredibly brief, or at least it can be. i describe it as usually being up to 1,000 words but more typically 500 or less. and in some cases, it might only be a few sentences long or up to 100 words. it all depends on the writer's intentions and experimentation with a particular piece. it is sometimes like a snapshot into a set of moments, gathered and wrapped together in prose.

since this served as a first class for us, we didn't dive into writing yet, but i shared some flash fiction pieces from out in the world, including "digging" by sherrie flick of pittsburgh from her chapbook titled i call this flirting

and here is one of my own pieces which i shared with students, as i use my own work in lessons sometimes, too.


mooney joins her paws into the schuylkill river. an australian shepherd mix, she bolts through her own small crashes of soaked sound. we skip stones toward the other shore. mooney flies at their paths, jarred by their sudden far-off sinking, each slowly reaching smoothed-over rocks in the wet muck of underbeds. mooney expects more for the fetching. mooney knows i won’t be around for long, that this is her river.

poetry in perry township, with good food and talk of firefly poems.

with my traveling poetry class this sunday, we made our way to the outskirts of hamburg in perry township, and from where we parked the car, we could glimpse the blue mountain off in the distance.

with fisherman joe swider, we discussed some firefly poems from community poetry one picture at a time after eating lots of hearty-as-hell food. excuse my profanity, but it was needed in this particular case for best and most accurate emphasis of quality by the plateful.