August 29, 2009

Adirondack Center for Writing Summer Program, August 27

The Adirondack Center for Writing, that operates out of space at Paul Smith's College has an annual of readings in the summer in North Country venues. I made the trip up to Saratoga Springs to the Arts Center on Broadway to hear once again one of my favorite poets, Mary Kathryn Jablonski, & novelist Rob Cohen. It was a helpful reminder of why I avoid that town in August: the streets filled with wealthy tourists & that means their cars too. They even charge in the usually free municipal lots. Circling around I found my "secret" spot on Phila St. & made it to the center just as Nathalie Thill, the Executive Director was introducing Mary Kathryn.

She did a well-orchestrated reading of her "greatest hits," published poems & crowd pleasers. She began with the first poem in her chapbook, To the Husband I Have Not Yet Met (A.P.D., 2008), "Mare Vaporum," then the recently published "Kabuki." "Stone" about her father & the farm where she grew up. "Praesepe," (a star cluster in Cancer, the Crab) published in Beloit Poetry Journal, as was her final poem, "The Heart Nebula". In between she also included some of her popular letters "To the Husband I Have Not Yet Met." Always a pleasure to hear her read; regrettably there is no picture.

Rob Cohen read from his new novel, Amateur Barbarians (Simon & Schuster) a section set in Africa. Prose readings are tough, trying the readers endurance & patience, usually thrown into the middle of the story. His writing was clear & direct & the episodes he described were vivid, with a touch of humor.

Look for these free events next summer in North Country venues.

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