Poet Elaine Cohen & I have been friends for more years than either of us would admit. She grew up in Gloversville, NY & since then has traveled the world. She co-authored with Red Callender, the great jazz bassist, Unfinished Dream: The Musical World of Red Callender (Quartet Books, 1985), as well as a chapbook of poems Solita: A Sojourn in Mexico (2011) & is currently working on a longer collection of poems titled “Coming Down Hudson” that includes memoir poems of her family & of growing up in Gloversville. She has been living on Cape Cod since 2003. In 2014 she was the featured poet at the 3rd Thursday Poetry Night at the Social Justice Center in Albany.
Back in April Elaine won the annual WOMR (Provincetown, MA) Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest for her poem “Night Train East, 1985.” You can read more about the contest, with a full list of winners & the text of Elaine's poem here: https://provincetown.wickedlocal.com/entertainmentlife/20200410/womr-poetry-contest-winner-elaine-cohens-night-train-east-1985.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the reading originally planned for April 16 at the Wellfleet Preservation Hall was delayed until November 12 when it was held via Zoom. In addition to Elaine reading her winning poem, there were readings by other winners, including 2nd place winner Robin Smith Johnson (“Memory Care Unit”), 3rd place winner Wilderness Sarchild (“After the Hurricane”), as well as some of the honorable mentions, including Tom Chilton, Donna O’Connell-Gilmore, Jeremy Faro, Lynn Viti, Lauren Wolk, Chuck Madansky, & Michael Shapiro.
In addition, Wellfleet native Marge Piercy read from her brand new (September 2020) collection of poems On The Way Out, Turn Off The Light (Knopf). The poems she read were personal & retrospective, the poet looking back on a long career that keeps on going.
The MC for the event was Jeannette de Beauvoir, novelist, playwright & WOMR personality.
The deadline for the 8th annual Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest is January 12th, 2021 — full information at the WOMR website.