Slapering Hol Press logo
Second Friday Café
This reading series is made possible with a regrant from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, supported by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Second Fridays at 7:30
at The Hudson Valley Writers' Center

December 4, 2009
Estha Weiner
Patricia Carlin
Helen Barolini

Estha Weiner Patricia Carlin Helen Barolini

Estha Weiner is co-editor and contributor to Blues For Bill: A Tribute To William Matthews (Akron Poetry Series, 2005), author of The Mistress Manuscript (Book Works, 2009), and Transfiguration Begins At Home (Tiger Bark Press, 2009). Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, including The New Republic, Barrow Street, and Rattapallax. She is a 2008 nominee for a Pushcart Prize, a 2005 winner of a Paterson Poetry Prize, and a 2008 Visiting Scholar at The Shakespeare Institute, Stratford,England. Estha is founder and director of The NY Writers Nights Series for Sarah Lawrence College, and serves on the Advisory Board of Slapering Hol Press. In her previous life, she was an actor and worked for BBC radio.

Patricia Carlin’s new poetry collection, Quantum Jitters, appeared this year from Marsh Hawk Press. Previous books include Original Green (poems) and Shakespeare’s Mortal Men (prose). She has published widely in journals and anthologies including BOMB, Boulevard, Verse, American Letters & Commentary, Pleiades, POOL, The Literary Review, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and she has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and VCCA. She teaches literature and poetry writing at The New School, and she co-edits the poetry journal Barrow Street. Elaine Equi describes Carlin’s “adventurous sense of form” and “unmistakably personal voice of wit and subtle intelligence” and adds, “but there is also a disquieting beauty to these lyrics that lingers long after”, and Molly Peacock remarks, “her voice is among those changing the face of poetry as we will come to know it in the 21st century.”

Helen Barolini is the author of Hudson River Haikus. She began a publishing career with her novel, Umbertina, and is the author of ten other books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Her short stories and essays have appeared in literary journals as well as in Best American Essays. Ms. Barolini’s collection The Dream Book, an anthology of women writers, was the recipient of an American Book Award, and she has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the MELUS Society. Most recently she received an Italian literary award, the Premio Acerbi, for the Italian edition of Umbertina. Ms. Barolini’s translation of stories by her late husband, the Italian author Antonio Barolini, appeared in The New Yorker. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Syracuse University, received a MLS degree from Columbia University, and studied at the University of London.

Return to Calendar

Past readings:

November 13, 2009
Poets & Writers on War & Peace: D. Nurkse, Frances Richey, and community writers

Our fourth annual Veteran’s Day Reading, featuring selections by award winning poet and human rights activist D. Nurkse and poet Frances Richey. D. Nurkse will read selections from his work including his most recent book The Border Kingdom and Frances Richey will be reading selections from her book of poems The Warrior. A Mother’s Story of a Son at War (Viking; 2008) which was nominated for a Pushcart Award.

D. NurkseD. Nurkse is the author of nine books of poetry including, most recently, The Border Kingdom (Random House, 2008). Former Poet Laureate of Brooklyn, Nurkse has received a Whiting Writers’ Award, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Tanne Foundation Award. He has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing, and Rikers Island Correctional Facility. He has also worked for human rights organizations, writing on human rights issues under his full name, Dennis Nurkse, and was elected to the board of directors of Amnesty International USA. In The Border Kingdom, a collection of urgent and intimate poems, D. Nurkse explores the biblical past and the terrifying politics of the present with which it resonates, the legacy of fathers and the flawed kingdoms they leave their sons.

Frances Richey (credit Michael Fisher)Frances Richey grew up in Charleston, West Virginia and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. After working in the business world for almost two decades, she left to teach yoga and write. The Warrior: A Mother’s Story of a Son at War, is a powerful memoir told in narrative verse by Richey, as a mother struggling with the reality of her son at war in Iraq. Her first collection The Burning Point, published in March 2004, won the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Poems from her new collection, The Warrior, have appeared in a two-page spread in O, The Oprah Magazine, Nicholas Kristof's New York Times column, on the Lives page of the New York Times Magazine, in Anna Quindlen's column in Newsweek, and the local PBS show “New York Voices.” Frances and her son were featured in a poetry segment on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and on C-SPAN BookTV. She lives in New York City. (photo credit Michael Fisher)

Also included will be readings by selected community poets and writers who submitted work for consideration by a panel of judges for SHP. Community writers include: Andrew Acciaro, Andrea Alterman, Michael Carman, Philip M. Carr-Harris, Gretl Claggett, Gillian Cummings, Terry Dugan, Ruth D. Handel, Margaret Kogan, Gloria Lazar, Natalie Safir, Mervyn Taylor, Christina Turczyn, and Laura Vookles.

Host for the evening is Cindy Beer-Fouhy.

This event is made possible with a regrant from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, supported by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Call for Submissions

Those interested in reading at the November 13th, 2009 Slapering Hol Press Writers on War and Peace gathering at the Writers’ Center (with featured poets D. Nurkse and Frances Richey) may submit up to three samples of original poems or prose for consideration. Each piece should be no longer than two pages, double spaced as there is a three minute limit per reader at the event. Please include name, e-mail address and /or phone number at top of submission for notification of acceptance. Only those accepted will be notified. Send submissions to:

Submissions, Writers On War & Peace
The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center
300 Riverside Drive
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591

postmarked no later than 9/1/09. No email submissions, please.

October 9, 2009
Colette Inez, Gretl Clagget, Alison Woods

Colette InezGretl Glagett

Colette Inez has published nine books of poetry and received Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and two NEA fellowships and two Pushcart Prizes. Her latest collection of poetry, Spinoza Doesn't Come Here Anymore, was published in 2004 by Melville House Press. She is widely anthologized and teaches in Columbia University's Undergraduate Writing Program. Her memoir, The Secret of M. Dulong, was released by The University of Wisconsin Press in 2005. Stories and essays by Inez have appeared in Antioch Review, Colorado Quarterly, Ohio Review, Connecticut Review, Confrontation, Helicon Nine, Rattle, Kiosk, and The American Voice. Her poetry has appeared in The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, Tin House, The Southern Review, Partisan Review, The Hudson Review and others.

Gretl Claggett is originally from Hannibal, Missouri. She holds an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, an MFA in nonfiction from Goucher College, and an MFA in theater from Western Illinois University. After an acting career on- and off-Broadway, then a stint as a corporate video/show producer, she worked for a decade as an account executive at an incentive-marketing agency. Her poetry and prose have appeared in The Atlanta Review, BigCityLit, The Greensboro Review, Heliotrope, Lumina, New Millennium Writings, Mangrove, Rattapallax and The Same, and have been anthologized in Chance of a Ghost (Helicon Nine Editions, 2005) and Submerged: Tales from the Basin (StepSister Press, 2008). A 2008 Pushcart Prize nominee, she is represented by Kuhn Projects, and currently shopping her corporate memoir Do This, Get That.

Alison Woods is a poet and lyricist who has published poems in, Poetry East, Rattallapax, Rattle, The Kean Review, The National Poetry Review, The Paris Review, and The Western Humanities Review. She is currently collaborating on a CD with Steve Addabbo (Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin), and co-wrote several songs on God's House, a 2008 CD release featuring a duet with Cyndi Lauper and Marion LoGuidice. She received her MFA from Columbia University and will be teaching at Norwalk Community College in the fall.


May 8, 2009
Amy Lemmon and Stephanie Strickland

photo: Amy Lemmonphoto: Stephanie StricklandAmy Lemmon is the author of two poetry collections: Fine Motor (Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Press, 2008) and Saint Nobody (Red Hen Press, 2009). Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Verse, Court Green, The Journal, Barrow Street, and many other magazines and anthologies. Amy holds a Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from the University of Cincinnati. She is Associate Professor of English at the Fashion Institute of Technology and lives with her two children in Astoria, Queens.

Stephanie Strickland’s fifth book of poems, Zone : Zero (book + CD), was just published by Ahsahta Press. Her latest collaborative hypermedia work, slippingglimpse, was introduced in Paris and will be shown in Barcelona this spring. She teaches experimental poetry and e-lit at many colleges and universities, most recently the University of Utah, and is working on a book-length sequence of poems, “Huracan’s Harp.”



April 24 , 2009
The Poets of Toadlily Press

Poets from An Uncommon Accord, the latest book in Toadlily Press’ quartet series
—Marcia Arrieta, Michael Carman and George Kraus—
are joined by previously published Toadlily Press poets Pamela Hart and Maxine Silverman.

left to right: Marcia Arrieta, Michael Carman, George Kraus, Pamela Hart, Maxine Silverman

Marcia Arrieta is a high school English teacher and editor/publisher of the poetry journal, Indefinite Space. Her chapbook, the curve against the linear, was published in 2008 in An Uncommon Accord. She has an MFA from Vermont College, lives on the canyon in Pasadena, California and often escapes into philosophy, nature, music and art.

Michael Carman lives in Yonkers, New York. Her chapbook, You in Translation, appears in An Uncommon Accord. She has taught poetry for Poets & Writers, in men’s and women’s jails in Westchester County, and at Sing Sing Prison. She currently teaches writing at F.I.T/SUNY in Manhattan.

George Kraus holds a PhD in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Rendition was published in An Uncommon Accord. He has worked as translator and scholar and divides his time between Rio de Janeiro and Tarrytown, New York where he writes poetry and prose.

Pamela Hart is a former journalist and new partner at Toadlily Press. Her chapbook, The End of the Body, was published in 2006 in The Fifth Voice. She’s writer in residence at the Katonah Museum of Art and directs the Art of Writing Institute at Long Island University, Purchase College campus, and teaches writing at LIU’s graduate school of education.

Maxine Silverman’s poems and essays have been published in anthologies and journals including Pushcart Prize III, and in two chapbooks, Survival Song (Sunbury Press) and Red Delicious in Desire Path, the inaugural Toadlily Press volume, as a founding editor. She is also a visual artist, and curates the series Readings at Riverspace in Nyack, New York.

“The four splendid and drastically individuated poets included in An Uncommon Accord manage, paradoxically enough, to create a harmony and a conversation among one another worthy of the great string quartets. The tensions between them are not violent but musical. They energize and transform the unique experience of each poem and poet; they give a permanent glow to the beautiful local civilization that is this book..”
—Vijay Seshadri


March 13, 2009
Kate Light and Matt Schwartz

photo: Kate Lightphoto: Matt SchwartzKate Light is the author of three volumes of poetry, Gravity’s Dream (Donald Justice Award), Open Slowly, and The Laws of Falling Bodies (Nicholas Roerich Prize), and the texts of two works for narrator and chamber ensemble, Oceanophony and Einstein’s Mozart: Two Geniuses. She is also a professional violinist in New York City. Kate’s poetry has appeared in The Paris Review, Dark Horse, Hudson Review, New York Sun, Washington Post Book World, Feminist Studies, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, Western Wind, Poetry Daily, and Good Poems for Hard Times (edited by Garrison Keillor), among other publications, and has been featured four times on Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. Her lyrics for the song Here Beside Me are heard in Disney’s Mulan II, and she is currently at work on an opera libretto. Says Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love: “Kate Light has been one of my favorite poets for years and years now. To my eye and ear, she operates as a full master. . .Her work gives me shivers.”

Matthew Schwartz is a poet, teacher, and editor living in Brooklyn, New York. He received his M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of California, Irvine in 2003. His first book of poetry, Blessings for the Hands, was published by University of Chicago Press in March 2008. His work has won awards from the Academy of American Poets and the International Institute of Modern Letters, and has been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Sycamore Review, Poetry Daily, and, the website of the Academy of American Poets.

December 12, 2008
Elizabeth Alexander and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

photo: Elizabeth Alexanderphoto: Lyrae Van Clief-StefanonThis special reading celebrates the publication of Slapering Hol Press’ latest chapbook, Poems in Conversation and a Conversation, by Elizabeth Alexander and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon.

Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher. She is the author of four books of poems, The Venus Hottentot, Body of Life, Antebellum Dream Book, and American Sublime, which was one of three finalists for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. She is also a scholar of African-American literature and culture and recently published a collection of essays, The Black Interior. She has read her work across the U.S. and in Europe, the Caribbean, and South America, and her poetry, short stories, and critical prose have been published in dozens of periodicals and anthologies. She has received many grants and honors, most recently the Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellowship for work that “contributes to improving race relations in American society and furthers the broad social goals of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954,” and the 2007 Jackson Prize for Poetry, awarded by Poets and Writers. She is a professor at Yale University, and for the academic year 2007-2008 she was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is the author of Open Interval (forthcoming, University of Pittsburgh Press) and Black Swan (University of Pittsburgh Press), winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, as well as Poems in Conversation and a Conversation (Slapering Hol), a chapbook in collaboration with Elizabeth Alexander. Her work has appeared in such journals as African American Review, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Gulf Coast, and Shenandoah, and in the anthologies Bum Rush the Page, Role Call, Common Wealth, Gathering Ground, and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. She is currently at work on a third collection, Southern Gate. She teaches in the creative writing program at Cornell University.

November 14, 2008
Poets & Writers on War & Peace: Daniela Gioseffi and Fran Castan

photo: Daniela Gioseffi & Fran CastanOur 3rd Annual Veteran’s Day reading features Daniela Gioseffi and Fran Castan. (See call for submissions below.)

Daniela Gioseffi is a poet, novelist, editor, literary critic, and peace and social justice activist who has taught and lectured widely throughout the U.S. and Europe. A second edition of her 1990 anthology, Women On War, which won an American Book Award, was published in 2003. Other books include Eggs In the Lake, which won a grant award from The New York State Council for the Arts in poetry, Word Wounds & Water Flowers, Symbiosis, 2002, and a novel, The Great American Belly. She won the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award in 1990 for her short story, “Daffodil Dollars,” aired on “The Sound of Words” on NPR. Her latest collection of poetry is Blood Autumn (2006). Daniela is editor of, an archive of contemporary poetry, interviews, commentary, and graphics. In 2007, Daniela won The John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry and, in 2008, the New York State OSIA Literary Award. Her verse has been etched in marble on a wall of Penn Station, near that of Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams.

Fran Castan is author of The Widow’s Quilt: Poems (1996.) Her work is included in a number of anthologies including Our Bundle of Joy, From Both Sides Now: Poetry of Vietnam, The Seasons of Women, and Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn. Her poem “Hiccups” appeared in the journal Poiesis in 2007 and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Castan taught writing and literature at The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan for 25 years. Prior to that she was on the editorial staffs of The New Yorker and Scholastic Magazines. During the Vietnam War, she lived in Hong Kong with her first husband, Sam Castan, who was the Asia correspondent for Look Magazine until his death in Vietnam in 1966. Castan is currently working on new poems from a collection in progress, “Sonnets for Siv,” a remembrance of her friend, the poet Siv Cedering, who died in November 2007.

Call for Submissions

Those interested in reading at the November 14th, 2008 Slapering Hol Press Writers on War and Peace gathering at the Writers’ Center (with featured readers Daniela Gioseffi and Fran Castan) should submit a brief sample of the piece they would like to read to

Submissions, Writers On War & Peace
The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center
300 Riverside Drive
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591

postmarked no later than 9/30/08. No email submissions, please. Pieces should be no longer than two pages double spaced. Please include name, e-mail address and/or phone number at top of submission for notification of acceptance. Only those accepted will be notified.

October 10, 2008
Jeanne Marie Beaumont and Lee Briccetti

photo: Jeanne Marie Beaumontphoto: Lee BriccettiJeanne Marie Beaumont is the author of Curious Conduct, (BOA Editions, 2004), and Placebo Effects, selected by William Matthews as a winner in the National Poetry Series (Norton, 1997). She is co-editor, with Claudia Carlson, of the anthology The Poets’ Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimm Fairy Tales. Her third book of poetry will be published by BOA editions in spring of 2010. Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies and magazines including Barrow Street, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Good Poems for Hard Times, and many others. Her poem “Afraid So” was made into a short film by award-winning filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt with narration by Garrison Keillor; it has been shown at two dozen international festivals, including the TriBeCa Film Festival and the 2008 Split This Rock Poetry Festival; it won 2nd prize at the Black Maria Film Festival. She has taught at Rutgers University and the Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire, where she is now the Director of the Annual Frost Place Seminar. She currently teaches at the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd St. Y and in the Stonecoast low-residency MFA program in Maine.

Lee Briccetti is the long-time Executive Director of Poets House in New York City, a 50,000-volume poetry library and meeting place for poets and poetry readers. Under her leadership, Poets House developed the Poets House Showcase, an annual exhibit of new poetry books, as well as the Poetry in the Branches, a national outreach program that assists public libraries throughout the country in providing poetry services. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she received a New York Foundation for the Arts Award for Poetry and has been a Poetry Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her first book of poetry, Day Mark, was published in 2005 by Four Way Books.

May 9, 2008
Barbara Fischer, Jo Ann Clark and Brad Davis
with music by Seiferth, Davis, & Burnett

A multimedia event with poetry, art, and jazz

Jo Ann Clark’s poems and translations have appeared in Reactions, Link, The Western Humanities Review, The New Republic, and The Paris Review, among others. She earned an MFA from Columbia University and has taught literature and writing in Rome and at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She recently completed a three-year tenure as Director of CITYterm at The Masters School.

Brad Davis teaches at the College of the Holy Cross (MA), edits the Broken Bridge Review, and directs the Broken Bridge Summer Arts Workshops at Pomfret School (CT). Winner of an AWP Intro Journal Award and the 2005 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize, his work has appeared in such journals as Poetry, The Paris Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Tar River, DoubleTake, Puerto del Sol, Ascent, and Image. He has three books of poems, Though War Break Out, Song of the Drunkards, and No Vile Thing (Antrim House: 2005, 2007, 2008), and a chapbook, Short List of Wonders (Hill-Stead Museum: 2005).

Barbara Fischer’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Paris Review, Boston Review, Southwest Review, Ekphrasis, Western Humanities Review, Maryland Poetry Review, and other journals. She is the author of a critical study of the intersections of visual and verbal art, Museum Mediations: Reframing Ekphrasis in Contemporary American Poetry (Routledge, 2006), and she is a frequent contributor of review essays to Boston Review. She holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from New York University, and has taught writing and literature at Columbia, NYU, and Marymount College. She lives in Sleepy Hollow, NY, with her husband and three children.

Seiferth, Davis, & Burnett is a jazz trio (guitar, bass, & drums) comfortable interpreting standards, pressing the free envelope, or backing a guitar strumming singer-songwriter. In fact, their primary service these days is as members of the alt-country indie band PHONOGRAPH. Abe, John, and Dave met and began playing together while studying at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

April 11, 2008
Joel Allegretti and Jo Pitkin

Joel Allegretti is the author of The Plague Psalms, which appeared in 2000 from The Poet’s Press and is now in its third edition. His second collection, Father Silicon, also from The Poet’s Press, was selected by the Kansas City Star as one of the 100 Noteworthy Books of 2006, a list that included novels by Thomas Pynchon and Cormac McCarthy. Allegretti’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Art/Life, Rattapallax, New York Quarterly, descant, The Laurel Review, Margie, Anglican Theological Review, BigCityLit, Wandering Hermit Review, Manhattan Literary Review, Porcupine, Knock, Confrontation, River Oak Review, and other publications. He is represented in the anthology Chance of a Ghost (Helicon Nine Editions, 2005), which also includes work by Billy Collins, Rita Dove and James Tate. His poem in that collection received an Honorable Mention in the 2006 edition of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, published by St. Martin’s Press.

Jo Pitkin grew up in Somers, New York. She received a B.A. from Kirkland College and an M.F.A. from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, The Measure. Her poems have appeared in Ironwood, Quarterly West, Dark Horse, Nimrod International Journal, Connecticut River Review, Vanguard Voices of the Hudson Valley - Poetry 2007, Riverine: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers, Stone Canoe, and others. Jo won the First Annual Hudson Valley Poetry Contest and Lyra’s Fourth Annual Poetry Prize and last year won Third Prize in both Vanguard Voices of the Hudson Valley and the Connecticut River Review competition. She has been a finalist in numerous contests, including Newburyport Art Association, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Felix Pollak Prize, Nimrod/Hardman Literary Awards, Owl Creek Press, Peregrine Smith Poetry Competition, and Wesleyan University Press New Poets Series, and was a semifinalist in Ohio University’s Hollis Summers Prize and “Discovery”/The Nation Contest. A former editor at Houghton Mifflin, Jo works as a freelance educational writer and currently lives near the Hudson River in a former schoolhouse built in 1830.

March 14, 2008
Christine Boyka Kluge, Joshua Mehigan, and Marc Straus

Christine Boyka Kluge is the author of Teaching Bones to Fly (2003) and Stirring the Mirror (2007), both from Bitter Oleander Press. Her chapbook, Domestic Weather, won the 2003 Uccelli Press Chapbook Contest. Other honors include winning the 1999 Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award and the 2006 Hotel Amerika Poetry Contest, and receiving several Pushcart Prize nominations. Christine’s writing is anthologized in No Boundaries: Prose Poems by 24 American Poets; Sudden Stories; Graphic Poetry; the forthcoming Riverine: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers and elsewhere. Her writing has appeared widely in print and online journals, including Arts & Letters, The Bloomsbury Review, The Cincinnati Review, Quarterly West, and Sentence. She is also a visual artist.

Joshua Mehigan’s first book, The Optimist, was one of five finalists for the 2004 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry and winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Sun, Poetry, and other periodicals. His reviews have been printed recently in Poetry and The Contemporary Poetry Review. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Talia Neffson.

Marc J. Straus is a distinguished oncologist, art curator and poet. He is the recipient of a 1993 Yaddo Fellowship and the 1998 Robert Penn Warren Award in the Humanities from Yale University Medical School. His poems have been published widely in literary journals including The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and TriQuarterly. Straus is author of three books of poetry including NOT GOD - A Play in Verse (2006), One Word (1994) and Symmetry (2000), all by TriQuarterly Books - Northwestern University Press. NOT GOD has been produced in theatrical and academic venues including, in 2007, as a staged reading at Yale and at the Depot Theatre in Garrison, NY. Straus, with his wife Dr. Livia Straus, co-founded the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill, NY.

February 8, 2008
Tara Betts, Lorna Blake, and Sally Bliumis Dunn

Tara Betts is a writer, performer, educator and Cave Canem alum. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from New England College. Her work has appeared in Essence, the Steppenwolf Theater production “Words on Fire,” Callaloo, Obsidian III, MiPoesias, Drum Voices Revue, WSQ, PMS poemsmemoirstory and Columbia Poetry Review. Her work has been anthologized in Gathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, The Spoken Word Revolution, Hurricane Blues, and elsewhere. Her work will appear in Thomas Sayers Ellis’ Breakfast and Blackfist: Notes for Black Poets, Wompology and a companion book to the Without Sanctuary photography exhibit. In addition to her experience with page and stage, she is a lecturer in creative writing at Rutgers University and teaches with Urban Word NYC and DreamYard.

Lorna Knowles Blake’s poems, essays and reviews have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, The Hudson Review, Dogwood, The Bellingham Review, and other journals, as well as in several anthologies, including Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English, Sonnets: 150 Contemporary Sonnets, and Chance of a Ghost: an Anthology of Contemporary Ghost Poems. She lives and works in New York City.

Sally Bliumis-Dunn teaches Modern Poetry and Creative Writing at Manhattanville College. She received her B.A. in Russian language and literature from U.C. Berkeley in 1983 and her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College in 2002. Her poems have appeared in Lumina, BigCityLit, Nimrod, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry London, RATTLE, Rattapallax, Spoon River Poetry Review and Chance of A Ghost, an anthology put out by Helicon Nine in 2005. In 2002 she was a finalist for the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize. Her manuscript, Talking Underwater, which has been a finalist for The University of Arkansas Press’ First Book Prize in 2006, a semifinalist for The Kenyon First Book contest in 2002, the Bright Hill Press in 2005 and a finalist for the Richard Snyder Poetry Prize from Ashland Press in 2006, will be published by Wind Publications in 2007. She lives in Armonk, New York with her husband, John. They share four children, Ben, Angie, Kaitlin and Fiona.

December 14, 2007

A reading by poet/translators Ann Cefola and Greg Delanty.

Ann Cefola is the author of Sugaring (Dancing Girl Press, 2007) and translator of Hélène Sanguinetti’s Hence this cradle (Seismicity Editions, 2007). Ann is a 2007 Witter Bynner Poetry Translation Fellow and recipient of the 2001 Robert Penn Warren Award judged by John Ashbery. In addition to journals such as Confrontation and Natural Bridge, her work has appeared in Hunger Enough (Pudding House, 2004) and Off the Cuffs (Soft Skull, 2003). Ann holds an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and works as a creative strategist with her own company, Jumpstart ( She and her husband, Michael, live in the New York suburbs.

Greg Delanty is the Artist in Residence at St. Michael’s College, Vermont. He became a U.S. citizen in 1994. He ran as a candidate for the Green Party in U.S. elections. His Collected Poems 1986-2006 is recently out from the Oxford Poet’s series of Carcanet Press. His other more recent books are The Ship of Birth (Carcanet Press 2003, Louisiana State University Press 2007), The Blind Stitch (Carcanet Press 2001, Louisiana State University Press 2002) and The Hellbox (Oxford University Press 1998)). Greg Delanty has received numerous awards and has recently earned a Guggenheim for Poetry.

November 9, 2007

Our 2nd Annual Veteran’s Day reading features Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr. and community poets and writers*. Wheat was named Poet Laureate of Nassau County in June at the historic home of poet William Cullen Bryant, in a ceremony organized by poets 20 days after the Nassau County Legislature turned down— because of the anti-war position of his book, Iraq and Other Killing Fields: Poetry for Peace—Wheat’s unanimous recommendation to the post by the Legislature’s Poet Laureate Panel. A poet and naturalist, Wheat has taught continuing education classes in poetry writing for many years. He has won both the Long Island School of Poetry Award from the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association and an award from the New York State Outdoor Education Association.

October 12, 2007

A reading by poets Elizabeth Harrington and Natalie Safir.

Elizabeth Harrington has a Ph.D. in psychology and works at a market research firm in New York. She grew up in Oklahoma, which is the emotional and physical setting for much of her poetry. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and in the anthology Split Verse: Poems To Heal The Heart. She was a winner of Passaic Community College’s Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award, first runner-up in the dA Center for the Arts Poetry Prize, and a finalist for Comstock Review’s Muriel Craft Bailey Award. Her chapbook Earth’s Milk was first runner-up in the Main Street Rag Chapbook Poetry contest.

Natalie Safir’s poems have been published in Slant, Rhino, Mid-America Review, and many other journals, and anthologized in McGraw Hill college texts. Her books published are Moving into Seasons, To Face the Inscription, Made Visible, and most recently, A Clear Burning (2004), which poet Michael Waters called “a book of deep and wild sustenance.”. Of her earlier work, poet Thomas Lux wrote, “I admire very much these utterly lucid, distilled, and powerful poems.” She teaches private poetry writing workshops and memoir writing at The Neighborhood House in Tarrytown.

May 11, 2007

Readings by poet Maria Terrone of New York City and Pittsburgh native Paola Corso.

Maria Terrone’s second book of poetry, A Secret Room in Fall (Ashland Poetry Press, 2006), won the McGovern Prize. Her work has appeared in such magazines as Poetry, The Hudson Review, and Crab Orchard Review. Her first book, The Bodies We Were Loaned (The Word Works, 2002) is now being translated into Farsi.

Paola Corso’s debut fiction book, Giovanna’s 86 Circles, was named “Best Short Stories of 2005” in The Montserrat Review and is a John Gardner Fiction Book Award finalist. Author of a book of poems, Death by Renaissance, Corso is a New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellow and currently writer-in-residence in Western Connecticut State University’s MFA Program.

April 13, 2007

Let the Laureates Speak: In celebration of National Poetry Month, readings by Stephen Stepanchev, the former Poet Laureate of Queens (1997-2000), Jackie Sheeler, Poet Laureate of Rikers Island, and Brenda Connor-Bey, Poet Laureate of Greenburgh, New York.

Now a Hastings-on-Hudson resident, Stephen Stepanchev served as Poet Laureate of Queens from 1997 - 2000. He recently published his 11th collection, Beyond the Gate: New and Selected Poems (Orchises Press). It contains 27 new poems and selections from all 10 previous collections. Born in Serbia in 1915, he came to the U.S. in 1922 and grew up in Chicago. He taught at Purdue University, joined the Army in 1941, and then taught at New York University and Queens College, CUNY, until 1985.

Recently named Poet Laureate of Riker's Island for her volunteer work with the young inmates at the Horizon school for 16-21 year olds, Jackie Sheeler is a native New Yorker whose energy is insatiable. Her book, The Memory Factory, won the Magellan Prize from Buttonwood Press and the anthology of police poetry she edited, Off the Cuffs (Soft Skull Press), won rave reviews. Jackie's work has appeared in numerous literary journals and she has performed her work on radio and TV. She is a multi-talented artist who has recorded and fronts for the rock & roll band "Talk Engine". She founded and curates the weekly readings series, Pink Pony West, now in its 7th year. Jackie continues to teach workshops and leads both group and private workshops throughout the NY metropolitan area.

Named the first Poet Laureate of Greenburgh, New York, Brenda Connor-Bey is the author of Thoughts of an Everyday Woman/An Unfinished Urban Folktale, a collection of prose and poetry. She is the founder of MenWem Writers Workshop, a member of Slapering Hol Press Advisory Committee, the Harlem Writers' Workshop, the Poetry Caravan, and the Advisory Committee for the Westchester Center for Creative Aging. She is a recipient of the Westchester Fund for Women and Girls' Outstanding Arts Educator Award, a New York State CAPS award for poetry, four PEN awards for non-fiction (B.H.R.A.G.S. Celebrates Its People's Culture, The Brooklyn Museum), and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction. She is a MacDowell, YADDO and Cave Canem Regional Fellow. Recently, she completed a chapbook of poetry, Through the Mists of Remembering, and a collection of poetry, Crossroad of the Serpent. Brenda is an arts-in-education consultant, a teacher of creative writing at the Hudson Valley Writers' Center and the Kids' Short Story Connection and a facilitator of professional development workshops for administrators and teachers.

March 9, 2007

Class Act: A reading by the students of Suzanne Cleary's advanced poetry class, including Francie Camper, Jo Ann Clark, Brenda Connor-Bey, Nancy Connors, Lisa Fleck, Kate Gallagher, Leslie Maddock, and Erica Mazzeo.

February 9, 2007

We celebrate the poets of Toadlily Press "whose books juxtapose multiple voices in dialogue with one another and the reader." Victoria Givotovsky (Litchfield County, CT), Myrna Goodman (Chappaqua, NY), Pamela Hart (South Salem, NY), Noah Kucij (Troy, NY), Maxine Silverman (Nyack, NY), Meredith Trede (Sleepy Hollow, NY), and Jennifer Wallace (Baltimore, MD) will read poems from Desire Path and The Fifth Voice.

November 10, 2006

Veteran’s Day Reading: Poets and Writers on War and Peace, featuring selections by poet Karen Swenson, author of the National Poetry Series Award-winning book The Landlady in Bangkok and Paul Rieckhoff, author of Chasing Ghosts and Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Also included are readings by selected community poets and writers who submitted work for consideration by a panel of judges for SHP.

Paul Rieckhoff is the executive director and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) (formerly Operation Truth), the first and largest organization for veterans of the War on Terror. Rieckhoff is a nationally recognized authority on the war in Iraq and issues affecting US troops, military families, and veterans at home. He is a frequent TV and radio commentator and has appeared on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Fox's Hannity & Colmes, NBC Nightly News, 60 Minutes II, CNN's Paula Zahn Now, ABC's World News Tonight, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Air America's Al Franken Show, and NPR's All Things Considered.

Karen Swenson’s third book of poetry, The Landlady in Bangkok, was chosen by Maxim Kumin as winner of The National Poetry Prize and published by Copper Canyon Press. Swenson's travels have taken her to Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia and other realms. Her work has won acclaim from the Pushcart Prize, the Arvon Foundation in England and the Ann Stanford Award. She also has written of her travels for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Leader and several magazines.

Other readers include: Natalie Safir, Catherine Gonnick, Estha Weiner, Pamela Hart, Denise Frasca, Catherine Wolf, Reggie Marra, Andrea Alterman, and Jennifer Lang. Host for the evening is Cindy Beer-Fouhy.

October 13, 2006

A reading from Chance of a Ghost: An Anthology of Contemporary Ghost Poems (Helicon Nine Editions, 2005), edited by Philip Miller and Gloria Vando. Those reading include Joel Allegretti, Sally Bliumis-Dunn, Marilyn A. Johnson, Nicholas Johnson, Sarah Hannah, Gabrielle LeMay, Philip Miller, Margaret Ryan, Margo Stever, and Mervyn Taylor.

September 8, 2006

A poetry reading by Jeffrey McDaniel (The Splinter Factory) and a reading by actors John Blaylock and Erin-Kate Howard of a one-act play, “The Price of Beauty,” by Joe Lauinger. Lauinger’s plays have been produced across the U.S. and in Australia, India, and England, and both he and McDaniel teach at Sarah Lawrence College.

Slapering Hol Press is the small press imprint of The Hudson Valley Writers' Center

Admission $5 ($3 for HVWC members)

Return to Calendar

Slapering Hol Press Main Page

The Hudson Valley Writers' Center - Home