Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hi Andy, Would be there if I could. But I am enjoying sunny---but chilly today---Florida weather. Love to all our poet friends, Betty

from Michelle Jan 5, 2008:

Andy--thanks for the reminder! I am sorry that I forgot about the William Stafford reading--I especially wanted to be there because of his Hutchinson, KS connection, a town where I lived for a year & a half!


I will try to get these dates in my planner so that I can join you for the upcoming readings. Thanks again for organizing this really unique and great space to meet with people who love words.

Michelle Scobie
(was at Blake reading and at Patricia McNair event)
from Maureen Hart Jan 8, 2008:



I will be their for Carl.

It sounded like you had a great time [at the Stafford event Jan 2, 2008]. I always have a good time, it is a very special group.

from Jayne Jaudon Ferrer Jan 7, 2008:

Hi, Andy. Happy new year!


Quaff something to Carl on my behalf Wednesday night!

from Julie George Jan 6, 2008:

Andy: Wish I could come. Wish I could, wish I could, wish I could. Don't understand anyone not being there if they live close enough.

Julie George
from Valerie Bailey Jan 6, 2008:

Dear Andrew,

Your programs sound delightful, but there is no way I can ever attend one. I am way down here in San Antonio,Texas and don't have the funds or the health to travel to Michigan, although that would be great fun.

We have the same problem down here with small turnouts for great poetry. A lot of people just don't know what they are missing in camaraderie and inspiration. We have venues all over town at the various Barnes & Nobles and at other coffee houses and cafes. Our city really has a great community of poets and I am very active in as many as possible. I am the current Poet Laureate for the San Antonio Poets Association and I am a councilor for the Poetry Society of Texas and a board member of the Laurel Crown Foundation (a non-profit literary foundation for the promotion of poetry in the San Antonio area). I am also the editor of The Encore, the anthology of prize poems for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.

I applaud your efforts to keep poetry alive and well in Michigan. Do you know Margo Lagattuta. She is a friend of mine in Rochester, Michigan—very active in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.

Good luck with your Carl Sandburg event.

Viva Poetry!

Valerie Bailey

from Jan Coyne Jan 6, 2008:

I thank you for keeping us posted on events. My situation in life right now prevents me from attending anything, almost. I do want to keep informed, in case things change and I find myself able to participate.

I admire River Junction Poets for their active group. We Downriver Poets & Playwrights also are an active group. I am able to have part in some of our events. We should be notifying others as to our plans, like you do.

Keep up the great work.

Thanks again,

Jan Coyne

from David Budbill Jan 9, 2008:

Andy and the River Junction Poets,

A lovely, sweet, important, good email. Thanks for being there and doing what you do. Keep on keepin' on!

Although I've never been to your meetings and probably will always be a part of the 98% who never will be, I read your emails and am with you in spirit every time.

And speaking of Carl Sandburg, don't neglect the poems in BILLY SUNDAY AND OTHER POEMS. These are the unexpurgated and uncollected poems which remained unpublished because their language was too raw, their attitude and politics too outspoken. Poems on hucksters like Billy Sunday, poems about race and the abuse of the poor and women, poems of outrage and defiance. A terrific, very important and neglected body of work by our guy.

More at:

Your fellow poet and friend in the snowy north,


"There's no money in poetry,
but then again there's
no poetry in money."

Robert Graves

* * *

Driving Home At Night

Midnight. Outside the car it is
15 below. A foot of new snow.
The village is deserted, dark,
except for eight street lamps
and the light in the window
at Jerry's Garage that says:

The smell of woodsmoke seeps
into the car.

Judevine, ugliest town
in northern Vermont, except
maybe East Judevine.
Disheveled, wretched, Judevine- -
my town- -is beautiful in the night.

It is beautiful because
its couple hundred souls
have given up their fears,
their poverty and worry.
For a few hours now they know
only the oblivion of sleep
and the town lies quiet
in their ease.

David Budbill

"Driving Home At Night" by David Budbill, from Judevine. © Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 1999.

The 'lovely, sweet, important, good e-mail' he refers to is posted at our Meetup site.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Amazing! At last Wednesday's William Stafford event, 98.8% of the people who get the e-mail blast did NOT show up! Tim Hogan, Marion Tincknell, and I didn't mind though. Tim and I were there a little before seven and secured our location in the bookstore along with a few folding chairs. Marion joined us, and we talked until the store closed at 10 p.m. We would have stayed later if the store was open longer. Mary Oliver and Linda Pastan came up in our discussion of Stafford's poems. And I was able to share with them that Helen Ruggieri studied with Stafford in Florida in 1985. This is the year Marion is going to get her book of poems published. And Tim is writing more poems.

"It is our goal to appreciate and improve our talents, to share our own work and to communicate the joys of poetry with others. Everyone's poetry is valued." River Junction Poets Mission Statement

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

According to an article posted May 15, 2006 in Slate Magazine, the independent bookstore is going the way of 8-track tapes, vinyl records and polio. I hope not! Anyway, here's a link to the article. In it, Tyler Cowen remarks on Laura J. Miller's book Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption. Cowen claims Miller "wishes to make the bookstore into a political arena." But, as Cowen points out, we have the internet now and with that we have on-demand publishing, blogs, reader reviews at sites such as Amazon, and of course eBay. Non-partisan freedom of speech is alive and well because so many people have access to the internet and create a blog and more.