Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Frost Farm Prize submission deadline: April 1

A reminder: submissions for the 2nd Annual Frost Farm Prize for metrical poetry must be postmarked by April 1, 2012. The winner will walk away with $1,000 and an invitation, with honorarium, to read as part of The Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Robert Frost Farm in Derry in the summer of 2012. The poem will appear in the 2012 edition of The Evansville Review. Submission guidelines are available at the Farm website.

Lahiri on the Sentence

Draft is a new New York Times blog series about the art and craft of writing. Jhumpa Lahiri, author of Unaccustomed Earth, The Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies, was asked to write the first entry. She writes:
All the revision I do — and this process begins immediately, accompanying the gestation — occurs on a sentence level. It is by fussing with sentences that a character becomes clear to me, that a plot unfolds. To work on them so compulsively, perhaps prematurely, is to see the trees before the forest. And yet I am incapable of conceiving the forest any other way.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Local coverage: Wachusett Writers & Poets Club

Here, for those interested in the goings-on of local literary clubs -- and for the purpose of keeping a full record of coverage of local literary news in the area media -- are a few portions of an article by Michael Hartwell which appeared in the Sentinel & Enterprise newspaper, March 3, 2012, under the title "Wachusett writers plan tribute to founder." The article should continue to be available as a version cached by Google.

WESTMINSTER -- Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School will be printing copies of a book from the Wachusett Writers and Poets Club in a tribute to Dolores Ouellette, 81, of Westminster, who helped found the group in 2004 and died of cancer in September. Only 50 copies of "Expression & Inspiration 2012" will be printed, and copies will be given to contributing writers and local libraries, senior centers and genealogy groups.


"This is not just a social club," said Janice Ouellette, 64, of Ashby. "We are trying to become better writers." She leads the group with her twin sister, Janet Ouellette. The two are distantly related to Dolores Ouellette.

Nine people attended a group meeting on Monday. Janet Ouellette, a retired reading teacher, shared a writing prompt, and assembled members wrote short pieces for 10 minutes under the theme "I remember."


Janet Ouellette wrote about the time she broke her collarbone from heaving a muffin with all her might. Janice Ouellette wrote about an argument the two had as children that ended with her throwing a wooden spoon at her sister across the yard -- and bonking her square on the head.


Later in the meeting members shared poems and short pieces they had written. Ingrid Wheeler passed out copies of a work in progress about her husband's failed attempts at fixing things around the house.

"Too many times I've caught him menacing my garden with a weed whacker," she wrote. The piece concluded with an anecdote about him wearing pants that don't fit, which fell down while he was gripping a heavy saw on top of a ladder. He couldn't step down because of the pants and his hands were full, so she had to climb the precarious ladder to help him.


The club has printed copies of its collected work before. The last time, the work was titled "Expression & Inspiration" and came out in 2009.

The group meets about once a week in the Westminster Town Office and their next meeting will be Monday at 1 p.m.