Poetry, local and state-honored, rolls into the upstairs reading room at Golden Notebook Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28, with readings by former New York State poet laureate Marie Howe with New York City-based Donna Masini on Saturday, and authors from the new Tinker Street: Voices from the Green and Beyond literary collection on Sunday.
The latter will include a selection from the handprinted journal’s first outing this spring, which included Nicole Cooley, Suzanne Bennett, Jana Martin, Sarah Micklem, Violet Snow and Sparrow, Gretchen Primack, Nina Shengold, Michael Kincaid, and Dawn Casteel-Lorick. The exquisite collection’s editor, publisher and maker Maureen Cummins, a renowned bookmaker artist who moved to Bearsville several years ago, will introduce and emcee the Sunday May 28 event at 3 p.m.
“The second day after Trump was elected — I couldn’t sleep for days — I got such a sense that I had to do something that was positive for my community,” Cummins said this week of Tinker Street’s origins, noting that the community she first entered from her new home was one of writers. “The first issue was put together with all the writers that I know, mostly people I got to know from writing groups with a couple from farther afield.”
Cummins printed the journal in a run of 300 so each work could sell more affordably than the $2000-$3000 price tags of her artist books. Copies are available at several local bookstores, as well as through the included authors, who buy copies at price directly from Cummins.
“I see myself as a medium,” she said of her move into a form of mass publishing, the ideology behind her editing, and the way she plans to organize and even emcee this weekend’s reading event. “I’m working with my assistant Liz Cunningham on a second issue that will be half-filled with previously unpublished writers. It’s very exciting.”
Howe, the author of four volumes of poetry that have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, Agni, Ploughshares, Harvard Review, and The Partisan Review, rose out of the Columbia University MFA program and is known for the stark emotional beauty of her works. She and Masini will read at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 27
“We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store/ and the gas station and the green market and/ Hurry up honey, I say, hurry,/ as she runs along two or three steps behind me/ her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down./ Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?/ To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?” Howe writes in “Hurry,” capturing hidden feelings we all feel but rush past. “Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,/Honey I’m sorry I keep saying Hurry—/ you walk ahead of me. You be the mother./ And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking/ back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says,/ hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.”
Masini, who teaches at Hunter and other New York City colleges and universities, and writes novels as well as poetry, has won NEA and other awards for the concision of her observations, the depths of her allusions and analysis.
Howe and Masini read at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 27; the Tinker Street crowd start off at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, both at The Golden Notebook, 29 Tinker Street in Woodstock. Call 679-8000 or visit www.goldennotebook.comfor further information