Welcome! Pioneer Valley Writers' Workshop hosts frequent author readings, events, and panels - free and open to the public. At this time, all readings and events are virtual and will be for the foreseeable future. To attend an event, please RSVP, and you'll receive an email closer to the event containing the link.
Thursday, August 27th (6:30 - 8pm EST) ONLINE via Zoom
SUMMER POETRY READING, featuring
RAGE HEZEKIAH • GAIL THOMAS • ANDERS CARLSON-WEE • KAREN SKOLFIELD
Click on the images to learn more about each book!
Join us online (Zoom) on August 27th to celebrate the recent work of four outstanding poets: Rage Hezekia, Gail Thomas, Anders Carlson-Wee, and Karen Skolfield. After the reading, the event will open up to Q&A and discussion with the authors. Moderated by Joy Baglio and Kate Senecal. Please RSVP below if interested!
About the Featured Authors
RAGE HEZEKIAH is a New England based poet and educator, who earned her MFA from Emerson College. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, The MacDowell Colony, and The Ragdale Foundation, and is a recipient of the Saint Botolph Foundation's Emerging Artists Award. Her chapbook Unslakable (Paper Nautilus Press) is a 2018 Vella Chapbook Award Winner. Stray Harbor (Finishing Line Press, 2019) is her debut full-length collection of poems. Rage’s poems have appeared in The Academy of American PoetsPoem-a-Day, TriQuarterly, ZYZZYVA, and several other journals and anthologies. You can find more of her work at ragehezekiah.com.
In her debut collection of poems, Stray Harbor, Rage Hezekiah "helps us remember what it is like to discover the world for the first time. It is a tender meditation on how we learn to love our family and how we learn to love ourselves. Rage Hezekiah has given us a stunning debut, one that signals we’re only at the beginning of what promises to be a remarkable literary life." (Clint Smith, author of Counting Descent)
GAIL THOMAS is the author of four books of poetry: Odd Mercy, Waving Back, No Simple Wilderness: An Elegy for Swift River Valley, and Finding the Bear. Odd Mercy, chosen by Ellen Bass, won the Charlotte Mew Prize of Headmistress Press, and Waving Back was named a Must Read by the Massachusetts Center for the Book and Honorable Mention by the New England Book Festival. Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies including The Beloit Poetry Journal, Calyx, The North American Review, Italian Americana, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Individual poems have won national prizes, and she has been a fellow at The McDowell Colony and Ucross. You may read more about her work at www.gailthomaspoet.com.
“These are poems of authority and grace, alive with the pulse of desire and the mystery of our deep connections." (Joan Larkin). Robin Becker says of her work: “Thomas brings precise observation and earned wisdom to poems in which the ‘bitter and the sweet entwine.”
ANDERS CARLSON-WEE is the author of The Low Passions (W.W. Norton, 2019), a New York Public Library Book Group Selection as well as the 2019 Connecticut Poetry Circuit Selection. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, BuzzFeed, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many other publications. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, he is the winner of the 2017 Poetry International Prize. His work has been translated into Chinese. Anders holds an MFA from Vanderbilt University and lives in Cincinnati. www.anderscarlsonwee.com
These poems are "Trenchantly observed and moving" (The Kenyon Review), with "Uncanny lyric aptitude" (The Sewanee Review). "Carlson-Wee has a true gift for narrative. The Poems carve arcs toward illumination" (Rain Taxi Review of Books). These are "Poems that will outlast us" (Maggie Smith).
KAREN SKOLFIELD’s book Battle Dress (W. W. Norton, 2019) won the Barnard Women Poets Prize and is a Massachusetts “Must Read” selection. Her book Frost in the Low Areas (Zone 3 Press) won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry, and she is the winner of the 2016 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in poetry from The Missouri Review. Skolfield is a U.S. Army veteran and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; she’s the poet laureate for Northampton, MA for 2019-2021.
In her second book of poetry, Battle Dress, U.S. Army veteran Karen Skolfieldoffers a rare glimpse of a female soldier’s training and mental conditioning. Called "A terrific and sometimes terrifying collection - morally complex, rhythmic, tough-minded, and original" (Rosanna Warren, 2018 Barnard Women Poets Prize citation). Author Brian Turner says of the collection: "These are the poems of a soldier, a warrior, a woman in uniform, as well as a wide-ranging examination of violence in thought and in action.”
When: Thursday, August 27th (6:30 - 8pm) Where: Online, via Zoom video conference The link to the Zoom event will be posted on our Facebook Event Page.
Thursday, October 29th (6:30 - 8pm) ONLINE via Zoom
FALL FICTION READING, featuring
DENNIS JAMES SWEENEY • ELWIN COTMAN • LARA EHRLICH • MATTHEW LANSBURGH
About the Featured Authors
ELWIN COTMAN is a storyteller from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He's the author of two collections of speculative short stories, The Jack Daniels Sessions EP, and Hard Times Blues. His work has appeared in Grist, Weird Fiction Review, Black Gate, The Thought Erotic, The Southwestern Review, and Cabinet des Fees, among others (see publications). He was a participant in the 2012 Low Lives Performance Festival. In 2009, Cotman was a core member of the Cyberpunk Apocalypse Writers Cooperative, a DIY writers space in Pittsburgh. He has curated many readings and reading series. His third collection, Dance on Saturday, will be published in summer 2020 by Small Beer Press.
DENNIS JAMES SWEENEY is the author of the chapbook Ghost/Home: A Beginner’s Guide to Being Haunted, as well as three other chapbooks of poetry and prose. His first full-length book, In the Antarctic Circle, won the 2020 Autumn House Rising Writer Prize and is forthcoming from Autumn House Press in 2021. His writing has appeared in Crazyhorse, Five Points, Ninth Letter, The New York Times, and The Southern Review, among others. A Small Press Editor of Entropy and former Fulbright Fellow in Malta, he has an MFA from Oregon State University and a PhD from the University of Denver. Originally from Cincinnati, he lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
LARA EHRLICH is the author of the short story collection ANIMAL WIFE (Red Hen Press, September 2020), which won Red Hen’s Fiction Award, judged by Ann Hood. Lara’s stories are published in F(r)iction, Hunger Mountain, StoryQuarterly, The Normal School, and elsewhere, and she has received scholarships from the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, the Midwest Writers Workshop, and the Garret on the Green. Lara lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughter, and she is the director of marketing for the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven.
MATTHEW LANSBURGH's collection of linked stories, Outside Is the Ocean, won the Iowa Short Fiction Award and was a finalist for the 30th Annual Lambda Literary Award and the 2018 Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as One Story, New England Review, Glimmer Train, Ecotone, Alaska Quarterly Review, Guernica, and Epoch, and has been shortlisted in the Best American Short Stories series. Recent honors include fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Yaddo, and MacDowell. Visit him online here.
Thursday, November 19th (6:30 - 8pm EST) ONLINE via Zoom
WINTER POETRY READING, featuring
JOSHUA STEWART • JOVONNA VAN PELT • SARA EDDY • FAITH SHEARIN
About the Poets
JOVONNA VAN PELT is a member of Straw Dog Writers Guild and, from her home base in Greenfield, a frequent contributor to Valley open mics and word stage performances. Jo has been a repeating finalist in the Poet's Seat competition; her work is included in the Compass Roads anthology edited by Jane Yolen. Unrelated Questions is her first published collection.
JOSHUA MICHAEL STEWART has published poems in the Massachusetts Review, Salamander, Brilliant Corners, Talking River Review, and many others. His first full-length collection of poems, Break Every String, was published by Hedgerow Books in 2016, and his latest collection, The Bastard Children of Dharma Bums, is forthcoming from Human Error Publishing. Visit him at www.joshuamichaelstewart.com
SARA EDDY is Assistant Director of the writing center at Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts. Some of her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in the Threepenny Review, the Baltimore Review, and Spank the Carp. Her chapbook of poems about bees and beekeeping, Tell the Bees, was released in October of 2019 by A3 Press, and another chapbook of poems about food, Full Mouth, will come out from Finishing Line Press in October of 2020. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with a teenager, a black cat, a white dog, and three beehives.
FAITH SHEARIN's books of poetry include: The Owl Question (May Swenson Award), Moving the Piano, Telling the Bees, Orpheus, Turning (Dogfish Poetry Prize), Darwin's Daughter and Lost Language (forthcoming, Press 53).She has received awards from Yaddo, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Recent work has been featured on The Writer's Almanac and included in American Life in Poetry.
"Can't say enough about PVWW, Joy, and her amazing team of teachers! Writing is very much about the ability to sit in your seat for hours and put pen to paper, but coming to PVWW has helped me build a community around my writing, breathe new life into my efforts, and get out of my own head a bit. And beyond that, I've learned lots of practical, nuts-and-bolts techniques that have vastly improved my work." - Emily Everett, Editor at The Common