Bridgewater Poetry Fest Alumni Page

The second Bridgewater International Poetry Festival took place Thursday, January 15th through Sunday January 18th at Bridgewater College just up the road from Staunton and down the road from Harrisonburg, VA. Dozens of poets from around the world  gathered to read to each other and to festival attendees over the course of those four days.

A very big thanks to Stan Galloway, professor of English at Bridgewater College for driving this marvelous festival.

I created this page as a way for the 2015 poets who’ll be presenting their work to introduce themselves to each other (as well as to readers of this site).

Now I’d like to maintain it as a place for those poets to keep in touch, share news of forthcoming publications in print or online journals, and to celebrate any publications of books, broadsides, limited editions, etc.

So post your updates as a response to this page, and let’s keep in touch!

For an overview of the 2015 Festival schedule, look here.

Come say hello!

67 thoughts on “Bridgewater Poetry Fest Alumni Page

  1. Angela M. Carter

    Saturday, January 17, 2015, 11:30am

    Angela M. Carter was born, and raised, in a Virginia farming town of less than 280 country-folk. As an adult, Angela moved abroad, to England, for nearly five years and returned to Virginia with a new-found confidence, and voice. Her first full-length memoir poetry collection, Memory Chose a Woman’s Body (unbound CONTENT) is a poetic journey that spotlights the effects of the silences endured after abuse, neglect and depression. Angela is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee, poetry editor of City Lit Rag, a coordinator of arts-related events, Vice President of Spitzer Art Center (Harrisonburg, VA) , a motivational speaker, arts advocate, a painter and photographer. Her publications include Whurk, Vox Poetica, Premiere Generation Ink, City Lit Rag, The Word Ocean, Worst Week Ever, Our Stories Untold, Gutsy Living, and several anthology publications. Angela is an activist that speaks out against the silences that follow abuse, and dedicates all of her spare time to being the voice for many that are unable to speak up. In addition, she is an advocate of the healing ability of the arts, and believes each and every individual is an artist.

    Hotel Song

    Friday afternoon
    we’d wait, noses to hot window pane
    for the clicks and dust of mama’s car
    to disturb the driveway.
    Hurry up before it overheats.
    Hurry up because if I turn it off
    I can’t turn it back on.
    Our weekend homes
    had bibles in the drawer;
    some I read, and many that I
    used as ashtrays.
    Sometimes we’d buy a pool for the night
    the blue water was our summer beach trip–
    we’d dance underwater like we belonged;
    like we more alive when nearly drowning.
    One night as I left a pool
    bathing suit still on,
    a man offered me $250 to go back to his room.
    I ran away like the hunted, and screamed all the way back to safety.
    When I arrived back to the room it dawned on me that
    it didn’t matter how many monsters I ran from:
    When I’m breathing, I carry the scent of prey.

    Reply
    1. KC Bosch

      KC Bosch is a photographer and woodworker who lives and writes in Rappahannock County, Virginia. His poetry can be found at literary journals such as Camel Saloon, Poetry Breakfast, Dead Mule, and Vox Poetica. His work was twice nominated for Best of the Net.

      Stealing Days
      By KC Bosch

      when we arrive the calm dark is
      rudely broken by generator and lamps
      a million details to tend to

      set the plates, fasten the sills
      take the measure
      run adhesive and sheet the deck
      build the walls and stand in place

      bring in the rafters
      tip them up and nail them down
      an ancient story of feet and inches

      thirty-eight and seven-sixteenths skinny
      short to short, three times
      cripples and dead-men and bents
      valleys and peaks and studs

      stopping for lunch almost
      while plotting …
      sandwich in one hand
      plans in the other

      all afternoon more of the same
      but different …

      ok shut it down, tie it down,
      pack it up

      out to the truck
      racing to Manny’s
      pork rinds and beer
      down 997 toward home

      hat stuck to my head
      sweat stain tie-dyed shirt
      wearing enough sawdust and dirt
      to … be … arrested … for … theft.

      Reply
  2. Matthew Hamilton

    Matthew Hamilton is a former Soldier, Congressional Aide, US Peace Corps, and Benedictine Monk. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from Fairfield University and is a three time Pushcart Prize nominee. His stories and poems have appeared in a variety of national and international journals, including Atticus Review, Coe Magazine, Noctua Review, Burnt Bridge, Boston Literary Magazine, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and Muddy River Poetry Review. His chapbook, The Land of the Four Rivers, published by Cervena Barva Press, won the 2013 Best Poetry Book from Peace Corps Writers. Currently, he is the Librarian at Benedictine College Preparatory, an all-male, Catholic Military high school in Richmond, VA.

    Snakes Belong in the Wild

    As a child,
    she kept purple-tailed lizards
    in a doll house. The girls at school
    called her queen of the reptiles.
    A boy pulled a frog from his pocket
    and told her to kiss it. She spit
    in his face and disappeared
    up a tree a maggot, wrapped herself
    in bark-colored leaves
    and waited for the bell to ring.
    Years later, after college,
    she disappeared again,
    this time into the desert.
    Her trailer was a rainforest.
    She collected rattlers and corals,
    mambas, and a gaboon viper
    she allowed to curl around her wrist
    like a diamond bracelet.
    She never invited guests,
    the boys and girls from school
    an unbroken reminder of provocation.
    She was never reported missing
    and her ears and nose thrashed red
    for days like exotic butterflies in flight.

    Reply
  3. Nicole Yurcaba

    Nicole Yurcaba is a Ukrainian-American writer and internationally-recognized poet currently living and working as an English professor in West Virginia. Her love and dedication to words has propelled her into the arms of such publications as The Atlanta Review, The Bluestone Review, Philomathean, Outrageous Fortune, VoxPoetica, City Lit Rag, Hobo Camp Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, The Lake, and many others. Yurcaba’s first poetry and photography collection Backwoods and Back Words is available through Unbound Content on Amazon. She has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Award, and recently received 2nd Place in the Hemingway Contest hosted by Poetry Sans Frontieres for her poem “September’s Onslaught.”

    The Twenty-First of March
    “And we’ll believe yet more in liberty…”-Taras Shevchenko

    A scene reminiscent of Kruty:
    vigorous, stately soldiers
    bundled in their bulky overcoats
    and tryzub-adorned ushankas,
    armed not with rifles this time,
    but steeled with their rich bass-roaring voices
    sparring the Russki hegemony’s raising
    of the imperialistic flag.
    Those Ukrainian boys sang “Shche ne vmerla Ukrayina,
    ni slava, ni volya”–“Ukraine’s freedom
    has not yet perished, nor has her glory”
    in defiance of the bear’s unmarked
    Kalashnikov-armed thugs.
    Yes, March twenty-first:
    Spring. Life. Impending war.
    Invasion camouflaged as “annexation.”
    A deliberate violation of international law.
    The slow premeditated disembowelment
    of a nation’s sovereignty.
    The history texts, the scholars, won’t be permitted to remember.
    The bear will sink its claws into those
    who recall the truth,
    and the bear will ensure
    that those young men who sang at the gates
    are booked as “Nazis” and “Fascists.”
    What will the bear do to those of us
    who, six thousand miles away,
    watched via television
    as those young Ukrainian men–simulacrums
    of our fathers, cousins,
    brothers, grandfathers
    and great-grandfathers bellowed
    for freedom in the face of Russian aggression,
    because we stood
    and we sang with our bratiya, late into the night:
    “Z-hynut nashi vorozhen’ky,
    yak rosa na sontsi”–“Our enemies will vanish
    like dew in the sun.”

    Reply
  4. Suzanne Rhodenbaugh

    Suzanne Rhodenbaugh is the author of the poetry books The Whole Shebang (WordTech
    Communications, 2010) and Lick of Sense (Helicon Nine Editions, 2001), which won the
    Marianne Moore Poetry Prize, and 4 chapbooks; and is the editor of a diary, Sarah’s Civil
    War. Her poems, essays, articles and reviews have been widely published in journals, anthologies, newspapers and general interest publications. She lives in St. Louis. Previously she lived in Virginia, other states and one foreign country, hailing originally from Florida and
    Georgia. Her favorite contemporary poet is Ted Kooser. Her favorite of all poets is Gerard Manley Hopkins. Her favorite word is “gone.”

    Reply
  5. editorslrr

    Christopher T. George is one of the editors of Loch Raven Review published in Maryland. He was born in Liverpool, England in 1948 and first emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1955. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, near Johns Hopkins University with his wife Donna and two cats. His poetry has been published in Poet Lore, Lite, Maryland Poetry Review, Smoke, and Bogg, and online at Crescent Moon Journal, Electric Acorn, Melic Review, Painted Moon Review, Pierian Springs, the poetry (WORM), Triplopia, and Web Del Sol Review. He is the editor of the Desert Moon Review poetry workshop at http://www.thedesertmoonreview.com and has his own personal poetry site at http://chrisgeorge.netpublish.net.

    Eating a Bruised Bosc Pear on Armistice Day

    My short, serrated wood-handled knife slices
    into pear-flesh soft as Camembert: the skin

    of the fruit scarred like a map of the Somme
    – shell craters, churned, disinterred No Man’s Land;

    peeling away puttees, sodden khaki trousers,
    a surgeon’s knife dissects a private’s leg.

    To ghost machine gun fire, I savor sweet
    overripe fruit: care-package from home.

    (Second prize winner, Interboard Poetry Contest, December 2012, judged by Polina Barskova, who wrote: “This poem is exciting due it’s being so specific, so precise, so dry – one really can see, sense that moment of pleasure, moment of the Earth’s kindness.”)

    Shot at Dawn

    We shot him because it was only right,
    the lad who had deserted his post at first light.

    We followed orders, did our duty by him,
    abided by the regulations—every line.

    The private never denied his cowardice
    —a lack of moral fiber is what it is.

    The chaplain gave the lad his last rites.
    We’ll have a bayonet less, next fight.

    The boy accepted the offer of a blindfold
    and faced his death like a man, all told:

    the sergeant gave the kid a Woodbine,
    lit it for him with a match, most kind.

    The private coughed at the drag,
    must have been his very first fag.

    Our squad obeyed the command from the Sarge.
    The boy dropped at the single barrage.

    Christopher T. George

    Reply
    1. mozela9

      We find in this poem- a direct- frontface/dealt with Wilfred Owen response to the ridiculous shooting of a deserter- C George is wonderful here- as are Liverpudlians everywhere singing “We’ll Never Walk Alone” becuz- GUESS WHAT- as John Lennon has said- “War is over-if you wnat it!!!”

      Reply
    2. editorslrr

      The new issue of Loch Raven Review is out and is on line at http://www.lochravenreview.net/
      The issue includes —

      Poems by Diana Anhalt, Michael Bornemann, Bob Bradshaw, Jane Burn, Alan Catlin, Hannah Dellabella, Jéanpaul Ferro, Alice Folkart, Clarinda Harriss, Jennifer Lagier, Richard Merelman, Edgar Gabriel Silex, Shawn Nacona Stroud, Pia Taavila-Borsheim, Don Thompson, Mariah E. Wilson, and Burgi Zenhaeusern.

      Translations of Vietnamese poetry by Lê Pham Lê, translated by Lê Pham Lê and Nancy Arbuthnot.

      Essay by Barrett Warner on “Doing Time with Charles Wright.”

      Short Stories by Elisabeth Dahl, Kat Malone, and Deborah Rudacille.

      Review of Katherine E. Young’s Day of the Border Guards written by Thomas Dorsett.
      We are always seeking good quality, preferably unpublished, work. In January 2015, the editors of Loch Raven Review made a commitment to notify all new contributors about acceptance or rejection within three months of submission. Note that our policy to avoid publishing authors in back-to-back issues. After an author has received a decision, please do not submit again for the following six months. See also http://www.lochravenreview.net/guidelines.html. Send submissions to submissions@lochravenreview.net

      Reply
  6. Sara Robinson

    Greetings, I am Sara Robinson, reading on Sunday. I am the poetry columnist for Southern Writers Magazine and instructor of contemporary American poetry for UVA/OLLI. I founded the Lonesome Mountain Pros(e) Writers Workshop three years ago and was the poetry editor for the inaugural issue of Virginia Literary Journal. I have published three poetry books and a memoir. I love rye and Scotch whiskies.

    What We Seek

    Asymmetry is
    a plump wren perched
    on a thin branch
    contemplating
    a ripe strawberry
    stilled on a table

    In its serene
    pose does
    the wren feel
    ripeness or see
    the redness or
    is the setting
    just a “pas de deux”
    for one

    Reply
  7. Joshua Gray

    Joshua Gray was born in the mountains rural Northern Virginia, outside Washington DC. He grew up in Alexandria VA, two miles from the nation’s capital and spent most of his adult life in the suburbs of the city. From 2012 to 2014 Joshua Gray lived in southern India, and has recently moved back to the DC area.

    He has been published in many journals, including Poets and Artists, Mipoesias, Blind Man’s Rainbow, Front Range Review, Iconoclast, Zouch Magazine and many others. For two years he was the DC Poetry Examiner for Examiner.com where he wrote reviews of poetry collections by local poets as well as articles on the local poetry scene. He is active on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and many other social media sites.

    WHY KRISHNA AND RADHA LOVE THE MONSOON
    –Originally published in RaedLeaf-India

    In the eternal hemorrhaging of the present,
    the monsoon is a man pursuing, a god preserving.
    His sperm penetrates
    the shores of India’s hips, satiates her dry, rough skin.

    But here, high in the mountains, dark clouds
    finger across the distant sky.
    Beneath the blazing sun, I lap
    the sweat from between your breasts.

    The monkeys are in heat around us;
    They leap from tree to tree,
    their mouths shut, as they prepare for the tornado
    of our love. India bares her breasts, atop her waterbed, seduced.

    As the fog rolls in and chills us,
    I notice the cool liquid
    vanishing from your august temple
    as the humor of the present continues its steady flow.

    Reply
  8. Lesley Wheeler

    Thanks for hosting us, Jeff!

    Lesley Wheeler is a poet and professor born in New York, raised in New Jersey, and residing in Virginia since 1994. Her books include the poetry collections The Receptionist and Other Tales, Heterotopia (winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize), and Heathen as well as two scholarly studies and the co-edited anthology Letters to the World: Poems from the Wom-po Listserv. Her next poetry collection, Radioland, is forthcoming in September. Now the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, Wheeler has held fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation (New Zealand), the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. In 2011 she received an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia. Recent poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, and the Tahoma Literary Review. Find more information and her poetry blog at http://lesleywheeler.org/.

    Côte Sauvage
    Although the borderland is stony
    and slicked by vivid seaweed,
    the old man walks again without a cane—
    his silhouette disrupts the glare.
    No use shouting. Parents and children
    never hear each other. Or
    they pick up the faintest
    impatient huff. Blackout
    yields to voice as randomly
    as suns broadcast their flares.

    This terrain’s all surf and precipice.
    Mirror pools bristle with mussels.
    Generations break into foam around
    boulders. Ahead, an absolute Atlantic.

    But a limestone cliff at our backs
    reflects the roar, as if we stand
    within a shell whose whorls affirm
    each listener’s inner ocean. Touch
    the wall and feel a bass-line throb.

    And there’s my son, leaning into
    this green noise. Locked mollusk.
    My daughter’s magnetic waves assail me.
    Gods and fathers rarely signal,
    but rock vibrates
    sympathetically. What else
    could it say? Echo
    a kind of love, of
    parley.

    from Turbine: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/iiml/turbine/Turbi14/poetry/t1-g1-g1-t17-g1-t1-body-d1.html

    Reply
  9. rastakura

    Jamaica’s Ras Takura
    RasTakura, was nominated for the International Reggae and World Music (IRAWMA) award in 2011 – Dub Poet of The Year. Founder of the Royal African Soldiers Movement
    As the tides change in the Reggae landscape that maintain the Rootical vibration from the days of the founding fathers to the Today era of the Reggae Revival, Dub Poetry as always been playing a great rule in the brand of Jamaican Reggae .
    RasTakura is one such Poet who carry on in the tradition of people like Oku Onora, Linton Kwesi Jonson and Mutabaruka who is like a Mentor and a Father Figure and has been featured on the ‘Food War’ album in the track titled ‘The Science of Agriculture’
    He has performed on some of Jamaica’s major shows including Reggae Sumfest, St. Mary Mi Come From, Capleton & Frenz, Fiwi Sinting, Rebel Salute , Heineken Startime, plus numerous appearances in schools, Colleges and Universities across the Island. He has also Toured and performed across the Caribbean. He is the founder of the annual Dis Poem Wordz & Agro Festival, an all day Poetry festival and expo of Agricultural Products, which was started on the campus of the College of Agriculture Science and Education in Portland Jamaica in 2011.
    His work covers not only modern issues but critical ones that need to be brought to the forefront. He performed on Word Sound Power that was featured on BETJ. He classified Himself as a Jamaican Reggae Dub Poet, recording and performing artist, Farmer, Painter, conscious Rastaman.
    RasTakura gains his inspiration from H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, Marcus Garvey, Mutabaruka, Andrea Williams-Green and Capleton Peter Tosh, Bob Marley. His agricultural and environmental roots were deepened at the Knockalva Agricultural School, and the College of Agriculture, Science & Education (CASE).
    In 2003 Takura was featured on the Multicast Poetz CD – a compilation album produced by Mackonen Blake Hannah & Eric Dixon.
    He has been featured on IRIE FM’s programs – Running African, the Entertainment Buzz and Elise Kelly’s Easy Skanking show. plus numerous international interviews, He has been featured on T.V.J, CVM TV, as well as in several local print media such as : The Star, The Gleaner and The Observer Newspapers.
    He is “A Potent, Afrocentric Political Poet with a cause” – Rooted with two underground compilation CD’s, Run-Away-Slaves & Dragon Slayers, and a DVD, produced by C.P.T.C. RAS Poetz.
    RasTakura was born in the beautiful parish of St. Ann, in a small community neighboring Nine Miles, the home of Reggae Legend Bob Marley. He spent his earlier years growing up on a farm with his Grandparents then later lived with his single mother in a neighboring District. He recognized his talent while attending Bensonton All Age School where he gladly used the opportunities given to perform on every school and community concert as a Dancehall Deejay. Now Dub Poet RasTakura

    Look forward to the voice of the future, living in the present. Look forward to the ‘Food War’ album. Look for RasTakura.

    For booking information please call 1-876-573-1851 or email rastakura@yahoo.com

    Reply
  10. Stan Galloway

    Thanks, Jeff, for hosting this spot.

    Stan Galloway hosts the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival in alternate years. It is a global event in a small town atmosphere. He also writes poetry himself (which fuels his desire to meet all these outstanding poets). Here is an early poem which can be found in Scratching Against the Fabric, an anthology of poems from the last poetry festival, and scheduled for release next week.

    Failed Romance

    The little boy offers his best fire truck
    and invites her to the box
    while she sees the castles that he
    has not built and the prince who
    has not ridden to the rescue.
    He says he likes the way she shows the
    ribbon in her hair, meaning he likes
    the way she shows the ribbon in her hair,
    while she hears the one-tenth
    surface to a nine-tenths depth he
    won’t reveal.
    He reaches out to tie the shoe
    string that falls loose and she
    begins to list the hundred other
    broken things he’s failed to see, thinking
    love and entropy are opposites.
    He drives his cars around her,
    happy that she chose to squat with him
    for a time, and she wonders
    why he needs her there while
    he does his own thing oblivious.
    Then she begins to talk and talk and he
    turns his ear to her and finally says,
    again, he likes the ribbon and
    she turns away and leaves the box
    to the shallow boy
    with the one-track mind.

    Reply
    1. Jeff Schwaner Post author

      I believe it is The Festival! It is great to get a preview of some of the unique voices i will be hearing at BIPF. I greatly appreciate people taking the time to introduce themselves in advance. Who’s next?

      Reply
  11. darcscribe

    Excited to be a part of the 2015 Bridgewater International Poetry Festival!

    Visit my website to see my bio and links to some online poems, interviews and videos: http://www.rgevanswriter.com.

    Here’s a poem from my book Overtipping the Ferryman:

    MONTH WITHOUT A MOON

    Any night I like, I can rise instead of the moon
    that has forgotten us, not a thought of our sad lot,
    and roam the darkened oblongs of the dunes.

    Once you said the moon was some pale god
    who turned away his face to cause the tides,
    and once you said that, I of course believed

    that you were mad. Now the ghost crab guides
    me to the edge where land is not land, sea not sea,
    and all the sky above is one dark dream.

    This is the month with no full moon. You
    were its prophet, and I am standing on the seam
    between belief and what I know is true.

    I gave you a diamond. It should have been a pearl.
    It should have been a stone to hang above the world.

    Reply
  12. Patsy Asuncion

    Thanks so much for this opportunity! Patsy Asuncion

    Public education, her ticket from poverty, instilled passion for words in all its creative forms. Professional writing morphed into poetry and short stories, featured in Prevention Magazine and numerous anthologies (most recently in Chatter House Press’ Reckless Writing, SUNY’s Healing Muse, L.A. Loyola’s The Truth About the Fact, National Federation of Poetry Society’s Encore) as well as online journals, UK’s Female First and Laughing Fire Press. Her poetry collection, Cut on the Bias, will be published by Laughing Fire Press in early 2015.

    Here’s a new poem about growing up in Chicago’s inner city:

    Jalopy

    She was stolen shiny new outside
    a tenement for a joy ride then abandoned
    in a back alley No anti-theft devices
    in those days just next of kin to fender
    troublemakers When they found her
    they thought she was lucky just
    a busted headlight bloody dents
    and pigeon-toed tires probably
    the reason thieves dumped her

    Once healed she proved a good car
    who kept good traction whenever
    she drove her stepmother home
    from the neighborhood tap Mechanics
    saw her potential caught her interest
    with books Interior lights a tough
    engine ensured high performance
    in school despite being left
    alone a lot on the street

    Tomboy antics in the alleys scarred
    all four tires but she put up a poker-face
    Two crashes shorting her electrical
    started migraines every time she used
    her turn signals Surgery on ball joints
    and quality oil seemed to quiet cranky
    squeaks when she rolled She paid
    attention keeping her trim in top shape
    to slow depreciation unlike some friends

    Maintenance doesn’t stop life’s odometer
    Rust spots on her once flawless finish
    increased each winter Young cracks
    in her underbody began puckering her
    mainframe Cheap gas had been no
    problem but then started upsetting her gut
    Chronic allergies insisted more air filter
    changes Not surprised each time she
    was traded She didn’t choose her
    owners

    Sold now as vintage she is adept
    a classic from the day the only one
    to make it out of the old neighborhood
    While memory settings have lost old
    details she recalls important choices
    running even in bad weather starting
    while missing parts finding her way
    regardless of confusing road signs
    optimizing her standard components

    Reply
  13. Logan Hill

    Hey ya’ll, super stoked to meet up with everyone & exchange languages. Here’s some stuff about & of me:

    A. Logan Hill grew up just north of Harrisonburg, Virginia in an old house by a small town off the highway. As a Poetry candidate in the MFA Program for Poets & Writers, he is currently working on a novel, a new chapbook of “appropriations from texts on NOTHING,” a collection of “prosaic meanderings” with the working title “Reward,” new poems, a children’s book, journals, and a collection of essays. In addition, Logan has also begun preliminary research on “the art of the list” and his interests in the integrity of mobiles. He currently teaches College Writing in the University’s Writing Program and is an Associate Editor at Route 9 Literary Magazine.

    Needless to say “logan’s poems are more like blooms.” — H I L L

    l o g a n H I L L “ hates ” genre. 


    He writes lists, notes, batches, drafts, plumbs, poems, stories, lyrics, essays, journals, writing, fiction, creative non-fiction. letters, essays, journals, poems, genre/form, collections, novels, chapbooks, speeches, strands, grants, proposals, lectures, lessons, drafts, labels, symbols, diagrams, lists, talks, responses, reviews, poems, presentations, stories, lists & other illiterate drafts / songs.

    x Poetry is an act.

    x Fiction is a process.

    x Writing is the universal human act of a reciprocation between / personal experience and
    fragility.

    x Everything is / the act of poetry.

    * * *

    DAY 4r

    little spiders
    in the
    cob webs
    of the
    house
    hanging there
    in the bodies
    of brownish
    orbs —
    sacks
    in between
    the
    greenish hemisphere
    of the
    porched in
    walls.
    sadness can
    not achieve
    complete loneliness —
    solitude
    like a rotting
    mattress —
    the beautiful paired
    with the mundane —
    the everyday
    & the useless—
    the beauty
    & the grotesque
    of the beautiful—
    grotesque.
    some things will never end up in the wildflowers.

    Reply
  14. Aimee Suzara

    Looking forward to meeting you all!

    BIO
    Aimee Suzara is a Filipino-American poet, playwright, and performer. Her mission is to create, and help others create, poetic and theatrical work about race, gender, and the body to provoke dialogue and social change. Her poetry appears in her debut book, SOUVENIR (WordTech Editions 2014) and collections including Phat’itude and Kartika Review. Her multidisciplinary theater work, A HISTORY OF THE BODY, received several grants and commissions including ones from the National Endowment for the Arts and East Bay Community Foundation. A YBCAway (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts) and Spirited Woman Fellowship (AROHO Foundation) awardee, her work has premiered at the Thick House, CounterPULSE, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and been selected for the Utah Arts Festival, One Minute Play Festival, United States of Asian America, APAture, and others. As a performing poet and educator, she has graced stages and classrooms nationally, and she has collaborated with many artists, including Deep Waters Dance Theater. She was a two-time Hedgebrook Resident, and an alumna of VONA (Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation). Of SOUVENIR, Luis Rodriguez said, “Aimee Suzara is a deep chronicler of our hopes, dreams, pains, and future…we need these poems more than ever.” http://www.aimeesuzara.net

    From SOUVENIR (WordTech Editions 2014)

    Suture
    At the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair

    Oddities. Body
    parts wrapped to be sold
    as souvenirs.
    Cold fingers
    peel mummy layers
    undoing the stitch.

    It is invasive,
    a sort of jigsaw-
    suture the way
    Navajos and Igorottes,
    Rajasthanis pose
    with elephants
    at the artificial
    Pueblo Cave Dwelling.
    You note the backdrop
    of painted sand pillars;
    that Disneyland
    cirrus cloud sky.

    Wool jackets rub
    loin cloths. Feathers
    tickle Victorian necklines.

    Hands sew together
    what does not belong.
    One day, it will heal
    into something unrecognizable
    with the parts of a person:
    a teratoma
    with teeth, hair and nails.

    Come upon these
    measured feet,
    this list of names
    without warning.
    Come from thousands of miles
    to witness the exhibit
    of the exhibit. Come
    to participate in
    something, for
    your own story does not
    allow you to participate.

    The candidness of naked
    eyes, bare chests devoid
    of goosebumps. The smoothness
    of distance. The shadows
    of the uncaptured. Something
    tells you to stop looking,
    but you are spun: sutured
    to your subject.

    Reply
  15. MiCKi O'Hearn

    MiCKi O’Hearn is a singing poet from Orange County ,Virginia.

    She has published 3 Chapbooks since 2007 (“Only If I Could”, “Frenzy to the Finish”, “Hysterias & Happiness”) with recent poetry appearing in the Anthologies Rappahannock Voices (2014) and Rappahannock Review (2010). Her poem “MiCKi’s Coffeehouse Rap” won 1st Prize in the song lyric category of the 2014 Poetry Society of Virginia annual contest. She also won 2nd Place in the 2014 ‘Burg Idol singing competition in Fredericksburg, VA.

    MiCKi performs her music and poetry at concert venues across Virginia to coffeeshops in New York to Montana. Her 3rd music CD, “Bye Greener Pastures”, is scheduled for release February 2015 and available on iTunes, Amazon and iHeart Radio. (pro: BMI)

    Reply
  16. Michael Czarnecki

    Jeff,

    I’m very much looking forward to the Festival and to experience a bit of Virginia “warmth.” (Snowing here on Wheeler Hill at the moment and to be below zero tomorrow night.)

    Over twenty years ago I quit doing other work to devote myself to poetry. Since then I’ve made my living as a poet, small press publisher (FootHills Publishing) and oral memoirist. I live in rural New York State with my family on 50 remote acres. From here I go out into the world on poetic road journeys, giving readings, conducting workshops and having amazing experiences. In 2013 I went on my “Poems Across America Tour,” giving readings in each of the 48 contiguous states.

    It will be wonderful to connect with all of the diverse poets who are participating in the Festival.

    Reply
  17. nicelledavis

    Hello Dear Poets,

    I am really looking forward to being with other poets and their work–in many ways this is the best part of the writing life. Below are details about the sound poem project–it is my dream that we all become one large poem.

    Please feel free to contact me at nicelle c davis @ gmail . com if you have any questions.

    Bridgewater International
    Poetry Festival
    Saturday, Jan. 17 4:30 p.m. (B)
    Nicelle Davis Invites You
    to Become a Poem

    More information about sound poems here:
    http://nicelledavis.com/2015/01/13/bridgewater-international-poetry-festival/

    Reply
  18. dawnleas

    Thanks, Jeff, for managing this space, and thank you, Stan, for organizing the festival. I enjoyed the afternoon readings today!

    In past lives Dawn Leas was a copywriter, admission director, and middle-school English teacher and is DawnLeasnow the associate director of the Low-Residency M.A./M.F.A. Creative Writing Programs at Wilkes University. Her chapbook, I Know When to Keep Quiet (Finishing Line Press, 2010) is available in print and Kindle versions, and a collection of her poems appears in Everyday Escape Poems, an anthology recently released by SwanDive Publishing. She is also a contributing editor at Poets’ Quarterly and TheThe Poetry. Follow Dawn on Twitter @DawnLeas or visit http://www.dawnleas.com.

    Reply
  19. Annmarie Lockhart

    Thank you, Jeff! This is a wonderful resource. I had a great time at the festival. I’m looking forward to releasing the inaugural festival’s anthology in the coming weeks and seeing this year’s anthology take shape soon after. Let’s keep the poetic energy alive!

    –Annmarie Lockhart

    Reply
  20. Joshua Gray

    My ‪‎poem‬ “Four Winds of ‪Poetry‬” appears in this new issue of this cool magazine from the UK. 3 ways to read electronically. ‪http://www.newpoetry.net/#read

    Reply
  21. MiCKi O'Hearn

    Enjoying Michael Bassett’s poetry book, “Hatchery of Tongues” http://www.amazon.com/Hatchery-Tongues-Michael-Bassett/dp/094254496X

    Other BIPF alumni, your support is needed! Please “LIKE” MiCKi on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mickiohearn.

    If you’re in the Fredericksburg Area, come in for MiCKi’s CD Release Party with Music & Poetry Show: https://www.facebook.com/events/602503819894806/?ref=5

    If you’re in the Charlottesville Area, go to C’Ville Coffee on 3/11/2015 for MiCKi’s CD Release Party Performance. https://www.facebook.com/events/524379957702977/?ref=5

    “Bye Greener Pastures” release date on major distributor sites: 2/27/2015

    Reply
    1. Patsy Asuncion

      Your website looks great. Do you have a ballpark rate for different services? I’m happy to spread the word. Patsy

      Reply
  22. Jeff Schwaner Post author

    Don’t forget to write a poem about the moon tonight for our Full Moon Social. Tag it on twitter as #fullmoonsocial and fullmoonsocial on WordPress so your fellow poets and readers can find it. I’ll keep a tally throughout the night and reblog a bunch as well…

    Reply
  23. Stan Galloway

    Yep, I’ll be there! No one thought otherwise. I just did a count and we are at 74 speakers so far. Nine tables reserved (7 paid for), representing individuals, editors, publishers, and writing programs. In my expanded schedule I can take about a dozen more poets and a couple more tables, so if you haven’t applied yet, get me your stuff soon! –Stan

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s