Yearly Archives: 2009

Language Abuse

Every writer has a list of particular annoyances when it comes to spelling and grammar mistakes. Below are two seen and heard in the Rochester, NY area this past week.

The first was offered by a female anchor during a live newscast: “has spreaded.”

The second was seen on a sign along the road at a driving range/miniature golf course: “birthday partys.”

Feel free to send me some that you’ve seen and/or heard.


Le Mot Juste Reading

The premier reading of Le Mot Juste 2009 is Thursday, June 11 at Barnes & Noble, Pittsford, 7:00pm in the Community Room. Le Mot Juste is the annual anthology of Just Poets which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. An open mic will follow. For information on Just Poets visit


Donna M. Marbach to Read Thursday

Poet and editor Donna M. Marbach will be reading from her work Thursday, June 4 at Writers & Books, 7:00pm. Marbach, who will be reading with chapbook contest winner Kathryn Howd Machan, is the owner and manager of Palettes & Quills (, a small press based in Rochester, NY.

Marbach is a founding member and past president of Just Poets ( and is the current editor of the organization’s newsletter, Poet Talk. When not writing, editing or publishing, she paints and markets textbooks.


Iris Miller to Read for Just Poets

Iris Miller will be the featured reader Thursday, May 14 at the monthly Just Poets Reading Series at Barnes & Noble Pittsford. Join us at 7:00pm in the Community Room and bring your own work to read at the open mic which follows.

Iris Miller believes strongly in the power of the image to teach and to heal. After retiring from teaching art in the Rochester City School District, she became a certified art therapist, a trained shamanic practitioner, and a writer of poetry. Her poems have appeared in literary journals such as Nimrod, The South Carolina Review, and The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, as well as various anthologies. Her chapbook, Angels Flying Backwards, will be available in 2010.


Cinquainicity: The Adelaide Crapsey Project

The chapbook Cinquainicity: The Adelaide Crapsey Project is on display all this month at Poets House in NYC. This chapbook, published by Palettes & Quills, features five series of linked cinquains as the form was defined by Adelaide Crapsey. M.J. Iuppa created and organized the project which includes 28 poets.

The form is syllabically driven: first line -2 syllables, second line -4 syllables, third line -6 syllables, fourth line -8 syllables, last line -2 syllables. Each poet began a cinquain with the last line of the cinquain written by the preceding poet.

I had the privilege of being the captain of the chain with poets Nici Knebel, Francis Bragan Richman, Jan Wenk Cedras, Cynthia Iannaconne, and John Roche.

For information on purchasing this chapbook visit


Publication in Blueline

My poem “Girl with Laurel” appears in the latest issue of Blueline, published by SUNY Potsdam. Joining me in issue XXX are fine poets M.J. Iuppa, Adam Wilcox, and Karla Linn Merrifield. As of this writing, the new issue is not listed on the Blueline web site. Check back with the site for ordering details.


Dwain Wilder Reading Thursday

Dwain Wilder will be the featured reader this Thursday, April 9 at the montlhy Just Poets reading series and open mic. Join us in the Community Room at the Pittsford location at 7:00pm and bring your own work to read during the open mic that follows.

Dwain’s bio: Dwain, a native of a small town outside Dallas, has lived in Rochester, NY since 1970 and now lives with his wife and niece, and dogs, in a quaint, untidy old farmhouse. He makes his livelihood as a luthier (a builder of stringed musical instruments). Dwain’s Appalachian dulcimers are held in high regard, both here and abroad, where he regularly receives commissions from Europe, Great Britain and the Far East. Dwain also teaches dulcimer building classes at the Northeast Dulcimer Symposium in Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondacks, as well as in his studio.

Dwain also writes poetry and essays on Zen. He has published poems in various small poetry periodicals and collections but not extensively — due to having no taste for rejection slips and a lack of industry. He has published a chapbook, “Under the Only Moon,” under the Kinko/FedEx imprimatur. And he also composes and inscribes a short dedicatory verse in each dulcimer he sells (which, one might say, makes him the world’s highest paid poet, on a per line basis).


World Premiere of “Housewife”

I am delighted by Dr. Judith Lang Zaimont’s interpretation of my poem “Housewife” which served as the textual basis for her composition of the same name. The piece was performed at the Eastman School of Music yesterday as part of the Women in Music Festival, organized by Eastman faculty member Dr. Sylvie Beaudette. Susan Conkling directed the Eastman Women’s Chorus in the performance which was written for piano and chorus.

I am also grateful to Dr. Beaudette for inviting me to send poetry for this commissioned project and to Dr. Conkling for her assistance in the choice of the poem but also for her superb direction of the premiere.

For more information about Dr. Zaimont, visit her web site


“Housewife” Premieres Wednesday

Please join me Wednesday, March 25 at noon in the Grand Hallway at the Eastman School of Music for the world premiere of “Housewife,” a libretto composed by Judith Zaimont for the Women in Music Festival. My poem “Housewife” was selected by Zaimont to serve as the textual basis for this segment of her larger work, “Life Cycle.”


Women in Music Festival

An interactive concert, two silent film shorts, readings by local poets of their works, premieres of new compositions, and performances in the community are just some of the events highlighting the fifth annual Women in Music Festival at the Eastman School of Music. Running from Monday, March 23, through Friday, March 27, the festival celebrates the many achievements and contributions of women in all aspects of music, including composition, performance, teaching, and scholarship.

The public is invited to attend these free performances and experience the amazing works by women that are becoming standards in the repertoire or are heard for the very first time. Judith Lang Zaimont will be this year’s composer-in residence. Her music, which includes some 100 symphonic, chamber opera, voice, and solo instrumental compositions, is internationally acclaimed for its expressive strength and dynamism. Zaimont also has authored numerous articles and is the editor of the three-volume series The Musical Woman: An International Perspective. Her composition “Housewife,” commissioned by Eastman’s Hanson Institute for American Music and based on a text by local poet Claudia M. Stanek, will receive its premiere by the Eastman Women’s Chorus during a concert of her work at noon on Wednesday, March 25, in the Eastman School’s Main Hall. In addition, Zaimont’s “Sacred Service for the Sabbath Evening” will be performed by singers from Eastman School and Temple B’rith Kodesh at 7 p.m. Friday, March 27, at the Temple.

The festival features five noontime concerts of works written by women in a broad range of musical styles, with each piece being introduced by a local woman poet reading from her work. Scheduled to appear are poets Donna Marbach, Karla Lynn Merrifield, Wanda Schubmehl, Kathleen Van Schaick, and Andrea Weinstein. The noontime concert on Thursday, March 26, in Eastman’s Schmitt Organ Recital Hall will include two silent shorts by German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger, which will be screened to music written for a duet consisting of saxophone and vibraphone. The concert will end in Christ Church (Episcopal) where the work “Pent,” written by Eastman composition student Elizabeth Kelly for the Craighead-Saunders organ, will receive its premiere.

Also on Thursday, March 26, pianist Kevin Nitsch and mixed media artist Kathleen Nicastro will present a concert at 3:30 p.m. in the Miller Center Atrium as part of their interactive “Labyrinth of Sound and Light” series. Titled “Water’s Edge: 200 Years of Women Composers,” the event also features soprano Amy Cochrane and pianist Beverley Smoker. Individuals will be able to wander into the Atrium to listen, watch, and move around the artists to enhance the participatory experience; writing and drawing materials will be available so that audience members can express their own thoughts or impressions.

Besides the performance of Zaimont’s “Sacred Service for the Sabbath Evening,” events on the evening of Friday, March 27, include a recital by Eastman alumna and flutist Jennifer Oh-Brown and the Chicago New Arts Trio at 7 p.m. at the University of Rochester’s Interfaith Chapel.

A complete schedule of events, which are free and open to the public, can be found online at In addition, the weekly mini-recitals on the Italian Baroque organ at the Memorial Art Gallery at 1 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, and Sunday March 29, will be devoted to women composers.

The Eastman School’s Women in Music Festival was launched in 2005. Sylvie Beaudette, assistant professor of chamber music and accompanying is the founding director of the festival.The 2009 festival is sponsored by The Hanson Institute for American Music at the Eastman School; the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender & Women¹s Studies and the Department of Music in the College of the University of Rochester; the departments of Chamber Music, Composition, Humanities, Piano, Voice, Winds, Brass & Percussion and the Eastman All-Events Committee of the Eastman School of Music; and the Office of the Dean of the Eastman School of Music.

Zaimont’s residency was funded in part through Meet the Composer’s MetLife Creative Connections program.

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