Once again Human Error Publishing will create the SPOKEN WORD Stage. From the main gate, all the way back and to the left you will see WORD in big green letters. Each half hour two writers will present for around 12 minutes. View and print the schedule before coming so you are sure to hear your favorite presenters. There will be a book store of all the books by the writers who are there. Looking forward to seeing you there.
Bio’s are below for the incredible group of writers taking part in the 2016 Festival:
Adam Grabowski – his work has appeared in Off the Coast, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Voicemail Poems, Wilderness House Literary Review, and The Naugatuck River Review. His poem “‘And I’ll Love You Forever'” was recently featured in Poem of the Moment at masspoetry.org. Adam will be a featured poet in this September’s Amherst Poetry Fest. He received his MSW from Westfield State University in 2012 and is poet and organizer with the mighty Northampton Poetry collective, where he also facilitates a poetry workshop. His latest chapbook The Washing Our Hands EP is available to order through is website www.adamgrabowskipoetry.wordpress.com. Adam lives with his family in Holyoke, MA.
Amy Laprade – received her MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, 2015, and has, for over ten years, served as workshop coordinator, facilitator and mentor for writers of many ages and backgrounds. Her work has appeared in Meat for Tea: the Valley Review, Canyon Voices, The Scribe, The Montague Reporter and Grad Lab Theater Productions at Sarah Lawrence College. In 2013 “1405 Van Ness” won her an honorable mention for the Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival. “So Nice to Finally Meet You…” is her first novel. You can visit her at firstname.lastname@example.org or LinkedIn.
Candace Curran – an Orange local has twice been named western MA Poet’s Seat laureate and has served on the panel of judges for the contest. She is the founder of INTERFACE: a collaboration of word and image, exhibitions of visual original art and poetry. Candace is a judge next year for the 14th annual Massachusetts Book Awards in Poetry.
Cindy Markevich – is a 51 year old, happily married mother of three young college students. In her earlier years, she worked as a machinist and is now a small business owner. She began writing at the age of 36. Writing and reciting from memory are her life’s passion. Her goal as a communicator is to clearly express herself in as little words possible. Cindy’s highest hope is that the thoughts that she has put into words are far reaching and have a positive impact on our precious planet.
Elizabeth Macduffie -is a founding editor of Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, a two-time Annual New England Book Show-winning arts and literary journal published in western Massachusetts. With the publication of each issue of the quarterly review, she produces a celebratory multi-media event she calls a cirque.
Doug Anderson – is the author of the poetry collections, The Moon Reflected Fire and Blues for Unemployed Secret Police, as well as the play, Short Timers, and the memoir, Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam, the Sixties, and a Journey of Self-Discovery. His awards include a Pushcart Prize and a Kate Tufts Discovery Award, in addition to grants and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Poets & Writers, National Endowment for the Arts, and the MacDowell Colony.
D. O. – “Bad Atmosphere” is the culmination of decades worth of writing by Don Ogden focusing on aspects of climate change that moved him to put into words, feelings and thoughts evoked by “the greatest crisis of our time”.
Edite Cunhā – her short fiction has won awards and fellowships including Smith’s Spencer Prize for Excellence in Writing, AWP’s Intro Writing Award and the Tara Fellowship for short fiction. She has been a fellow at the Vermont Studio Center and A Room of Her Own. Her work has been published both locally and nationally. She has run writing workshops for people of all ages for over twenty years. She has a BA from Smith College and an MFA from Warren Wilson College.
Forrest Proper – is a poet and bookseller in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. He is the co-director & co-host of the weekly Northampton Poetry Open Mic & Feature, facilitates poetry workshops, published a poetry collection called ‘Hot Poet Sex on the Floor of T.S. Eliot’s Kitchen’ in July, 2015, and served on the Reading Committee for the 2016 Amherst Poetry Festival.
Gary Phillips – is the newly-appointed poet laureate of Carrboro, Paris of the Piedmont with a new book coming out, he lives in NC.
Gerald Yelle – teaches high school English in Greenfield, MA. His poems have appeared in numerous journals in print and online. The Holyoke Diaries is his first published collection. A second collection, Mark My Word and the New World Order is scheduled to be published later in 2014 by The Pedestrian Press. He is a member of the Florence (MA) Poets Society. Notes, comments and links can be found at geraldyelle.blogspot.com.
Grete Miller – is a singer, actor, director, filmmaker, writer and artist, working in the NYC, NJ, and PA regions. She recently finished a 3 month run of “Footloose!” and is Chiefing “Route 66.” She has worked on over 25 film projects. Miller works in Documentary, Narrative and Experimental film. Grete is an assistant at the Film-maker’s Cooperative in NYC, working on their music benefits and art auctions.
Howie Faerstein – his book of poetry, Dreaming of the Rain in Brooklyn, a selection of the Silver Concho Poetry Series, was published in 2013 by Press 53.
James Smethurst – Professor at University of MA received his B.A. in English from the University of Southern Maine, his M.A. in English from the City College of New York, and his Ph.D. in English from Harvard University. Prior to coming to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he taught at the University of North Florida. His primary research areas are African American literature, culture, and intellectual history from the late 19th to the late 20th centuries, with a particular emphasis on black cultural and political radicalism. He is currently working on a history of the Black Arts Movement in the southern United States.
Karl Meyer – writer and journalist, is an award-winning children’s book author. He considers himself a “river writer” and works to get factual information about the Connecticut River ecosystem before the public. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.
Lea Banks – is the author of All of Me, (Booksmyth Press, 2008) and a forthcoming collection, The Bottomland. She lives in Western Massachusetts, is the Poetry Coordinator for the Brattleboro Literary Festival in Vermont, and founder of the Collected Poets Series in Shelburne Falls, MA. Banks has published in several journals including American Poetry Journal, Connotation Press, Big River Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, Slipstream, Diner, Sweet, San Pedro River Review, Town Creek Poetry and The Laurel Review. She has recent work in Meat for Tea and off the margins, where she was the guest poet. She has work forthcoming in Queens of Cups.
Mary Clare Powell – is a Professor in the Creative Arts in Learning Division at Lesley University in Cambridge. She has published books on women and the future; the arts, education, and social change; and four books of poetry–Things Owls Ate, Academic Scat, In the Living Room, and Box of Water. A new manuscript of poems about aging is in the works. Currently, she is working with elders who want to write the stories of their lives.
Marian Keiner – is the author of As a Sailboat Seeks the Wind, a collection of poems, short stories, and essays, and a songwriter with two folk/country CDs, One Thing’s for Certain and Tomboy Girl. She is active in local government, loves improv, and works for animal rights.
Morning Star Chenven – is a musician, poet and educator. She’s been writing poetry since age 8. She creates poetic/musical pieces with her husband Moonlight Davis. They have performed for 20 years all over New England. Their dream is to travel and bring their music and poetry to people all over the world!
Paul Richmond – wrote or co-wrote the scripts for his solo, duet, and group performance shows. He started to attended spoken word / poetry events and compiled this work into his first collection, No Guarantees – Adjust and Continue. The second was Ready or Not – Living in the Break Down Lane and his latest book is Too Much of a Good Thing – In the Land of Scarcity – Breeds Contempt. His latest book, You Might Need A Bigger Hammer, just came out. He runs Human Error Publishing which organizes many monthly / annual word events / festivals and publishes other authors.
RescuePoetix™ is a writer, poet, spoken word artist and recording artist. As a recording artist, RescuePoetix™ burst onto the music scene in the summer of 2011 with “Shadow Dancer,” her first spoken word release. Since then, additional works have been released on such notable house music labels as: D# Sharp Records, Cyberjamz Records, Liberate Recordings, Grooveboy Music, Movement Soul Recordings, Honeycomb Music, Open Bar Music, Arawakan, Seta Label, Cabana Recordings, HSR Records, Global Diplomacy, United Music Records, unquantize, Soundmen on Wax, among others.
Richard Horton – lives in Springfield. He went to University of Texas at Austin and wrote poetry in Austin in the 70s. He started reading at open mics and bringing out stories and flash fiction again in 2014, and has published in Southern Pacific Review, Meat For Tea, Quail Bell and Danse Macabre online. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Award and is bringing out a chapbook, Dinosaurs Under Dallas, with Meat For Tea Press.
Rick Marsh – Author of: “A through Zoe” A collections and “Rhyming Rubbish” An Assemblage – Rick lives in Petersham, MA with his 34 cats.
Rosie McMahan – Born and raised in Somerville MA, Rosie moved to the Pioneer Valley in 2001. She’s been steadily writing-memoir, short stories and poems-since 2006. Currently, she lives in Amherst with her multi-generational family and runs a small private practice in counseling & education. In her spare time, she grows many things in her garden, including garlic!
Sharon A. Harmon – writes from her home in Royalston.She also does freelance writing and teaches classes at Monty Tech in Fitchburg, Ma. She had a chapbook of poetry Swimming with Cats in 2008 and has published over 100 poems. She is a member of Cathouse Women Poetry group where she gets a lot of support for her writing.
Tantra Zawadi – author of three books of poetry, my latest “Bubbles: One Conscious Breath” (Po- ets Wear Prada), illustrated by Edwin Boone. Has performed original works with the Senegal-America Project, and at venues from New York City to South Africa and directed two short documentaries “Girl: The Film” and “A Silent Genocide - A Brief Insight into HIV/AIDS,” as well as collaborations with several artists on spoken word/musical com- pilations worldwide.