If you are interested in performing on the Spoken Word Stage in 2017, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page and click Submit.
Once again Human Error Publishing will create the SPOKEN WORD Stage, which is located at the back left of the festival when coming from the main gate. Look for the WORD in big green letters. Each half hour new writers will present their work. You can view and print the schedule before coming so you are sure to hear your favorite writers and there will also be a book store of all the writers publications. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.
Bio’s are below for the incredible group of writers taking part in the 2017 Festival:
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.4
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.
Chris O’ Carroll – is a writer and an actor. He has performed locally at the Majestic in West Springfield and at other regional theatres around the country, including Kentucky Rep., Cortland Rep. (NY), Winnipesaukee Playhouse (NH), Lost Nation (VT), and St. Croix Festival (WI). His poems, from playful children’s verse to adults-only limericks and love sonnets, have appeared in Angle, Literary Review, Measure, New Verse News, and The Rotary Dial, among other print and online journals.
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.
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”.
Janet MacFadyen – is the author of three works of poetry, most recently In the Provincelands (Slate Roof Press 2012). She has published widely and has been a fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and a recipient of a Cill Rialaig residency in Ireland. See http://www.slateroofpress.com/MacFadyen.html. She lives in the tangled woods of Shutesbury.
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.
Lawrence Darren Green –
Ellen Evert Hopman –
Sharon Ann Harmon – poetry has appeared in Green Living, Silkworm, The Aurorean, Worcester Magazine, The Paterson Literary Review and numerous other publications, including a chapbook Swimming with Cats (2008). She was the Poet Laureate in 2015 for the 250 anniversary of Royalston, Massachusetts. Sharon is also a freelance writer and writes for Uniquely Quabbin Magazine. Some of her work has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Caterpillar, Highlights for Children, Birds & Blooms and Millers River Reader. She teaches writing workshops. She lives in the woods of Central Massachusetts with her husband and cat. You may see more of her work at Sharon Ann Harmon Publishing.
Izikhotane – is the Avant-Garde in the age of Auto-Correct. Izikhotane is Absurdist. Experimental. Synonym for Political. A Poetry/Music Collaboration.
Lori Lamothe -Trace Elements is an extraordinary debut. These poems turn on images both astonishing and enlightening; and it’s clear the mind behind them is intelligent, sophisticated, and complex.
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.
Jan Maher – writing credits include a novel, Heaven, Indiana; plays Ismene, Intruders, Widow’s Walk; and Most Dangerous Women (co-authored with Nikki Nojima Louis); and books for educators Most Dangerous Women: Bringing History to Life through Readers’ Theater and History in the Present Tense: Engaging Students through Inquiry and Action (co-authored with Douglas Selwyn). Her novel Earth As It Is is slated for publication by Indiana University Break Away Books in February 2017. She holds a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies and has taught interdisciplinary seminars, education-related courses, writing, and documentary studies at colleges in New York, Vermont, and Washington State. She is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Ethics in Public Life, State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
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.
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.
Rick Paar –
Jovonna Van Pelt – performance work has appeared at the Cambridge River Festival, the Puppet Showplace Theatre, the National Cathedral Summer Artists series, and the Puppeteers of America National Festival. A member of the Straw Dog Writers Guild and a frequent open mic contributor, I was also a finalist in 2017’s Poet’s Seat contest.
Gary Phillips – is the newly-appointed poet laureate of Carrboro, Paris of the Piedmont with a new book coming out, he lives in NC.
Elaine Reardon –
Deborah Rolski –
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.
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.
Dina Stander –
Ron White –
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.
Michael Young –