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Poet-in-Residence: Germantown Public School by Claire Donato During my time as the Millay Colony’s poet-in-residence in Stacy Dore’s classroom at Germantown High School, freshman and senior students engaged with what Dawn Lundy Martin calls the ‘scrap piles of their own imaginations’— as well as the scrap piles of various collective imaginations—via tactile writing experiments. I began by introducing a Francis Ponge quote: ‘Things are already as close to words as they are to things, and reciprocally words are already as close to things as they are to words.’ With regard to this quote, I introduced the idea that words are objects. Over the course of three days, I illustrated this idea by facilitating writing experiments in which students literally held, manipulated, and broke language. At the end of our first day together, they brainstormed a list of their own tactile writingexperiments—for example,

writing experiments - for example, ‘Write a poem backwards,’ ‘Write a silent poem,’ ‘Write a poem composed solely of punctuation,’ or ‘Write a poem assembled from a series of text messages.’ Students were also given art supplies and source texts from and with which to physically craft collage and erasure poems. After considering excerpts from Tom Phillips’s A Humument, Mary Ruefle’s A Little White Shadow, and Jen Bervin’s Nets, students created erasures using Shakespeare’s ‘Sonnet 78.’ For homework, students wrote their own contemporary sonnets sourcing text from ‘Sonnet 78.’ As one student thoughtfully reflected: ‘A poem can be embedded within a poem.’ On Day Three, I provided an array of source texts from which we assembled poems (continued next page) with clashing voices using scissors in glue. ‘I enjoyed mixing different languages to give our verse a different texture,’ another student wrote. ‘I would never have thought to use Facebook statuses, Shakespeare, and treadmill reviews in the same poem!’ In addition to crafting poems, Germantown Pictured: High School seniors read and discussed Kenneth Goldsmith’s Claire Donato (left) essay ‘Uncreative Writing.’ To prepare with Stacey Dore for this discussion, (right) each student transcribed a text of their choice. For example, one student transcribed a poem by Anne Sexton, while another transcribed a page from The Hunger Games. Goldsmith’s essay led us

The Millay Colony for the Arts Issue 12 Summer / Fall 2012

MILLAY AT A GLANCE Workshops This year we are offering workshops at The Millay Colony as well as weekend workshop programs in New York City. One workshop left! At the Colony: Tracie Morris: Aug 30 to Sept 2 Generating Sound in Poetry In this course we will explore the relationship between body, page and voice. At the end of the course students can present page-based or space-based work to the community. Full information at: www.millaycolony.org/workshops. Call 518-392-4144 for details. Cave Canem Fellow Second Annual Cave Canem Fellow at Millay Colony this year. Congrats Rachel Eliza Griffiths! See her report pg. 4. Millay Goes to Kansas City! Millay Colony will be attending the 2012 Alliance of Artist Communities Conference and facilitating a panel on Rural Residencies and Community Engagement.


Germantown Poet-in-Residence Claire Donato (continued) texts from which we assembled poems with clashing voices using scissors in glue. ‘I enjoyed mixing different languages to give our verse a different texture,’ another student wrote. ‘I would never have thought to use Facebook statuses, Shakespeare, and treadmill reviews in the same poem!’ In addition to crafting poems, Germantown High School seniors read and discussed Kenneth Goldsmith’s essay ‘Uncreative Writing.’ To prepare for this discussion, each student transcribed a text of their choice. For example, one student transcribed a poem by Anne Sexton, while another transcribed a page from The Hunger Games. Goldsmith’s essay led us toward discussions regarding 21st century conceptual writing practices and best practices for fair use in poetry.

Above: Rebecca Cosenza's work Above Right: Rebecca Cosenza Right: In the act of creation!

As a writing instructor, my pedagogy emphasizes that the texts we create are influenced by a variety of sources and experiences that cross boundaries both on and off the page. My goal, then, is for students to redefine (or de-refine) what it means to read and to write. In the classroom, I emphasize the notion of literature as an expanded field of tangible writing: poems may be transformed into objects created from the students’ worlds, in contrast to static words on a page. Instructing learners about the material possibilities of language is not only appropriate and suitable for young learners. It is equally important for older students who may have been socialized from their previous academic experiences into traditional ways of thinking about language.


Juror's Report: Mairéad Byrne, Poetry

It is an honor to be asked to serve as a juror. I’ve never done it in court but to be a poetry juror is a sweet thing. If the law is an entity, how much more so is poetry? When you’re a poetry juror, there’s a consciousness of sitting around the table heaped with poems, in fellowship with poets, and with poetry too. Poetry jurors don’t really pass judgment on anyone. They hand out keys, not sentences. A key to the Millay Colony is a key to a vast open territory, as well as to a community. Because preparation for the Millay jury is extensive, with many files to read over the month before we meet, the day itself feels like a performance. I drive out of a mild December in the North East 150 miles west to Austerlitz and true winter. Nosing down the narrow road through stripped forest, I’m not sure about rustling up an arts colony—but there’s Cara outside the Barn, waving me in to park! I follow her up to the main house, beached on the hill crest, each step of the purposeful poetry juror punched into the recording snow.

Inside the low house, Tracie and Tracy have already arrived. We wait for the fourth juror—not Tracey it turns out but Paulo! As soon as we’re all gathered we set to work, Cara at the head of the table stirring a vast cauldron of application packets. This is my favorite way to get to know people: through poetry. Over the course of the day, each juror’s poetics quietly claim a place at the table too. It’s quite a party. So many voices emerging from the pyramid of packets, in poems and statements; the voices of our poetics, shorn and assertive; and the voices of the flesh-and-blood humans, respectful, courteous, intent on the priority of working together and serving the applicants, and the Millay Colony, well. Our job is to agree and in the end we do—and have the joy of learning the names of the poets who will get the kind of letter we all want. We also experience the phenomenon of we: the sense that we have selected a group which no one juror would have selected in entirety, and that it is better that way. We stay around the table, work carried away, and eat and laugh a while before folding ourselves away too. Out in the air again, bound only lightly now by voices, we wind down through the dark over the gleaming snow to the Barn where I sleep a clean safe fresh sleep deep in the winter in Austerlitz, bulbs planted surely for Spring.

--Mairéad Byrne, 5/9/12


2012 Cave Canem Fellow at Millay Colony: The Incomparable Rachel Eliza Griffiths Two years ago Millay Colony for the Arts teamed up with Cave Canem to create a dedicated annual fellowship in order to support African American poetry in the world. While Millay has provided a loving and nurturing home to many Cave Canem poets over the years (including CC co-founder Cornelius Eady!), Rachel is the second poet to grace us with her presence in this established fellowship. We couldn't have been more delighted, thrilled, and rewarded with her stay here. Below are some of her striking photographs (Ms. Griffiths is multi-talented) and a brief write-up of her residency. We encourage you, dear reader, to check out all the amazing programming at Cave Canem by visiting their website www.cavecanempoets.org. Also, you can see more of Rachel's incredible work at www.rachelelizagriffiths.com.

RIGHT Rachel herself! BELOW The iconic barn

ABOVE Open-air writing desk

"The Millay Colony provided me with an ideal space for working, living, and dreaming. Its community, not unlike my experience as a Cave Canem fellow, is one that is devoted to sustaining artists in every sense and power. Each day I was able to set out goals and fulfil them, surrounded by an intense and talented group of fellow artists within a natural setting that was both comforting, intimate, and open. I appreciated the freedom each artist had in shaping his/her work schedule, which reflected the detailed attention and thoughtfulness of the Millay staff, who were absolutely excellent. There was nothing but generosity and respect for the need to work in Millay’s environement. At dusk I worked on drafts, rapt, as hummingbirds and shining deer emerged from shadows and each morning I worked over new ideas as I walked through fields of dragonflies and wildflowers. I was very pleased with the hive of pages I generated. What an honor to join such fine company. I hope to return soon!" -Rachel Eliza Griffiths


New Work from 2012 Residents

Left: Taro Hattori August, 2012

Right: Mark Cannariato October, 2012

Left: Shanti Grumbine October, 2012


2012 Millay Colony Residents April

August

Evan Allgood, Screenwriting; Milledgevill, GA

Zaki Baydoun, Fiction; Beirut, Lebanon

Kendra DeColo, Poetry; Nashville, TN

Karen Correa, Composing; Oakland, CA

Ariel Duntz Johnson, Visual Arts; San Francisco, CA

Teresa Coulter, Non-Fiction; New York, NY

Karen Lepri, Poetry; Wellfleet, MA

Taro Hattori, Visual Arts; Oakland, CA

Francis Rabkin, Playwriting; Brooklyn, NY

Alta Ifland, Fiction; Santa Cruz, CA

Joshua Weibly, Visual Arts; Chelmsford, MA

So Yoon Lym, Fiction; North Haledon, NJ

.

John McManus, Fiction; Norfolk, VA

May

.

Maud Casey, Fiction; Washington, D.C.

September

Gregory Hayes, Visual Arts; North Tonawanda, NY

Michael Forstrom, Fiction; Woodbridge, CT

Lucy Johnson, Visual Arts; Overland Park, KS

Zibuokle Martinaityte, Composing; New York, NY

Jaime Karnes, Fiction; New York, NY

Ohad Matalon, Visual Arts; Tel Aviv, Israel

Masha Tupitsyn, Fiction, New York, NY

Stephen Motika, Poetry; Brooklyn, NY

Jennifer Yorke, Visual Arts; Chicago, IL

Kavari Nair, Visual Arts; Brooklyn, NY

Alex Weiser, Composing; New York, NY

Kasia Nikamina, Playwriting; Brooklyn, NY

.

Jen Silverman, Playwriting; Astoria, NY

June

Jeneva Stone, Non-Fiction; Bethesda, MD

Emily Abendoth, Poetry; Philadelphia, PA

Jeanne Williamson, Visual Arts; Natick, MA

Camille Acker, Fiction; Las Cruces. NM

Rebecca Wolff, Fiction; Athens, NY

Michael Ashkin, Visual Arts; Ithaca, NY

.

Michael Borowski, Albuquerque, NM

October

Rachel Eliza Griffins, Poetry; Brooklyn, NY

Mark Cannariato, Visual Arts; Brooklyn, NY

LeVan Hawkins, Non-Fiction; Robbins, IL

Cody Carvel, Poetry; San Francisco, CA

Isabelle de Mullenheim, Composing; Paris, France

Shanti Grumbine, Visual Arts; New Paltz, NY

.

Molly Reid, Fiction; Fort Collins, CO

July

Jeff Schmuki, Visual Arts; Auburn, AL

Kenneth Calhoun, Fiction; Boston, MA

Jamie Townsend, Poetry; East Kensington, PA

Brenda Coultas, Poetry; New York, NY

.

Maria Damon, Poetry; Minneapolis, MN

November

Mark Joshua Epstein, Visual Arts; Brooklyn, NY

Teresa Carmody, Fiction; Los Angeles, CA

Young Hwa Kang, Composing; Seoul, Korea

Emily Hass, Visual Arts; New York, NY

Catherine Taylor, Non-Fiction; Ithaca, NY

Weston Minissali, Composing; Rosendale, NY

Vithya Truong, New, Visual Arts; York, NY

Lindsey Packer, Visual Arts; Brooklyn, NY Prageeta Sharma, Poetry; Misoula, MT Nova Ren Sum, Fiction; New York, NY


Note from the Executive Director Hello dear readers of Edna, friends of Millay, artists, artistes, and good people, I hope this finds everyone well and enjoying Summer. 2012 is an exciting year at The Millay Colony for the Arts. Every year is exciting here, of course, because every year is its own glittering confection of people, artwork, gatherings, flora and fauna…and every year is a chance to meet new resident artists, to see the studios fill up with their work, to seed, cultivate and harvest our organic flower and vegetable gardens, and to see our mountain home transform itself according to the people and circumstances it holds. And yet, even with all of that said, this year feels particularly propitious…

Flora at the Colony

We started a program of Weekend Workshops at the gorgeous Trisha Brown Studios in Tribeca. As of this writing, there have been two weekends, both full - From the Office of Recuperative Strategies with poets Rachel Levitsky and Christian Hawkey, and Critical Writing as Creative Practice with critic extraordinaire Frances Richard. So much smart, deeply considered, and courageously felt work was accompolished in the airy white loft Trisha Brown Company so generously makes available to us. So much warmth between participants flowered. So much happened on every level... We look forward to more of this intense work and working together that the Weekend Workshop series entails. Our Workshop Retreats at the Colony have also continued. Our first of the season was The Beauty of the Image with celebrated author Carole Maso. We had a full house and participants were writing until late in the night! Our last of this year, Generating Sound in Poetry with Tracie Morris at the end of August promises to be as awe-inspiring. We also kicked off the new residency season with a party for alums and friends at the gorgeous apartment of Monica Youn and Whitney Armstrong. Monica greeted us with chilled cava and her most exquisite cat, Vincentine. Vincentine sacheted in and out of the party, doing her star turns, while some 55 alumni, past jurors, Board members, admirers and friends mingled, laughed and drank wine together. It was a lovely happening.

Weekend Workshop participants

So far our residents are, one and all, marvelous. The work they are making… marvelous. Maybe you, gentle reader, should visit them and visit us at The Millay Colony this year. We do welcome visitors. If you want to visit, to see our studios, rooms, and grounds, to spend a day wandering the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, to sample our legendary iced coffee, well, email me at director@millaycolony.org. Otherwise, there will be more news coming soon. Stay tuned...

-- Caroline Crumpacker, Executive Director Caroline Crumpacker


Millay Colony Mise-en-scène LEFT Getting new windows and doors at the Main House BELOW Millay Alum at Carole Maso Workshop (l - r) Nicholas Boggs, Sejal Shah, Melissa Sandor & Nora Maynard

ABOVE Beka Goedde at work 2011 Resident RIGHT Chef Donna tending the garden


The Millay Colony for the Arts 454 East Hill Road Austerlitz, NY 12017 STAFF Caroline Crumpacker / Executive Director Calliope Nicholas / Residency Director Cara Benson / Program Manager Donna Wenzel / Chef T. Hall & Evergreen Property Management / Groundskeepers Ira Sher / Web Designer Berkshire Bookkeeping / Bookkkeepers

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Betsy Rosenfield Same / President Katy Lederer / Vice President Spencer Short / Secretary Rob Dennis Ben Giordano Melissa Sandor Virgnia Sheridan

ADVISING ARTISTS COUNCIL Mark Wunderlich / Chair Nick Brooke Nicole Eisenman Pierre Joris Timothy Liu Keith Mayerson Chiori Miyagawa Sina Najafi Tomรกs Urayoรกn Noel Frances Richard Jill Schoolman Prageeta Sharma Christopher Stackhouse Lynne Tillman Jennifer Tseng Rebecca Wolff Patty Ybarra Monica Youn Albin Zak

The Millay Colony for the Arts was founded in 1973 as an artists' residency program located on the former property of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay in Austerlitz, NY. Our mission is to nurture and promote the vitality of the arts by providing writers, visual artists and composers with a rural retreat that encourages creative intensity and exploration in the context of an artistic community. www.millaycolony.org http://millaycolony.blogspot.com/ 518-392-3101

Millay Newlsetter Issue 12  

Millay Colony for the Arts 2012 Summer/Fall Newsletter

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