|Today's host is Buffy Silverman.|
Pass the latkes and head on
over to Buffy's blog
for some delicious poetic treats.
Last week, I started a brief holiday series on gift giving. Instead of presents under the tree or gelt beside the menorah, I'm "buying" for some wonderful literary non-profits.
|I love this stackable travel menorah from Traditions.|
Menorahs are in the news: The New York Post ran this
adorable article on celebrity's and their menorahs.
We have already looked at two organizations committed to social justice in the literary world and beyond. You can read about Split This Rock and We Need Diverse Books here.
Today, my focus is store-front literary centers. I picked one in Baltimore and one closer to Washington, D.C. Full disclosure: I am a member of both organizations.
What makes a great literary center? Things I look for are:
- Provides a venue for literary readings.
- Sponsors events such as literary gatherings, book signings, and plays.
- A library or bookshop including member's books and/or literary magazines.
- Writing classes focused on craft.
- Programs for young writers.
- Bonus: Workspace available for writers.
New on the local scene is Baltimore's LitMore. Poet Julie Fisher and company took over an unused rectory in Baltimore a little over two years ago. LitMore does all of the above, providing a cozy home for the sometimes scattered literary scene in our city. They also offer retreats and book discussion groups. Poet Christophe Cassamassima is in charge of the library. When my bookshelves get overcrowded, I like sending literary magazines and poetry chapbooks to Chris at LitMore.
Here is LitMore's schedule of upcoming events.
Interested in donating/becoming a member? Click here.
THE WRITER'S CENTER
Based in the DC suburb of Bethesda, The Writer's Center has been around forever. They are huge supporters of their members, who can share news in the center's regular publication, which also includes their extensive list of courses taught -- and attended -- by fine local authors. Every weekend, you'll find top-notch authors and members with new books reading their work at TWC. The library is a great place to browse regional and national literary magazines if you're looking for places to submit your work to. They also offer craft classes in Alexandria, Virginia and Annapolis, Maryland, if you want to avoid commuting. Sue Ellen Thompson, whose work I featured earlier this fall, is a favorite instructor. You can also take classes with children's authors like Mary Quattlebaum.
Donate to The Writer's Center here.
Since it is Poetry Friday, here is a winter poem by Sue Ellen Thompson.
Falling on Ice
by Sue Ellen Thompson
You're in a hurry, rushing
out the door, just as the January sky
begins to pale. You're looking
at the geese that rise
in a consensus from the river so nearby
and for a moment you, too,
leave the earth and fly.
But as their undersides
pass over you, you
drop the way that blossoms
drop, their momentary
weightlessness turned instantly
to weight when their trajectory's
completed. And all day,
as you hold the wrist you hope
is just a sprain, you're thinking
not about the pain and not
about that moment when your weight
was lifted from you, but of the suddenness
with which the earth reclaimed you--
like the husband who relinquished you
six months ago with your assurances
that he should take the job,
that you'd be fine here on your own.
And now you cannot scrub a pot
or hook your bra without him.
|Click here to order a copy of They.|
Do you have a great literary center in your home town? Tell us about it in the comments.