Why Western New England?

The region is resplendent with writers and literary connections. Besides the fact that the Literary Cadences founder is a current resident of western Massachusetts, here are a few of the reasons the Connecticut River Valley area has made the cut as one end of this singular exchange…

What happens here in literary circles gets attention. Recent issues of Poets & Writers Magazine have been generously speckled with references to people and places in the region. – Things noted include Small Beer Press in Easthampton (“All in the Family: Ig Publishing, Two Dollar Radio and Small Beer Press” Nov/Dec 2012 issue), and debut poet Dan Chelotti also of Easthampton (“Breaking through the Noise: Our Ninth Annual Looks at Debut Poets” Jan/Feb 2014). And, as part of that same issue, P&W included among its residency and submission news Dzanc Books out of Northampton and their sponsorship of the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal – folks looking to “deepen mutual understanding among writers from North America and writers from Portugal.” – chalk it up to another example of a literary bridge. There was also the write up on the unique venue of Flying Object in Hadley (“Inspiration Flies High” Jan/Feb 2013).

Part of the “Five Colleges” area (Smith College, UMass Amherst, Mt Holyoke, Hampshire College and Amherst College), there is a healthy depth of intellect and things literary here that should not go untapped. Then there are the links to historical figures: Amherst produced Emily Dickinson, her house now open as a museum. Smith College in Northampton is Alma mater to Sylvia Plath and home of the Smith Poetry Center and its reading series that hosts some of today’s most vibrant voices in the craft.

Finally, independent bookstores thrive here. The New York Times agrees. What is the formula that makes such a thing work in today’s world? Is it replicable in other places? Questions worth exploring.

Venues, East

Broadside Books, Northampton, MA

White Square Books, Easthampton, MA

The Montague Bookmill, Montague, MA

Grey Matter Books, Hadley, MA

Mocha Maya’s, Shelburne Falls, MA

Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Flying Object, Hadley, MA

Academy of Music, Northampton, MA

World Eye Bookshop, Greenfield & Florence, MA

The White Rose Bookstore, Holyoke, MA

Events, East

3f781b0e260c6eae2018de6ccd0a35fc April 12, 2014, Slow Art Day - Slow Art Day is April 12, 2014 (It should be noted in the interest of representing multiple creative genres, that date is right in the middle of National Poetry Month.)  
slowlivingsummit June 4-6, 2014, Slow Living Summit - June 4-6, 2014 in Brattleboro, VT is the Slow Living Summit http://www.slowlivingsummit.org/

Authors, East

Okey1 Okey Ndibe - Okey Ndibe is the author of Foreign Gods, Inc. – his second novel, out from Soho Press (click the link for a series of short interviews with Okey) in January 2014.  A novelist, journalist and professor of African and African Diaspora literature at Brown University., Ndibe came to the U.S. from his native Nigeria 25 years ago at the behest…

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McEwen, Christian 2 by Gerry Cambridge Christian McEwen - Christian McEwen, author of World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down (Bauhan Publishing, 2011), was born in London and grew up in the Borders of Scotland. Christian’s new play “Legal Tender: Women & the Secret Life of Money” will be performed in March of 2014. Upcoming teaching sessions include a workshop at the renowned Omega Institute in…

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