From the Director

[from the forthcoming April/May 2010 issue of the Poetry Project Newsletter]

Dear Readers, welcome to the Spring issue of the Newsletter, the final issue of this season. I knew from the start I needed to buckle my seatbelt but we’re almost through and I think I just have a bump on the head. Don’t worry, our doctors have checked me out and I’m good for another year. However, there is going to be a significant amount of staff/artistic support staff turnover so expect to see some new people on the masthead come September.

After five years at the Project, Corrine Fitzpatrick has decided it’s time to do something different, like zigzagging the equator in a quest for eternal summer or getting a job at Starbuck’s for health insurance. Seriously though, we’ve worked together for all of those five years so “the break-up of our camp” will be a big adjustment, but please join me in wishing her well post-Poetry Project.

I also want to report that after exhausting negotiations with St. Mark’s, we have secured a lease. As we feared, the rent increase is high, and we’ve had to forfeit use of the Parish Hall on Saturdays. Our Saturday Writing Workshop will now be held in a rented room next door in the Rectory.

Robert Duncan said “Responsibility is to keep the ability to respond.” While being your host for the past three years has been the job’s joie de vivre, I will need to take a hiatus from coordinating the Wednesday Night Reading Series next season in order to focus my energy on development and raising funds to meet these new obligations. I have appointed Joanna Fuhrman to the position at least through January of 2011. As many of you know, she is a terrific poet and an experienced curator.

On that note, we have three special events coming up in April for our annual Spring fund raising week. On April 28th, Alice Notley will give a solo reading in the Sanctuary, with a reception to follow. Her new book Reason and Other Women is just out from Chax Press. On the 30th we have a two-part event for the book We Saw the Light: Conversations Between the New American Cinema and Poetry by Daniel Kane. Kane will moderate a talk with a group of poets and filmmakers, followed by a film screening. Finally, on May 1st, we’ll have a performance of John Ashbery’s Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror for Six Voices arranged and directed by Jim Paul. Admission for each event will be $10. You can find more information on the calendar and our Website. We’ll also be sending out an email appeal that week offering people the chance to show their support through making an online donation.

Thanks for checking in and I hope to see many of you here in the coming months.

Stacy Szymaszek