Saturday, October 25, 2014

Up In the Air!

Photo by Michael Czarnecki, Fall 2014
used with his permission.

Autumn.  Say it aloud. Hear its sound of yum; taste it with your tongue. This season of weight and delight offers us a full share of its hours. Don't miss out on
that walk in the park, kicking the leaves, or sharing a cup of something with your family and friends.

I have been tying to slow things down a bit; making a conscious effort to enjoy the people I'm with when I'm with them, especially my students (all 102 of them) this semester, who are truly some kind of wonderful.

It's getting dark early now.  Soon, the clocks will click backwards, and we will return to the rhythm I love best to everything.

You don't know how I love taking back that hour.

I confess this week, actually starting  last Sunday night, I was praying for a snow day.  I need a day to just hunker down without any interruption. (Who am I kidding?) I think this is the reason why I get up in the middle of the night to do work.  This weekend I will be another grading marathon.  I think I have close to 600 pages of quilt essays, which I have started to read, but haven't had big chunks of time to get it all done.  This weekend is do or die.

I am glad to report that the harvest is nearly complete.  Still have to pick more apples and carrots ( as most of you know, I planted over 400 carrots-- all named Jack). As soon as this is done, we will be tuning over the garden.  On Halloween, we celebrate our 26th year living on the farm.

So far, so good.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Upcoming Just Poets Event: Poet James Longenbach November 1, 2014


JUST POETS Special Guest 
James Longenbach
Nov. 1st  at 1:30p.m.
St. John Fisher College
Campus Center Conference Rm, 2nd floor

Come join us for a very special meeting of Just Poets on Saturday, November 1st at 1:30, when we welcome James Longenbach of the University of Rochester. James will be speaking on the craft of poetry writing, and then will answer questions submitted by you.

Just Poets meets for programs and workshops from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at St. John Fisher College in the Campus Center (COP) conference room on the second floor on the first Saturday of every month. We’ll have refreshments and several of Jim’s books available for purchase at the November 1 meeting.

Interested in attending? 
Please RSVP Celeste Schantz at or respond Yes or No on the FB events page (forthcoming on the JP Facebook page). 

Do you have questions about craft that you’d like to submit?
E-mail them to by October 25th.

James Longenbach is a poet and a critic whose most recent collection of poems, The Iron Key, is a meditation on the conditions and consequences of beauty. His critical work, The Art of the Poetic Line, is an account of the work of lineation in free-verse, syllabic, and metered poetry (ranging from Shakespeare to Ashbery). He has also written widely about modern and postmodern poetry, sometimes emphasizing the historicity of poetic language (Wallace Stevens: The Plain Sense of Things) but also exploring the ways in which poems resist their historical situation (The Resistance to Poetry).   See you there!

Claudia Stanek Poetry Reading Tonight 10/9/2014 at 7:30 p.m. at St. John Fisher College

Poet Claudia Stanek, reading from her recently released chapbook, Language You Refuse to Learn, which was a co-winner of Bright Hill Press’s 2014 annual contest.  Book signing to follow the reading.

 Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Location: St. John Fisher College, Golisano Gateway Midlevel, 3690 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Contact: M.J.Iuppa, 385-8412

 St. John Fisher College, Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program hosts Poet Claudia Stanek’s reading from her recently released award-winning poetry chapbook Language You Refuse to Learn, Bright Hills Press, 2014.

Rochester, NY~Claudia M. Stanek grew up in the blur of murmurs and silences of Polish-accented English while literally living on the border of Polish-Catholic steel town Depew and German-Lutheran rural Lancaster in Western New York State. Her award-winning chapbook, Language You Refuse to Learn, has just been released from Bright Hill Press (September 2014). Other poems have appeared in Conte Online, Redactions: Poetry, Poetics & Prose, Euphony, Ruminate, and Fourth River, among others, as well as the anthologies Cinquainicity (Palettes & Quills, 2009), Community Voices (University of Rochester, 2009), Knocking on the Silence: A Finger Lakes Anthology (Foothills, 2005), Le Mot Juste (Foothills, 2005-2010), and Common Intuitions (Palettes & Quills, 2003). Her poem “Housewife” was the inspiration for composer Judith Lang Zaimont’s commissioned libretto for the 2009 Eastman School of Music’s Women in Music Festival. Claudia received a Significant Opportunity Stipend from the Arts & Cultural Council of Greater Rochester and was awarded a writer's residency in Poland. Her work has been translated into as well as published in Polish. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and lives in East Rochester, NY where she and her rescued pets enjoy viewing the birches from her reading nook. Her web site is

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Labor Day Weekend (Isn't every day labor day?)

Photo by K. Iuppa
Harvest Time on Red Rooster Farm

I have been harvesting yellow squash, zucchini, potatoes (white and red.  The reds are red inside and out, and are delish!) Swiss chard, blue lake beans, onions (white and red) last of the cucumbers, beets, white eggplants, purple peppers and cherry/grape tomatoes, which are just starting to come now.  I've been picking tomatoes for several days now.  Soon will be roasting them.  I have enough now.  Carolina gold and beef steaks are beginning to turn.  It's going to be intense when all the tomatoes turn.Usually, I have 100 quarts put by by now. So this year I will work around the clock.  I must admit everything has been outstanding. We have been very fortunate.


Have begun another writing challenge. Another set of lyric essays and flash fiction. I'm hoping to have 6 of each done by October 2nd.  We'll see if I am as successful as this summer challenge.

1. Lyric essay:  "Milkweed"  done 8/31/2014.

I have some ideas brewing. Still writing poems, but I'm considering them differently since the summer writing challenge.

Good news. I have been asked to write reviews for two journals.  One in USA and the other in UK. If any readers of this blog have a new poetry book/chapbook, please send it my way! 

I'm hoping I will be able to write a couple of these every month.


Glad to have been able to complete some novel editing per writer request. It's a bit difficult at the start of the semester.

So far, so good with classes and teaching and meetings.  Even though I was dragging my big toe a bit, I knew that  once I started working on syllabi, I would perk up. 


From the batch of lyric essays written this summer, ranging from 250 words to 2500 words, I have had seven out of the twelve accepted, and two of them haven't been released into the world yet.  I feel so fortunate and encouraged by this.


This upcoming week my niece Lucy will be in town for a visit!  She will get to enjoy the tomatoes.  My sister Andrea and her grown children Matt and Kiira only got a nimble.  But, they did have a lot of other veggies and fruits from our gardens.


Hoping to get some relaxation time in this weekend .  We'll see.   Always a lot to do.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bye-Bye, Summer, Bye-Bye

Photo: K.Iuppa taken 8/24/2014
Bye-bye Summer (sniff-sniff) .

Yesterday we had a fabulous family party at my sister Karen's lake house.  It was a perfect day.  My cousins were at this party and I just love, love, love them.  They lifted my spirits, like none other.  So much laughter.

Today begins the week of meetings of all kinds. Am I ready' to step into the groove'?  Yes, Madonna as my theme song. I can still skip-dance.  Still have the lace gloves! 

Here are links to recent publications:

Poem: "Small Gestures"

Lyric essay: Pin-points

 Lyric essay: Clotheslines

Thanks to the editors fo giving my work a forum.  I am so fortune to be alongside so many fine poets & writers.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer Sunday Adrift

Photo: Karen Iuppa

So this is it.  The end of summer.  Sunday, our one day left. I'm lost in thought.  Life is a game of take away. I find myself pulled in two directions.  Soon, it will be three.  In a day, I will have to go in all three.  No choice.
I will have to be attune to the daily schedule. This realization is slightly horrific. I have four rows of gorgeous tomatoes, still green; but they promise to be all that we expect. With  nervous impatience, we're waiting . . . .

 Yesterday, I made another batch of both Golden Apricot jam and  Dill Relish with Jalapeno pepper (not hot,but mighty tasty!)  Today I'm going to roast beets for a salad with goat cheese and walnuts.  Make a pan of Zucchini Parm and bring it over to my sister's house for a last summer party with family.  I'm looking forward to this. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Positive Things

Three  Positive Things:

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

I have been trying to pick veggies every day, so things don't get too large, especially Zucchini, which seems to grow in front of our eyes! On Tuesday, I spent the late morning to afternoons baking and cooking.  With  one One Size Fits All I made three full size recipes. 1. Zucchini Tea Loaves, Zucchini parm, with orange and red peppers and onions and basil; and my mom's recipe of cubed zucchini, with tomatoes onions, garlic, basil and egg and  cheese (really soul food!).

Finished a poem I was working on.  It's taking me several days to complete a poem.

Went to the Genesee Reading Series and heard Jules Nyquist and Claudia Stanek.  Great reading. Fun seeing everyone.  Bought Jules' book  and John Roche's anthology Mo'Joe poems.  Looking forward to spending time reading both.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wrote letters! AND MAILED THEM.  Bought beautiful stamps at the post office: Farmers Market and Songbirds.  Gorgeous!

Picked a pint of red raspberries ( this is winding down now); cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini,(all young)
basil, Blue Lake green beans (going to make green bean salad).

Bought new desk calendars for my school office!  Drove around doing errands in Brockport, with marginal success.  Bought a book at Lift Bridge.  Spent a lot of time in there, looking and looking and looking.

Tonight 8/14/2014, is the Just Poets  monthly reading at Barnes & Noble in Pittsford at 7 p.m.

Last year, we held a summer poem challenge and the 13 poets who submitted their poems will be reading their poems tonight.  A year's full circle.

A lot of these poems have been published in journals, including the annual Just Poets anthology Le Mot Juste, 2014.

Looking forward to hearing these poems tonight. If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by.