Thursday, July 22, 2010

JCC Rochester, NY Center Stage

Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 8pm
Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 2pm
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 8pm
Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 8pm
Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 8pm
Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 2pm & 7pm
Jonathan Larson's modern rock musical retelling of La bohème follows filmmaker Mark Cohen and his artist and musician friends struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of AIDS. The first local production of the Tony Award winning Broadway version premieres at JCC Summer Stage with the team that brought you HAIR, West Side Story, and Fiddler on the Roof.

"Summer Stage 2010" Call for details (585) 461-2000 ext 235.

Went to see Rent last night at JCC. Amazing production-- everything from sets to lighting to staging. The cast has big talent and strong voices, standing up to the demanding vocals of the show. If you're in the Rochester area, check out this production. Don't wait to get tickets. They're selling out each night, and have already added an extra day of performances.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

O rise and shine

Where do I start? Woke up early this morning to the sound of farm machinery. Must be spraying, but before 5 a.m.? The roar of the engine and flash of lights that rippled across our bedroom walls.I initially thought it was a plane landing in our side yard, and that frightened me because I wasn't really awake. Then I was awake and pulled myself out to bed to start the day. O rise and shine!

Had a stunning thought while drinking my first cup of coffee-- only six more weeks left of summer. Six more weeks to luxuriate. Six more weeks to plan time at my own pace. Six more weeks to read and paint and draw and write and garden and do as I please. Soon my life will resume the quick-step. Am I ready? Not sure. Will I be? Not sure. Will my summer repair carry me through the forthcoming months? Most likely. March, as in madness, hare, spring, is the pivotal month. If I can make it through March's revolving doors, I know I can do anything. Just need to be really healthy this year, which I'm working on. That's the other downfall, in the winter my physical activity wanes. I do a lot of walking and taking "extra" steps, but it's not the physical work of summer. My being curled up under a blanket reading, with occasional page turning and tea sipping and wiggling my toes is the extent of my winter activities.

But here's what's happening today:

Blueberry picking.
Bicycling in the park.
Working on my on-going projects.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Postcard Memoirs

Good News. My essay "Surely" is now published on Postcard Memoirs. A terrific site edited by Sonja Livingston, author of the award-winning memoir, Ghostbread.

Here's the link:

Please check the Web site out. Some wonderful essays. A terrific teaching resource.


Went to a downtown Rochester concert last night with Peter, and saw the Old Crows from Nashville Tennessee and Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks Band. Big Sound. It was a warm night with a wonderful breeze. No bugs. Peter won the tickets as the ninth caller. Had such a great time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Jam News

Jam news:

Picked 4 pints of raspberries from our bushes. (haven't had decent berries in several years now).
4 pints equals 5 cups of fruit. Just enough for a short batch. Put up 6 12 oz jars. Now these stand with the strawberry jars (pints and 8 oz jars) on the sideboard. I love looking at the ruby red jars. The jam itself is heaven. Who doesn't love jam on toast?

We have several blueberry bushes that have about a pint of berries. Although, when I pass by to go to the East garden, I pluck one or two--the taste of sun and summer and glorious weather.
I think I will go to another farm and pick blueberries this weekend.

Saw signs for peaches too. Really? Peach season is here? Maybe so.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Upcoming Reading at Books, ETC Sunday July 18th

Sunday July 18th at 4 p.m.

Books, ETC

78 West Main Street
Macedon, NY

Reading and book signing.

Light refreshments.

Good conversation.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July's Glitterati

Received the following publications in mail:

Blueline, a literary magazine dedicated to the spirit of the Adirondacks.
One of my favorite journals, which has published many of my poems over the years, including two in this issue: "Uncovering the Well" and The Weight of Spring." Sharing company with some of my favorite poets: Stephen Lewandowski, Matthew Spireng, Kathryn Howd Machan, Todd Davis, to mention a few.

The Bryant Literary Review, an annual published by Bryant University, Editor Tom Chandler and Student Editor Krissy Aucoin. This is my first time appearing in this impressive journal-- my poem, "Traveling Alone, She Fell in the Sistine Chapel" is in great company. My BLR Favorites (thus far): Charles Harper Webb, John F.Buckley and Martin Ott, Martha Christina, Mary Elizabeth Parker.

Bird's Eye reView This is the fourth issue edited by Amy L. George.
Something here for everyone. But from following this online zine since its beginning, I would say that Amy is interested in (as I am too) "a sense of place" and human interactions within that sense of place. If you're writing lyric-narratives, this may be a venue for your work.

Shout Outs:

Karla Linn Merrifield: Salmon Poetry (Ireland) has accepted her full length collection, Athabaskan Fractal and Other Poems of the Far North for publication in mid-2012.
For more about Salmon Poetry, go to

Karla, when she's not traveling the world, lives just down the parkway (West) of our Red Rooster Farm, on the shores of Lake Ontario. Presently, she's in the desert Southwest.

Winner of the 2010 Stephen Dunn Prize in Poetry
Tina Schumann – "As If" (Seattle, WA)

Ms.Schumann's collection is scheduled for an October 2010 release date and its publication will be announced at that time on our Web site at TBR is also currently open for regular submissions, and for those of you with an eye to the future, the 2011 contest guidelines are now available (submissions for that open January 2011).

First met Tina in 2006, my graduating year from my MFA at Pacific Lutheran University, Rainier Writing Workshop (Tacoma, Washington).

So excited to pass on this good news.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Fourth of July to All!

Here's our celebratory song. Will be singing this with family and friends today (please join in) :

Lyricists: 1st verse: Andrea Iuppa; second verse: Lou Iuppa; third verse: Karen Iuppa

Sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques"

Independence, Independence
Colonies Won (one) England none
Hail the constitution
and all the amendments
Wave the flag, wave the flag

Second verse:

4th of July!, 4th of July!
Today is the day, celebrate our way!
Fireworks exploding,
Bonfires roaring,
Country Pride, Country Pride

Third verse:

4th of July, 4th of July
weather forecast oppressive...90 and humid
Karen is naked
MJ's brownies bakin'
party at 1212... party at 1212!

July 4, 2010

Yes, I made fabulous brownies (so yum), baked beans, macaroni salad with all sorts of veggies from our garden and the seven layer taco dip and chips. Whew! and it's only 10:30 a.m.

It's going to be blistering hot. I'm going swimming!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

As Long As We Shall Live

The Weed Cup

In over 3000 feet of garden, we're ahead, and I can't believe we have victory in sight.
We may have figured this out. The garden looks lush and we're already putting up Blue Lake green beans and Italian flat beans. Have eaten fresh lettuce (many different kinds), green beans, beets, yellow squash and zucchini. Our tomatoes have flowers. Can't wait for tomatoes. And, we planted rows of popcorn! Corn takes up a lot of space because you have to plant multiple rows for cross-pollination. Fingers-crossed that this planting works.

While weeding, the many hours I have been out there, I have been counting my blessings.
In what could be perceived as routine's rut, especially when it comes to gardening-- there will always be more weeds, and one has to be persistent to stay ahead of them-- I realized that the daily routine, things expected and delivered in their appointed hour are quite soothing. For example, the ritual of coffee. Where would I be without brewing coffee ? Without the small song I hum while making it? I like the quiet rhythms of summer. The rut I'm most grateful for.

It's funny every year in the garden, I vow not to over-extend myself with work in the upcoming year, and I always break this vow. It's true what they say: "No good deed goes unpunished."
Often, when asked, I find myself ready to help students, friends, colleagues out-- only to discover some cruel reality down the road--(really a kick in the teeth) some creepy under-telling or disparaging remark, which may be characteristic of being human and wanting to be number 1. Everyone is number 1. There are as many ones as blades of grass. You can count on this and lose track of numbers, knowing the mass is one. And ultimately, isn't the one you truly have to worry about is you.

So buckets of weeds that will be returned as mulch. Peter thinks the weeds are dirt-- that they come from dirt and return as dirt, but I think they're sun. I think everything we eat is sun, and sun is energy. I like to think of the "glow" while eating fresh foods. The idea of something glowing, something remarkable and not processed, not one of the four basic food groups in the American diet: fat, sugar, salt, and chocolate. ( I confess, it's hard to give up chocolate).

And yes, by popular demand, I'm making batches of brownies for my sister's picnic tomorrow,to celebrate our day of independence.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What do I know?

Getting the word out about this upcoming show.
Opening reception is Friday July 9, 5-7 p.m.

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?

-Emily Dickinson

This quote, vital inspiration as a young poet, and often quoted, and still I think of it when I get that shiver while reading or listening to poetry that just leaves me awe-struck-- thrilled, in the true meaning of thrill, riddled with a thousand tiny holes.

Over the past few days, I've been tying up the loose ends of a Spring residency. Work now complete. Have been working on the orchestration of my third poetry collection, and it's falling into place nicely. Hopefully will have this ready in a week or so.


Planning on going to see the Rochester Shakespeare Theater's offering of Much Ado About Nothing.

Here's the blurb from their Web site:

Much Ado About Nothing opens July 2 at the Highland Park Bowl! The Shakespeare Players of Rochester, a program of the Rochester Community Players, will present Much Ado About Nothing, free Shakespeare at the Highland Park Bowl, 1200 South Avenue, July 2 to 17, 2010. This production is being directed by Jean Ryon and produced by Patrick Niles-White. This production is presented with the cooperation and support of the Monroe County Parks Department and with the support of the Law Firm of Boylan, Brown.

Much Ado About Nothing is Shakespeare's mature comedy about adults in love. Fiery Beatrice and hot-headed Benedick blaze away at each other until they realize, aided by the trickery of friends, that they are a perfect couple. Fellow soldier Claudio is smitten by the lovely Hero; their romance is almost undone by the treachery of Don John, bastard brother of Don Pedro, the soldier's leader. Spoiler alert: by the end of the play the lovers get married and the bad guys go to jail!

Eleven performances are scheduled for the following dates (all performances start at 8:00):

Friday July 2 and Saturday July 3
Tuesday, July 6 and Wednesday July 7
Friday July 9, Saturday July 10, and Sunday July 11
Tuesday July 13 and Wednesday July 14
Friday July 16 and Saturday July 17

This is the fourteenth annual Shakespeare at the Bowl production of the Shakespeare Players of Rochester. RCP's Shakespeare Players program is a member of the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America (STAA).


Fourth of July, just around the corner. My sister is having a gathering at her lake house. It's going to be 90 degrees and sunny. Perfect day for swimming, visiting, and grazing. The ring of fire and fireworks are spectacular at the end of the day.