Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekend Round-Up

Stories from the Fringe, the monologues of 18 women rabbis, a play featuring three women, playing the three generations of women, whose stories are personal, historical, remarkable. I was so glad I went to see this, this weekend. I enjoyed listening to the talk back with the playwrights. I think they appreciated seeing the play outside of their own landscape (Los Angeles) because they were able "to relax" and see the play without being conscious of their significant roles. Listening to their detailed explanations of what it means to be a rabbi was poignant and complicated in the many ways one is Jewish-- religious and cultural; and evident that they don't want to be "women" rabbis; they want to be rabbis.I loved listening to the concept of blessings. I thought it was inspirational-- something I want in my own life too.

So glad I saw this play.

On the Domestic Front:

Still putting by veggies. Picked, soaked, cleaned Brussel Sprouts yesterday. Did three stalks and
it took several hours. They look like jingle bells on the stalk. Tight little heads. Made a tall pot of chili, which simmered all day long. Yum. Went for a long bike ride in the park yesterday. Gorgeous headstrong blue skies stretching out over Ontario. So clear. A lot of geese in the water calling back and forth to each other. Perhaps, getting ready to fly South; however, many stay over the winter now. Must be able to forage without much difficulty.

This week, more events. Four Freedoms week at St. John Fisher College. A lot of worthwhile lectures, movies, exhibits. I hope to attend many of the offerings this week as well as attend
to my on-going work.

Happy Halloween! Happy Birthday, Louis!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sure Things . . .

Stories from the Fringe . . .Women Rabbis Revealed

Ronda Spinak is an author and TV writer, whose credits include the Rugrats series. Rabbi Lynne A. Kern before her ordination was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at the Kansas City Star. The two embarked on a project three years ago chronicling the stories of female rabbis in Los Angeles, where they live. The result is the play Stories from the Fringe ... Women Rabbis Revealed, a coming documentary on the project and the Jewish Women's Rabbinic Archive (for which they hope to collect stories from around the world).

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester's CenterStage is the first theater to secure the rights to produce the play outside the Jewish Women's Theatre in Los Angeles, of which Spinak is one of the founders and which this project is part and parcel of its three-year history. It will be produced here at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. next Sunday at the JCC, 1200 Edgewood Ave. in Brighton. Spinak, Kern and Rabbi Karen Fox, one of those interviewed for the project, will be at the Saturday show and will lead a discussion afterward.

Tickets are $26 ($18 for students). Call (585) 461-2000, ext. 235, or go to

I heard opening night, 10/27/2011, went very well. You may want to see this performance this weekend! We're going Saturday evening.


Today is the Day of the Dead Celebration at St. John Fisher College. Looking forward to hearing the music and poetry performance in Spanish and English; watching the altar grow with remembrances and offerings. We're going to burn the prayers at a final benediction (hopefully the promise of good weather will be on our side).

Have been inordinately happy for the past 4 weeks-- something is just bubbling up inside of me, part good will, part constant state of amazement. I have had the good fortunate to be working with inspired students and artists this semester. It makes a big difference being surrounded by this energy. If I could bottle this, I would share it with you and we'd all be rich!

I can't explain it, but I really don't care about much else. I love the process of Art, and being with people who are engaged in process, who are learning and thinking and puzzling are the best.

Heard the best art lecture last night in my Encounters class. Elizabeth King Durand and g.a. Sheller discussed their process while we took in the landscapes of their artwork. The exhibit is currently in the St. John Fisher Skalny Welcome Center Katherine O'Keefe Ross Art Gallery.
After the lecture we all came back to the classroom and spent time creating art.

The classroom just hummed with creativity. It was the best and the time just flew by . . .

Ah Daybreak, time to go . . .

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Upcoming Poetry Workshop/Reading at Swan Library on October 29, 2011

My upcoming poetry workshop & reading will be October 29th, 2011, at Swan Library 4 North Main Street Albion, NY. Phone: 585-589-4246
The workshop is 10-Noon; 1 pm Poetry Reading.
This event is free and open to public, but you need to call the Library and sign up for the poetry workshop. Bring a bag lunch and stay for my reading.

The Swan Library is a warm and welcoming place. I hope to see you there. This upcoming workshop/reading is sponsored in part by Poets & Writers.

Good News Review: " It's All Right" Michael Brown gives me a thumb's up.

Michael Brown, editor of Off the Coast reviews my second full length poetry collection Within Reach(Cherry Grove Collections). You can read the review in full here:

This issue of Off the Coast features poems by Karie Friedman, Ray Skjelbred, Gayle Elen Harvey, Michel Young, Carolyn Gelland Frost, and J. Stephen Rhodes.

Artwork by Cesar Augusto, Jean Schild, Ali Asghar Abedi, Sarah Katharina KayƟ, Sherman Poultney, and Yaseen Anwer with cover image by Irene Koronas.

And 5 book reviews-- All of which can be read online.


My collection Within Reach is still available online for purchase (perfect for holiday gift giving) and I will be reading at various venues around New York State 2011-2012 and will have copies for sale. Hope to see you at one of these readings/workshops.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FuturPointe Dance Performance this Sunday, October 23, 2011

FuturPointe Dance performing at St. John Fisher College.
Come celebrate the fall harvest with spine-tingling dance, live music by THUNDER BODY, food and festivities. Come in costume and bring the kids for added fun! Date: Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. (One show only).

Location: St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Avenue, Cleary Family Auditorium in
Kearney Building.

Cost: Free for St. John Fisher, faculty, staff and students with id. General tickets at the door - $10 students/seniors, $15 adults.

Contact: M.J.Iuppa (585) 385-8412

FuturPointe Dance Performance at St. John Fisher College

Rochester, NY~ St. John Fisher College Visual and Performing Arts Minor in collaboration with the Diversity Program are proud to present FuturPointe Dance. Come celebrate the fall harvest with spine-tingling dance, live music by THUNDER BODY, food and festivities. Come in costume and bring the kids for added fun! One time performance, Sunday, October 23, 2011, at 2:00 p.m.

FuturPointe was formed in Nov. 2009 as an initiative to broaden the appeal and spectatorship of contemporary dance. FuturPointe Dance is a fusion company - combining dancers and choreographic styles from a variety of genres and training, including modern dance, popular/social/folk dance, Caribbean, African, Latin, and ballet. The company's aesthetic crosses into multiple art forms as well, including multi-media collaborations with videographers, visual artists, composers, musicians, puppeteers, and costumers.

The company roster is culturally diverse, with dancers hailing from Jamaica, Guyana, the Ukraine, New Orleans, and New York. Though we are a young company, we collectively have a broad and extensive base of professional dance experience, and the company has already toured and performed in national venues. Weekly classes are open to the Rochester community, and company members are actively involved in residencies and performances that educate, entertain, and promote the vitality and global presence of contemporary dance.

Current company members include: N’Jelle Gage, William J. Knighten, Melinda Phillips, Heather Roffe, and Guy Thorne. The Company apprentice is Olga Kravets. The company is co-directed by Guy Thorne, Heather Roffe and N’Jelle Gage.

Earth's Daughters Reading, Wednesday October 19, 2011 at St. John Fisher College

Poetry Reading, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Earth’s Daughters, a feminist literary and arts periodical published in Buffalo, N.Y., showcasing the current editors/poets: Kastle Brill, Joyce Kessel, Janna Willoughby, and ryki zuckerman.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, Wilson Formal Lounge in Ward-Haffey Bldg. at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free and Open to Public.

Contact: M.J.Iuppa, (585) 385-8412

St. John Fisher College: Poetry Reading, Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Earth’s Daughters

Rochester, NY~ St. John Fisher College Visual and Performing Arts Minor in collaboration with Just Poets is pleased to present a poetry reading that celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Earth’s Daughters, a feminist literary and arts periodical published in Buffalo NY. Earth’s Daughters is
the oldest extant feminist arts periodical, having been published continuously since 1971.

Joining the current editors/poets: Kastle Brill, Joyce Kessel, Janna Willoughby, and ryki zuckerman, Rochester poets, Anne Coon, Karla Merrifield and Leah Zazulyer will be reading their poems published in past issues of Earth's Daughters.

This is a historical reading that you won't want to miss. Hope to see you there!

Earth's Daughters will have their individual books, Earth's Daughters issues, tee shirts, and so on
available for purchase.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Publishing News, October Events, Still Harvesting

Nearly Mid-October, on this very early morning, woke with a start. Baskets of tomatoes are waiting in my mud room. Thought I should get up and start processing them before it's too late.
Still dark outside, and as I was washing, peeling and slicing tomatoes,I could hear frog song. In a couple of days, there will be the first hard frost and the gardens will turn inward and everything will become very quiet and still. I wish this were true in all aspects of my life, but it isn't. I'm around a lot daily busyness.

An infantry of glass jars full of tomato sauce or assorted jams are lined up on my dining room table. Soon they will march into the cupboard for safe keeping. But, right now, I'm admiring them. What happiness they will bring in the weeks to come. Nothing better than this.

The work this year has been long and hard. Soon, very soon, we will be closing things up for the upcoming winter. Have been seeing a lot of woolly caterpillars, with wide bands of black and tan.
I wonder if we're going to have a cold, snowy winter. Last year was harsh.

It's warm this morning. Not like the first days of October, when we had some raw weather.
So much so, we built fires in the wood stoves to take the chill out of our farmhouse. We usually wait until the last possible moment to crank up the furnace.

Last weekend, was very different. Warm, gorgeous blue lake sky days. Spent several of those days taking another pass in the garden, harvesting carrots, potatoes, acorn squash, tomatoes,
hubbard squash, beets. We put by a lot of squash and tomatoes. My granddaughter was here and we had a wonderful time shucking dry beans together. Beautiful black and white beans.

I have another batch, drying. I think they're mostly cranberry beans. I love these too.
Timing is everything. So far, we've been on time. I can smell the tomatoes simmering on the stove. Soon,this batch will become a thick, velvety tomato soup with white beans.


Publishing News: Currently I have poems up at The Apple Valley Review and Untitled Country Review; recent acceptances in Tar River Poetry, L.E.S. Review, & The Prose Poem Project.


Michael Meyerhofer read last night at St. John Fisher College and will read tonight at LiftBridge Bookstore in Brockport. I really enjoyed his work. Looking forward to spend a bit more time with him this weekend at the Just Poets Retreat at The Gell Center in the Bristol Mountains.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October, October, October

  • A sudden shift. Rain and cooler weather. Leaves beginning to turn orangeredyellow. Autumn's here. in full swing. Have been getting up early every day to process the latest batch of tomatoes. Our garden's abundance-- still plumping up. This has been an exceptional growing year. Have hung beans to dry.Will shuck them soon and put them up in mason jars. I love looking at those glossy beans. Maybe, when the October moon appears in my backyard to sing Peggy Lee's "Is That All there Is," I should throw a handful over my shoulder and wish for that vine to grow straight up through the dome of sky. I need a ladder. an escape hatch. I need two more days in the week.
  • Last week we picked a lot of apples, and Peter and Meghan have been making applesauce and apple chips. Big pots bubbling on the stove. Glass jars in bathes. Buzzers sounding. Glorious smells. We picked squash, acorn, turban, hubbard. The pumpkins are fat and nearly ready. Looking forward to having my grandchildren come over. I can see my littlest grandson hoisting one up. When he was just a couple months old, we took a photo of him in the pumpkin patch.
  • This afternoon, I will be giving a lecture on The Elegy at the Just Poets' monthly meeting.Have to finish preparing this morning.
  • This evening going to the Academy of the Sacred Heart Reunion. Last night went to my sister Karen's class of 63 dinner. I didn't graduate from ASH. Sadly, the school closed a year before. I went to Our Lady of Mercy in my junior year, which I loved and wouldn't trade for the world. But, I spent 9 years at ASH and the community had a profound effect on me. Sunday we will be having a mass in our chapel. I know it's going to be quite moving, processing into the chapel with 77 women, singing Tatum Ergo.
  • In all of this I have to grade papers, prepare for next week's classes, do some editing and finish the details on several big Arts events. October is going to be exciting.