Saturday, December 04, 2010

Chava Hudson: An artist adept with the pen and the paint brush.

On Chava Hudson's website it states:

“After working as a graphic designer, an art teacher, and then designing and producing her own line of outerwear for the boutique market, Chava became smitten with the Internet. In 1998, she studied web design and since then has created sites for universities and non-profits, but mostly designs websites and graphics for small businesses, artists and writers.

As an offshoot of her web design career and interest in writing, she started a literary blog in 2007 which has evolved to a just for fun collaboration with a cartoonist and a comedy writer.

As an artist, Chava produces limited edition prints which are currently in private and corporate collections and has taught graphic design and digital painting at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. She's completed four novels, many short stories, and still publishes a blog.

In 2009 Chava began producing and hosting a monthly local cable show for BevCam entitled Out and About, produced by Film North in Beverly, MA. The show features interesting musicians, writers, filmmakers, an occasional foray into cooking, and even a psychic reading by the official witch of Salem, MA. In 2010 she won the BevCam Producer of the Year award for her show. She co-founder of the North Shore Jazz Project and is about to launch a second cable show, Live From Chianti, featuring live music from the Beverly jazz club.

She's published two books Sarah's Secret and The Closing through Zingology Press."

I talked with Hudson on my Somerville Community Access TV show "Poet to Poet: Writer to Writer."

Doug Holder: Your novel "The Closing" deals with (among other things) a murderous real estate agent. Have you had any experience with "Closings" such as this?

Chava Hudson: My father, when he retired, became a real estate agent out in California. So this isn't really related to my feelings about real estate agents. I got the idea for the book when I was walking around Beverly and I saw a FOR SALE sign in someone's house, and the realtor's name was Kevorkian. So I got the idea for a realtor who helped elderly people close the deal or checkout so to speak.

DH: Can you talk about your online magazine zingology?

CH: I am a web designer. I started the magazine originally for myself--for play. But then I realized I had so many friends who were artists and writers. So I started getting submissions from a lot of people. At one time I had 10 people who were on staff. I was printing hard copies. But it all became too much work. So I whittled it down again.

DH: You started the North Shore Jazz Project with Henry Ferrini, the nephew of the noted poet Vincent Ferrini. Have you always had an affinity for jazz?

CH: Not always--I didn't like it when I was young. My entry into jazz was sparked by listening to Billie Holiday. Then I got into Miles Davis. And then it was like "yeah-there is a whole world out there of this music..." Now I like more off-the-wall kind of music. This will be the second year of the Jazz Project that is held in Beverly, Mass.

DH: Let's say I am a writer--(well I am aren't I?)-- If I wanted you to design a website for me, describe the process you go through to come up with something.

CH: I look at it as some kind of painting. I try to get to the essence of my clients. Like a therapist I speak with them for an hour or two. I try to find out what they are trying to communicate.

DH: You taught digital painting at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass. What exactly is this?

CH: It's done on the computer. I think there is a lot of prejudice by people who think the computer is not a legitimate tool to create art. But the fact is software is just another medium. I mean, you still have the ideas in your head. You move in colors and shapes--and you manipulate your images. It is becoming much more legitimate. It is just another medium and it is versatile. I painted on canvass but I prefer digital.

DH: Any new projects?

CH: I have a novella "Dates Out of Hell" coming out. I am reworking a novel I wrote five years ago. It deals with two women who have met for coffee over they years--and how they deal with all their struggles.

Jack Powers, founder of Stone Soup Poets, will be honored at the 15th Annual Richard Cardinal Cushing Christmas Tree Lighting

The late poet Jack Powers, founder of Stone Soup Poets, will be honored at the 15th Annual Richard Cardinal Cushing Christmas Tree Lighting-- Saturday Dec. 11, 2010 6PM One Bowdoin Square. West End, Boston. 617-869-7001. This year’s tree lighting will also honor Richard Cardinal Cushing, John Henning, and Bobby Christofore.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Poetry/Literary Arts Collection at Endicott College

(Beverly, Mass.)

I had discussions with the director of the Halle Library,Brian Courtemanche at Endicott College about starting a poetry/literature arts collection at their facility. We are planning to slowly develop a Literary Arts and Poetry Center that will include a poetry collection, and will be a venue for workshops and seminars, etc....I am asking poets and playwrights, and other writers for donations of their own written works for this effort. Your book will be listed in the Endicott College collection on the NOBLE CATALOGUE. Endicott's books are lent and shipped out internationally. We hope to have an extensive collection and we would love for you to be part of it. Send your donations to :

Endicott College
Halle Library
ATTN: Brian Courtemanche
376 Hale St.
Beverly, Mass.

*** You will receive acknowledgements for your book... and hey... you can say your books are archived in the prestigious poetry and literary arts collection at Endicott...just look it up!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Endicott College/Ibbetson Street Press Visiting Author Series-- Spring 2011

Endicott College of Beverly, Mass. and the Ibbetson Street Press of Somerville, Mass. launched a Visiting Author Series in Oct. 2010. The series premiered with Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish, and followed with award-winning poets Bert Stern and Miriam Levine. The Spring 2011 featured writers for the Series have been announced by Doug Holder, founder of the Ibbetson Street Press and Dr. Mark Herlhy, the Chairman of Humanities at Endicott College.

**For more information contact Doug Holder

On Feb 24, 2011 at 4PM at the Halle Library on the Endicott Campus noted Poets/Publishers Gary Metras (Adastra Press) and Mark Pawlak (Hanging Loose Press) will read from their poetry and discuss their work as editors and publishers.

On April 14, 20ll at 4PM at the Halle Library noted fiction writer and baseball afficando Luke Salisbury will read from his work and chat about America's favorite pastime.

Gary Metras is the editor, publisher, and printer of the Adastra Press which specializes in handcrafted chapbooks of poetry. The American Book Review said of Adastra: “As long as fine literary presses continue to handcraft handsome books like these from Adastra, serious readers can rest assured that the book is alive and well.” Metras has worked with such renowned poets as: Thomas Lux and Ed Ochester, but has published many debut collections as well.

Metras is a well-regarded poet in his own right. Recently the Pudding House Press released his collection “Greatest Hits: 1980-2006.” He has been the subject of a feature story in "Poets and Writers" magazine; he has been widely published in the small press, and has been a featured poet in a recent issue of the literary magazine: “Ibbetson Street.” Metras has read at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and he teaches writing at Springfield College in Springfield, Mass.

Mark Pawlak is a longtime editor of the respected small press Hanging Loose, , and the author of the poetry collection “Official Versions."

His poetry and prose have appeared in “The Best American Poetry 2006,” “New American Writing,” “Off the Coast,” “Pemmican,” and “The Saint Ann’s Review,” among other places. In addition, he is editor of four anthologies, most recently, “Present/Tense: Poets in the World,” a collection of contemporary American political poetry, featuring work from some of the country’s best-known writers. Pawlak is Director of Academic Support Programs at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he also teaches mathematics. He has been the recipient of two Massachusetts Artist Fellowship awards. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and his teenage son.

Luke Salisbury is a professor of English at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston. Salisbury, 64, is a man with a gift for gab, and the well-turned phrase. Eclectic in his tastes, Salisbury, with his signature rapid - fire cadence and disarming laugh, regales you with his anecdotes, his impressive knowledge of baseball, and his “alternative” universe of film, books and political intrigue he has spent many years pondering and writing about. He is the author of a number of fiction titles including: “The Answer is Baseball.” (Time Books, 1989), “The Cleveland Indian” (Smith, 1992), and his novel about the great filmmaker D.W. Griffith “Hollywood and Sunset” (2007). His writing has appeared in such publications as “The Boston Globe,” “Ploughshares,” “Cooperstown Review,” "Pulp- smith,” and others. Salisbury received his M.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University and lives in Chelsea, Mass. with his wife Barbara.

SARX, Poetry by Nancy A. Henry

Review of SARX, Poetry by Nancy A. Henry, Moon Pie Press, Westbrook, Maine, 2010, 127 pages,, $11.

Review by Barbara Bialick

To begin with I want to apologize to the author, in that I did not read SARX cover to cover as I ordinarily would. She is a sensual, lightly erotic poet who can turn good phrases, but there’s simply too much of this collection to go around. Sarx, which apparently means “flesh” in Greek, means not only lovers loving, but nature naturing. Here are some examples that I enjoyed:

“Husband came spinning and sparkling/out of the brilliant powder of the earth,/his magnificent reason full of glory.” (“A Genesis”)

“These brainy types,/listen to them dissect our souls/they don’t need God/they need more pricey booze” (“Undergrad Waitress Serves Faculty Cocktails”)

“In midsummer, the turtles would stage/their silent siege, heads like dried prunes/just beyond the razor weed…” (“In Midsummer”)

“I am waiting/for you to seep into me/the liquefied silver permeating/all these fractures/in the hard brittle glass of myself/till your shining grace spiders/through every vein,/rings every cell./…I am waiting Lord/step here/into this gray dusty room/make every dust mote sing/and bloom.” (“Noon Prayer”)

According to George Wallace on the back of the book, “Sarx is a book of poems that is, at its core, reverential of its subjects, whether they are sensuous, funny or sacred or mundane; a praise poem to that which is flawless, but also to ‘the erotic power of flaws.’ Once again Nancy Henry gives voice to a heart that swallows things whole. These are poems to cherish, as one might an ‘Ironic secret…this tenderness nearly unbearable.’”

To her credit, Henry lists around 50 known and little known journals these poems were previously published in. She teaches English and humanities courses at Central Maine Community College, Thomas College and University of Southern Maine. She’s published two previous full-length collections of poetry and several chapbooks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Somerville’s Jane Sherrill: An artist who likes to tear paper….

( Seascape by--Jane Sherill)

Somerville’s Jane Sherrill: An artist who likes to tear paper….

By Doug Holder

Artist Jane Sherrill is on a big tear these days…literally. On her website she writes: “I tear paper. That is what I do. It frees me and opens up possibilities. I’m interested in breaking out of habitual ways of thinking …”

Sherrill tears old drawing and paintings into strips. She then weaves them together to form new collages. She then applies her colored pencils to her creations making for an evocative affect.

Sherrill is an accomplished artist who has lived in Somerville for the past 20 years. Originally from New Jersey, she started out as a poet in New York City publishing her work in a variety of small press magazines and journals. As a resident artist in the Vernon Street Studios in Somerville, she juggles teaching jobs with her artistic work to pay the bills. Sherrill who has worked as a psychotherapist, special education teacher, and a social worker, decided to give up the steady income that came with her profession to pursue her passion—her art.

Sherrill told the News that she regularly participates at the Open Studios at Vernon St. Each November she opens her studio to the public. The Vernon St. Studios is housed in a historic 19th century industrial building (“Rogers Foam Facility’), and is comprised of two buildings. Somerville artists such as Gary Duehr, Emily Hiestand, and Tova Specter have studios on the premises.

Sherrill's paintings, etc… have been exhibited in many Somerville locales, such as: Somerville City Hospital, Willoughby Baltic Gallery, Tufts University Art Gallery, and Baltic Fine Arts to name a few venues.

Besides the collages Sherrill has painted a collection of beautifully rendered seascapes inspired by a week in Truro on Cape Cod, as well as many other works-in-progress. Sherill said: “I love the sea; its constant movement, its colors changing all the time, the transformation of its surface by nature—in short it has the energy of life.”

Jane Sherrill has worn many hats in her long career. She has developed her own monologues for the stage, and has been involved with graphic design. She is like many of the eclectic and talented artists who ply their trade in the “Paris of New England.”

For more information go to