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Friday, December 15, 2017

Happy 25th, Bright Hill!

Saturday, December 16th will bring a celebration of Bright Hill Literary Center and Press in Treadwell, New York. Founded by writer Bertha Rogers in the upper Catskills, the center is now 25 years old and promises to be overrun with poets and story makers all afternoon! Please come if you're in the area.

And there will be a reading to accompany a Bright Hill anthology launch. I'll be the second reader, so maybe that's about 1:15...

Alexander Cigale via facebook: Immensely proud of my association with Bright Hill Press and this 25th Anniversary Anthology, with my deep admiration for its retiring director and editor, Bertha Rogers. If you're looking for a gift of poetry and redemption this holiday season, you will not do much better than this. I have two new translations of early Osip Mandelstam poems in the book, "Conch Shell" and "Lutheran" (1911, 1912). Please, consider helping Bright Hill continue its important work with a purchase.

Contributors are Betty Aberlin, Joel Allegretti, Dorothy Friedman August, Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Bruce Bennett, Robert Bensen, Bhisham Bherwani, Mermer Blakeslee, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Frank Boyer, Maureen Brady, Lee Briccetti, Patricia Brody, Andrea Carter Brown, Ryan J. Browne, Joseph Bruchac, Christopher Bursk, David Cappella, Patricia CarragonAlan Catlin, Alexander Cigale, Breena Clarke, Cheryl Clarke, Joanne M. Clarkson, Suzanne Cleary, Esther Cohen, Jaimee Wriston Colbert, Alfred Corn, Nancy Vieira Couto, Kathleen Cromwell, Dale Dapkins, Eva Davidson, Carol Davis V, Brittney S,Dayeh, Chard DeNiordLori Desrosiers, Ram Devineni, Sean ThomasDougherty, George Drew, William Duke, Evelyn Duncan, Graham Duncan, Patricia Eakins, Judith Edelstein, Joe Elliot, Barbara Elovic, Alvin Eng, Karen Fabiane, Gil Fagiani, Margot Farrington, Allen C. Fischer, Sally Fisher, Charles FishmanRachel Contreni FlynnRichard Foerster, Alice B. Fogel, April Ford, Peter Fortunato, Fox Frazier-Foley, Philip FriedCarol FrostJoanna Fuhrman, Eric Gansworth, Christine Gelineau, Paul Genega, Beatrice Georgalidis, Becky Gould Gibson, Maria Gillan, Mary Gilliland, Veronica Golos, David
Bertha Rogers
Gonzalez, melissa christine goodrum, 
Roberta GouldMichael Graves, Elizabeth T. Gray Jr.,Geraldine Green, Andrei Guruianu, Naomi Guttman, Janet Hamill, Elaine Handley, Steven Hartman, Roger Hecht, Alba Delia Hernandez, Robert Hershon, Jesse Hilson, Jean Hollander, Amy Holman, Bob Holman, Ginnah Howard, Steven Huff, Colette Inez, M. J. Iuppa, Michael Jennings, Nicholas Johnson, Michael Jurkovic, Janet KaplanMeg Kearney, Ruth Moon Kempher, Judith Kerman, Burt Kimmelman, Alan King, Alison Koffler, David J. Krajicek, William Kramer, Thomas Krampf, Mindy Kronenberg, Joan Larkin, Steven Lautermilch, Jeffrey Ethan Lee, Linda Lerner, Donald Lev, Toni Mergentime Levi, Richard Levine, Helane Levine-Keating, Maria Lisella, Christopher P. Locke, Katharyn Howd Machan, Jeanne Mackin, Sheila Maldonado, Djelloul Marbrook, Lynn McGee, Kate McNairy, Joan McNerney, Billy Merrell, Sharon Mesmer, Robert Milby, Judith Mok, Rodger Moody, Daniel T. Moran, Caroline Morrell, Andrew Morris, Philip Mosley, Cynthia Neely, Murat Nemet-
NejatRichard Jeffrey Newman, Constance Norgren, John Paul O’Connor, Sharon Olinka, Steven Ostrowski, Matthew Paris, Lynn Pattison, Ellen Peckham, Alice Pero, Jo Pitkin, Palline Plum, Georgia Popoff, Andrea Potos, Gretchen Primack, Lucyna Prostko, Suzanne Rancourt, Claudia M. Reder, Lisa Rhoades, Sherry Robbins, Bertha Rogers, Jay Rogoff, Liz Rosenberg, Charles Charlie Rossiterr, Sharon Ruetenik, Helen Ruggieri, Mary Kay Rummel, Thaddeus Rutkowski, Margaret Ryan, Barbara Salvatore, Terrence Savoie, Boria Sax, Myra Shapiro, Steven Sher, Steven Sherrill, Hilary Sideris, Karen Skolfield, Scot Slaby, Jordan Smith, Matthew J. Spireng, Susan Fantl Spivack, Claudia Stanek, Julian Stannard, Shelby Stephenson, Pamela Strother, Julia Suarez, Karen Swenson, Meredith Trede, Emily Vogel, Charlotte Zöe Walker, Barry Wallenstein, John Walsh, Chocolate Waters, Michael Waters, Bruce Weber, Joe Weil, Estha Weiner, Andrew Weinstein, Bhikshuni Weisbrot, Dan Wilcox, Malcolm Willison, Martin Willitts Jr., Teresa Winchester, Dayl Wise, Scott Withiam, Chavisa Woods, Carolyne Wright, Lisa Wujnovich, Don YortyMarly Youmans, Margaret Young, Michael T. Young.


  1. If I'd depended only on Woody Allen I'd never have known that the Catskills (Are they plural or does the word simply end with an s?) were centres of intellectual endeavour.

    1. The upper Catskills were somewhat barren of literary endeavor until Bertha Rogers came along! Not far from there is St. James Church Lake Delaware, where former singer-songwriter James Kruger is now priest--he sometimes does arts-related events, including literary events. And I'm sure there is a lot else I don't know, but Bertha's is the only writing-focused institution. She later added gallery space, and there's a library.

      People in the region say, "the Catskills." I also hear "Catskill Mountains." They are part of the Allegheny Plateau. If you've seen work by Hudson River Valley painters, you've probably seen a bit of the painted Catskills.


      Wikipedia says: Nicolaes Visscher I's 1656 map of New Netherland located the Landt van Kats Kill at the mouth of Catskill creek... While the meaning of the name ("cat creek" in Dutch) and the namer (early Dutch explorers) are settled matters, how and why the area is named "Catskills" is a mystery. Mountain lions (catamounts) were known to have been in the area when the Dutch arrived in the 17th century and may have been a reason for the name.[4]

      The confusion over the origins of the name led over the years to variant spellings such as Kaatskill and Kaaterskill, both of which are also still used: the former in the regional magazine Kaatskill Life, the latter as the name of a mountain peak and a waterfall.

    2. Just to make things more confusing, I live above the upper Catskills in the foothills of the Adirondacks. (Our mountains are small but look lovely around the lake.) Both the Catskills and the Adirondacks are part of the great Appalachian chain on the East Coast--when I'm home visiting my mother in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, I'm still in the Appalachians.

      There you go!

  2. "above the upper Catskills" A land where spigots release emeralds, everyone is dignified, thoughtful and prone to thinking in iambic pentameter. Where unassuming handsomeness is rife and the aisles of the supermarkets are the modern-day equivalent of Plato's symposium. Where everyone is not only healthy but radiates good-health on visitors from the more squalid parts of the Eastern Seaboard. Where the grasshopper is not a burden.

    Thanks for the tour, you are the most congenial and conscientious re-commenter in the whole of Blogland. And yes, catamounts are preferable to catamites.

    1. I'm afraid Cooperstown does think of itself that way! Motto is or was this: "America's Most Perfect Village." Hahaha! (But we long for a bigger grocery, and we have loads of the ill, since the village is centered on the hospital--that and the three museums are the main employers.)


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.