October 2015

Amherst Writers & Artists


October 2015

Amherst Writers & Artists Newsletter
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September Newsletter Photo by Maureen Buchanan Jones
Image Credit: Maureen Buchanan Jones
Dear AWA Friends,

In the season of harvest, we can step back and reap what we have sown. In workshops we often produce "pieces," and it's easy to think that these bits are fragments. But if we gather them up and read them through, so very often there is a vine that connects them: themes, images, characters, a voice. They are not separate and scattered, but seeds of something coherent and whole. Take the time to reap your work. Notice what you have planted, and what has blossomed and grown under your pen. Harvest your genius!

At AWA, we are doing the same. AWA Press has produced its thirty-third book! Peggy Reber's Travel by Night is a book filled with strange happenings and lyric detail. Details of the launch are below.

The Pat Schneider Poetry Contest can announce the winners! The response was tremendous and the submissions were stellar. Thank you to all who sent their beautiful poems, and thank you to the judges who had a most difficult decision to make.

The 2015 Training schedule is nearly done. We have one more session in Loranger, Louisiana, November 15-19, with a few spots still open. Please visit our website to download the application. The 2016 schedule is in place and also on our website. Please see the article below to find the perfect location and date for your training.

Over the past six months, we have been working to redesign the AWA Website. We aren't finished, but the finish line is within view. Our goal is make everyone's visit easier and richer, with the added ingredient of connecting readily with the AWA community. Please stay tuned for the unveiling!

In western Massachusetts the fields are polka-dotted with squash, potatoes, pumpkins, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Trucks lumber along, laden with the bounty of alluvial soils. Your writing is chalk full of next season's seeds. One inspiration leads to another. Harvest your work so that the next crop can begin to germinate!

With respect and gratitude,
Maureen Buchanan Jones
Executive Director


Training News: Louisiana Upcoming, 2016 Announced

Our last training of 2015 is coming up, November 15 - 19 in Loranger, Lousiana. If you'd like to join us, please hurry! There are still a few spaces available if you begin the application process now.



AWA Workshop Group Leadership Trainings in 2016

2015 Training in Malibu, CA March 28 – April 1

Serra Retreat Center Malibu, CA

May 21 – 252015 Training in Philadelphia, PA

Pendle Hill 
Philadelphia, PA

September 5 – 92015 Training in Chicago, IL

Cenacle Retreat
Chicago, IL

November 13 – 172015 Training in Loranger, LA

Bosque Center
Albuquerque, NM

If you want to join us at one of the training sessions in 2016, we invite you to begin the application process online. Or, to apply offline, download and print the 2016 Application and send with a $300 deposit to:

Amherst Writers & Artists
PO Box 1076
Amherst, MA 01004

Please feel free to contact us with any questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We look forward to hearing from you!


Press News


Book launch for Peggy Reber's Travel by Night

Travel by Night with Peggy Reber and you will see ". . . something that will bend your eye / back on itself forever." Odd characters people these pages – human and not so human. Yet there is always something deeply familiar about them, as if one were seeing oneself and one's intimate neighbors inside out, or backwards. There is darkness here, but light too, and grace, in stories and poems grounded in an honesty as hard as a geode, and as magical as the crystals inside it. You may, like the woman in "Hours," find that you, too, while reading, have "knelt, naked, on the roof of a house in the far north . . . reached up into the sky, scooped huge, pulsing clumps of darkness and dazzle and said, come."

WHAT: Book Launch for Peggy Reber's poetry collection, Travel by Night (AWA Press)
WHEN: Sunday, October 25th, 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Jones Library, 43 Amity St, Amherst MA


Fifth Annual Pat Schneider Poetry Contest Winners Announced

1st prize awarded to William Allen Miller of Montague, Massachusetts for his poem, "David"

For news of the Honorable Mentions and finalists, please check out the Press News on our website!


Founder's News

Pat Schneider's poem, "The Patience of Ordinary Things," will appear in Mishkan Hanefesh: Machzor for the Days of Awe, Yom Kippur, published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis and as the title poem of Fanny Rush's art exhibition, and with Rush's painting in the journal, Anchor.

Pat will speak and lead a workshop at Candler School of Theology, Emory University on 11/6. More information and event registration can be found on Emory's website.

For books and a calandar of events, please visit patschneider.com.


Affiliate Classifieds


Your writing news here. AWA Affiliates are invited to email us 50-word announcements of writing-related news for inclusion in our Affiliate Classifieds. Each Affiliate may share news in four newsletters a year. Please take advantage of this space and help us showcase your brilliance! To do so, send an email with your 50 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


"Writing as an art form belongs to all people, regardless of economic class or educational level. . . . A writer is someone who writes."
-Pat Schneider


A Gift of Inspiration

Who is your favorite AWA writer? Someone in your workshop? Someone whose voice stays with you? Show appreciation to your favorite writer by donating $20 to AWA in her or his name. They will receive a card informing them of your donation and the knowledge that AWA continues its mission around the world.

To date, dozens of AWA writers have received this note of praise for their work. Choose your writer and let them know that they inspire you!



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