Amber Tamblyn’s directorial debut, Paint it Black, will screen twice at the Woodstock Film Festival - tonight at 6:30 at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock and Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre in Saugerties at 5:30 p.m. She will also participate in the festival’s "Women in Film and Media" panel on Saturday October 15 at the Kleinert James Art Center in Woodstock. Other participants in the panel are Bette Gordon, Catherine Hardwicke, and Mary Stewart Masterson. The panel is moderated by Thelma Adams.

Based on the novel of the same name by Janet Fitch, Paint it Black explores and explodes the confusion of grief when Josie’s boyfriend, Michael, commits suicide and his death brings her into the orbit of his powerful and powerfully cold and heartbroken mother, Meredith. Their strained relationship circling around who knew Michael better, who loved him more, and what can they get from - and do to - each other now that he is gone.

Tamblyn co-wrote the adaptation with Ed Dougherty. It stars Alia Shawkat as Josie and Janet McTeer as Meredith.

This year marks the 7th year of the Woodstock Writers Festival where they will once again bring readers outstanding panels, speakers, fabulous parties, workshops, and lots of great literary talk.

The festival, held April 7 to 10, will also feature the usual story slam, intensive writing workshops, memoir and other panels, plus keynote speaker Nancy Jo Sales, who writes about the experience of teenage girls in the Internet age; Barney Hoskyns with his tell-all of Woodstock in the 1960s; activist Gail Straub moderating a discussion on spirituality and creativity. The festival will also include an addiction panel for the first time, offering inspiration from writers who have experience with the difficult path from addiction to recovery.

We get a festival preview with Martha Frankel and Kitty Sheehan.

  Professor Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright and teacher. She was recently named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, as well as the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. In 2009, she composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

In her memoir, The Light of the World, she finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. She tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. She reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband’s death, and the solace found in caring for her two sons.

  Donald Hall has lived a remarkable life of letters, a career capped by a National Medal of the Arts, awarded by the president. Now, in the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of very old age, he is writing searching essays that startle, move, and delight.

  Edgar Allan Poe was an oddity. His life was odd, his literature is odd, his legacy is odd. Actually, his legacy is the oddest part about him.

In the new Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe, J. W. Ocker explores Poe's strange physical legacy along the East Coast and across the ocean by touring Poe's homes, examining artifacts from his life--locks of his hair, pieces of his coffin, original manuscripts, the bed where his wife died--and traveling to the many memorials dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe.

Poe-Land is a unique travel diary that follows the afterlife of the poet, author, and critic who invented detective fiction, advanced the emerging genre of science fiction, and elevated the horror genre with an unrivaled mastery over the macabre that has made the genre what it is today.

"Venera" By Jay Rogoff

Apr 21, 2014


  Jay Rogoff has taught at Skidmore College since 1995; first in the former Liberal Studies Program, and since 2001 in the English Department, where he teaches courses in poetry, poetry writing, nonfiction writing, arts reviewing and criticism, Shakespeare, and twentieth century poetry.

His new poetry collection is Venera. It is Rogoff’s fifth book. In it, a husband consoles his wife when she is wakened by an imaginary child; another man daydreams of his kindergarten crush. Mary at the Annunciation, stunned by Gabriel’s inhuman beauty, contemplates her decades of purity stretching ahead.

Drawing on the natural world, personal intimacy, and the imagination as evoked in visual art and biblical narrative, Rogoff’s poems detail our drive to both acts of veneration and submission to Venus’s sensuous power.

    Edna St. Vincent Millay was the most celebrated poet of her time and a significant figure in the 20th century American literature. Throughout her career, Millay led a life unfettered by conventions. Nowhere could she enjoy personal freedom and her own boundless imagination more than when she retreated to Steepletop, her beloved country estate, in Austerlitz.

The Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at Steepletop will debut a new exhibition of rare photos and personal treasures. The show opens with a fundraising reception on Millay’s birthday – that’s this Saturday, February 22 from 5:30-9:30 pm at McDaris Fine Art in Hudson, NY.

      In His Day is Done, Maya Angelou delivers an authentically heartfelt and elegant tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, who stood as David to the mighty Goliath of Apartheid and who, after twenty-seven years of unjust imprisonment on the notorious Robben Island, emerged with “His stupendous heart intact / His gargantuan will / Hale and hearty” to lead his people into a new era.

Maya Angelou joins us to discuss the poem and the loss of a man she feels fortunate to have called a friend.

    Two-term Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins has put together his first compilation of new and selected poems in twelve years.

Aimless Love combines more than fifty new poems with selections from four previous books - Nine Horses, The Trouble with Poetry, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead.

Collins’s unmistakable voice, which brings together plain speech with imaginative surprise, is clearly heard on every page, reminding us how he has managed to enrich the tapestry of contemporary poetry and greatly expand its audience.