NYSWI Offers Public Poetry Reading July 8

Led by UAlbany alum D. Colin, founder of Poetic Vibe 

The Spring 2019 Community Writers Workshop participants. Back row from left, Eliana Rowe, Jeffrey Aaron Stubits, Melissa Hurt, instructor and UAlbany alum D. Colin, Amy Nedeau, Stephanie Nolan, Karin Lin-Greenberg and Phyllis Hillinger. Front row, Linda Berkery, Michael Janairo, Patti Croop and Lynn Trudeau. Missing from the photo are Matresa Flowers, Daniel Gorman, Kendall Hoeft and Annika Nerf.
(Photo by Paul Grondahl)

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 2, 2019) – Do you have a fear of public speaking? What could make it worse? Reading your own poetry in public?

Fifteen brave souls who took part in the NYS Writers Institute Community Writers Workshop will complete their poetry course with a public reading at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 8, at Troy Kitchen, 77 Congress St. in Troy.

The event, free and open to the public, marks the first time that NYS Writers Institute workshop participants will give a public reading.

Poet D. Colin, a UAlbany alum who taught the workshop, empathizes with her students. “It's not that I don’t get nervous anymore. I do. However it’s about perspective,” said Colin. “The nerves only mean that I care about what is happening between me and the audience. It’s about redirecting what could be chaos into intention.”

Colin received her master’s in Africana Studies in 2012 and is working on a second master’s in English at UAlbany. She is the author of Dreaming in Kreyol, a collection of poems and prose paying homage to her Haitian heritage and history. She founded the Poetic Vibe poetry series in Troy and competed at the National Poetry Slam in 2012 and 2018.

The workshop met on Mondays starting in April at the Troy Public Library, marking the first time the Writers Institute held a workshop away from its home at the University at Albany. “We moved our Community Writers Workshop to Troy this year as part of our ongoing effort to grow and diversify our audiences,” said Director Paul Grondahl. “We’re also proud to offer this writing opportunity free of charge for poetry lovers here in the Capital Region.”

During the course, students learned various techniques of writing poetry, and read their work in front of the class. While practice in the classroom calms some nerves, there is sure to be some anxiety when reading poetry on a stage in front of strangers. Colin’s advice: “I encourage poets reading or performing for the first time to know the audience is rooting for them, to remember why they are reading and to believe intrinsically that they are often the voice for folks who are still finding the language for their own experiences.”

Reading their works on Monday will be workshop participants Linda Berkery of Latham; Patti Croop, Middle Grove; Matresa Flowers, Albany; Daniel Gorman, Albany; Phyllis Hillinger, Delmar; Kendall Hoeft, Troy; Melissa Hurt, Delmar; Michael Janairo, Delmar; Karin Lin-Greenberg, Halfmoon; Amy Nedeau, Waterford; Annika Nerf, Round Lake; Stephanie Nolan, Ballston Spa; Eliana Rowe, Guilderland Center; Jeffrey Aaron Stubits, Albany; and Lynn Trudeau, Amsterdam.

The NYS Writers Institute offers free Community Writers Workshop programs as part of its role “to encourage the development of writing skills at all levels of education throughout the state,” according to legislation signed into law by former Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1984.

Previous workshop instructors include Lydia Davis, an emeritus professor of English and the winner of a MacArthur “genius” award for her fiction, as well as writers Elizabeth Benedict, Angela Carter, Carolyn Forche, James Lasdun; John Montague, Joan Murray, Marion Roach Smith, Ed Sanders, LeAnne Schreiber and Richard Selzer.

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