Another Inkberry intern’s goodbye (Guest post from Anne Louise Ennis)

January 27, 2006

Hello! I’m Anne Louise Ennis, and I come to Inkberry from Philadelphia, by way of Williamstown, where I’m a senior at Williams College. Like Liz, I was looking for something a bit more rewarding to do with myself during our Winter Study term. I decided to intern at Inkberry (through Williams’ experiential education program) rather than remain on campus and study something completely esoteric, as a bit of preparation for what awaits me this June.

Jill and Rachel didn’t know it, but I’d actually done my research on Inkberry prior to meeting with them on January 4th. For a final project in my Non-Profit Organizations and Community Change tutorial last fall I drafted a proposal for a literary arts after-school education program, which I set here in Berkshire County, as a sort of mini-Inkberry. I was terribly excited to hear that Inkberry was interested in actually pursuing such a program, in the real world, as opposed to in the computer lab at the Williams College library.

In addition to doing some preliminary research on after-school programming possibilities, I’ve been refreshing my computer skills and working on the Inkberry website, and I hope you will enjoy the fruits of my labor. When I’m not busily working away in front of a computer screen, Liz and I have been distributing Inkberry’s glossy new calendars throughout town and making friends with the owners of the new (and excellent) coffee shop next door, Cup and Saucer.

I’ve greatly enjoyed my time here at Inkberry; I would like to thank Jill and Rachel for showing me how a few dedicated people can make their dreams into reality. I greatly relished this opportunity to get out of the classroom and into the world, before I re-enter the classroom as an elementary school teacher in the fall.


Mount Holyoke intern’s farewell (Guest post from Liz O’Grady)

January 25, 2006

Hello there. My name is Elizabeth O’Grady and I’m a senior from Mount Holyoke. “Mount Holyoke?” you might ask, “what is she doing here, then?”

Well, to answer your question, I’m from Williamstown. I decided that this January, rather than returning to South Hadley to take a class on dog sledding or balancing a checkbook or some other enticing academic offering, I’d prefer to intern at Inkberry. I wanted to learn something about the dark inner workings of a literary arts non-profit.

On my first day at Inkberry, I went down the hall to use the ladies room. I noticed that the door was missing its “w” and said only “omen.” Seeing this within my first few moments at Inkberry made me worry. Was this all a mistake? Should I have stayed at school and learned about dog sledding?

Fortunately, I have enjoyed my experience here at Inkberry. I’ve gotten to distribute Inkberry’s exciting (and attractive!) new postcard-sized event schedules, learn a little something about the literary life by researching fellowships and retreats for writers, and ventured into the fascinating world of literary blogs.

I would like to thank Rachel and Jill for this valuable January opportunity, and Inkberry for letting this little English major know that there are so many more options for me out there besides living in a cardboard box or becoming a high school English teacher. Not that there’s anything wrong with either of those options…

There’s a new place in town!

January 4, 2006

Those of you who don’t live in small towns may not completely understand the excitement that prevails when a new eatery opens its doors around here. I still remember when the Thai place opened in Williamstown, the next town over from here; for weeks, any time one ran into a friend or acquaintance, the question was not “how are you?” but “have you been to the new Thai place yet?” We take our restaurants seriously here in northern Berkshire.

So believe me when I say I almost jumped for joy when I saw that Cup and Saucer had finally opened, right across the street from Inkberry central.

The place that now houses Cup and Saucer used to be the Appalachian Bean. We held a reading there last March, which was great fun. They weren’t the best joint in town, but they were convenient, and friendly, and everybody liked having them there.

Until they went out of business last summer. Brown paper immediately went up, covering the windows, along with a “Coming soon: cup and saucer!” sign. First it said “Coming soon: October,” then that was scratched out and it said “Coming soon: November,” and by December I had more-or-less given up hope that we would ever see a coffee shop in the old Bean space again.

But lo and behold, the place is open! So Jill and I took our two new interns, Elizabeth and Ann-Louise, there for a celebratory lunch.

The space is as wide-open and echo-y as ever. They spiffed up the paint, and put blue oilcloth on the tables. On the back wall, they’ve painted their logo above a small stage which currently sports several tall stools. (Could folk music and improv comedy be in our future?) And, best of all, the food is good. I had a cup of “Fire and Rice with Chicken” soup, a southwestern delight filled with sundried tomatoes, roasted peppers, chicken and rice. (I wouldn’t call it “fire,” myself, but it had good flavor to it — and hey, I come from Texas, so I may have unorthodox notions about what constitutes spicy food.) Jill and I shared a roast beef sandwich, which turned out to be grilled, and quite delightful.

I’m a big fan of Brewhaha, around the corner on Marshall Street, and I intend to keep going there. I love their food, their coffee, their décor, and the people who run the place. But Brewhaha isn’t open on Wednesdays, and that’s one of my two North Adams days each week. Something tells me I’ve found my new Wednesday lunch joint.

Sitting in the Inkberry classroom, stickering calendars with address labels, I can gaze across the street into the windows of the Cup and Saucer. One of these days I might have to head over for a cup of hazelnut coffee and a slice of that chocolate lava cake. Huzzah.