June inkmail

June 12, 2008

The June issue of inkmail, written by Inkberry board member Amy Stevens, has been published on our website. Here’s a taste:

It is now summer in the Berkshires, and while some may think this is the season for plays and concerts, I only have eyes for baseball. I’ve just cracked open Summerland by Michael Chabon (author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay). Summerland is Chabon’s first novel for young adults, and features a young man named Ethan, who may be the worst little league player ever. Yet he is recruited to help save the world from extinction in a text that blends the line between reality and fantasty on a small ballfield on Clam Island.

If your mind has been wandering to ballfields, you might want to consider entering our next contest…

Read the whole thing here.

Oh, and while you’re at it, consider taking our online survey, designed to help us learn what you’d like Inkberry to be and to do! A randomly selected respondent will receive a $20 gift certificate to Papyri Books. To receive a prize, you must include your name and contact information at the end of the survey. Otherwise, this information is not required, and you can submit the survey anonymously.

Here’s the link to the survey.

Thanks for being a part of Inkberry!

Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 14th from 7pm-9pm
Inkberry & Papyri Books
present: WordPlay featuring Leith Colen , Papyri Books, 45 Eagle Street, North Adams. An open mic will follow Colen’s presentation. Gail Burns is host. The event, as usual, is free and open to the public. Call 664.0775

After Wordplay, swing on by The Main Street Stage for the return of The Red Room on Saturday, June 14. Doors open at 8 PM for life drawing, with models and art materials provided. There will also be mingling and light refreshments. 9 PM marks the beginning of the variety show. The Red Room is featured on Saturdays in June and Mondays in July and August, featuring local musicians, writers, dancers, magicians and more. Contact Kelli at 664.664-7745 for more information. Red Room contains adult themes and language.


Inkberry co-founder at Best American Poetry

June 11, 2008

In early June I had the pleasure of serving as a guest-blogger at the Best American Poetry blog. (If you’re not already reading the BAP blog, allow me to recommend it; it’s as smart, wry, and multifaceted as one might imagine.)

I posted three poems over the course of my week there. Two of them are sestinas, both because I’m on a sestina kick lately and because I happen to know that the fine fellow who founded the BAP phenomenon is a fan of the form. Here are links to all three poems:


Voice (Naso)

Sestina Featuring Six Words Commonly Used On This Blog

It was a delight to lend my words to the Best American Poetry folks for a while. Thanks for the invitation, gang!

–Rachel Barenblat

Timeless tradition / Endless summers in the park / Everyone homers

June 11, 2008

Reprinted from The North Adams Transcript, with permission.

Baseball isn’t just for jocks and jugheads but for everyone, even the literary-minded. “America’s pastime” has long inspired writers — not only day-to-day journalists but novelists such as John R. Tunis, Jackson Scholz and the legendary Ring Lardner.

Aside from “Casey at the Bat,” by Ernest Thayer, one seldom hears about great baseball poems, yet there are many out there, as a visit to http://www.baseball-almanac/poems will attest. Among poets who have written about baseball are William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman, Ogden Nash, Richard Armour and the ever-famous A. Nonymous.

Today, the local non-profit literary organization Inkberry, the Transcript and the North Adams SteepleCats are sending out a call to local poets (and anyone else who might be interested) to get inspired by this summer game so many of us love, whether we cheer for the Red Sox, the Yankees, the Mets or our local collegiate, high school, Babe Ruth or Little League teams.

The three organizations are sponsoring a Baseball Haiku contest, commencing immediately. The top three winners (and more if the poetry warrants) will receive free tickets to a SteepleCats home game at Joe Wolfe Field this summer. They will also have their poems published in the Transcript.
What is a haiku? It’s a form of poetry invented by the Japanese that anyone of any age can write. In English, haikus are traditionally composed of three lines: The first has five syllables, the second seven syllables and the third five syllables. The writers don’t even have to worry about punctuation. The poem that begins this article is an example of a baseball haiku (although not necessarily a good one).

Entering the contest is easy: Just send your haiku (or haikus) via e-mail to linda@inkberry.org or by regular mail to Inkberry, 115 State St., Building 1, North Adams MA 01247. All ages are welcome.

Winners will be announced in early July. Please include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address with your entry. The deadline is Wednesday, July 2, at 5 p.m.

Write your poem today
Get inspired by baseball lore
No one will strike out.