Good morning, and welcome to Thursday! The days are definitely cooling down, as we head into the thick of autumn. Time to get out and pick your pumpkin, buy your Halloween candy, and plant your bulbs so you have something to look forward to next spring.
I don’t know if you’re already thinking about the weekend – I know I am – but you might want to know that the library is hosting their first poetry reading of the season this Sunday at 3 pm. I had the distinct pleasure of chatting with the poet, Melanie Braverman, and I have to tell you, she was upbeat and engaging, and truly a joy to talk to.
Melanie grew up in Iowa, but moved to Provincetown when she left college after a year and found a poetry program there called Free Hand. It was being run by noted poet Olga Broumas and was pretty intense: there were eight students and eight teachers. Olga became a mentor as well as a teacher for Melanie, and in fact they worked together for eight years at Brandeis University, teaching poetry. Melanie just recently ended that stint.
She loved living in Provincetown because it’s a community of artists. She felt creatively supported there, especially important as she didn’t have a college community to fall back on.
She’s not only a poet, but a writer of fiction as well as a mother of two elementary-aged kids. She says it’s a little easier writing a novel as a mom, because she can write it when the kids are in school, put it down when they come home, and then pick it back up when she gets a minute. Unlike poetry which, she says, you need to rewrite as you go, so not as conducive to those kid interruptions.
Her kids know she’s a writer and are proud of it. She had a chance to do a writing program in their school, where she led workshops at all levels, including the teachers. She wanted teachers to understand that asking someone to write something makes them feel vulnerable and exposed. It also helped to give her kids a taste of what it means for her to be a writer and started to really get it.
Melanie is the author of the novel East Justice and the poetry collection “Red”, winner of the Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Poetry Award. Her recent work has been published in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Poetry, and The Literary Review. She moved from Provincetown recently, looking to find a more kid-centered community, but is still on the Cape.
If you want to hear this fascinating and energetic woman read her poetry, come to the main library this Sunday, October 14, at 3 pm. It’s free and of course there will be a book signing reception afterwards, all brought to you courtesy of the Friends of the Concord Library.
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