Poetry Reading at Clinton Art Gallery’s Poetry Place

On Sunday, August 18, The Clinton Art Gallery’s Poetry Place will present a reading by Antoinette Brim, Reginald Flood, and Jen Payne. This will be the fifth reading in the 2019 Sunday Series, which each month draws an extremely enthusiastic audience, who delight in listening to the work of some of the State’s finest poets, including a variety of talented and entertaining open mic readers. As always, the August 18 reading will take place in the Laurel Ann Olcott Art Center, 20 East Main Street in the heart of Clinton, beginning at 2.00 PM. In addition to enjoying excellent poetry, the audience has the opportunity to browse through a rich display of arts and crafts for sale at the gallery, and learn about the many writing and art workshops offered at the gallery, which was recently awarded a Best on the Shoreline 2019 Reader’s Choice Award. The reading is free and open to the public, and audience members are encouraged to come early, as seating is limited. Wine, cool drinks, snacks, and sweets will be served, and books will be available for sale and signing following the reading.

Antoinette Brim, author of These Women You Gave Me, Icarus in Love and Psalm of the Sunflower, is a Cave Canem Foundation fellow, a recipient of the Walker Foundation Scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poetry, memoir, and critical work has appeared in various journals and magazines, as well as in anthologies. A printmaker and collage artist, Brim recently exhibited both poetry and monoprints in Jazz: An exhibition of Poetry, Prints, and Photography at the Sumner McKnight Crosby Jr. Gallery in New Haven, and Sheroes, in partnership with the Alliance of Women Veterans at the Grove in New Haven. A sought-after speaker, editor, educator, and consultant, Brim is an Associate Professor of English at Capital Community College.

Reginald Flood is a native of south-central Los Angeles, who now lives in a small town in southeastern Connecticut with his family. He is the author of Coffle (Willow Books 2012) and Refugeed (Willow Books 2018) and has been awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Literature Fellowship in Poetry and a National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Fellowship. He is an associate professor of English and Coordinator of African American Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University, where he teaches African American literature, creative writing, and composition. He is a Cave Canem Fellow.

Jen Payne has published three books: LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness (2014), Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind (2017), and the chapbook Waiting out the Storm (2019). Her poetry has been featured in exhibitions at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and the Kehler Liddell Gallery (New Haven), and in Chapter & Verse: Return, a curated poetry event. Her work has been published by The Aurorean, Six Sentences, the Story Circle Network, and WOW! Women on Writing; in the international anthology Coffee Poems: Reflections on Life with Coffee; and in The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery & Community Health. She is a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and the Connecticut Poetry Society, and is the owner of Words by Jen, a graphic design and marketing company in Branford.

For more information contact Pat Barone at pattonybarone@aol.com or 203-627-4148.

Author Featured in International Anthology of Poems

Author Jen Payne’s poem MEASURING WATER BY SOUND has been included in Coffee Poems: Reflections on Life with Coffee published by World Enough Writers.

This international anthology contains 167 “richly-roasted, verbally aromatic poems” by poets from 34 states, 5 provinces, and 12 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, France, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Singapore, Spain, and the United States.”

The collection was edited by Argentinean poet Lorraine Healy who explains, “Whether central to the poem or sitting on a side table, a mere accessory; whether a prop in an internal conversation with a you absent these 25 years or a desperately needed substance without which there is no facing the day, a cup of coffee inhabits each of these poems…Breathe in the scent and may it keep you awake.”

Click here for more information and where to buy copies of Coffee Poems.
Click here to read “Measuring Water by Sound.”

Righting Your Writing

Like a firm handshake, good writing gives people a lasting impression. No matter what the intention, medium, or technology — how and what you write needs to be clear, easy to read, and effective.

In his book On Writing Well, William Zinsser says, “We are a society struggling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.” If what you’re trying to communicate is hiding in that kind of clutter, it’s likely your readers will not hear what you’re trying to say.

“Writing is hard work.” Zinsser explains. Good writing takes time and attention. Here are some suggestions for righting what you write:

Start with an Outline. Jot down the points you want to make. Collect and organize your thoughts before you write them.

Stick to the Point. Don’t waste words telling people what they already know or don’t need to know.

Avoid Jargon. Don’t use words that people outside your line of work won’t understand. Find another way to say it.

Use Familiar Combinations of Words. “Everything that coruscates with effulgence is not ipso facto aurous,” works a lot more effectively as “All that glitters is not gold.”

Use “First-degree” Words. Words that create an immediate image will get the point across quicker. For example, use object instead of manifestation, or face instead of visage.

Avoid “Windy Phrases.” Is there a shorter way to say something? Say it that way. “The secret of good writing,” says Zinsser, “is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components.”

Read it out loud. Better yet, ask someone else to read it back to you. Do you pay attention? Is your message clear? Do you understand yourself?

“Good writing doesn’t come naturally,” explains Zinsser. But good writing is essential if you want to communicate effectively with your audience.

(Need help? Visit our sister website Words by Jen for information on our copy writing and editing services.)