New Haven Bioregional Group POTLUCK & POETRY

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26 • 6:00 p.m.
First Unitarian Universalist Society of New Haven
featuring Evidence of Flossing by Naturalist Jen Payne

On Saturday, January 26, the New Haven Bioregional Group will host author and naturalist Jen Payne for a poetry reading and book signing featuring her book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind. The event, held at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of New Haven (608 Whitney Avenue, New Haven), begins with a potluck supper at 6PM, followed by the reading at 7PM.

Come listen to a selection of poems that are, at their heart, love poems to the something greater within all of us. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Mary Oliver, they explore the human condition juxtaposed to the natural world and the possibility of divine connection.

Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind follows on the heels of Payne’s 2014 well-received book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, and continues a dialogue about our innate connection with nature. Both books will be available at the event, which is free and open to the public.

Jen Payne enjoys writing about our relationships with each other, with our natural world, and with our innate creativity. Installations of her poetry were featured in exhibitions at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and Kehler Liddell Gallery (New Haven), and her work has been published by The Aurorean, Six Sentences, the Story Circle Network, WOW! Women on Writing, and The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery & Community Health. Jen is a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and the Connecticut Poetry Society. You can find more of her work on her blog Random Acts of Writing, www.randomactsofwriting.net.

Connecting New Haveners to their life place, the New Haven Bioregional Group sponsors walks, films, canoe trips, potlucks, and other events to help us connect with our natural and built environment, and to build community and local resilience.

For more information about this event and others, please visit www.newhavenbioregionalgroup.org.

An Evening of Poetry with the Branford Land Trust

Please make plans to join the Branford Land Trust for an evening of poetry featuring shoreline poets Carol Altieri, Juliana Harris, Nancy Meneely, and Jen Payne. The event will be held at the historic Branford Land Trust House (26 School St, Stony Creek) on Friday, May 18, from 6:30 – 8:30pm There will be an open mic at 6:30pm and all are welcome to share a poem about nature or our environment before the reading.

Poet Carol Altieri is a retired English and environmental science teacher. She was the Senior Poet Laureate for Connecticut in 2011, is the author of five books of poetry, and recipient of the State of Connecticut’s Green Circle award for environmental stewardship. Carol enjoys her seven grandchildren, hiking, birding, traveling, the Shoreline Institute and reading poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

Juliana Harris has contributed poems to The New York Times, The Mid-America Poetry Review, The Best Times, Chicken Soup for the Soul and The Kansas City Star, among other publications. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, she now lives in Guilford, CT where she is a member of the Guilford Poets Guild.

Nancy Meneely has published poetry, book reviews and articles in a variety of literary publications and newspapers. Her book, Letter from Italy, 1944, which provides the libretto for the oratorio of the same name, was published by Antrim House in 2013 and was the only book of poetry awarded in the Legacy Non-fiction category of the 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. It was noted by the Hartford Courant as one of thirteen important books published by Connecticut writers in 2013. Nan currently lives in Essex, CT.

Jen Payne enjoys writing about our relationships with nature, creativity, and mindfulness, and how these offer the clearest path to finding balance in our frenetic, spinning world. In 2014, she published LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness. Her latest book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind features 75 poems about nature and the environment, as well as 80 original and vintage photos. Jen is a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and serves on the Advisory Board of the Branford Land Trust.

There will be books for sale and refreshments following the reading, which is free and open to the public.

The Branford Land Trust is a non-profit organization, celebrating 50 years of protecting Branford’s open space and natural resources. For more information about the Annual Meeting and other upcoming events, visit www.branfordlandtrust.org.

The Shop at Guilford Art Center: Support Working Artists

The Shop at Guilford Art Center is one of the most unique shopping destinations on the shoreline, offering a selection of contemporary American crafts and jewelry handmade by artists from across the country. Find works in glass, metal, ceramics, wood, fiber, paper, toys and much more. The Shop also hosts seasonal Designer Circus fashion events and the popular ARTISTRY event during the holidays.

All proceeds from The Shop support independent working artists and Guilford Art Center’s community and its educational programming.

The Shop at Guilford Art Center
411 Church Street
Guilford, CT 06437

Both Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind and LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness can be purchased at the Gallery. Be sure to stop by!

 

Blogging as a Creative Tool

REPRINTED FOR THE 8th ANNIVERSARY
OF OUR WRITING BLOG
RANDOM ACTS OF WRITING

One of the most inspiring art exhibits I’ve seen in recent years was called “Suddenly This Overview.” On display at the Guggenheim in New York, it featured 250 small sculptures by artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss. The sculptures were made of a pale gray, unfired clay, and were presented individually on white pedestals around the curving spiral ramp of the museum. Clean, Times New Roman captions explained Pythagoras Marveling at His Theorem, Jesus Walks on Water, the Fish Are Amazed, and (my favorite) Mr. Spock Looks at His Home Planet Vulcanus and Is a Bit Sad That He Can’t Have Any Feelings.

At the time, I was in the middle of a blogging challenge to write a poem a day for the month of April – National Poetry Month. A friend asked what it felt like to write a blog post every day, and I couldn’t help but think of the Fischli/Weiss exhibit.

In an interview with Artspace, Weiss explained “The intention was to accumulate various important and unimportant events in the history of mankind and of the planet—moments in the fields of technology, fairy tales, civilization, film, sports, commerce, education, sex, biblical history, nature, and entertainment.”

That’s a sweeping, broad source of inspiration for them—and for us! (Aren’t those the very things WE write about, think about, create about?)

One of the Fischli/Weiss sculptures was a plain block of clay entitled Without Words. Their starting point, perhaps — a blank page of clay onto which they were challenged to put their thoughts and ideas. It’s that place we all start when we first listen to our own inspirations—what will we create today?

Blogging is like that block of clay. It gives us a place to start and a medium to shape into whatever our Muse suggests — a poem a day, for example. A book review. A photo essay. Random musings about mankind and the planet.

A blog can no more sit idle than that block of clay. It’s very nature is to be used, shaped, molded. To be a vessel for our creative efforts is its raison d’être.

All we need to do is show up…and shape it.


Photos of Without Words and A Copy of Jack Kerouac’s Typewriter by Jen Payne from “Suddenly This Overview,” by Peter Fischli and David Weiss at the Guggenheim Museum, April 2016. David Weiss quote from “The Pleasures of Misuse: An Interview With the Irreverent Swiss Artist Duo Fischli/Weiss,” Artspace, February 2016. (https://tinyurl.com/yc6cz5yh)


In addition to blogging, Jen Payne is the author of LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, and the new book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind. Both books are available for purchase from Three Chairs Publishing.

buynow


Change the Way You Look at Things

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” ― Wayne W. Dyer


Photo ©2018, Jen Payne


New Paths to Walk

“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.” ― Guy Gavriel Kay, Tigana


Photo ©2018, Jen Payne


Change is in the Wind

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ― George Bernard Shaw


Photo ©2018, Jen Payne