The Philip Freund Prize for Creative Writing Alumni Reading

Recipients of the 2018 Philip Freund Prize in Creative Writing for excellence in publication will read from their works:

Catherine Chung MFA ‘06 Writer
Ezra Dan Feldman MFA ’08, PhD ‘17 Poet
Sara Eliza Johnson BA ‘06 Poet
Sarah Scoles MFA ‘10 Nonfiction Writer

Catherine Chung was born in Evanston, IL and studied mathematics at the University of Chicago before receiving her MFA from Cornell. She is the author of Forgotten Country, and the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, an Honorable Mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award, a Granta New Voice, and a fiction editor at Guernica Magazine. Her new novel, The Tenth Muse, is forthcoming from Ecco in 2019. Ezra Dan Feldman is the author of Habitat of Stones, which won the Patricia Bibby First Book Award. He has published in RHINO, Crazyhorse, DIAGRAM, The Los Angeles Review, Gertrude, and other journals.

Reading by Gregory Pardlo

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gregory Pardlo will deliver the first reading of the Fall 2018 Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series, presented by the Cornell University English Department’s Creative Writing program. Gregory Pardlo’s ​collection​ Digest won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His other honors​ include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection, Totem, was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. He is Poetry Editor of Virginia Quarterly Review. Air Traffic, a memoir in essays, was released by Knopf in April.

Art, Music, and Poetry Come Together for a Set of Performances and Viewings


SpoolMFG is presenting a set of showing of the art of Don Demauro, combined with the poems ‘Four Quartets’ by T.S. Eliot, and the Suites for Solo Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach played by cellist Hakan Tayga-Hromek.  Spool Mfg. is a contemporary art space committed to the existential, personal, social, and political dimensions of the contemporary moment. Spool Mfg. functions within a large 19th-century industrial site which accommodates exhibitions, installation, and performance at 140 Baldwin Street in Johnson City.


Photo credit: Inoyl via Flickr

Paloma Explores Faith, Love and Poetry at the Kitchen Theatre


Paloma and Ibrahim meet at NYU in a graduate literature course. He is devoutly Muslim, she is nominally Catholic, and their immediate attraction comes as a surprise to them both–and presents serious problems for dealing with their families. When they make an impulsive decision to visit the ancient cities in Spain where the world’s great religions once coexisted in peace, it has life-changing consequences for everyone. Crystal Sarakas talks with Rachel Lampert about the performance. The performance of Paloma at the Kitchen Theatre is the East Coast premiere of the play.  Performances are May 1-22.


Photo: Greg Cannon

Poets and Artists Collaborate in Lyric Visions II



Tish Pearlman, former Poet Laureate of Tompkins County, talks with Crystal Sarakas about the upcoming Lyric Visions II exhibit and poetry reading. Pearlman selected 16 poets to submit their work; then artists selected a poem and created a piece of art inspired by that poem. On Sunday, February 14, several of the poets whose work has been turned into visual art, will read and talk about the creative process. The poetry reading and dialogue takes place at 2 p.m. at the State of the Art Gallery in Ithaca.  

Photo credit: “Seeking Peace” by Patty Porter; State of the Art Gallery



American Graduate Champion | Lonna Pierce

WSKG Public Media is proud to profile local teaching librarian and American Graduate Champion Lonna Pierce. Lonna started the Eleanor Henricks Countywide Poetry Recitation for Children, which celebrates young poets from throughout Broome County. A quarter of a century later she is still running the program and enriching the lives of many children.

Who’s the champion in your life? Follow the American Graduate movement!

National Poetry Month 2011


This April has had its fair share of shoures soote in upstate New York. Thank you, Mr. Chaucer, for helping to turn us all in the direction of springtime and to the sense of renewal and personal expression. Our journey through the year has brought us around again to National Poetry Month, a time filled with more poetry presentations than usual, opportunities to read and share poems, and to consider the role of poetry (and by extension, all the arts) in our civic life. It’s become a tradition on OFF THE PAGE to invite poets to participate in the broadcast during April — and it does feel satisfying to establish a tradition. Once again, we have a delegation of established, published poets in the studio and lots of skilled, aspiring, creative poets in the listening audience who are invited to send us their work to be read on the air.

"Late Morning" Selected Poems By Peter Fortunato


During four decades a good poet can wrestle with many ideas, mold all manner of images, broaden his or her knowledge and feelings and, gaining a clear vision of how this adds up, give the world an impressive collection of poems.  The years have been good to Peter Fortunato.  He is a senior lecturer in writing at Cornell who recently completed four years teaching at the Weill Cornell Medical College in the Persian gulf nation of Qatar.  Fortunato is also a performance artist and founder of two theatrical companies, Spideroot Theater and Spirit Horses. Beyond seeking personal truth and enlightenment to inform his poetry he conducts a private practice as a holistic counsellor, life coach and hypnotherapist, which can give him extraordinary insights into human needs and wishes.  He is recipient of the Emily Dickinson Prize of the Poetry Society of America and a Pablo Neruda Prize from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa.  And so with a forty-year running start, Peter Fortunato can offer “Late Morning: New and Selected Poems”, his words discovered and disciplined by Buddhist beliefs.
Is it intuition, my way of knowing
the skunk who grubs outside my door? We’re one, but scram, you’re stinking up the place. Nagarjuna doesn’t have the last word here,

and I don’t expect amphibians from Sirius
to dish the skinny on What-Has-Never-Been-Born…

National Poetry Month 2012


It’s possible, with a little imagination, to already sense lines and reams of wonderful words floating above New York’s Southern Tier and Finger Lakes and northeast Pennsylvania, perfect profundities or doggerel ditties, in flowing rhyme or electric meter, sentimental or silly or both at the same time.

For some people writing a poem is a rare personal experience, while others enjoy the opportunity for self-expression that comes from wrioting about everyday or extraordinary moments. And then there are those exceptional persons whose poetry may be inspired by other existing poetical works. Martin Bidney is a critic, translator and among the best of today’s “dialogic poets”. He is Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Binghamton University.

A Pair of Laureates


Poetry has many purposes: to celebrate, communicate and commemorate, to draw out feelings and impressions that help us understand the soul, to explore the far frontiers of language.  A poem can touch the hearts and stimulate the minds of millions, or it can be a personal message that the poet needed to send and deliver to very few, even just to him or herself.  Poems may also tell a story better than any other form of expression.  Despite the image of the poet as a solitary figure with a pen, paper and an inspiration, there are also moments when the creation and experession of poetry becomes a public event.  For many centuries, nations andcommunities have honored a writer with the title of poet laureate .  In some cases this person was expected to produce poetry on request for significant events — the king’s birthday, a great victory or the opening of the county fair — but in recent years the role of a poet laureate has been more like a representative at large in the study and spread of poetry.

April is National Poetry Month — so declared by the Academy of American Poets — and in observance of that occasion OFF THE PAGE welcomes two poets from our region who presently hold the title of Poet Laureate.  The program also offers many poems sent in from listeners. Andrei Guruianu of Vestal is the first Poet Laureate of Broome County, a title bestowed by the Broome County Arts Council and ratified by the county legislature.  A native of Romania, Guruianu is editor of The Broome Review , he teaches at Ithaca College and is working on a Ph.D. in English at Binghamton University.  He is also a reporter and columnist for the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. In response to the tragic events of April 3rd at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, Andrei Guruianu, the Broome County Arts Council and the Press & Sun-Bulletin are soliciting poems and other writings for a book to be called “Binghamton Remembers”. Paul Hamill of Ithaca just completed a two-year term as Poet Laureate of Tompkins County.  His work has appeared in The Georgia Review, the Habersham Review and other journals.  His epic poem “Meeting the Giant”, about the notorious Cardiff Giant hoax, was published in the Cortland Review (read the poem and/or hear Hamill recite it here ).  When not in pursuit of poetry, Paul Hamill is Director of Academic Funding and Sponsored Programs at Ithaca College.