Writers under every rock

"Rock Stackin' in the Adirondacks" by The MacKay Way, via Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

“Rock Stackin’ in the Adirondacks” by The MacKay Way, via Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

You live in the Adirondack North Country and you figure, “whew, safe from all those writers and literary types.”

Ha! Not so. We have writers. Writers galore. Good ones, too.

At the heart of literary life in this region, the Adirondack Center for Writing, led by Nathalie Thill. This organization puts together an amazing schedule of programs for writers (workshops, publishing seminars, etc.) and for members of the public (readings, slams), including this Thursday’s All Write! Actors from “Selected Shorts” will be performing stories and poetry created as part of a writing and adult literacy program–this event is a collaboration of the Adirondack Center for Writing and Literacy Volunteers of Clinton, Essex & Franklin Counties. (NCPR is media sponsor.)

Once a year, the ACW recognizes the best work produced by writers who live and/or work in the region. Full disclosure: author, poet, storyteller and editor Joe Bruchac and I have served as the fiction judges for years. Awards are presented in a number of categories. Here are this year’s winners:

Children’s Book:  Sackets Harbor Powder Monkey The War of 1812 by Hope Irvin Marston.

Book of Fiction: Far Alaska by Mason Smith. (See Chris Robinson’s review here.)

Memoir: How Was I Supposed to Know? The Adventures of a Girl Whose Name Means Lost by Lorna Lee.

Nonfiction: Women on the Water by Ruth Dandrea, Kathy DeLong, Carol Moseman, and Bonnie Sanderson.

Poetry: Perpetual Motion by Marilyn McCabe.

People’s Choice Award: What’s an Elephant Doing in the Ausable River? by George Speedy Arnold.

The judges are:

Nonfiction and memoir:  Bibi Wein and Jerry McGovern

Fiction: Ellen Rocco and Joseph Bruchac

Poetry: Stephanie Coyne-DeGhett and Stuart Bartow

Children’s Literature: Ellen Wilcox and Nancy Beattie

‘Fess up: you write. Anything published? Be sure to check out the ACW website for information on how to submit your book for consideration in next year’s awards process. And, keep writing–there are still lots of rocks out there that need a writer.

  1. Mr. Wakiki says:


    why is it when picking
    a super hero power
    no one asks to be able
    to provide you

    with ultimate pleasure

    to bring you to your knees
    in glassy eye delight

    your lips are trembling
    begging for no more
    for no less
    just to allow you to live
    in that moment

    and please

    don’t take it from you

    as you grip and pull
    at my purple cape

  2. Mr. Wakiki says:

    trick photography

    i can share with you
    what is left of the full moon
    and bits of my desire

    i can contribute to your wellbeing
    with an envelop and a ticket
    convoluted with lustful images

    a poem that is a map that
    has all the topography needed
    to circumnavigate your hips

    a poem that repeats what you
    already know

    about an engine that is running
    on the tracks to you

    that seem to converge
    on your horizons

    in the envelope that is a train
    called tennesse williams

    but is just an obstacle illusion

  3. Mr. Wakiki says:

    we have always lived in a castel

    in a state of mind that is somewhere north
    of second base in a late night game
    between one big city and another

    where the vendors sold toasted rubens

    and the score was kept with the flicker
    of the gas fireplace

    i don’t know if it was as romantic as
    maybe a story about a mid-life princess
    who found strange and exciting poetry
    in the form of ornaments
    on the hotel christmas tree

    and the two challenged the wisdom
    of the local brewery

    but it has a certain atmosphere

    we didn’t build a metaphorical
    moat around us, because guests
    would stroll through, sometimes
    playing the piano or wondering
    where the ball would take place

    though we did swim in the glow
    of the flames

    and devour the sandwiches

  4. Mr. Wakiki says:

    check your calendar

    the power is back and the rain
    has stopped

    it is a beautiful night
    i passed the dark time
    with gin and tonic
    slightly above room temperature
    but not bad

    you will have to back date
    our schedule to know
    when this happened

    now the tigers are on
    and the g&t is a little colder

    I am really lost in why
    these keep arriving in
    your letter box

    i guess
    you haven’t put up
    a restraining order

    and i have a lot of days
    to fill

  5. Mr. Wakiki says:


    i give myself credit
    after writing a really
    sweet little poem

    it’s like sticking my toes
    in the sand at pine pond

    like touching my finger
    to your nose

    or watching the sun set from
    the boathouse at camp santanoni

    like a sunny day and the canone tied
    to one of the sister islands on
    lower saranac

    drying my face on a towel
    fresh from the line

    lunch with carol and
    one more, o yeah
    as she laughs at one of my jokes
    that isn’t all that funny

    the arrival of the blue asters

    a drink from the stainless steal
    water bottle that is chilly
    at the end of the trail

    some things i take credit for creating
    and sometimes i just enjoy knowing

    i have seen the beauty

  6. Mr. Wakiki says:

    looking for a dream

    i can say i
    have the shabbiest lawn
    in the neighborhood

    uneven and thin
    if at all

    even weeds bypass my
    yard for a better dream

    but after any rain
    there is a little
    brave robin

    sitting on the curb

    waiting for me to go
    behind a door

    o, i think
    if only you

    were a robin

  7. Why would you want to be safe from writers anywhere? Are writer dangerous?
    What I would like to be safe from is people arguing about the Adirondacks.