Saturday, October 18, 2008

Breiner Begins Blogging

The chronically employed Sandy Breiner, Vermont College of Fine Arts alumna, memoirist, and (most important) upstreet author, has entered the blogosphere with The Serial Worker. Sandy is the author of the upstreet number one creative nonfiction piece “Fast Food Family,” an excerpt from her memoir, Tales of a Serial Worker: 63 Jobs and Counting. Those 63 jobs of a mere three years ago have now grown to 69, and the purpose of Sandy’s blog is to celebrate what has become a career in itself: continual vocational rebirth. In addition to listing Sandy’s 69 jobs (from Corn Detasseler to Assistant Historical Romance Editor) and posting narratives about them from time to time, The Serial Worker invites readers to enumerate their own serial careers, describe their worst job ever, and even asks whether they have ever worked with her—an obvious attempt to rival Facebook in the networking field. We congratulate Sandy on her energy, and wish her success with the blogification of her memoir (Job #70?).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Come join us in Lowell
Columbus Day weekend

The first Massachusetts Poetry Festival, which is being promoted by its organizers as “An Epic Celebration,” will take place in Lowell on October 10-12, 2008. This new event will include workshops, readings, discussions, films, “Downtown Kerouac Places”—a guided tour of the locations that were important in the life of Lowell’s best known literary resident—and a Small Press Fair on Saturday, October 11, in which upstreet will be an exhibitor.

The Massachusetts festival is being compared with the biennial four-day Dodge Poetry Festival, “the largest poetry event in North America,” the most recent of which concluded on September 28, 2008, in Stanhope, NJ. It will have a long way to go to achieve that magnitude, but the possibility is there. Most of the events will be free, but tickets will be required for the featured readings, on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening. Festival sponsors include the Massachusetts Poetry Outreach Project, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, and many Merrimack Valley and Lowell business, educational, and cultural organizations.

The Merrimack Valley was chosen because of its rich literary history, which in addition to Jack Kerouac includes Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Henry David Thoreau. Some have observed that Berkshire County’s literary heritage makes it an excellent location for a future Massachusetts festival—and not just for poets!

Come visit upstreet in Lowell. Maybe some year soon we’ll be greeting you in Pittsfield.