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Now In Print: Faith Vicinanza's Greatest Hits



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Now In Print: Faith Vicinanza’s Greatest Hits

Faith Vicinanza, the long-time editor of the Connecticut Poetry Newsletter, has been selected by a national panel of poets and editors to be honored by Pudding House Publications’ “Poets Greatest Hits” series. The panel selects “poets whose publication histories are impressive, poets who have had a positive impact on the literary landscape, poets whose work teaches by example.”

The Newtown resident will join a list of only 200 poets across the country who have been so honored since the inception of the program in 2000 by Jennifer Bosveld, the founder and director of Pudding House Innovative Writers Programs & Library, which includes Pudding House Publications. The Columbus, Ohio-based group is now the largest literary small press in America.

A poet must be nominated in order to have a Poets Greatest Hits™ collection published. The Poets Greatest Hits™ national panel members may each choose four poets a year for this archive.

Additionally, every poet inducted is allowed one nomination in his or her lifetime. The poets nominated create a pool of candidates who are considered for selection.

The project editorial management chooses some poets from that pool of candidates. Like other prestigious awards, it is an honor just to be nominated. Most nominees are not chosen.

For its Poets Greatest Hits™ project, Pudding House Publications inducts poets Poets whose publication histories are impressive, poets who have had a positive impact on the literary landscape, poets whose work teaches by example.

The company seeks poets who are quite different from each other – an exemplary mix of avant garde, traditional, experimental, and both academic and community poets.

Nominated poets are selected at any time during the year and are asked to develop their manuscripts according to a specific format.

Inducted poets are asked to send their 12 greatest hit poems — their signature work — the poems they have received the most positive responses for throughout their careers thus far. They write a narrative about the 12 poems and their lives as poets.

In Mrs Vicinanza’s collection, Faith Vicinanza: Greatest Hits 1994-2003 ($8.95 softcover, ISBN 1-58998-307-6), readers will find poems ranging from her early slam poem “Gospel” and her Pushcart-nominated “Blood Senryu” to her recent soul-bearing work on her brother’s death and her own difficult childhood.

“Through poetry, I discover myself, rediscover myself, discover the world, rediscover the world, and everything in it,” she wrote in her Greatest Hits Introduction.

“Yet, as in any long-term relationship, I get weary, sometimes bored, sometimes angry. Sometimes, I want to turn my back on poetry, but poetry will not let me go without a fight.”

Copies of all Greatest Hits releases are $8.95 each.

Libraries, bookstores, collectors, and others may order in bulk at special rates negotiable through the Pudding House office at 614-986-1881.

For additional information visit www.PuddingHouse.com.

Wednesday Night Poetry Series

One of Mrs Vicinanza’s most visible projects is The Wednesday Night Poetry Series (WNPS), the longest running weekly poetry series in the state. It regularly features accomplished poets and new voices from around the world, and offers an opportunity for poetic discourse with the featured poets.

Now entering its tenth year, WNPS now meets every Wednesday night at Bethel Arts Junction, at 5 Depot Place in the old Bethel railroad station. The series is organized by Mrs Vicinanza and Michael Seri, who also lives in Newtown.

All area poetry writers are welcome.

An open mic usually runs from 7:30 until 8:30; a featured poet reads for the next 45 minutes or so; and the evenings conclude with poetry workshops.

For additional information call Mrs Vicinanza at 426-3388 or Mr Seri at 270-6202.

The Faith & Peter Road Show

Last year Mrs Vicinanza and her husband Peter began reading up on, watching a film about, and listening to tapes about hiking the Appalachian Trail. The two began preparing a six-month journey.

The more they prepared, however, the more they decided a hiking trip was not the thing for them.

“On my way to work this morning, I realized how much I love to bike, how long it has been, and how much more fun that would be than carrying a 70-pound pack, hiking in snow and rain … and sleeping on the trail for six months,” Mrs Vicinanza wrote on December 14, the day she and Peter launched TourDeVicinanza.blogspot.com, which announced a new project: a bicycling adventure from Key West to just inside the Canadian border.

The couple has decided to ride the East Coast Greenway, a 2,600-mile automobile free, bike-skate-walk path being created by The East Coast Greenway Alliance.

They will be the first, according to ECG records, to travel south to north, and unsupported (meaning there won’t be a van following them carrying their supplies, nor anyone arranging meals and sleep locales for them).

The Vicinanzas will be bicycling with a small PC and a digital camera, and carrying as little else as possible.

Training has begun in earnest and the plan is for the Vicinanzas to step-off (pedal off?) on May 1 from the tip of Key West. Faith and Peter will be posting regularly on their blog, and she will be adding at least a haiku a day – “or biku as day, as a friend of mine wants me to put it,” she said last week.

Mrs Vicinanza will be filing reports to be published in The Newtown Bee.

She has also been invited to send poems from the road to www.poetz.com, a poetry resource website based in New York.

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