WRITERS IN THE MOUNTAINS (WIM) PRESENTS AT THE CATSKILL INTERPRETIVE CENTER’S BOOK FAIR, SATURDAY, JUNE 24, 2017

Writers in the Mountains (WIM), a literary nonprofit organization serving the Catskills and the Hudson Valley area since 1992, offers a variety of creative writing workshops year round, and hosts numerous literary events to promote the written word throughout our region and beyond.
On Saturday, June 24, 2017, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Writers in the Mountains will present at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center’s Book Fair in Mount Tremper, and introduce some of its finest writers and poets. Presenters include nature writer Leslie T. Sharpe; art writer Simona David; poets Sharon Israel, Sharon Ruetenik, and Lissa Kiernan; fiction and creative nonfiction writers Anique Taylor and Carrie Bradley Neves; and monologist Bonnie Lykes. There will be readings, short presentations, and illustrative class exercises.
Leslie T. Sharpe is a writer, editor, and educator. A member of PEN American Center, she is the author of Editing Fact and Fiction: A Concise Guide to Book Editing (Cambridge University Press, 1994), which is regarded as a “modern editing classic” and “On Writing Smart: Tips and Tidbits,” featured in The Business of Writing (Allworth, 2012). Her new book, The Quarry Fox and Other Critters of the Wild Catskills, published by The Overlook Press in March 2017, is a lyric narrative look at the wild animals of the Catskill Mountains. Ms. Sharpe will be reading excerpts from her new book, and will discuss the genre of nature writing, as it relates to the Catskill Mountains.
Simona David, president of Writers in the Mountains, is a writer and media consultant. She is the author of Self-Publishing and Book Marketing, A Research Guide (2013), Art in the Catskills (3rd. edition, 2016), and How Art Is Made: In the Catskills (2017). Ms. David will discuss her latest book How Art Is Made: In the Catskills, released earlier this year. The book pays homage to the place where American art was born through a series of conversations with some of the world’s most accomplished artists who live and work in the Catskill Mountains.
Sharon Israel is the host of Planet Poet-Words in Space, an edition of The Writer’s Voice program on WIOX 91.3 FM in Roxbury, New York, and serves on WIM’s board of directors. She has just released her first chapbook Voice Lesson, published by Post Traumatic Press. Her work most recently appeared in Per Contra, SPANK the CARP, 5:2 Crime Poetry Weekly, Medical Literary Messenger, and Spry Literary Journal. In 2016, Ms. Israel appeared as a panelist at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in Salem, Mass. As a poet and soprano, she collaborates with her husband, composer Robert Cucinotta, on works for voice, live instruments, and electronics. Ms. Israel will be reading selected poems from Voice Lesson.
Anique Taylor has co-authored works for HBO, Scholastic, and Simon & Schuster. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The World (St. Mark’s Poetry Project), Rattle, Common Ground Review, Adanna, Earth’s Daughters, Stillwater Review, and e-Bibliotekos’ Pain and Memory. She’s has been a featured writer at New York City readings including St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Dixon Place, the Speakeasy, and Cedar Tavern. Her chapbook Poems is published by Unimproved Editions Inc. Her chapbook Where Space Bends was chosen as a finalist for both Minerva Rising and Blue Light Press’s 2014 Poetry Chapbook Competitions; and her collection Under the Ice Moon was a finalist in Blue Light Press’s 2015 Competition. She holds a Poetry MFA from Drew University, a Drawing MFA from Pratt Institute, and a diplome in French Literature from the Sorbonne. She teaches Creative Nonfiction for Writers in the Mountains.
Sharon Ruetenik is the author of a poetry chapbook, The Wooden Bowl. She is currently working on a manuscript of sevenlings. Her work has appeared in print and online journals, most recently The Green Door. Ruetenik was awarded a poetry fellowship at the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. As a speaker for the New York Council for the Humanities, she has lectured on short stories, novellas, and poetry. Her day job is working at SUNY Delhi as the coordinator of the Writing Center, the international student advisor, and adjunct instructor in composition and literature. She teaches for Writers in the Mountains The Journey from Theme to Images to Poem.
Lissa Kiernan is the founding director of the Poetry Barn in West Hurley. Her first full-length volume of poetry, Two Faint Lines in the Violet, was a 2014 Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award finalist, as well as a finalist for the Julie Suk Award for Best Poetry Book by an Independent Press. Her first book of prose, Glass Needles & Goose Quills: Elementary Lessons in Atomic Properties, Nuclear Families & Radical Poetics will be published later this month. Ms. Kiernan holds an MA from the New School and an MFA from the Stonecoast Creative Writing program, and she teaches for Writers in the Mountains It’s Elemental: The Art of Revision in Poetry.
Carrie Bradley Neves is an Upstate New York native who grew up outside Albany and returned to the area a little over a decade ago. She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Williams College, where she also studied playwriting and poetry; and a master’s degree in fiction writing from the University of New Hampshire, where she studied fiction writing and poetry. For the last twenty-five years, Carrie has focused many of her writing goals on writing lyrics, making records, performing, and touring as a singer-songwriter and violinist. Other current writing and activities and projects include secretaryship of her college alumni publication, writing for her town newspaper, The Times of Halcott, and new work on a musical play. Her work-for-pay life is as a copy editor, specializing in cookbooks. She serves on WIM’s
Board of Directors.
Bonnie Lykes is a monologist, performance artist, and voice-over artist. Her work has been featured in Crack The Spine Literary Journal in both poetry and creative nonfiction, and is also featured in the subscription podcast “The Strange Recital.’ Ms. Lykes is a founder and president of the nonprofit organization Reservoir Food Pantry in Upstate New York. She is the host of Nonfiction Railroad Hour, an edition of the Writer’s Voice on WIOX 91.3 FM in Roxbury, New York, and serves on WIM’s board of directors.
To learn more about Writers in the Mountains, visit writersinthemountains.org.
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The Arts Converge: Mutual Muses in the Catskills

WRITERS IN THE MOUNTAINS (WIM)

PRESENTS

ARTIST – WRITER TALK SERIES

MUTUAL MUSES IN THE CATSKILLS

“THE ARTS CONVERGE”

THE MAURICE D. HINCHEY CATSKILL INTERPRETIVE CENTER

MT. TREMPER, NY

 Artist - Writer Talk Banner

SATURDAY, MAY 27 AT 1pm

Painters Margaret Leveson and Lisbeth Firmin, Printmaker/Ceramicist Peter Yamaoka and Textile Artist Tabitha Gilmore-Barnes in Conversation with Art Writer Simona David

Art writer Simona David will discuss her latest book, How Art Is Made: In the Catskills (2017), and share the stage with several acclaimed artists who live and work in the Catskill Mountains: painters Margaret Leveson and Lisbeth Firmin, ceramicist and printmaker Peter Yamaoka and textile artist Tabitha Gilmore-Barnes. How Art Is Made: In the Catskills pays homage to the place where American art was born through a series of conversations with creatives who live and work in the Catskills. Recent works will also be exhibited. 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 12 AT 1pm

Composer Robert Cucinotta in Performance and Conversation with Poet Sharon Israel

Composer Robert Cucinotta and poet and soprano Sharon Israel will discuss their unique roles as each other’s muses. Cucinotta will play electronic works inspired by Israel’s poems, feature the poet’s voice, or both. Israel will read from her new chapbook Voice Lesson, including poems set to music by Cucinotta or inspired by his compositions.

Israel is the host of Planet Poet–Words in Space, an edition of The Writer’s Voice on WIOX 91.3 FM in Roxbury, NY. Her debut chapbook Voice Lesson was published by Post Traumatic Press earlier this year, and her work has appeared in Per Contra, SPANK the CARP, 5:2 Crime Poetry Weekly, Medical Literary Messenger, and Spry Literary Journal. In 2016, Israel appeared as a panelist at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in Salem, MA.

Born in Brooklyn, Cucinotta studied composition and electronic music at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College with Jacob Druckman, Robert Starer and Charles Dodge. His work MASQUE: the Tempest was premiered at the 2015 Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice by mezzo-soprano Maria Todaro, bass Bradley Smoak and pianist Doug Martin. Recent recordings include Divertimento For Mr. Brooks (2013), Koool Kitchen (2013), Dracula: Harker’s Journal (2014) and Life On The Screen (2016).

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 AT 1pm

Photographer Rudd Hubbell in Conversation with Nature Writer Leslie T. Sharpe

Photographer Rudd Hubbell, who’s been documenting the natural beauty of the Catskills since the 1970s, will be in conversation with nature writer Leslie T. Sharpe.

A descendent of the area’s first settlers, Hubbell has captured thousands of photographs of our spectacular wilderness. He enjoys looking closer than the broad view, and always tries to focus on the things most of us overlook or take for granted. “Every scene is constantly changing and transforming, and I strive to capture that,” Hubbell says.

Sharpe is a writer, editor and educator. A member of PEN American Center, she is the author of Editing Fact and Fiction: A Concise Guide to Book Editing (Cambridge University Press, 1994), which is regarded as a “modern editing classic” and “On Writing Smart: Tips and Tidbits,” featured in The Business of Writing (Allworth, 2012). Her new book, The Quarry Fox and Other Critters of the Wild Catskills (The Overlook Press, 2017), is a lyric narrative look at the wild animals of the Catskill Mountains. Sharpe will read from this work and discuss the genre of nature writing as it relates to the Catskills.

Writers in the Mountains is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing. For more information, visit writersinthemountains.org.

The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center is a partnership between the Catskill Center and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, with generous financial support by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Catskill Watershed Corporation and generous staff and volunteer support from Catskill Mountainkeeper, Catskill Mountain Club, Catskill 3500 Club, and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. To learn more, visit catskillinterpretivecenter.org.

The Catskill Center has been promoting the Catskill Mountain Region through regional advocacy, environmental education, arts and culture programming, invasive species management, and land protection for over 45 years. The Center stimulates, conducts, and supports integrated actions to protect vital ecosystems and unique landscapes, to enhance economic opportunities for all the region’s residents, to preserve cultural and historic assets and to further a regional vision and spirit. For more information about the Catskill Center visit catskillcenter.org.

 

Writers Unbound – Literary Festival

FlyerWriters in the Mountains (WIM) invites you to its annual literary arts and community event and celebration Writers Unbound (formerly known as Meet the Authors), the fourth in our series of annual literary festivals. This year the event takes place on Sunday, April 30, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the Union Grove Distillery in Arkville, NY. Union Grove is housed in a big old barnlike building featuring comfortable spaces fitted with stainless steel and copper and wood, a roaring fireplace, and the percolation of fine spirits—all making for a perfect environment in which to listen to, talk about, and think about books and writing.

The daylong event welcomes all writers and readers, artists and audience, and community members from every walk to enjoy a warm gathering of successful and fascinating writers, illustrators, editors, educators, booksellers, and publishers from Syracuse to New York City and points between and beyond. This year’s keynote speaker is Holly George-Warren. As a writer specializing in music history and biography, she has written many journal articles and liner notes, edited compilations and collections, and is author or co-author of more than fifteen books, including her forthcoming biography of Janis Joplin, which will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2018. She also teaches, lectures, and is a consultant, curator, and archivist in the museum arena; she serves as the director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Oral History Program.

Come by to shop for books directly from their authors, hear readings and peer-to-peer discussions, join in an enticing raffle (books are the prize, of course), and vote in the Best Book Cover contest.

Participants include poets Sharon Israel, Anique Taylor, Sharon Ruetenik, Lissa Kiernan, and Clark Strand; authors Leslie T. Sharpe, Nina Shengold, Sari Botton, Dara Lurie, Carrie Bradley Neves, and Simona David; playwright Amie Brockway; illustrators Durga Yael Bernhard and Will Lytle; and publisher Dayl Wise from Post Traumatic Press.

The program is as follows:

12:30 p.m.—Poetry Reading / Featured Poet Sharon Israel

Sharon Israel is the host of Planet Poet-Words in Space, an edition of The Writer’s Voice program on WIOX 91.3 FM in Roxbury, New York. She has just released her first chapbook Voice Lesson, published by Post Traumatic Press. Her work most recently appeared in Per Contra, SPANK the CARP, 5:2 Crime Poetry Weekly, Medical Literary Messenger, and Spry Literary Journal. In 2016 Ms. Israel appeared as a panelist at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in Salem, Mass. As a poet and soprano, she collaborates with composer Robert Cucinotta on works for voice, live instruments, and electronics. She will be reading selected poems from Voice Lesson.

1:00 p.m.—Publishing Panel / Group Discussion Addressing the Latest News and Trends in Publishing

Panelists include authors Leslie T. Sharpe and Anique Taylor, and publisher Dayl Wise from Post Traumatic Press. Moderated by Simona David.

1:30 p.m.—Keynote Address “The Art and Craft of the Biography” with Holly George-Warren

Holly George-Warren is a two-time Grammy nominee and an award-winning writer named one of the top women music critics “you need to read” by Flavorwire.com. She is the author or co-author of fifteen books, including A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, from the Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor ManPublic Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry; and the forthcoming biography of Janis Joplin, which will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2018. She co-wrote the New York Times bestseller The Road to Woodstock (with Michael Lang), as well as John Varvatos: Rock in Fashion (with Varvatos) and It’s Not Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (with Jenny Boyd). Among her other works are The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years; Punk 365Grateful Dead 365Bonnaroo: What, Which, This, That, the Other; How the West Was Worn (with Michelle Freedman); Cowboy! How Hollywood Invented the Wild West; and the nonfiction children’s books Honky-Tonk Heroes and Hillbilly Angels: The Pioneers of Country & Western MusicShake, Rattle & Roll: The Founders of Rock & Roll; and The Cowgirl Way.

2:30 p.m.—New Release with Leslie T. Sharpe, author of The Quarry Fox and Other Critters of the Wild Catskills 

Leslie T. Sharpe is a writer, editor, and educator. A member of PEN American Center, she is the author of Editing Fact and Fiction: A Concise Guide to Book Editing (Cambridge University Press, 1994), which is regarded as a “modern editing classic” and “On Writing Smart: Tips and Tidbits,” featured in The Business of Writing (Allworth, 2012).  Her new book, The Quarry Fox and Other Critters of the Wild Catskills, published by The Overlook Press in March 2017, is a lyric narrative look at the wild animals of the Catskill Mountains. Ms. Sharpe will be reading excerpts from her new book, and will discuss the genre of nature writing, as it relates to the Catskill Mountains.

3:00 p.m.—Fiction: Roots and Branches with Nina Shengold 

Nina Shengold writes in many genres. Her books include the novel Clearcut (Anchor Books), a Book Sense Notable Selection; River of Words: Portraits of Hudson Valley Writers, with photographer Jennifer May (SUNY Press); and 13 theatre anthologies for Vintage Books and Viking Penguin. She won the Writers Guild Award for her teleplay Labor of Love, starring Marcia Gay Harden, and the ABC Playwright Award for Homesteaders. Ms. Shengold has taught creative writing at the University of Maine, Manhattanville College, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and locally at Word Cafe, the Omega Institute, and as a visiting guest artist at SUNY Ulster.

3:30 p.m.—Illustrators’ Moment

Illustrators Durga Yael Bernhard and Will Lytle, cookbook editor Carrie Bradley Neves, and art writer Simona David will talk about the ins and outs of illustrated books.

4:00 p.m.The Bounty of Books Raffle, with a prize of ten selected book titles, will be awarded (come early, tickets are limited!), and the winner of the Best Cover Contest will be announced.

Throughout the day, participating authors will read from their works and share their stories with the audience. Admission is free. For more information, visit writersinthemountains.org, or e-mail writersinthemountains@gmail.com.

Writers in the Mountains is a 501 (c) (3) not-for–profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation, and sharing of creative writing. Learn more at writersinthemountains.org.

How Art Is Made: In the Catskills

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How Art is Made: In the Catskills is a collection of interviews with some of the world’s most accomplished artists who live and work in the Catskill Mountains, New York. Five painters and illustrators, two ceramicists and printmakers, one sculptor, one weaver, and one writer discuss what inspires and moves them, what draws them to their medium of choice, what materials they use, how they approach a new artistic project, how they deal with setbacks, and how they celebrate success. Nine are formally trained at prestigious art schools; one is self-taught. What they all have in common is a rigorous studio practice, discipline, and the desire and curiosity to learn new things, and share them with the world.

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Business Writing Workshop

Business Writing

Writers in the Mountains (WIM) introduces a six week long Business Writing workshop with Dara Lurie, running from August 11 to September 15, 2016. The class will be held Thursdays from 4 to 6 pm at the Phoenicia Public Library.
This class, dubbed Author Breakthrough, is a program for small business owners, artists and freelance writers who wish to create valuable content and great marketing copy. No one understands the heart and soul of your business better than you do. Now it’s time to communicate your vision using effective stories and expert content. You do not have to be a professional writer to create great content. The most important function of your content – whether it’s a book, blog, story or expert article – is to connect with your core message and bring that message into sharp focus for your audience.
In Author-Breakthrough you’ll have access to the experience of like-minded entrepreneurs who will provide the valuable feedback you need to develop and refine your message. The class includes engaging writing and dialoguing activities, content development sessions, creative think-tank environment to develop and test your ideas. By the end of the program you’ll have ready-to-publish articles, stories, or blogposts, and client-attracting copy for email or social media posts as well as an action-plan for best use of your content and copy.
Dara Lurie is an author, workshop leader and book coach who helps writers of all levels discover their passionate and original voices in stories. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Film & Theater from Vassar College and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hunter College. Her first book, “Great Space of Desire: Writing for Personal Evolution” is a memoir and creative guide for writers. For over twelve years, Dara has facilitated writing workshops and retreats in diverse locations from college classrooms in New York City and the Hudson Valley to an open-air pavilion in the Costa Rican Rainforest. This year, she launched a new online mentorship program for small-business owners who want to create inspired content and marketing copy to grow their business.
To register, call Jean Stone at (607) 326-4802, or e-mail her at jtstone@catskill.net. To register online, visit writersinthemountains.org. Class fee is $100, if you register and pay by July 21, and $125 after that.
Writers in the Mountains is a 501 ( c ) (3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation and sharing of creative writing. Online at writersinthemountains.org.

Book Publishing, A Quick Look at the Industry

Publication2On April 24 I had the pleasure of sitting on the Publishing Panel at the Writers in the Mountains’ annual book festival held this year at the Union Grove Distillery in Arkville. I was joined that day by Leslie T. Sharpe, professor, author and editorial consultant; Anique Taylor, poet, painter and educator; and Lillian Browne, journalist. We all shared very different perspectives on publishing.

Here were some of my contributions to this conversation.

  1. General Considerations

Independent publishing or self-publishing, as it is now called, has always existed. Shortly after the invention of the printing press, artists and writers with entrepreneurial spirit learned to design and publish their own books. Digital technology has of course made things a lot easier. I highly recommend the essay “From Papyrus to Pixels” published by The Economist in 2014.

Self-published authors are those who set up accounts with various self-publishing platforms, and publish that way, and those who set up their own presses, and become their own publishers, the likes of Mark Twain and Virginia Wolf.

Earlier this spring I attended the Woodstock Writers Festival, co-sponsored by The New School. One author explained that publishing a book is ultimately a way to connect with readers, and self-publishing is one way to do so. But authors shouldn’t choose self-publishing as a way to avoid gatekeepers, because gatekeepers can really help make a manuscript better.

Four authors were asked about their route to publication, and all four of them had a different answer:

  • One of them met his publisher at a party in Woodstock.
  • Another one had a more methodical approach: she started by googling “how do you get a literary agent?” and then googling “how do you write a query letter?” Her manuscript was accepted on the first day she sent out query letters to six agents.
  • A third admitted that it had taken her a really long time to find an agent. She started by approaching friends, and friends of friends, and people she met at workshops. Her advice to writers was to look at books that were similar to theirs, and see who published them.
  • The fourth author said that he was lucky, because it took him six years to write the book, but sold it in forty-eight hours.

Ultimately, how you choose to publish a book depends on the complexity of the project, I would say, how resourceful you are, and how much time you have to commit to the project.

  1. Trends

My advice to writers has always been to remain constantly creative and curious, and look for new models in publishing, because the industry is changing rather rapidly. For instance, at the Woodstock Writers Festival last year I met someone who works for Diversion Books in New York City: Diversion takes a digital marketer approach to books – they use data analytics to assess book consumption, and enhance the commercial success of a book. What does that do to the literary value of a book, what does that do to poetry, and projects that don’t really fall into categories – these remain open questions.

A few trends I’d like to highlight:

  • Millenials watch YouTube more than television. They are the largest generation in the history of the country. The millennial market (18 – 34 year old) is estimated at 92 million people, and $200 billion worth of spending in the U.S. (source: Publishing Perspectives).
  • Digital audio books are becoming more and more popular, and more common in independent bookstores.
  • Also, we see more digital content in schools.
  • New apps, and new tools for writers are introduced every day – tools for writing, editing, organizing content, designing and publishing books. For instance, Amazon StoryWriter app automatically formats screenplays, so writers type without worrying about format. Moleskine introduced a Smart Writing Set that includes a smart pen and a notebook that instantly digitizes notes, including sketches – this comes in handy for illustrators.
  • Retailers are giving independent authors more space.
  1. Statistics

Smashwords 2016 Survey (conducted between March 2015 and February 2016) reveals that among Smashwords authors:

  • Fiction dominates (89.5% of Smashwords sales were fiction titles);
  • Offering books for free remains a powerful discovery tool – free books get about 41 times more downloads than books at any price, according to Smashwords;
  • Preorder is becoming more and more popular: 13.5% of new books released at Smashwords during the period under investigation were released as preorders, up from 9.8% in the year before;
  • Series books outsell standalones.

Read full article at http://blog.smashwords.com/2015/12/2016-book-publishing-predictions.html.

Also from Mark Coker at Smashwords:

  • Print books continue to dominate: print accounts for 70% of the market;
  • Independent authors control 15 – 20 % of the e-book market;
  • Kindle Unlimited model reconfigures the entire industry – readers get used with reading for free;
  • Libraries remain an area of growth and opportunity for independent authors.

Read more at http://blog.smashwords.com/2016/04/2016survey-how-to-publish-and-sell-ebooks.html.

The American Association of Publishers reported that:

  • When it comes to traditional publishers, e-book sales decreased 12% in 2015 compared to 2014.
  • After years of decline, physical retail stores saw an increase of 3.2% in revenue ($3.80 billion from $3.68 billion) and 4.1% in units (577 million from 554 million) in the trade category in 2014.
  • Online retail remained the top sales channel for customers in the trade category, selling 832 million units and providing $5.90 billion in revenue in 2014.

You can read more at http://publishers.org/news/us-publishing-industry%E2%80%99s-annual-survey-reveals-28-billion-revenue-2014.   

© 2016 Simona David

For the Love of Language

Wittgenstein Linguistics - CopyAnyone preoccupied with language would find Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations of interest.

In his famous Philosophical Investigations, conducted throughout the 1940s, Wittgenstein explored the concepts of meaning, understanding, proposition, logic, and consciousness, among other things. By analyzing linguistic forms of expression, Wittgenstein set to understand the essence of language, its function, and its structure, and to answer the question “What is language?” Wittgenstein was interested in the logic of language, exactness, regularity and contradictions. Logic presents the order of possibilities, he argued.

“Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language” (p. 47).

“The fundamental fact here is that we lay down rules, a technique for a game, and that then when we follow the rules, things do not turn out as we had assumed. That we are therefore as it were entangled in our own rules. This entanglement in our own rules is what we want to understand” (p. 50).

“Language is a labyrinth of paths,” Wittgenstein argued (p. 82).

“If language is to be a means of communication there must be agreement not only in definitions but also in judgments” (p. 88).

Wittgenstein also theorized that it’s human agreement that decides what is true and what is false in any particular language. He also explored more complicated matters like what happens in translation, and how do words refer to sensations? Is our vocabulary inadequate? He then pondered about the extent to which our sensations are private (p. 89). Later in the book Wittgenstein questioned what emotions are outside language, and what experiencing meaning versus experiencing a mental image is.

About lies, he had this to say: “Lying is a language-game that needs to be learned like any other one” (p. 90).

“Is thinking a kind of speaking?” the philosopher asked (p. 107). Is talking to oneself (internal speech) a private language?

“When I think in language, there aren’t ‘meanings’ going through my mind in addition to the verbal expressions: the language is itself the vehicle of thought” (p. 107). Wittgenstein argued that “The thoughts are already there and we merely look for their expression” (p. 108). To think and to mean are different, he explained, because meaning is not a mental activity (p. 172). Later in the book he expounded that “The mind seems able to give a word meaning” (p. 184).

Wittgenstein was intrigued by the mental processes involved in linguistic expression, and questioned whether talking without thinking was possible, and if so, what that entailed. “Speech with and without thought is to be compared with the playing of a piece of music with and without thought” (p. 109).

How do individuals communicate their mental images to others, and what methods of representation are available to communicate and exert influence? Wittgenstein was preoccupied with questions like these.

“Grammar tells what kind of object anything is,” he argued (p. 116).

“The purpose of language is to express thoughts,” he added (p. 139). And “Language is an instrument. Its concepts are instruments.” (p. 151)

“Words are also deeds,” (p. 146) and “To have an opinion is a state” (p. 151).

“A proposition, and hence in another sense a thought, can be the ‘expression’ of a belief, hope, expectation, etc. But believing is not thinking,” he clarified (p. 152).

In psychology he thought that “Here explanation of our thinking demands a feeling” (p. 156).

However, “Talking (whether out loud or silently) and thinking are not concepts of the same kind; even though they are in closest connection,” he concluded (p. 217).

Wittgenstein also stressed just how seeing and interpreting are different from one another, and emphasized the importance of context in understanding human experience. “Do I really see something different each time, or do I only interpret what I see in a different way? I am inclined to say the former.” “To interpret is to think, to do something; seeing is a state,” Wittgenstein argued (p. 212).

Excerpts from Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations published in translation by Macmillan in 1953 (250 pages).

At “Meet the Authors” – Third Annual Catskills Book Festival

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Featured Poet: Danniel Schoonebeek

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On the Publishing Panel with Leslie T. Sharpe, Lillian Browne, and Anique Taylor

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Keynote Speaker: Rosie Schaap, author of the “Drink” column for the New York Times Magazine

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With the New York Times bestselling author Sari Botton

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Peg DiBenedetto with Linda Lowen

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Cookbook editor Carrie Bradley Neves

At the Union Grove Distillery in Arkville, NY on April 24, 2016

(c) 2016 Simona David

“Meet the Authors” – Third Annual Catskills Book Festival, Sunday, April 24 at Union Grove Distillery

WIM's Book Festival 2015Writers in the Mountains (WIM) invites you to a literary arts and community event and celebration we call “Meet the Authors,” the third in our series of annual book festivals. This year the event takes place on Sunday, April 24, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the Union Grove Distillery in Arkville, NY, an exciting new enterprise in the area. Union Grove is housed in a big old barnlike building featuring comfortable spaces fitted with stainless steel and copper and wood, a roaring fireplace, and the percolation of fine spirits—all making for a perfect environment in which to listen to, talk about, and think about books and writing.

The daylong event welcomes all writers and readers, artists and audience, and community members from every walk to brave the mud and chill of early spring and enjoy a warm gathering of successful and fascinating writers, illustrators, editors, educators, booksellers, and publishers from Syracuse to New York City and points between and beyond. This year’s keynote speaker is Rosie Schaap, author of the celebrated memoir Drinking with Men as well as the “Drink” column for The New York Times magazine.

Come by to shop for books directly from their authors, hear readings and peer-to-peer discussions, join in an enticing raffle (books are the prize, of course), and vote in the Best Book Cover contest.

Participating authors include Sari Botton, Robert Burke Warren, Linda Lowen, Ginnah Howard, John Gregg, Susan Wilbur, Craig Sanders, Jo Salas, Nava Atlas, Mary Lou Harris, and poet Danniel Schoonebeek, among others.

WIM Book Fair 2015 (1)

 

The program is as follows:

12:30—Poetry reading led by poet Sharon Israel. Featured Poet: Danniel Schoonebeek.

Danniel Schoonebeek’s first book of poems, American Barricade, was published by YesYes Books in 2014. It was named one of the year’s ten standout debuts by Poets & Writers and called “a groundbreaking first book that stands to influence its author’s generation” by Boston Review. In 2015, he was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and his second book of poems, Trébuchet, was selected as a winner of the 2015 National Poetry Series and will be published by University of Georgia Press. Recent work appears in The New Yorker, PoetryKenyon Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. A recipient of awards and honors from Poets House, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and Oregon State University, he hosts the Hatchet Job reading series in Brooklyn and edits the PEN Poetry Series. His latest book, a travelogue called C’est la guerre, is forthcoming later this year.

1:30—Group discussion on the latest news and trends in publishing. Leslie T. Sharpe, who taught writing at Columbia University and was an editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and now teaches for Writers in the Mountains, will talk about traditional publishing; writer and consultant Simona David will touch on independent publishing; poet, painter and educator Anique Taylor will address getting published in literary journals; and Lillian Browne, editor-in-chief of The Reporter and editor of the Catskill Country Magazine, will share thoughts about her experience with the news media and travel magazine publishing.

2 p.m.—Rosie Schaap, author of the celebrated memoir Drinking with Men as well as the “Drink” column for The New York Times magazine, will deliver the keynote address. Rosie Schaap has been a bartender, a fortuneteller, a librarian at a paranormal society, an English teacher, an editor, a preacher, a community organizer, and a manager of homeless shelters.

2:30—Carrie Bradley Neves, writer, musician, and editor (with a specialization in cookbooks) will talk about new ingredients in the cookbook scene during the “foodie” era. Other illustrated book authors will be in the spotlight.

3:30—The Bounty of Books raffle, with a prize of ten selected book titles, will be awarded (come early, tickets are limited!), and the winner of the Best Cover contest will be announced.

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Throughout the day, participating authors will read from their works and share their stories with the audience. Admission is free. For more information, visit writersinthemountains.org, or e-mail writersinthemountains@gmail.com.

Writers in the Mountains is a 501 (c) (3) not-for–profit organization with a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the practice, appreciation, and sharing of creative writing.

 

Impressions from the Woodstock Writers Festival

Woodstock Writers Festival just concluded its seventh season earlier this month: the festival took place between April 7 – 10 at various locations throughout town, and brought in writers of the highest caliber, as it does every year. This year the festival was co-sponsored by The New School, which also ran a Twitter contest throughout the duration of the festival, and asked participants to tweet their best Six Word Memoir, using the hashtag #6wordmemoir. Winners were offered the opportunity to be published on The New School’s Creative Writing program blog. Luis Jaramillo, the program’s director and author of The Doctor’s Wife, published in 2012, spoke at the festival. Jaramillo, who attended the festival for the first time this year, talked about The New School’s mission to “educate the educated.”

Read full article at Upstater.com.

Fiction Panel "What If?" moderated by Ann Hood

Fiction Panel “What If?” moderated by Ann Hood

© 2016 Simona David