For Immediate Release

Woodstock Poetry Society & Festival as part of the Woodstock Arts Consortium is sponsoring the following poetry event as part of the Woodstock "Second Saturdays" Art Events. For a full listing of "Second Saturday" events, see:

Poets Alison Koffler and Barry Wallenstein will be the featured readers when the Woodstock Poetry Society & Festival meets at the Woodstock Town Hall, 76 Tinker Street, on Saturday, May 8th at 2pm. Note: WPS&F meetings are held the 2nd Saturday of every month.

The readings will be hosted by Woodstock area poet Phillip Levine. All meetings are free, open to the public, and include an open mike.


Alison Koffler - Alison Koffler's poems generally branch forth from that fertile and often uneasy space between the world of humans and the world of nature. She often finds herself writing about people she's known, landscapes she's inhabited, her dog and other four-legged creatures, falling leaves, oddly-shaped twigs, and large rock outcroppings. She attended the City College of New York as an undergraduate and received her Masters' Degree in English from Lehman College. She was the winner of the Goodman Fund Poetry Award in 1978 and the Charlotte A. Tougher Poetry Award in 1993. She was three times the winner of the Bronx Council on the Arts' BRIO Award for poetry in 1993, 2000 and 2006. She was the recipient of the Poetry Teacher of the Year Award from Poets' House and McGraw-Hill in 2003, and was a finalist in the Sue Saniel Elkins Poetry Contest in 2006. Her poems have appeared in such publications as Iris: a Journal for Women, Heliotrope, Poetry in Performance, and Kalliope. An English and creative writing teacher, she facilitated in 2009 an ongoing writing workshop for Veterans for Peace, a nature writing workshop and a workshop on the “cut-up poem” for the New York State English Council. She currently works as an on-site teacher-consultant for the New York City Writing Project at Lehman College, and lives in the Bronx and Woodstock, New York.

Barry Wallenstein - Barry Wallenstein is the author of five collections of poetry, Beast Is a Wolf With Brown Fire, (BOA Editions, 1977), Roller Coaster Kid (T.Y. Crowell, 1982), Love and Crush (Persea Books, 1991), The Short Life of the Five Minute Dancer (Ridgeway Press,1993), A Measure of Conduct (Ridgeway Press, 1999). A new book, Tony's World, is due out from Birch Brook Press in early 2010. His poetry has appeared in over 100 journals, including Ploughshares, The Nation, Centennial Review, and American Poetry Review. His 1971 analytical text Visions & Revisions: The Poets' Practice [T.Y. Crowell], was reissued in a new and expanded edition by Broadview Press [2002].

A group of poems was translated into Chinese by Professor Wan Ning, for Contemporary Foreign Literature, 2008, an anthology of post-beat poetry. In June 2004 he was the US representative taking part in the annual Anglo-French Poetry Festival in Paris, France.

Among his awards are the Poetry Society of America's Lyric Poetry Prize, (l985), a resident fellowship to The Macdowell Colony (1995), and to Hawthornden Castle in Scotland (1999). Between June 2002 – June 2008, he was part of the poetry faculty at the Bear River Writers' Conference in upper Michigan. Since 2003 he has had an annual 4-6 week writers' residency at Le Monastère in Saorge, France, where he also presents workshops at local schools. Over these years he has given readings in London, Dublin, Cape Town, Prague, Paris and Nice. In mid-October, 2005 he went to Cape Town, SA, to present a two day seminar in contemporary US poetry. In November 2008, he traveled to Spain for a residency at Fundación Valparaiso.

A special interest of his is presenting poetry readings in collaboration with jazz. He has made six recordings of his poetry with jazz, the most recent being Euphoria Ripens [Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1210, May 2008]. The CD was listed one of the “Best New Releases” in the journal, All About Jazz (December 2008).

He is an Emeritus Professor of literature and creative writing at the City University of New York and an editor of the journal, American Book Review.

As a Professor of English at City College he founded and directed the Poetry Outreach Center, and for 35 years coordinated the city-wide Annual Spring Poetry Festival. In August, 2001, he was in Cape Town, South Africa, where he helped establish an outreach program similar to the one that exists at City College.

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