An integral reading series has found a new home in a location that will be conducive to the program moving forward. For the last six years The Wordflight Reading Series has been hosted at the Crane Branch of the Buffalo & Erie County Public LIbrary on Elmwood Avenue. With the advent of Pausa Art House opening in Allentown, it was decided that the venue would be the perfect fit for the series, and would allow performances to take place during extended and after hours, while being situated in a new home that would also be able to offer guests food and drink. It’s a symbiotic relationship for the art house and for the series, that will allow both to grow down the road.
“The Crane Branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Library sponsored the Wordflight from its inception, when the then head librarian Peter Lisker invited me to create and start a reading series there,” said Ryki Zuckerman, Curator of the series, “and the succeeding library branch manager, Mary Schiffauer, wanted it to continue. However, the situation with shortened library hours — and the unfortunate lack of handicap access to the second floor room where the event was held — became a problem, and the solution was to find a new space where the readings could take place. Pausa Art House has an elegant interior, with changing art displays, tables and chair seating, and a stage area. In addition, patrons of the reading series can take advantage of Pausa’s bar and menu.”
Other writers who will be reading in the series include Barbara Cole and Kristi Meal on December 9, and two other as yet unconfirmed line-ups: Michael Basinski & Annette Daniels Taylor on October 14 and Olga Karman & Jimmie Gilliam on November 11.
*Kicking off the series premiere at the new venue on September 9, 2013 at 7:30pm, will be actress/poet Kathleen Betsko Yale and poet Ann Goldsmith reading from their work.
Ann Goldsmith is the author of a full-length book of poetry, The Spaces Between Us
(Outrider Poetry Project, 2010) and No One Is the Same Again
, a prize-winning book of poems published by the Quarterly Review of Literature
. Her poems have been published in numerous journals and anthologies, including Traffic East
. Her poem “If You Don’t Mind My Asking” was a prizewinner in the 2002 St. Louis Poetry Center’s Best Poem Contest and appeared that year in the first issue of Margie: The American Journal of Poetry
. She was a runner-up in the 1996 Orillia International Poetry Festival; twice a finalist in the “Discovery”/The Nation
national poetry competition; winner in 1984 of a WNY Writers-in-Residence Award and one of “Five New Voices” selected in the Second Biennial Burchfield Competition in 1983. In 1985-86 she served on the poetry panel for the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).
A graduate of Smith College, Goldsmith holds a MA from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. from UB, where she taught for 10 years. She has also taught humanities at Trocaire College and creative writing at D’Youville College. Previous to that, she worked as a newspaper reporter in her hometown of Schenectady, NY, before moving to Boulder, CO, (where she was married and widowed) and as a librarian in the Denver Public Library. Goldsmith served as WNY coordinator for ALPS, a statewide poetry-in-the-schools organization, for 12 years and taught at all grade levels for 16 years throughout WNY as well as on Long Island and in the Capital District. She has been a visiting poet for Just Buffalo and for the Canadian Authors’ Association; served as a poet-in-residence for two years at the Chautauqua Institution’s summer writing program, and was a teacher of writing for 12 years at Buffalo’s Trinity Center, which granted her an Excellence in Teaching Award in 1994. For nearly 20 years she led a writing seminar at Buffalo’s Brent Manor. She has taught workshops for the St. Catharines chapter of the Canadian Authors’ Association and several very popular sections of poetry workshops for a number of years at Buffalo’s C. G. Jung Center. Goldsmith has read widely as the featured reader in many series, including the Burchfield Center Reading Series, CFI, the Gray Hair Series, Fourth Friday Dog Ears Series, Not Just Words, International Poetry Reading at Artpark, and the Circleformance Series.
Kathleen Betsko Yale is an actor, award-winning playwright, and poet, who was born in Coventry, England. She is co-author (with Rachel Koenig) of Interviews With Contemporary Women Playwrights (William Morrow & Co., 1987), and participates in the “Women of the Crooked Circle” poets’ collective (founded by Jimmie Margaret Gilliam). As a playwright, Betsko Yale’s work has been performed at the Belgrade Theatre in England, and on some of America’s most prestigious regional stages, including Yale Repertory, Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and New York Shakespeare Festival. Betsko Yale adapted her play Johnny Bull to an ABC-TV Movie of the Week starring Kathy Bates, Colleen Dewhurst, Jason Robards, and Peter McNicol. Her own screen adaptation of that play won the Luminas Award for Excellence from the Women’s Committee of the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. She has performed off and on-Broadway, in regional theatre and national road tours, and locally at Irish Classical Theatre. She has earned a living in diverse jobs, including as a generator of ideas for TV series for Paramount in Hollywood and dramatic writing teacher at UB and ECC. Betsko Yale has received numerous awards and grants, including a CAPS grant for her play Beggars Choice, a Foundation for the Arts grant for her play Stitchers and Starlight Talkers, and the ABC Theatre Award for Johnny Bull. She is also a three-time winner of fellowships at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, where the late Lloyd Richards—legendary theatre director, producer, and Chair of Drama at Yale—was her guide and mentor. A sought-after and still active actress in Buffalo theater
productions, Betsko Yale has managed to fit in readings of her poetry for The Gray Hair Series and Not Just Words Series, and elsewhere.
Admittance by Fee for a $5 voucher, which may be used in full towards purchase of food and/or drinks. Pausa Art House offers wine, beer, coffee, soft drinks, and a small menu of freshly prepared food items. This series curated and hosted by ryki zuckerman. For more information, call Pausa Art House, Lázara Nelson (Managing Director).
Ann Goldsmith photo credit: Jeanette Schneider