Poetry Barn at the Catskill Interpretive Center Book Fair

Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center

Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center

A remarkable mix of publishers, exhibitors, workshops and authors—including two special guests with books of regional significance—are coming together for the Second Annual Catskill Interpretive Center Book Fair at the Center on Route 28 in Mt. Tremper on Saturday, June 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See full schedule.

The Catskill Interpretive Center Book Fair is a working collaboration between the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, Writers in the Mountains and Poetry Barn.  Sponsors include Ulster County Alive, Emerson Resort & Spa, Woodstock Book Talk Radio, Woodstock Book Fest, Fabulous Furniture, The Improbable Community, Belleayre Lodge, The Tender Land Home, and the Nest Egg.

An exhibitors’ tent will feature books from such regional publishers as Black Dome Press, McPherson & Co., Bushwhack Books, Calling All Poets, Hope Farm Press, Post Traumatic Press, Purple Mountain Press and WoodstockArts—twenty-four booksellers in all!

The number of presenters for the Fair has increased from forty last year to more than seventy this year. Among the special guests are popular children’s author and illustrator Hudson Talbott and camp chronicler Bill Horne. Talbott is a Newberry award honor author whose most famous work, We’re Back: A Dinosaurs Story, inspired the 1993 animated feature film of the same name produced by Stephen Spielberg. At 12:30 p.m., he will be presenting and reading from his latest, the topical and wonderfully illustrated River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River—and signing copies, of course.

Talbott will also moderate “Nature Illustration in the Catskills,” a panel discussion that includes Durga Bernhard, Polly Law and Carol Zaloom. 

Bill Horne’s book, The Improbable Community: Camp Woodland and the American Democratic Ideal (2016), chronicles the 24-year life of a unique Catskills camp based on the pursuit of progressive ideals for urban youth in the country. Horne spent eleven summers at Camp Woodland and has now written its history and his impressions of the folk education he received there.

“Radicals were there,” Horne said, alluding to the types of camps that sprang up in the 1930s, “but the program at Camp Woodland centered more on the use of folk music and history as part of a progressive education.” The camp was founded by Norman Studer in 1939, the first year that Pete Seeger visited. (Seeger would come every year thereafter; his father-in-law worked there.)

Horne will be talking about his book and Camp Woodland at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Other oresentations will be made by such authors, poets and publishers as Diane Galusha, Johanna and Robert Titus, Richard Frisbie, John Langan, Vernon Benjamin, Bonnie Lykes, Dayl Wise, Lissa Kiernan, Mike Jurkovic, Jean White, Bruce McPherson, Rich Frisbee, and Anita and Spider Barbour. Included in the mix will be a number of panel discussions. They’ll include “Nature Illustration in the Catskills,” “Remembering Alf Evers” (featuring Rich Heppner, Ed Sanders and Bob Steuding) and “The Art of the Trail Guide.”

The afternoon will also include “a conversation” on writing and illustrating with naturalist Spider Barbour and artist Anita Barbour.

Writers in the Mountains and Poetry Barn authors will be reading from their works from 11:30-1:00 in Venue B at the fair. Earlier, at 10 a.m. Will Nixon will be offering a writer's workshop as one of the opening programs. Two venues of speakers and presenters will be maintained throughout the day

Jill Olesker will be hosting the children’s tent, where Hudson Talbott will be presenting.

The children’s tent features a day journal for entering visitor experiences with local waterways of the Catskills. Jill and the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum will give a bookmaking workshop (all materials are supplied) for children and families to enjoy. Mercedes Cecilia, McKenzie Willis, and Anthony Santa Teresa will each offer programs for the kids.

Bring your picnic lunch and enjoy the day!

The afternoon concludes with two intriguing events, one (beginning at 4 p.m.) a panel discussion, with Carolyn Bennett moderating, on “Curating History One Book at a Time.” The panelists include Steve Hoare, Maureen Nagy Krueger and Lynne “Asha” Golliher.

The second panel, starting at 4:15, discusses “Songwriting in the Catskills,” featuring 2014 Blues Hall of Fame inductee and “folk blues legend” Elly Wininger, songwriter Dave Kearney of Pine Hill, Thunder Ridge fiddler and solo performance artist Dorraine Scofield, and naturalist/musician James Krueger—a fitting coda to a day-long deep immersion in the region’s book and cultural lore.

Along with the book fair the well-appointed Catskill Interpretive Center will be open to help plan the next hike, water adventure or tour of the Catskills.

Poetry Barn Reading, 12:30-1:00, Venue B

Lissa Kiernan
Executive Director, Poetry Barn

Special Guest
Simona David
President, Writers in the Mountains


  • Simona David

  • Tina Barry

  • Soraya Shalforoosh

  • Ana Silva

  • Ryan Clinesmith

  • Marcia Loughran

  • Doug Anderson

About the Readers

Doug Anderson's first full-length book of poems, The Moon Reflected Fire, won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and his second book, Blues for Unemployed Secret Police, a grant from the Academy of American Poets.  He has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation and other funding organizations. He has taught at Smith and Emerson Colleges, and in the MFA programs at Bennington College and Pacific University of Oregon.  He was for many years a teaching affiliate of the Joiner Center for the Study of War and It's Social Consequences at UMASS Boston.  His memoir, Keep Your Head Down, was published by W.W. Norton in 2009.  He has just completed a new book of poems, Horse Medicine, and has published poems in past and current editions of Poetry, The Massachusetts Review, Prairie Schooner, Field, Cimarron Review, and other publications.  A writer and photographer, he lives in Palmer, Massachusetts, where he is director of development for Blue Star Equiculture, a horse rescue facility and organic farm.  He is working on a novel about Ambrose Bierce, and is a teaching artist at the Poetry Barn.

Tina Barry is the author of Mall Flower, her first book of poems and short fiction (Big Table Publishing). Two pieces in the book were nominated for the Pushcart prize; one of the stories was a winner in the Best Small Fictions 2016 anthology. Her poems and flash fiction have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Drunken Boat, Lost in Thought, Flash-Frontier, Exposure: An Anthology of Microfiction, and Veils, Halos and Shakles: Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women. Barry received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Long Island University, Brooklyn, in 2014. She lives in upstate New York, and is a teaching artist at the Poetry Barn.

Ryan Clinesmith is a teacher and poet currently living in New York City. He graduated from Emerson College in the fall, where he studied with Richard Hoffman and Peter Shippy. He has been published in Gravel, Words Apart, and Blueline Literary Magazine among others. Ryan is particularly interested in using art to empower communities in need, and is an intern at the Poetry Barn.

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.

Marcia B. Loughran has published poetry in The Riding Light Review, Newtown Literary, Menacing Hedge, and decomP Magazine.  She has work upcoming in The Santa Clara Review, Pennsylvania English, The Evansville Review and Ellipsis.  Her chapbook, Still Life with Weather, won the 2016 WaterSedge Poetry Chapbook Prize.  Marcia received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars in 2013.  She has performed with Writers Read NYC, the Bennington Writers Series, and is a regular reader at the Irish American Writers and Artists Salons.  She is a nurse practitioner and lives in Queens, NY. 

Ana C. H. Silva lives in NYC and Olive, NY. Her poetry has been published in Podium, Mom Egg Review, the nth position, Snow Monkey, Anemone Sidecar, Chronogram, Rogue Agent, and Stepaway Magazine. She won the inaugural Rachel Wetzsteon Memorial Poetry Prize at the 92nd St. Y Unterberg Poetry Center. Ana recently created a community-based collaborative poetry project called "Olive Couplets."

Soraya Shalforoosh’s first collection of poetry, This Version of Earth was published by Barrow Street in November 2014. Soraya has been a featured poet in the Journal of the Academy of American Poets Emerging Poet Series, and has had poems and reviews in Taos Journal, Barrow Street, Skanky Possum, Bomb Magazine, Marlboro Review,and many more. Soraya has her MFA in Creative Writing from the New School and as an undergraduate at Clark University, won first place in the Prentiss Cheney Hoyt Poetry award. Ms. Shalforoosh has been a guest writer at William Paterson University in NJ, Berkeley College in New York, and guest speaker at the American Embassy in Algeria. Soraya has performed her poetry with jazz, blues and world music bands in clubs, universities and Central Park.

Full schedule




Lissa KiernanComment