The Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival

August 21, 2010

Each summer, the NY Writers Coalition offers an outdoor creative writing workshop for young people. At the end of the six-week sessions, the students join accomplished poets and writers and present their work at the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival.

This year’s Festival included six notable poets who have participated in Jamaica’s Calabash International Literary Festival and Colin Channer, the founder of Calabash. After the reading, posing and hugging in the park, the writers met their fans and signed autographs at the nearby Greenlight Bookstore.

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Reading from the Calabash Anthology

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Patricia Smith

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Kwame Dawes

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Willie Perdomo

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A delighted audience

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Colin Channer

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Captured by poetry

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Two generations of writers

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The writers assembled

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Johnny Temple of Akashic Books

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Aaron Zimmerman and friends

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Reading in the Greenlight Bookstore

So Much Things to Say: Anthology of the Calabash International Literary Festival
NY Writers Coalition: Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival
NY Times: Summer Literary Festival Hits Fort Greene Park
Calabash International Literary Festival
Greenlight Bookstore


The Last Word

August 16, 2010

In 2008, when the magnificent but crumbling 1887 synagogue on Eldridge Street was restored, it was renamed the Museum at Eldridge Street. Currently, on the lower level of the Museum, near the tiny gift shop, an odd structure stands against one wall.

Made of brown cardboard, it resembles a tall, rectangular honeycomb. Tightly rolled slips of white paper protrude from most of the cells and a nearby sign provides both an explanation and instructions.

There are always things left unsaid. The perfect ending to a conversation with a stranger. A clever comeback in a debate with a colleague at work. A farewell bid to a loved one. Missed opportunities to get in the last word. What do you wish you had said? Now is the time to say it.

Please feel free to remove a white-side out piece of paper and share your last word, returning it to the honeycomb with the red-side exposed. You may also read the last word of other participants, but please be sure to return all pieces of paper.

Here are some of the Last Words that were left in the cardboard chambers. Please excuse the poor quality of the photos; they were taken with my phone.

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The cardboard honeycomb

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Why does my mother still not know

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Your my sister!

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A farewell bid to Betsy

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Please forgive me

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I hate pie

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Boo freaking hoo

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All I want for my b-day

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I miss you very much

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Je souhaite tout le bonheur

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I wish we could have really talked

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Te estrano monita

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Thank you for everything you have done.

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I still dream about you

Museum at Eldridge Street
Museum at Eldridge Street: About
Museum at Eldridge Street: Blog
Illegal Art
NY Times: A Final Word


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