CWW Grant Writing & Program Development Intern AM Ringwalt’s Folk Duo Featured on Sound of Boston

wwaibGrant Writing & Programming Intern AM Ringwalt recently recorded a single and a five-song EP at The Soul Shop in Medford with her partner Will Johnson. The Cambridge Writer’s Workshop is thrilled to announce that the single, “The Good Earth,” premiered exclusively on Sound of Boston earlier this month. The song is now available for free download on Fawn’s Bandcamp page.

Fawn, Ringwalt and Johnson’s duo, combines elements of banjo, guitar, ukulele, synth and poetry in exploration of the often-ignored spaces between pre-established genres. Neither Dog Nor Car, the duo’s debut EP, will be released in early November.

From Sound of Boston:

Johnny Cash’s version of “The Good Earth” is jaunty and playful, with guitar, strings, and percussion chugging along beneath Cash’s rich, resonant vocals. Fawn takes a different approach, opening with Ringwalt’s delicate voice and Johnson plucking along a nearly stagnant bass line. Fawn adds a heaviness to “The Good Earth,” exploring the depth of the song’s lyrics. “I’ve traveled far and traveled wide/I’ve seen a lot of things./But looking back on all the years/I don’t know what they mean,” Ringwalt sings, adding pauses and drawing out the refrain Cash hurries through.

The duo adds a profundity to the lyrics by taking the time to enunciate each word, with the bass pushing back to support its weight. “This song is a prayer, a celebration of Cash, and, to the best of our knowledge, one of the few (if not the only) female-voiced versions of this song,” said Fawn in a press release.

New Release: Spooky Action at a Distance by Gregory Crosby, CWW Board Member


Congratulations to our very own Executive Board member, Gregory Crosby, for his haunting and beautiful new poetry collection, Spooky Action at a Distance.  Gregory Crosby’s poems have appeared in Court Green, Epiphany, Copper Nickel, Leveler, Ping Pong & Rattle, among others. He is co-curator of the long- running EARSHOT reading series and is co-editor, with Jillian Brall, of the online poetry journal Lyre Lyre.  He has served as a host and panelist for several Cambridge Writers’ Workshop events, including 2012 & 2013 Brooklyn Lit Crawl, the 2012 Mass Poetry Festival, and  our live radio shows.

The lines often whisper back to me while I’m at work or riding the subway home, literally haunting me. The collection begins with the line: “I was full, I was desperate.” Automatically, the reader is set up to want more, to crave words like sugar. The speaker in the first poem almost seems bodiless–the observations are omniscient: “I watched my brain cells expire,/wondering who would brush my hair/while I slept”.

Playing with sound would be an understatement; Gregory builds sonic landscapes the size of oceans. In his poem A Fathom: “I become clear when I slip through fingers/& linger in tears. I see you have a conch/held at one ear. I suppose you want mystery,/a mermaid, murmuring, The sea, the sea!” Rhyme has gone in and out of fashion in the poetry world; right now, rhyme isn’t exactly popular, but Gregory crafts it coolly, seamlessly into the lines.

What I truly adore about this collection is careful use of technology and pop culture; all too often, poets have a heavy hand in trying to appear relevant, cool, or ironic. Infusing modern technology into verse is essential to poetry, if we are ever to write a true line. We live in a world dictated by pop culture, media, and technological advances–how can we ignore it? Poetry is not an archaic art, it is merely a tool for us to understand the environment around us, and Gregory does this with tact and intelligence. – Joanna C. Valente

New Release: The Dismal Science by Peter Mountford

DismalSciencePeter Mountford’s second novel, The Dismal Science (Tin House, 2014), was recently reviewed by The New York Times.  We are proud to have had Peter read with us in Seattle in our A Night at the Victrola Reading.  Since graduating from the University of Washington’s MFA program in 2006, Peter’s short fiction and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Best New American Voices 2008, Conjunctions, Salon, Granta, ZYZZYVA, and Boston Review, where he won second place in the 2007 contest judged by George Saunders. He’s currently a writer-in-residence at the Richard Hugo House and at Seattle Arts and Lectures.

The plot follows D’Orsi as he quits the bank in a “kamikaze’s strategy” over a seemingly small argument with a colleague, about funding for Bolivia if the leftist Evo Morales wins the presidency. D’Orsi is being asked to cut off aid, putting politics above the bank’s mission. Because of his daughter, her activist colleagues, boredom and grief, “exhausted by the bank’s bloated ineptitude and inefficiency,” D’Orsi gives the story to his best friend, a reporter for The Washington Post. Its publication causes a spectacular and very public blowup, unfurling D’Orsi’s career and life. “It had an appealingly straightforward quality: He resented the bank and despised himself for participating in its work, so he torpedoed himself into the bank.” – Martha McPhee, The New York Times

New Release: Don Dreams and I Dream by Leah Umansky

DonDreamsInspired by the hit-series Mad Men, Leah Umansky, has created a wonderful selection of poems which explore themes of love, lust, betrayal, and ambiguity in her second poetry collection, Don Dreams and I Dream.  Leah debuted some of the poems from Don Dreams and I Dream at the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop A Night at the Victrola Reading in Seattle!  Leah Umansky contributing writer to Tin House,  Luna Luna Magazine, BOMB Magazine’s BOMBLOG , and The Rumpus, and curator of The Couplet Reading series in New York.

Don Dreams and I Dream is compulsively readable, but it is far from a light collection of poems. Most hold the weight of women’s struggles for recognition as human beings over much of the past century. The poems are at once political and confessional, feisty and giddy, aggressive and playfully submissive. The poems are nothing if not sexy, and sensuality is key to their power—just as it is, in large part, the key to Don’s. -Amy Silbergeld

New Release: Life Cycle by Dena Rash Guzman

dena-rash-guzmanWe’re proud to announce a new poetry collection, Life Cycle (Dog Chain Press, 2014), by author Dena Rash Guzman, a Portland poet, who read with us at our A Night at the Victrola Reading in Seattle!  Dena Rash Guzman is an American author, poet, editor, born in Las Vegas, Nevada 3/8/72. Founding Editor literary journal Unshod Quills. Poetry Editor, The Nervous Breakdown. Founder of Old Heavy Press; first print title for release in 2013, a chapbook about David Bowie by Seattle author Jenny Hayes. Poetry Editor and Managing Director at HAL Publishing, Shanghai’s independent English language literary journal and small press. Former co-producer for Unchaste Readers, Portland’s only live reading series focusing solely on the work of female writers.

Dena is not only a great poet, a bold feminist and a great editor, but she’s also a greatly  genuine and good-hearted woman.  Her work is comical, sensual, hearty and nourishing (and that’s not just because there’s a poem about Warhol’s Campbell Soup). – Leah Umansky



New Release: The Situation & What Crosses It by Amy Schrader

AmySchraderAmy Schrader, a wonderful poet and good friend of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, has just released her first collection of poems, The Situation and What Crosses It, through MoonPath Press.  Check out this wonderful collection of sonnets!  Amy Schrader holds a B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology and English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.A. in English Literature from Boston University. She earned her M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Washington. She was a semifinalist for the 2006 and 2007 “Discovery”/The Nation poetry contests, and a recipient of a 2008 GAP grant from Artist Trust.  

These sonnets are like spells, like mirrors, as in funhouse—, smoke &—, magic—, and even ceiling— (oh, the delicious, dirty double entendres!). They are sly forms within forms, these sonnets in the Celtic Cross, stories in poems, the made-up in the real, the work of life in a game. In these playful, lovely pieces, Schrader shows us language trying to see and hear itself, admire and rip its own skins. Reading these poems is like reading all the secrets wedged in all the bottles floating in all the oceans, but be careful—they’re stuffed with bits of heartbreak and danger. —Arlene Ki