The Penland Cabin

The Penland Cabin
Summer, 2005

Monday, September 28, 2009

First Friday October 2 -- YES

First Friday will meet in Woolson House this coming Friday, Oct. 2, beginning at 6:30 and going until well after midnight.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jeanie Thompson Comes to Read, Urban Think!, this coming Fri., Sept. 18, 7 PM

I'm pleased that Jeanie Thompson is coming to read from her new book The Seasons Bear Us. I had the opportunity to read this manuscript on its way to publication and found it moving, smart, and beautiful all at once. The manuscript became a beautiful and moving book. Jeanie is a poet of national importance, and one of the pleasures of having her here is to introduce her to our formidable community of writers. What better place than the fine literary scene at Urban Think! I hope you get a chance to join us at 7 PM this Friday. Bring friends.

The Cows in Nana’s Hay Field

We are riding back from dinner at Eddie’s, through the valley of many flowers, across
the creek of deliciously bright light and rock-clear laughter.
Eddie has filled us with salmon and yellow tomatoes, and truffles and white wine,
and we have filled him back in turn with poems that tumble out of us
like girls sharing secrets. We have all been happy and we have all been
profoundly alone in our happiness. Now, you and I are talking about what it means
to understand love, all the dimensions of it – the crack in the wall, you call it,
into seeing that a profound love between men and women is possible. It seems like it is
right in front of us and we struggle to pick that gift and offer it for sustenance to the other.
If only we could grab just the right word, the right thought, and arrange it on the plate
of our desire to tell each other, to tell ourselves. That close! Pondering and talking, we turn
into the farm road, past the first gate, and then the second. “On no!” you exclaim
suddenly. “The cows are out!” You had left the gate open, thinking that the cows might not,
but of course they have, gotten into the hay field. Dark shapes, some black, some brown,
some putty are molded into the green breath of the hay. In the deep dusk I might not have seen
them, but you have. When we pull up to the house, you jump out, grab a broom,
and head down the lane toward the field, calling in your strong voice, “Hey, go on, get out,
get outta there, hey, go on, get out!” And I think, what person who thinks
to shoo cows from an acre of hay with a broom, wouldn’t know now to corral any
thought, know exactly how to define something as simple as love?

Jeanie Thompson
from The Seasons Bear Us

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Friday Cancelled for Labor Day Weekend

First Friday will be held in October, but it is off for this month. To our many new members, thanks so much for hopping in, and thanks too to our amazing continuing group of poets and writers. Last month's FF was rich and amazing with new work and a lot of fun. We grow completely by word of mouth, our little unassuming collective of writers urging each other along, practicing persistence in the art and craft and the giving and receiving of plenty of good feedback.

Here's a note also that founding First Friday leader Lezlie Laws and Philip Deaver are conducting a workshop Saturday, Sept. 19, in the Galloway Room at Rollins College. The two of them will continue, in fishbowl style, their 15 year discussion on writing, with accompanying writing prompts, and will bring YOU into the conversation. They will focus on seven challenges we all must confront in doing the work and some ideas on how to confront them. More information, contact Mary de Stefano at