Poetry group published
Thirteen poets who meet biweekly at West Tisbury's Cleaveland House will read their work at the Howes House in West Tisbury at 3 pm, on Wednesday, August 26. The event celebrates publication of "Wednesdays Poets: An Anthology," to be released this month by Summerset Press.
The Wednesday group, which has been in existence for 35 years, was founded by the late Dionis Coffin Riggs, a well-known Island poet and author. Ms. Riggs started the group in an effort to provide a congenial environment where Island poets could share and hone their work.
During the summer months, the poets meet outside under two Norway maple trees planted by Ms. Riggs more than 100 years ago. During the winter, they meet inside in the parlor in front of a fire.
The poets contributing to the anthology are: William Marks, Francesca Kelly, Judith Neeld, Jane Brown, Sally Williams, Robert Kaplan, Ruth Cochran, Russell Hoxsie, Janet Halladay, Valerie Sonnenthal, Holly Wayman, Katrina Nevin, and Brooks Robards. The group consists primarily of year-round Island residents, but it also includes several summer residents. A number of other poets, including the late George Mills, have participated during the group's long history.
The Cleaveland House, now run by Ms. Riggs's daughter, mystery novelist Cynthia Riggs, as a bed and breakfast, has long provided a setting for intellectuals, artists, and politicians. One of the oldest houses on Martha's Vineyard, it was built around 1750 by Squire James Athearn and has been occupied since then by his descendents.
Containing eight poems by each of its contributors, "Wednesday's Poets" is dedicated to the late Ms. Riggs and her daughter. In addition to the poet's group, two other writer's groups meet at the Cleaveland House.
Most of the poets included in "Wednesday's Poets" have published other volumes of poetry or books on a range of subjects.
Copies of "Wednesdays Poets" will be available at local bookstores and other outlets by the end of the month. Copies can also be ordered through Summerset Press by calling 508-693-4178.
Reading from "Wednesdays Poets: An Anthology," Wednesday, Aug. 26, 3 pm at Howes House in West Tisbury.
Brooks Robards writes on books, film, and theater for The Times.