The Adirondack Literary Awards is a juried awards program that honors books published in or by regional authors in the previous year. Now one of the Adirondack Center for Writing’s (ACW) most popular events, this year’s awards ceremony will be held at the Blue Mountain Center on June 1, from 3 to 5 pm. The event is free and open to the public.
In addition to juried awards in each category (fiction, poetry, children’s literature, memoir, nonfiction, and for the first time featured articles), there is a People’s Choice Award. » Continue Reading.
This year, New Yorkers are rightly commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the National Wilderness Preservation Act of 1964. Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, Rockefeller Institute of Government, NYS DEC, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry recently kicked off that anniversary with events in the Capital Region. More events and activities with students, faculty and college collaborators are planned.
2014 is also the 120th anniversary of our “forever wild” clause of the NYS Constitution protecting the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve. It was that late 19th century constitutional protection which so inspired the 20th century’s Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society to undertake his 18-year campaign to both author and lobby for the National Wilderness Act. That’s one reason, and there are others, why wilderness preservation, in terms of designation and protection, began in New York State. Bob, George and Jim Marshall’s upbringing in the Adirondacks by noted forever wild advocate and attorney Louis and his wife Florence Marshall, and the later creation of The Wilderness Society by Bob and allies is another reason to make this claim.
But there’s an older 19th century anniversary this year that cannot be overlooked without missing what has influenced humanity around the globe to conserve since 1864, the year a Vermonter named George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882) wrote Man and Nature; or Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action. Woodstock and Burlington, respectively where Marsh was born and lived parts of his adult life and which influenced his book, could legitimately make the claim that Vermont is where wilderness preservation began in America and, indeed, in the world. » Continue Reading.
Whenever and wherever the original Thacher cabin was built on Indian Point is my research holy grail. Delving into the details of the few literary mentions of the cabin might yield clues.
The famous wilderness writer George Washington Sears, pen name Nessmuk, wrote of meeting my great great grandfather George Hornell Thacher at his cabin on Indian Point.
“There are enthusiastic anglers, however, whose specialty is trolling for lake trout. A gentleman by the name of Thatcher (sic), who has a fine residence on Raquette Lake – which he calls a camp – makes this his leading sport, and keeps a log of his fishing, putting nothing on record of less than ten pounds weight.”
This visit by Nessmuk was published in his 1884 book titled Woodcraft; however, it makes no mention of when the encounter actually occurred. » Continue Reading.
View will present a multi-media experience based on an inspirational poem written by Miriam Davis Kashiwa. I Am The Adirondacks by Carl Heilman II will be performed on Wednesday, August 14,2013 at 7:30 p.m.
The live performance stars folk musicians, Dan Berggren, Dan Duggan, Peggy Lynn, and composer/musician Casey Fillaci. Heilman’s images combined with the live music and narrative from Kashiwa’s poem, combine to capture the spirit of the Adirondack Park. Tickets are $20/$15 or $5 for children. » Continue Reading.
A few local authors recently spoke with me about e-books, which coincidentally are grabbing headlines in a big way lately. The two main stories are Apple’s defense against charges that it conspired with publishers to fix e-book prices, and the surprising decision by Stephen King to not offer an e-book version of his latest title. King, one of the early proponents of digital publishing, hopes to reward the brick-and-mortar stores that helped make him such a huge success in traditional print.
The Apple case is currently in court, but in the nine months preceding the trial, e-book prices plunged, in some cases as much as 75 percent. A good thing? Maybe. But you get what you pay for, and with such low returns for selling e-books, there’s far less incentive for good authors to go digital. » Continue Reading.
For the second time in recent months, the Adirondacks lost a longstanding member of the regional writers’ community. John Briant of Old Forge, known far and wide for his Adirondack Detective series of books, passed away on May 14. I’m not a religious person, and I can’t say to what extent John was, but if he was devout, he probably looked forward to reuniting with his beloved wife, Margaret, who passed away in June 2012.
If you didn’t know the Briants but you attended book events in the area, they were the loving elderly couple who clung so closely to each other. Each seemed to support the other. Her death last year was a tragedy that many of us feared would be John’s undoing as well.
The world of literature is filled with moving stories of young love lost and the tortured souls of survivors, pining for what once was or might have been. As John spoke to me last year of Margaret’s passing, it became clear that, at least in this instance, age had nothing to do with love’s depth or fervor. He at times wept while describing her hospital stay, her unexpected death, and the deep sense of loss that had since enveloped his life. Had John not mattered to so many people in so many ways, he might well have left us soon after Margaret did―just from grief alone. He had lost, after all, his partner, love, and inspiration. » Continue Reading.
When New Yorkers say with pride that they come from the North Country, strength, courage and rugged individualism can be seen written all over their faces. In addition, everyone knows they have the ability to withstand abnormally cold and miserable weather, and to survive natural disasters, such as the Great Ice Storm of 1998. But, exactly where is the North Country?
Yes, it is in the northern part of New York State, but north of what? Yonkers? Albany? The Erie Canal? The Adirondacks?
The term North Country was first widely popularized for use in New York State by the author, Irving Bacheller, when his novel, Eben Holden: A Tale of the North Country, became a literary sensation in 1900. Bacheller was born in Pierrepont, St. Lawrence County, NY in 1859 and graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1882. Two years later, he founded the first U.S. newspaper syndicate and introduced the writing of Stephen Crane, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad to American readers. Bacheller retired from newspaper work in 1900 to concentrate on writing novels. Eben Holden: A Tale of the North Country was his fourth novel and it became a runaway best seller. » Continue Reading.
From April 15, 1976: “As we hiked upstream, we were treated to the view of rocky landscapes and numerous rapids, interspersed with waterfalls and calm pools. We could see the high mountain nearby. Following the stream towards the base of this rocky mountain, we discovered the remains of an old log cabin. Only a few feet of the cabin walls were still standing, and the remnants of an old stove lay scattered about the area. A water bucket lay next to the lines of a beaten path, which led to the stream only 30 feet away. I found a beat-up hatchet with about half of the leather wrappings around the handle still intact.”
What you just read, plus dozens of other details not included here, are lost memories, except for the part about the hatchet. Hmmm … lost memories, but they’re being written about? Guess I’ve got some explaining to do. » Continue Reading.
The Chronicle Book Fair was held last Sunday at the Queensbury Hotel in downtown Glens Falls. Kudos to the Chronicle for once again hosting one of the region’s premier book events. It was educational, entertaining, and even lucrative for some.
Most important, it offered support to new authors who are seeking exposure and opinions on their work. This marked the event’s seventeenth year, but as indicated in an informational email from the folks at the Chronicle, it almost didn’t happen. Thankfully, this was because they are overwhelmed with work, and not because e-books have taken over the world.
Printed books, in fact, are faring quite well despite dire predictions across the Internet. After reading the latest statistics, a number of online writers have been quick to pronounce the death of printed books (what some are now referring to as “p-books”). Yes, e-book sales are said to have eclipsed hard-cover sales for the first time, but it’s also important that printed books still encompass about 65 percent of the book market. That’s critical information for local writers. » Continue Reading.
Three books published this year by brand-new novelists remind us of the rich literary opportunities the Adirondacks offer for writers. History, nature, and mystery unite in three novels set in the Adirondacks by three seemingly disparate authors.
Tibetta’s World, historical nonfiction writer Caperton Tissot’s first novel, offers a deeply class-conscious historical and philosophical look into great camp life. Barbara Delaney, a hiking guide and co-author with husband Russell Dunn of the historically minded hiking guides Trails with Tales, has brought forward Finding Griffin a family mystery centered on a town reclaimed by the Adirondack forest. Finally, Florida lawyer and part-time Bolton resident Thomas G. Kane has published his second novel Desperate Days, a continuation of his first hard-boiled Adirondack Matt O’Malley mystery thriller featuring a dabbling of Adirondack history and landscape, and the Russian mob. » Continue Reading.
Over the past few months I’ve been considering what it means to be subjects in and subject to place. I’ve wondered if this condition of inter-subjectivity is responsible for whether and how our surroundings influence who we are and what we create.
On the one hand, influence is explicit when we make representative art as in landscape painting or poetry and prose whose subject is Emerson’s lake water whipped » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Center for Writing (ACW) and Paul Smith’s College will host an evening with author Russell Banks on Thursday, September 13 at 7:30pm at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. Banks will read and discuss his latest novel, Lost Memory of Skin. A prolific writer of fiction, Russell Banks’s other titles include The Darling, The Sweet Hereafter, Cloudsplitter, Rule of the Bone, Affliction, Success Stories, and Continental Drift.
The reading starts at 7:30pm and is free to Paul Smith’s College faculty and students, $5 general admission. Books will be for sale, provided by Bookstore Plus of Lake Placid, and there will be a book signing before and after the reading. » Continue Reading.
Sept 7 – 9 there will be a congregation of artists, scholars, historians, and writers in Lake Placid for an exploration of Adirondack cultural heritage (more info). Free and open to the public, it should prove to be enjoyable and informative to all who love this place. I was thinking about this event as I paddled with a group of friends on the Oswegatchie River, in the Five Ponds Wilderness. Our objective was High Rock – not a terribly difficult or long paddle, although it was challenging in places because the water levels were pretty low and rocks were exposed. Having recently returned from almost four weeks in Glacier National Park – where the “big sky” glacier carved landscapes are truly magnificent – I couldn’t get over the fact that I was still moved by the scenery flowing past me along the Oswegatchie.
Orange brown rocks just beneath the surface, covered with colorful paint swatches from all the boats that have scraped across them for more than a century. Massive white pines that probably were too scrawny to harvest during the logging booms of the 1900’s, were now towering over the river. The tag alder filled flood plain that this wild river was meandering through. The Five Ponds Wilderness is a prime example of how this amazing place can inspire. » Continue Reading.
If you write books or read them, prepare to be amazed (I certainly was), and if you shop online for books, the information below is important to you. Somewhat of a fraud has been perpetrated on the public in the world of books. While it doesn’t meet the legal definition of fraud, it violates what we might call “the spirit of the law” in providing information (in book form) for resale.
Yes, if you write a book, you can write anything you want, but the fact that you’ve written a book doesn’t mean anyone is reading it. Feedback in the form of sales, comments, and media coverage will eventually let you know if anyone is reading your work. » Continue Reading.
History and storytelling are important to all of us on a number of levels, whether as learning tools, sources of entertainment, or that wonderful, satisfying, nostalgic feeling we get from reawakened memories. All three came into play recently in regional book events held at North Creek, Inlet, and Long Lake. Anywhere from 20 to 60 authors gathered to discuss their work, sign and sell books, and share stories with attendees and other authors.
If you visited any of these―“Rhythm & Rhymes at the Hudson” at the Hudson River Trading Company in North Creek, the Author’s Fair at Adirondack Reader (in Inlet), or the 28th annual “Author’s Night” at Hoss’s in Long Lake―you saw a range of writers spanning the gamut of North Country literature. » Continue Reading.