The Poetry Caravan was founded in 2003 by Usha Akella with the assistance from the Greenburgh Arts and Culture Committee, headed by Sarah Bracey White. The mission of the Poetry Caravan is to bring poets and poetry to people in our community who cannot reach poetry on their own. It provides a platform for poets to showcase their talents while fostering a sense of community in poets and audiences. In the past ten years, Caravan poets have regularly visited hospitals, senior centers, and shelters, including Burke Rehabilitation Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, The Esplanade, the Ruth Taylor Care Center, The Osborn, Westchester Meadows, Sprain Brook Manor Nursing Home, The Woodlands, Grace Church Samaritan House, the Women's Residence/YWCA, and Greenburgh Alcohol Treatment Center.
Poetry Reading at Scarsdale Public Library on 4/23/14 (selected videclips below)
#1 - The Poetry Caravan celebrates National Poetry Month at the Scarsdale (NY) Public Library, 4/23/14 . Ruth D. Handel, Caravan manager, describes how this organization brings poetry to the community through readingsat nursing homes, assisted living centers, hospitals and similar venues where there isn’t ready access to the written word.
#2 - Ruth D. Handel reads poems and describes her poetry writing workshops as part of the Poetry Caravan’s celebration of National Poetry Month at the Scarsdale (NY) Public Library, 4/23/14.
#3 - Poets participate in readings to celebrate National Poetry Month at Scarsdale Library event 4/23/14. l. to r. Joanne Auerbach, Ruth D. Handel, Lisa Fleck Dondiego, Fran Sisco, LLyn Clague
#4 - Fran Sisco reads her poem called "Scampering Styrofoam" as part of the Poetry Caravan’s celebration of National Poetry Month at the Scarsdale (NY) Public Library, 4/23/14.
Poetry Reading at Greenburgh Public Library on Friday 4/27/12, in dedication to Brenda Miller (Brenda Connor-Bey) - Videos are on www.youtube.com (if you search for poetry caravan and greenburgh) but also they are embedded below for easier viewing. Just click on the play buttons.
(A) 11 Videoclips of several poets who read original poems or poems written by Brenda Miller (Brenda Connor-Bey) in dedication to her in this time of illness on Friday afternoon 4/27/12 at the Greenburgh Public Library in Greenburgh, NY. (B) For more info, contact Fran Sisco (videographer) by email - FrancisSisco@aol.com. For more info about the Poetry Caravan, please go to www.Poetry Caravan.org. (C) A summary of the 11 videoclips:
Video 1 - Ruth Handel (intro), Charlotte Walsh, Ruth Handel, Sandy Hauss, Kate Gallagher (prior poems written by Brenda Miller), Doretta Cornell (she read her own poems but removed from the video per her request not to conflict with publisher's request)
Video 2 - Sandy Hauss
Video 3 - Alice Feeley
Video 4 - Marjorie Mir, Charlotte Walsh, Charlotte and Kate Gallagher
Video 5 - Linda Levitz
Video 6 - Ruth Handel
Video 7 - Ruth Handel, Llyn Clague, Fran Sisco (poem written by Rose Bromberg called "Dad")
Video 8 - Fran Sisco reading her poem called "My Voice is Changing"
Video 9 - Kelly Sisco reading her poems called "Very Lucky You" and "More Stressed Out Than Me. I Never Thought I'd Know Such a Person."
Video 10 - Kate Gallagher and her poem about smoking
Video 11 - Clips of building, inside and out, car ride home with car radio playing Eminem's "8 Mile" and Peter, Paul and Mary's "I Dig Rock and Roll Music"
Also present for part of the event was Jay Albrecht..
Below are the 11 Videoclips. Click on the play button to view.
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Poetry Caravan Service Report at August 2010
8/23/10 - (From Ruth Handel) Dear Poets -
Attached is my yearly report on Caravan service. It enumerates the Readings and other Caravan activities, but cannot begin to reflect your generosity and willingness to participate in our mission. Thank you for all you have done this year and especially for the reports you have written about your visits to the venues. You have made a difference to so many people’s lives.
I hope you’re enjoying the remainder of the summer. Come September a new Caravan cycle begins. I look forward to seeing you all.
Caravan Service Report - August 2010
# of Venues Served
# of Visits to Venues
# of Poets Participating
# of Presentations
Note: # of venues and poets participating have remained stable over three years.
# of visits declined in ‘09-’10, but number of presentations remained stable since many were made as part of a team.
Writing workshops have been on-going in the Women’s Unit of N.Y. Presbyterian for five years, usually twice a month for 9 months yearly. For the past two years, two poets have conducted the workshops. In ’08-’09, 18 visits to the venue were made, in ’09-’10, 20 visits.
Readings at Taconic Correctional Facility - New in ’09-‘10
# of Visits: 4
# of Poets Participating: 5
# of Presentations: 8
A Poetry Caravan Event that showcases our poets in Storyboards A and B so you can sample us.
Storyboard A - of Videoclip # 1 through # 3.
On 3/13/2005, there was held an exciting poetry event at Greenburgh Town Hall (2 to 4pm) that included over 25 readings by poets, many that are included in the new anthology called "en(compass)." Call Greenburgh's Arts Contact Line at 914.422.1038 for more information. See Storyboard B below which has videoclips of each of the poets with photos (click on the ones you want to go to separate pages of their reading their poems)
Using this page of videoclips etc.
Overview - The Videoclips appearing on this page shows varous scenes videotaped by Frank Sisco on 3/13/05. The videoclips were made into Quicktime videos which were then uploaded to www.youtube.com and the Flash html code was copied from YouTube back to this page. .All rights to this material are reserved and should not be used (other than viewing) without the express written consent of Frank Sisco.
How to use these viideoclips - To play each of the videoclps, just press the play button in the middle of the image of the videoclip you want to play. When it is playing, if you want to pause it, just press the pause button at the lower left of the frame You can also share the video with family and friends, first by selecting the videoclip you would like to send to them, and then clicking on the "Share" button at the lower right section of the videoclip frame. An email box will appear and then you type into the box the email names of the peple you want to send that particular clip to. If you want to send this entire page, you should copy this website address that appears in the top browser URL bar into an email you bring up on your screen and then select "paste" from the edit menu. To enlarge or shrink the video (to get a sharper clearer video), click the buttons in the lower right section of the frame.
(Please send this page to a friend or relative by copying the URL address from the browser bar into an email. )
(Click on the play arrow to play the videoclip. )
Videoclip # 1
Videoclip # 2
This videoclip #1 covers the following: the time before the readings, including Usha Akella and Sarah Bracey White introducing the event (with remarks by E.J. Antonio, Frank Sisco, and Sana Mulji Dutt).
This videoclip #2 covers the time after the readings, including (a) Usha Akella and Sarah Bracey White giving out awards to poets and (b) photos taken of poets.
Videoclip # 3
If you have any problems or questions about viewing the videos, please contact Frank Sisco.
This videclip # covers the time after the readings, including (a) quick clips of the afterparty at Usha's home and (b) some of the drive home to Frank Sisco's home including radio songs.
Storyboard B - of Videoclip # 1 through # 25.
On 3/13/2005, there was held an exciting poetry event at Greenburgh Town Hall (2 to 4pm) that included over 25 readings by poets, many that are included in the new anthology called "en(compass)." Call Greenburgh's Arts Contact Line at 914.422.1038 for more information. See Storyboard B below which has videoclips of each of the poets with photos (click on the ones you want to go to separate pages of their reading their poems.) (For 3 general videoclips about the event, see Storyboard A above.
Notice! If you cannot see the below Quicktime videos, you either (a) need to download Quicktime (free from Apple Computer). You will love it.! Click here to get the fast and free Quicktime download. or (b) need to get a fast connection (e.g. cable modem, DSL, T1 line etc.) Call Frank if you have any problems.
A general flyer about the Poetry Caravan (and more detailed info)
THE POETRY CARAVAN
The poets who support and foster the work of the Poetry Caravan are doing literary missionary work by bringing poetry into the lives of the often alienated.
- Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate from his foreword to the Poetry Caravan anthology entitled "en(compass)"
Who We Are: a group of Westchester and Metro area poets who love to share poetry
Our Mission: to bring poetry to people who don’t have easy access to the spoken and written word
What We Do: Free readings of poetry and writing workshops in shelters, assisted living centers, hospitals, non-profit organizations and similar venues. Over 165 readings and 18 writing workshops since our founding in 2003.
Our Publication: EN(COMPASS) . The Poetry Caravan Anthology. Poems by Caravan members and workshop participants. Foreword by Billy Collins. Edited by Usha Akella, Poetry Caravan founder (Yuganta Press, 2005).
The Poetry Caravan was founded in 2003 with support from the Town of Greenburgh (NY) Arts and Culture Committee.
To :- Schedule Readings & Workshops - Participate in the Poetry Caravan - Learn More -
Ruth Handel (RuthHandel@verizon.net) or Frank Sisco (email@example.com)
Please do one of the following: (1) Copy the below info into a Word document or into an email, and then email it to Ruth Handel or Frank Sisco or (2) Print the application (see link to printable version) and fill it out and mail it to either Ruth or Frank.
E Mail address__________________________
Phone Number:s: Home __________________ Office __________________ Cell _____________________
Home Address: ____________________________________________________________________________
Genre of Primary Interest: (check one):
( )Reading poetry of established Poets ( )Reading own poetry
( )Combination of own/established poets ( )Writing Workshop
Preferred venues (check as many as applicable):
Nursing homes ( ) Hospitals ( )
Women’s Shelters ( ) Community Centers ( )
Prisons ( ) Therapeutic Communities ( )
Preferred times: (Circle all applicable) Weekdays (a.m.) [p.m.]
> If there is a change in or problem about the reading: > CALL; email may not reach anyone
> that day.
> From the Hutchinson River Parkway: take exit 23 and go north > at exit, on Mamaroneck Avenue.
> From I-95, take exit 18A, and proceed north on Mamaroneck Avenue.
> Continue until you come to Gedney Way’ Heatherbloom Street: > Burke’s entrance is right off (3 feet) Heatherbloom. Inside the > gate, go straight past the buildings on your right, and then around > the Main Building (building 7).
> Parking is around the side, and walk back to the front of > the building for the entrance. The reading will be in the > Harris Parlor.
> 2. New York Presbyterian Hospital 21 Bloomingdale Road > White Plains, NY 10605
> Main Telephone Number 914 682-9100 Contacts and extensions > are listed below directions.
> From I-287 East, Take Exit 8 .
> After exiting (The Westchester Mall will be straight ahead > of you), make a left onto
> Bloomingdale Rd., stay to left, and make a left at > next traffic light (NY Presb. entrance)
> From the Hutchinson River Parkway: take exit 23 and go north > at exit, on Mamaroneck
> Avenue. Stay in the right lane. After Bryant Avenue, > take the right fork, onto
> Bloomingdale Road. The Hospital entrance is the second > light on your right.
> Once on hospital grounds:
> Go up the hill and follow the road around. If there are > parking spaces along the road, you may park there (unless > reserved). If none, there is a parking lot past the main building, > on your left. The main building has a small white glassed-in > front, and the receptionist will be glad to let the contact know > you have arrived.
> Contacts for NY Presbyterian Units:
> 4 South Unit (Substance Abuse) Contact: Cathy McQuade > ext 2327 firstname.lastname@example.org
> 2 North (Geriatric) Contact: Katlyn (or Charge Nurse for > the day -- 914 682-9100
> ask for 2 North)
> 5 North Unit (Character Disorder) Contact: Ione Moreira > 914 977-5741 direct number (call
> Take Sprain Pkwy south to Jackson Ave. exit (about 3 ½ mi. > south of White Plains)
> Turn left onto Jackson Ave. Go less than one-third mile to > 77 Jackson,
> and you will see Sprain Brook Manor on your left.
4/3/05 - Suggested email or letter (marketing query) per Usha and Lisa
Dear poets: Lisa Fleck and I have come up with a standard query for our marketing purposes. Please discard any versions you may have. It is attached to this email and I am also copying the text directly in here for your use.
Once again all of us need to make a consolidated effort to feature encompass in readings and reviews.
Thanks usha en(compass)
Introduction by former Poet Laureate Billy Collins
Usha Akella launched an organization called the Poetry Caravan in Westchester County, NY, about a year ago. Essentially, her idea was to provide poetry readings and writing workshops free to people who may not be able to access such opportunities by themselves. Since October 2003 the Poetry Caravan has done more than 100 readings and about 10 workshops at nursing homes, senior centers, women's shelters, healthcare facilities etc. Poetry caravan has received a fair amount of press coverage, awards and grants from Poets & Writers in a short span of time.
This March the poetry caravan released an anthology titled en(compass), with an introduction by Billy Collins and blurbs by Li-Young Lee, Margo Stever and Kathleen Ossip. The book is published by Yuganta Press, CT, and showcases 32 poets from the poetry caravan. A number of readings have been lined up at local colleges, organizations and libraries like Manhattanville College, PACE, and Hudson Valley Writers Center.
What is unique about en(compass):
*Showcases poets participating in a unique and noble community out reach program
*Introduction by former Poet Laureate Billy Collins and blurbs by national poets
*Mention in New York Times, March 6, Westchester section
*Barnes and Nobles interested in buying 100 copies through suggested distributor
*Reviews/Profile being considered in Poetry magazine, Poets & Writers, Barrow Street etc., (waiting for decisions)
*All aspects of production from fund-raising to book release party managed by Poets.
*Readings lined up in major Westchester colleges, writing centers and libraries.
I am writing to inquire if you would be interested in:
( ) hosting a reading. ( ) reviewing (en)compass. ( ) publishing a profile/feature about the poetry caravan.
Keywords and meta tags etc. for search engines
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