Tonight at the Ramsdell Library in Housatonic, five poets took the stage to share their lyrical observations, memories, dreams and desires.

It was a beautiful series of presentations, moving from images of grieving daughters at a mother’s bedside, to solitary hikes up familiar Berkshire landscapes, to far-flung ports of call.

Jan Hutchinson shared poems about her alter ego, Grace, who always seemed to come at the right moment to offer words of wisdom or advice.

Jan Hutchinson


A lovely line from Jan’s work: “Moods are the inner life’s unpredictable weather.”  Later the narrator continues, “Moods are a lot like chickens.  We have to herd them out the front door.”

Susan Melot wrote about scenes from her daily life in New York and Becket, MA, where she and her husband have a home.  Her poem “Manhattan Corpus” brought the city to life in a series of metaphors, comparing the metropolis to a living body.

Susan Melot

Tammis Coffin and Christine Ward both read poetry inspired by their lives in the great outdoors.  Christine wrote about climbing Monument Mountain, which she often does, and confessed wryly that “Sometimes a trail can be a trial…but perhaps it is the trial that makes the trail worthwhile.”

Tammis Coffin

Tammis shared a poem about a paddling trip into the wilderness of Newfoundland, where her “paddles dripped starlight in the August night” and she watched the Perseids meteor shower reflected in the still salt water of the sea.

Christine Ward

Claudette Webster, one of the coordinators of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers and a poet herself, shared several poems that dipped into different emotionally charged moments of her life, keeping the audience spellbound.

Claudette Webster

Another great Festival night was had by all!