Highlighted by The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference
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Meet our November Massachusetts Poet in the Spotlight: Cammy Thomas

Highlighted by The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference

Cammy Thomas’ first book of poems, Cathedral of Wish, received the 2006 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her second book, Inscriptions, has just come out. Both are published by Four Way Books. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Appalachia, Bateau, The Classical Outlook, The Healing Muse, Ibbetson Street Press, and Spillway. A fellowship from the Ragdale Foundation helped her complete her new book. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, and teaches literature and creative writing at Concord Academy. 
Poetic Profession "I write about events from my life, but then they take on a life of their own, as I think about what they might suggest to others, and how I might tune up the music in them." -Cammy Thomas


Body in the fog--tufted
brown grass swept with each breeze--holds
in it your death--you're
so restless--a blind
bag of bones--is
it now?--We all
pray it's now--your
nerves quivering like seeds in wind--dry stalks
of your static breath--white beach
of your flat body hemmed by air--no
talking anymore--and
your eyes stay closed--your
eyes slide under their lids like hands under sheets--face
brown as the rushes and gaunt--hair
a spiked tassel--heart
a spar.

The Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference is a three-day (over a weekend) program, held year-round that focuses exclusively on poetry manuscripts. Founded and direted by poet and editor Joan Houlihan, the conference is designed for poets who have book-length (or chapbook-length) manuscripts with the goal of publication in mind. The conference accepts a select group of applicants to work with award-winning poets, publishers, and editors from established presses. The first conference was held in Colrain, Massachusetts in 2006. Conferences are now held in Massachusetts, New Mexico, Washington, and Vermont. Numerous book publications by participants include awards such as The Vassar Miller Poetry Prize, The Bakeless Prize, FutureCycle Press Poetry Book Prize, John Ciardi Prize from BkMk Press, Gerald Cable First Book Award, T S. Eliot Poetry Prize from Truman State University, Levis Prize from Four Way Books, Wick Prize from Kent State Press, Four Way Book Intro Prize, Beatrice Hawley Prize from Alice James Books, Emily Dickinson Prize from the Poetry Foundation, Marsh Hawk Press Prize, Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize from Persea Books, Nightboat Books Poetry Prize, and many, many more.

Massachusetts Poet in the Spotlight is a monthly installment from Mass Poetry. Each month we shine the spotlight on a poet affiliated with, and nominated by, one of our poetry partners.
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