Poetry will be heard as part of Oneonta’s First Night Festivities on Dec. 31. 

“Words for the new year” will take place at 5 p.m. at the Foothills Performing Arts Center’s Main Stage at 24 Market St. in Oneonta.

The reading is free and open to the public.

According to a media release, the idea for the series began 10 years ago, “when Julia Suarez Hayes, a poet and professor at Hartwick College, thought that a poetry reading would be a perfect way to mark the old year’s passing and welcome the new year.” She invited regional poets Robert Bensen, Eva Davidson, Jo Mish, Kirby Olson and Bertha Rogers to read from their work. The readings became an annual event.

This year’s reading includes Bradley J. Fest. 

The poets involved in Monday’s readings are: 

Oneonta’s Bensen, who’s sixth collection of poems, “Before,” will be published in early 2019. He is emeritus professor of English at Hartwick College, where he taught writing from 1978 to 2018, and lecturer at SUNY Oneonta. 

Oneonta’s Davidson, who teaches creative writing at Hartwick College and is the program coordinator for Literacy Volunteers of Otsego and Delaware Counties. She has collaborated with her sister, composer Tina Davidson, as the lyricist on three commissioned operas, “Billie and Zelda,” “Summer of the Swans” and “Pearl,” and has three manuscripts of poems. 

Fest, from Oneonta, is an assistant professor of English at Hartwick College. He is the author of two volumes of poetry, “The Rocking Chair” and “The Shape of Things.

Lauren’s Mish has written four books of poetry, and edits two journals of writing and art for K-12 students in 25 area schools. He taught creative writing and letterpress printing and the book arts at Hartwick College for 35 years. He is a founder of Swamp Press and is master printer at Serpent and Eagle Press.

Delhi’s Olson is a poet and professor who teaches at SUNY Delhi. His has published a poetry boo, “Christmas at Rockefeller Center.”

Treadwell’s Rogers founded, with her late husband, Ernest M. Fishman, Bright Hill Press & Literary Center in 1992; she led the organization for 25 years. Rogers has published several collections of poetry, including “Heart Turned Back” and the forthcoming “Wild, Again.”

Oneonta’s Hayes taught at Hartwick College for 34 years. She published ‘It Does Not” in 2006. Her poems have appeared in have appeared in Salmagundi, Phoebe, Tightrope, New York Times and La Presa.

For more information contact david@davidhayes.com or suarezj@hartwickcollege.edu.

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