Wednesday, May 2, 2018

WITCHCRAFT, OFFERINGS, HISTORY, AND HORROR: THE MERRIMACK VALLEY HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL

This year, I'm going to be attending/vending at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Festival in Haverhill, MA. I'll have copies of my poetry collections (Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, Brothel, and Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare), and my novel (The Eighth). The Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival 2018 will feature at least more than SIXTY authors, artists, and filmmakers. Panel discussions. Brand new book debuts. And, of course, Trick or Treat candy.

Event Details:
Saturday, October 13th, 2018, from 10am to 4:30pm.
Haverhill Public Library
Haverhill, MA

I'm really excited for this event, not just because it will give me the chance to meet more readers, but also because I'll be getting to see my writing family again, some of who I only see maybe once a year (or maybe every other year at that). I'm also planning on taking some time to explore Massachusetts, and in additional to Haverhill, I'll be hanging out in Boston, Amherst, and Salem. I plan on leaving offerings at Emily Dickinson's and Anne Sexton's grave, visiting the Dickinson museum, and spending lots of time photographing and researching Salem for a literature class I'm designing.

This opportunity is perfectly timed because this past semester, I taught Dickinson, Sexton, and Hawthorne. Beyond the confessional poets obviously having a huge influence on my work, I'm also using their work for a larger non-fiction project that's been in the making, so having the chance to honor them at their resting place will be a beautiful moment for me. It's kind of like when Patti Smith talks about visiting Plath's grave in her memoir, M Train (which if you haven't read that book, I highly recommend doing so). As for Hawthorne, I plan on doing some more work to prepare for my visit to Salem. I teach a lot of his short stories, which I'm madly in love with, and I've of course read The Scarlet Letter more times than I care to count, but I also want to read The House of the Seven Gables, as well as some other witchcraft inspired books (not necessarily by him), such as The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike. All in all, I think it will be a refreshing trip both mentally and emotionally, and I'm very much looking forward to spending time in a new place with people I've grown to love.