September 11, 2013

Star Island – The Isles of Shoals

Panorama

Just back from the magical Star Island ( http://starisland.org/ )  part of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire. Writer’s in the Round – poets, songwriters – all meeting to cross-pollinate. It was my pleasure to be a facilitator – teaching is too strong a word.

The great difference between this experience and previous songwriting camps is that there was very little commercial ambition that came with the participants. Yes, a desire to play more – yes, a desire to have the songs heard. But none of the palpable drive to achieve fame and fortune, and none of the complete disregard for improving the craft. What I discovered, to my delight and amazement, was a group of people who wanted to be better, wanted to write better songs.

Moreover: what a open-hearted gathering of creative minds. My friend Craig Werth http://craigwerth.com/  fine songwriter and musician, generous soul – and his compatriot in Star Island Writers in the Round, poet Ellen Taylor http://www.uma.edu/etaylor.html  keep 1000 boats floating, all the while generating good will and welcome, welcome, welcome. The jaded cynic would be hard-pressed to resist the genuine guilelessness in this different kind of home. One would be a fool to try.

And then. there is New Hampshire poet Laureate John Michael Albert http://www.johnmichaelalbert.com/ scatters joy amidst the breadth of his knowledge, musical and poetical.

To all the poets and songwriters: thank you.

 

 

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