September 11, 2013

Star Island – The Isles of Shoals


Just back from the magical Star Island ( )  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  fine songwriter and musician, generous soul – and his compatriot in Star Island Writers in the Round, poet Ellen Taylor  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 scatters joy amidst the breadth of his knowledge, musical and poetical.

To all the poets and songwriters: thank you.



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