Arts & Culture Maplewood South Orange

South Orange Watershed Literary Events to Host The Lady Mechanics of Verona Dec. 6

From Watershed Literary Events:

Watershed Literary Events, a spoken-word series sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs in South Orange, will host its final virtual reading of the year on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at 2 pm.

Featured this time are The Lady Mechanics of Verona, a group of seven poets who practice honing their craft together in northern NJ. They include Theresa Burns (South Orange), Jessica de Koninck (Montclair), Tina Kelley (Maplewood), Marcia LeBeau (South Orange), Elinor Mattern (Bloomfield), Helen Mazarakis (Montclair), and Carole Stone (Verona).
The event is free and open to the public and can be accessed through this Zoom link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89499151472

For the past several years, The Lady Mechanics have gathered around the dining table at the home of Carole Stone, a retired Professor Emerita at Montclair State University, and the author of three volumes of poetry. They are mothers, teachers, lawyers, community organizers. All at various stages of their poetry careers, they convene twice a month to share new work, keep their editorial pencils sharp, and encourage each other to press on despite a tough publishing landscape.

“Poetry is not for the faint-hearted,” Stone says. “You need friends. When I sit down to work with these insightful women, they help me bring forth the essence of a poem.”

Watershed Literary Events was founded in 2019 with the goal of offering spoken word events in an intimate, natural setting in the Village. Previous features have included Brenda Shaughnessy, Craig Morgan Teicher, Kenneth Hart, and Alicia Mountain. The in-person series was halted this spring due to the pandemic, but it resumed last month on Zoom with poets reading from a new anthology, On the Verge: Poets of the Palisades III.  

A watershed is made up of small streams and rivers that all flow into the same larger body of water. It also suggests a turning point.

“Our name reflects our desire to tap into the rich, diverse sources of literary talent in our communities to create something bigger than ourselves,” says Theresa Burns, founder and curator of Watershed, and one of the featured readers next month. Her chapbook, Two Train Town, gets much of its inspiration from her life in South Orange.

“The Lady Mechanics have made it easier for me, not to mention more fun, to continue to pursue this odd vocation,” says Burns, who joined the group about six years ago. “I’m thrilled they’ll have the last word in our series this year.”

For updated information, check back with the South Orange Village website, or contact Peter Travers at [email protected].

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