Buffalo Street Books Reading

Hello everyone,

We had our second and final reading on 11/15 at Buffalo Street Books. We were once again amazed at how much of the community came out to celebrate this collection of good writing, and we appreciate your support greatly. Another 10 authors read, but Rhian Ellis introduced the event this time as well.


If you can’t tell, her socks are printed with cats wearing glasses. I think that they’re adorable.


Our first author up was Carol Kammen, who wrote the introduction in the anthology. She is the Tompkins County Historian.


Brad Edmondson read second, and to learn more about him, you should check out the interview I did with him!


Alison Lurie was our third author to read. She’s won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel Foreign Affairs, and she’s lived near Cayuga Lake for over fifty years.


James McConkey is a professor emeritus at Cornell, and he has lived in the Ithaca area since 1956!


David Warren has lived in the Ithaca area since he was six. He’s published three novels, all of which take place in upstate New York.


Our sixth author was Kathryn Howd Machan, who read from her short story in the anthology. She’s a professor at Ithaca College.


Mingfong Ho received a Caldecott Honor, and ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and the South-East Asian Write award. After studying Mandarin in Taiwan, she attended Cornell University, and she has lived in Ithaca ever since.


Fred Wilcox is a former Ithaca College professor, and he’s written six books. He’s edited two more.


Gerard Cox read from his extremely moving memoir in the anthology, “A Certain Slant of Light.” Although he was a college professor, and he was an administrator at Cornell, he is now happily retired.


Finally, Ira Rabois read. He taught middle and high school students at the Lehman Alternative Community School and he is also the head instructor at Washin-Ryu’s Karate-Do.

In total, it was a great event, and as always, we’re exceedingly grateful for the support the community is showing us.

From the left: Edward Hower, Peter Fortunato, Jack Hopper, Taylor Steinberg (me), and Rhian Ellis

Katharyn Howd Machan

Katharyn Howd Machan is a professor of writing at Ithaca College. She’s published 32 collections and has had poems appear in textbooks, anthologies, and magazines, and in 2002, she was Tompkins County’s first poet laureate. She also has an alter ego as Zajal the belly dancer, and she likes to combine poetry with dance.


1. What made you want to publish in the anthology?

I have faith in the editors and the press!

2. What made you want to submit this piece in particular?

It is the strongest short story I have written. I am primarily a poet.

3. Do you see yourself in any of the characters?

Yes: the narrator. The depiction of place and family draws directly from a summer evening in my life.

4. On your faculty page, it says that your specialty is poetry. Are writing poetry and fiction different for you?

In my forty years of teaching I have learned to write the first drafts of poems in “stolen moments.” For fiction I need rarely obtained stretches of time.

5. When did you start writing? What were your first writings like?

Poetry has been my core since 1967. In high school and college and in both stints of my graduate work I also wrote fiction (no student papers=the requisite stretches of time). First writings? Even as a teen I drew upon fairy tales—and, of course, let’s not forget the now-dismissable hundreds and hundreds of poems about love.

6. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I balance my life (literally) with belly dancing, which has been a big part of my life since 1979. Walking to enjoy nature is also very important. I used to take photos all the time until digital cameras eradicated my enjoyment in doing so. Enjoying home with my spouse Eric Machan Howd is core to my happiness.

7. How can readers learn more about you? Do you have any social media accounts?

The phrase “social media account” makes me gag forlornly. I don’t even have a web page beyond the one created by the Department of Writing at Ithaca College. Egad: phone? (607-274-3325). Or letter? (P.O. Box 456, Ithaca, NY  14851-0456). Or the ubiquitous and overwhelming email: machan@ithaca.edu.

Wonderful, thanks Katharyn!

Tompkins County Library Reading

Hi all!

Our first reading, which happened last Sunday, on 11/8/15, at the Tompkins County Public Library, had an amazing turn out. 10 authors read, with a brief introduction from the anthology’s editor, Rhian Ellis.

Rhian intro

Just look at that crowd! One of the best things about the Finger Lakes area is the community’s love of great writing.

Mary Gilliland

Our first reading author was Mary Gilliland, who is a poet, but her piece in the anthology is an article entitled “Iraquoia.”

Ann Gold

Ann Gold read after Mary, and she is the Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. She’s also a Professor of Anthropology.

Dan Gold

The third reader was Dan Gold, who published “Changing Life in an Indian Ashram” in the anthology.

Steven Poleskie

Steven Poleskie read next, and he read a part of his story “The Hosta,” which is the last fiction story in From the Finger Lakes.

Jeanne Mackin

The fifth reader, Jeanne Mackin has lived in Ithaca all of her adult life. She’s published six novels and has won a creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society.

David Guaspari

David Guaspari, who read next, was trained as a pure mathematician, but he fell in love with writing along the way. He’s lived in Ithaca for 30 years.

Amber Donofrio

At 24, Amber Donofrio is the youngest author in the anthology! She recently graduated from Ithaca College and now writes for the Ithaca Times. Ovbiously, she was our seventh reader.

Barbara Adams

Barbara Adams, who read after Amber, is an associate professor of writing at Ithaca College. For the past 40 years, she’s written for the Ithaca Times and the Ithaca Journal as an arts journalist.

Gene Endres

The penultimate author, Gene Endres was a radio engineer at Ithaca College, where he produced “The Hobo’s Lullaby” on WICB-FM for 31 years.

Nino Lama

And finally, Nino Lama is an attorney as well as an Ithaca native! His piece in the anthology is about how his mom flew to Italy to meet who would become his dad.

The crowd

For the last picture, I took one of the crowd, just a few seconds after the readings! Such a lovely group of people, and I wanted to thank them for coming out! We would be nothing without you, and we hope that you continue to support us!