Friday, May 24, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Kateri Kosek

Kateri Kosek grew up in the Hudson Valley but has lived in or near the Berkshires for over a decade. She is the author of American Eclipse, winner of the Three Mile Harbor Press Poetry Book Award, and a chapbook, Vernal. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Orion, Creative Nonfiction, Northern Woodlands Magazine, Berkshire Magazine, and many literary journals. She teaches college English, and as a lifelong birder, has worked locally surveying bird populations for Green Berkshires and Aton Forest. More at

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The Mount gears up for ‘liveliest summer yet,’ with expanded lecture lineup among its diverse offerings

“When we booked them, we knew they were special,” says Mount Communications Director Jennifer Beeson of the lineup of authors set to visit The Mount this summer.

Housing and conservation resonate strongly with voters at Sheffield Town Meeting

Perhaps the most contentious article, and the only one defeated, was Article 29. By a narrow margin of 51 to 53, voters declined to reduce the number of members on the Conservation Commission from five to three (with two alternates).

Take me to the river: Great Barrington’s River Walk opens for the season

Saturday’s guided walk will for the first time continue south of Bridge Street to the Riverfront Trail, which heads south to Olympian Meadows.

Stockbridge author to read from her new novel, a corporate thriller that grapples with ethical use of AI

Cohen, who turned to writing after a long career in sales and marketing, says she didn't know any more about A.I. than anyone who reads the newspapers. A.I. technologies weren't even around when she worked selling gigantic computers for Hewlett Packard, but she has long been interested in the topic.

Monterey residents join ambitious national effort to bring the mighty American chestnut back from functional extinction

When the chestnut blight, native to Asia, arrived in New York City around 1904, it spread at a rate of 50 miles a year. Within 50 years, 4 billion trees—an area of forest the size of New York state—went functionally extinct.

Following a grant to take their services on the road, Berkshire HorseWorks poised for a new initiative on their 10th anniversary

BHW has always tried to “cultivate and develop different programs to answer the emerging needs of the community,” says Berkshire HorseWorks founder and Executive Director Hayley Sumner. Their diverse programming for groups and individuals includes girls’ empowerment, anger management, relationship building, and bullying prevention.

Mt. Everett’s Early College program celebrates its students and awards more faculty pioneering certifications

A handful of students shared their Early College experiences at a panel convened with representatives from Massachusetts’ Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on March 28.

Last chance to view ‘A Tribute to the Thursday Morning Club’ at the Great Barrington Historical Society Museum, April 20 and 21

“The histories are phenomenal,” says Robert Krol, executive director of the Great Barrington Historical Society. “The Thursday Morning Club has kept such a detailed history of their organization, and it's all spelled out in the display."

Aerospace students at Mt. Everett Regional High School hope to advance in national rocketry competition

“Some of these kids may have a career in the aerospace industry; but even if they don’t, they’ve learned valuable skills around teamwork, performing under pressure, and the importance of preparation and attention to detail,” notes Chris Thompson, who teaches Mt. Everett's Aerospace Engineering class.

Local writer Alexis Schaitkin to read in the long-running Poetry and Fiction Series at Bard College at Simon’s Rock

“I think it's exciting for the writers to come for this,” says Simon's Rock Literature and Creative Writing Professor Brendan Mathews. Rather than doing a sales pitch, “they're talking to a group of really bright students who've read the book and thought a lot about it.”

Sheffield library director selected for national forum to plan programming around 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence

“What does the Declaration mean to you? How is America living its values; what do we think American values are? It's a topic where people have a lot of very personal connections, family stories to be told,” says Bushnell-Sage Library Director Deena Caswell.

Fourth annual Fermentation Festival to feature author and fermentation expert Sandor Katz

Over 50 local cultured vendors are slated for this year, including many new ones such as NYrture Food talking about natto (fermented soybeans) and Maple Valley Creamery making special batches of cultured ice creams for the fest (including pickle ice cream!).

IN THE FIELD: Two birds, two extremes of habitat

Neither bird I was after breeds in the Berkshires, but the places that contained them—a mountaintop, a grassland—struck me as reflective of the diversity of habitats around us.

IN THE FIELD: Attracting birds in warm weather

Thrushes are not particularly known for eating suet, or for coming to feeders of any kind, but it hung around for five days or so, even flying out from under the porch steps one day.

REVIEW: ‘See the Wolf,’ poems by Sarah Sousa, innocence lost

These poems don’t demand pity; their tone is strong like the women ultimately are. She is reading her poems this Tuesday, May 22, at the Lee Library, along with the renowned poet Charles Rafferty. The reading is at 5:30 p.m.

IN THE FIELD: Horned larks and waterfowl

Similar to many open grassland birds, larks have declined about 2 percent a year since the 1960s, making the 2014 State of the Birds list of “common birds in steep decline.”

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.