We were thrilled to learn that The New Yorker has recently named Writer’s Room alum Kevin Young as the new Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. Young participated in our annual Under the Influence Poetry Reading as part of National Poetry Month with O, Miami in April of 2016.
“Paul Muldoon, who for a decade has served as the poetry editor of The New Yorker, will step down, the magazine announced on Wednesday. His successor will be Kevin Young, who moved to New York from Atlanta last year to become the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Mr. Young is an esteemed poet and scholar whose work has been published in The New Yorker dating back to 1999. His most recent work, “Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015,” made the 2016 National Book Award longlist.“
Read the NY Times article here to learn more about this esteemed poet and scholar. Full story HERE.
Florida International University’s online publication, Panther Now, recently reported on The Writers on the Bay series, presented in partnership with The Betsy – South Beach, calling it “an opportunity to share passion for writing.” A portion of the post is below.
POSTED BY: MARTINA BRETOUS JANUARY 22, 2017
Kayleen Padron/Staff Writer
Panthers at The Biscayne Bay Campus can experience the creative writing process first-hand at this year’s “Writers on the Bay” reading series, featuring award winning, best-selling author Ann Hood.
The Creative Writing Program, along with the Wolfe University Book Store and The Betsy Hotel, will be sponsoring the event with special thanks to the bookstore manager, Erica Garvey and Deborah P. Briggs of the hotel. Free food and refreshments will be served following the reading.
The program invites four writers every year to the University to the reading series. Julie Wade, an assistant professor of the Creative Writing program, has coordinated the event along with other students and faculty.
“We who teach and study creative writing have the opportunity to share our passion for the genres of poetry, fiction, and creative writing with a larger audience by bringing a diverse group of writers to campus,” said Wade.
We received an update from our Writer’s Room alum, Jodie Hollander, recently – with news of her upcoming poetry collection. Below you can read more about her work and her recent media exposure. We enjoy hearing from our alumnus – please share your updates when you can, too!
I am delighted to share news of my forthcoming poetry collection, My Dark Horses, with Liverpool University Press (Pavilion Poetry Series). This book follows my childhood experience of growing up in a family of classical musicians, while also exploring themes of horses, storms, and the presence of the animal world. The book will soon be out in the world; however, I wanted to first share this news with my family and friends.
Finally, should you find yourself in the UK during the month of May, I’ll be launching my book in Liverpool on May 9, and have readings scheduled in Liverpool, York, Oxford, Cambridge, London, and Brighton. My website, jodiehollander.com, will stay updated with information about times and locations.
I want to thank you all for your love and support of my writing over the years. This feels like a big step out into the literary world, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without your love and support!
Sending best wishes to all as we venture into 2017!
Writer’s Room Residency, January 2014
The porch of the Betsy Hotel, a slender silhouette on the main drag of Miami’s South Beach, is flanked by wicker chairs well positioned for watching the slow rollerbladers, slower Rolls-Royces, and Jessica Rabbits flaunt their curves on Ocean Drive. The hotel’s Writer’s Room, which has been hosting distinguished poets, playwrights, novelists, musicians, and visual artists since 2012, is snug and uncluttered (a suite might abet procrastination). The first room on the ground floor, it is more bungalow than aerie, conjuring Hemingway in Kansas City—as a cub reporter he sometimes slept in a towel-cushioned bathtub at the Muehlebach Hotel—getting closer to Key West. Writers and nice hotels have long been simpatico—Oscar Wilde was arrested at the Cadogan in London, Truman Capote claimed to have been born at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans (technically untrue, though it accommodated him in utero), and Tennessee Williams loved New York’s Hotel Elysée so much he checked out in a casket. The Betsy sits squarely in this tradition but is enhanced by personal history: the poet Hyam Plutzik (1911–1962), author of Apples from Shinar and Horatio (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1961), was the hotelier’s father.
The Betsy designates the space a respite for writers in Miami, and means it both ways: a writer who’s just visiting (such as the novelist Richard Ford) as well as the writer who resides nearby (the poet and musician Oscar Fuentes). The room’s bookshelves hold an eclectic and ambitious mix of titles: poetry by Robert Lowell, Richard Wilbur, C. K. Williams, Hayden Carruth, and Galway Kinnell; Dag Hammarskjöld’s Markings, translated by W. H. Auden and acquired in a book swap; Rattapalax, a journal of international writing; Harold Robbins’s vintage page-turner The Betsy. The artist and writer Donald Daedalus, who stayed for a week this past February, is bookish in new-media ways. He was comparing analog and digital archival processes (“analog is tables of contents, card catalogues, and a locked library door; digital is cloud storage and corrupt data; moisture is a problem for both”) for one project and e-publishing a 700-page collection of essays about walkways for another. “I’m interested in non-linear texts,” he told me, “book forms other than the codex.”
Gemma Sieff is a writer and editor based in New York.
Original post at http://settylepidapoetry.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-betsy-hotel.html
The Betsy and Florida International University welcome International visual and installation artist Anita Glesta. Glesta will be working with FIU in January 2017 to take footage of sea level rise and other pertinent imagery, as well as to collaborate on ideas and data that will be integrated into her video project, Watershed, which has been projected in various venues internationally.
December, 2016 – Photo of Michael Klotz, Professor at FIU and Violist for the Amernet Quartet, with noted composer Dr. Sydney Hodkinson, The Betsy Writer’s Room artist in residence, and faculty at Stetson University – in LT Steak and Seafood at The Betsy Hotel.
Syd was in town for a few days (with his lovely wife, Betty) for a performance of one of his string quartets at Miami Beach Urban Studios at Florida International University. It was a reunion for a number of attendees who were alums of the Eastman School of Music, where Dr. Hodkinson taught for many years.
This November, a new reading series will hit Miami’s growing literary scene. Founded and curated by Miami-based poets Jen Karetnick and Catherine Prescott, SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami) will feature female and female-identifying writers from South Florida and across the nation. Hosted by The Betsy-South Beach, a philanthropy and arts-driven boutique luxury hotel located on Ocean Drive in the heart of Miami Beach’s Art Deco District, SWWIM is an ongoing reading series with four readings planned for its inaugural year.
Renowned poets Paula Bohince, author of Swallows and Waves (Sarabande, January 2016), and Mia Leonin, author of Chance Born (Anhinga Press, April 2016), will kick off the readings series in B Bar, The Betsy-South Beach’s underground gallery, on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Readings to follow on March 7, June 21 and September 6, 2017 include award-winning poets Lola Haskins, Jenny Molberg, Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, and Allison Joseph.
The reading series is free and open to the public. See our Calendar of Events for dates. Books by the poets will be for sale on the premises.
About SWWIM: A reading series held at The Betsy South Beach, SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami) is coordinated by co-directors Catherine Prescott and Jen Karetnick, two female writers and poets based in Miami. They consider SWWIM not an exclusionary series, but rather an inclusionary one. While they like men as their partners, sons, siblings, colleagues and friends, real inequities in just about every industry indicate that women are still not given their due. They’re doing their part to fix that in this milieu. They do hope to see plenty of male and male-identifying faces in the audience, supporting female and female-identifying readers.
About The Betsy-South Beach: The Betsy-South Beach is the only Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond rated boutique hotel in Greater Miami. Located in the heart of the Art Deco District on Ocean Drive, The Betsy’s unique hospitality model champions the power of community through its dedicated PACE (Philanthropy, Arts, Culture, Education) program by weaving those brand pillars into the guest experience. The Betsy’s Writers Room (betsywritersroom.com) welcomes year-round artists, numbering more than 400 since 2012. The hotel plays host to annual festivals in wide ranging arenas, such as a cappella, jazz, and global literature, and was twice a recipient of a prized Arts Challenge Grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Over the past seven years, the hotel has become a catalyst for energized discourse, innovative thinking, and expansive charitable programming.
Currently, the 61-key hotel is in the process of a groundbreaking expansion, led by architect Allan T. Shulman and designers Diamante Perdersoli and Carmelina Santoro, to merge with the historic Carlton Hotel and become a single unified property in fall 2016. Upon completion, the new Betsy will boast 128 guestrooms with 25 suites, three distinct food and beverage outlets under the direction of famed Chef Laurent Tourondel, a 3,000 sq. ft. rooftop pool complex, new boardroom, expanded fitness center and rooftop spa, dedicated library, and 15,000 sq. ft. of new event space to scale their celebrated PACE program. For more information on The Betsy-South Beach, visit www.thebetsyhotel.com. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @TheBetsyHotel, and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheBetsyHotel.
“Sometimes all we can do is bear witness.” (Ilyse Kusnetz)
Remembering the passing of one of our special friends, poet Ilyse Kusnetz, wife of another one of our very special friends, poet Brian Turner – both part of The Betsy Writers Room community. Ilyse was the opening reader in a celebration of her new book, Small Hours, in late 2014, as part of the Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Conference at The Betsy-South Beach. She will be missed. Her poetry and writing lives on.
Ilyse Kusnetz: “Every day in my Facebook feed I see news items and petitions about gross injustices—today it just happened to be a story about animal torture that sparked my outrage, which so quickly spirals to reacting to other sound bytes of horror in my feed and in emails that are sent to me because of petitions I’ve signed—and I want to make a difference, but at the same time I feel helpless, even more so knowing that my struggle with cancer has been taking all my energy. I have to hope that others will take up the battles that need to be fought, but at the same time the search for meaning in my own life has become more urgent. Sometimes all we can do is bear witness.” (website)
Sad farewell to a beautiful soul and a wondrous voice—Ilyse Kusnetz
The work of some poets is so intertwined with their authentic presence in the world that we can only marvel at the way their truth comes at us like a beam of light. Such a writer was Ilyse Kusnetz, who slipped the bonds of time on Tuesday after a three-year ordeal with cancer. Even in her time of illness, Ilyse was a conduit of love, hope, and above all, truth. Everyone who knew Ilyse can attest to her priceless qualities. But if I could create a personal Tarot card deck full of luminary people in my life, I would make Ilyse “The Encourager.”
The last time I saw Ilyse, she was well aware that she probably didn’t have much time left to walk the earth with the rest of us. She was busy thinking about “other things,” including making wonderful pendant necklaces, each with clusters of charms that might speak specifically to one special friend or another. I chose one with a steampunk vibe and the background of a London post mark. It represents, among other things, my vision of Ilyse as a wanderer, her extensive travels with her husband, Brian Turner, both beautiful writers with their eyes open to the world. As we talked through the afternoon that late summer Sunday, I wanted to concentrate on her, how she felt, her fears, her wellbeing. I wanted to be there for HER. She wanted to talk about art, love, beauty, what matters beyond this day or any day. She was transcendent, teaching me like she has taught so many others, more urgently now. And like she always has, she encouraged. Despite her precarious hold on life, she was concerned about my work, how and where it was going. The fact that she believed in me as a writer has meant more to me over the years than I ever got a chance to tell her.
Ilyse brought joy in so many ways—her gentle but on-target humor, her uncompromising appraisal of the world and its doings, her loyal caring as a friend, her sense of delight and youthful fun. In my phone is one of my favorites texts from her as we planned a week in Ireland a few summers ago: “Last one to the pub is a rotten egg!” Her eyes shone with brilliance, but also with love for her life and her husband; I am so grateful to have been witness to one of the great marriages of true minds.
If you have never met or heard of Ilyse Kusnetz, you are fortunate that she left a body of work that can be discovered, savored. Her book Small Hours (Winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize) will speak for her. Along with other unforgettable work you can find online. Join me in honoring her by giving her gorgeous work its due. You can start here.