Tag Archives: Access

Sawyer Free April 8 | John Ronan reads from his first new book of poetry in 8 years, and shares one here for National Poem in Pocket Day April 27, 2017

John Ronan presents Taking the Train of Singularity South From Midtown on Saturday, April 8, 2:00-3:00pm in the Friend Room. It’s Sponsored by the Gloucester Lyceum and Friends of the Sawyer Free Library.

John Ronan a poet, playwright, journalist and a National Endowment for the
Arts Fellow in Literature has done so much in Gloucester! Here’s a throwback article from 1978 about the Gloucester Broadside, a monthly 10 cent one sheet of quality poetry.


Ronan developed the website resource dedicated to Gloucester poets, Gloucester Poet Laureate, also for Salt and Light: An Anthology of Gloucester Poetry, published spring 2010. He is the host of the Cape Ann TV program, The Writer’s Block.  He was pivotal in establishing the library’s annual Poetry without Paper Contest and poetry columns in the Gloucester Daily Times.

Students are encouraged to submit poems to the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library’s annual Poetry without Paper contest by April 30th!

April 27 2017 | POEM IN POCKET DAY: It’s free and simple to participate. Carry a Poem. Share a Poem. For more information, search for Poem in Your Pocket Day (PIYP Day) Academy of American Poets (www.poets.org) or New York City’s excellent web site, http://www.NYC.gov/poem. PIYP Day started in NYC in 2002 inspired by the Favorite Poem Project established in 1997 (first events April 1998) by Robert Pinsky, former 3x Poet Laureate of the United States. East Gloucester Elementary School initiated Poem in Pocket Day in 2011 (PTO enrichment).

The Ride of My Life

The signs say sixty

miles an hour, sixty

degree angles, eight

bucks for two minutes,

and Don’t Stand Up!

We pay the eight,

climb in the car.

The Big Guy who draws

down the lap bar

tight as a tourniquet,

says:  “Stash the glasses,

the pen in your pocket.

Stuff flies out.”

Cogs catch.  The cars

quake, start awkwardly

forward as my wife waves,

safe on West 10th

and others stroll Surf,

Coney Island tourists

not thinking about The Cyclone,

or the comic fate that leads

in the first place to Astroland,

no way not to be

in a roller coaster seat

at the top of the first drop and…

Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod!

Up plummet of guts

plunging down, fist

full of fear in the heart-

sick final mind:

I am not on a metaphor,

I am going to die.

Followed by a slow coast,

an arc of confident calm,

balm of Brooklyn below and…

Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Ohmygod!

Death drop and keister

clench!  The easy scream!

…and the balm of Brooklyn below.

Ohmygod! horror, and hope…

Ohmygod! horror, and hope…

Slowly, slack in the lickety split.

Speed evens out

and the sine curve dies,

finally flat

in a fan turn to the ramp.

The Big Guy hovers

above the cars, smiling:

“Second ride’s five.”

-John J. Ronan

Cape Ann TV filmed John Ronan reading this poem, The Ride of My Life

I LOVED the Cyclone and I lost my prescription eyeglasses…and a shoe!

harry Shokler Coney island 1943 original color silkscreen.jpg

Harry Shokler 1943 Coney Island original screenprint

John Ronan’s New Book: Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown

Taking the Train of Singularity South From Midtown

The Poetry Society of America recently featured  John Ronan’s wonderful civic poetry creed essay January 2017. Book tour events listed http://www.theronan.org/

POET LAUREATE: In Gloucester, MA, the Poet Laureate is dedicated to building community through poetry and encouraging a love of poetry among people of all ages. The honorary post for the City of Gloucester was created in 1998. There have been 4 Poet Laureates: Vincent Ferrini was the City’s first, then John Ronan served from 2008-10, Ruthanne Collinson served 2010-14, and Peter Todd served 2014-15. The Committee for the Arts helps to select a new Poet Laureate.


Round Up Of Top 2013 Local and National Art Stories: Access

To Our GMG Readers: My apologies for our being behind in posting this series for Catherine Ryan. The following story, “Access,” is actually part three of a terrific three part series that Catherine wrote titled, “Round Up of Local and National Art Stories,” featuring the local and national common threads of advocacy, aplomb, and access.” We’ll start with part three,  Access, and work backward as this is great content relevant to our local artists and art scene.


Round up of top 2013 Local and National Art Stories

Local and national common threads include advocacyaplomb, and access. Oh, and Amazon. December 5, 2013 was a huge art news day. Last up below: access (public).

Part 3 of 3: ACCESS

Open Content: Sometimes my research and work has required obtaining permission for images which can be an issue and expense. In 2010, I began to hear from more and more museum curators a growing rumble that the “barn doors would be thrown wide open”. That particular quote was the most memorable expressed to me, but all were variations on the same issue: public domain and open content. Joining the National Gallery of Art, Yale University, Los Angeles County Museum, and Harvard, in August 2013 the J. Paul Getty Museum announced its complete “commitment to sharing digital resources freely with all….It is now the mark—and social responsibility—of world-class institutions to develop and share free cultural and educational resources.” And with that bumped 4600+ eligible images on line and the bigger story and message went viral. This means optimum, quality digital resolution to linger, study, and copy– no more sour imprints and hassle for many works of art. Congratulations James Cuno—who has MA and Chicago ties. Google Art Project has a part in this shift. We’ll see whether this conversation increases in 2014, and other topics concerning museum goals and values (free admission– without allowing the institutions to decay, policy debates, etc).

National trends: Crowdsource funding remains strong and in the news. Spike Lee used Kickstarter, and here at home Felicia Ciaramitaro published the first gorgeous book of her Sicilian cookbook series. Local Rob Newton Cape Ann Community Cinema successful and oh so deserving Indiegogo campaign raised $54,000. Crowdtilt gained groundHigh Line ripple effect and references are everywhere and we all benefit. Amazon tries its hand at selling original art on line (while 20 x 200 closes). Maker movement/DIYcontinues to grow (Etsy, YouTube, and Pinterest).image002

Better programming and better websites: NEA, MOTT (above), Essex National Heritage…a long list of improved websites. Gloucester has this down, too, whether new events such as Cape Ann Ceramics Festival, curated by Susan Hershey, Jenny Rangan & Seyrel Williams, or mainstays amped up (see Maritime Gloucester Museum: Schooner Festival / lobster bake as one of many examples!) Ah, the floater home page!

Communication: I’m impressed by our local businesses, institutions, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary; all combine to spread news, host, feature, and put up with plastering of flyers and the like to help the creative arts. Plus we are super lucky because local media covers the arts scene. Thank you, thank you WBUR, the Artery, Art New England, Boston Globe, seARTS newsletter, Cape Ann Beacon  and Gloucester Daily Times. Sadly for us but good news for Hamilton – Wenham, editor Jane Enos has left the Cape Ann Beacon for the ChronicleGood luck Jane! Welcome to the new editor, JC Lockwood!image003

When I think arts access, the award-winning blog  Good Morning Gloucester has to be the apex, having redefined shared community information, and yes arts guide. It has reached beyond our geography. One quick art example: Master Drawings from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts will feature a Gloucester snapshot of the house depicted in the Edward Hopper drawing, Double House which I identified and GMG shared.


I have worked with this museum’s print and drawing department, and met Rev. Richard L. Hillstrom, an art collector who gave the Hopper drawing to the museum. Rev. Hillstrom put together a significant collection of religious prints and drawings for the Lutheran Brotherhood; not surprising with his knowledge and eye, with the collaboration of expertise of the print & drawings department (at that time the curators, former Director Richard Armstrong, Dennis Michael Jon, and others), and with the incredible holdings at this national treasure. In 2013, Jon juried the North American Print Biennial which was exhibited at Boston University. The Director of Prints and Drawings, Tom Rassieur has MA and NY ties.

Read more from Catherine, including information on where to apply to the Essex Heritage Grant program:

Read more