Tag Archives: Henry Ferrini

6th grade Gloucester Day at O’Maley and community service

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I had a great time at O’Maley this week, presenting to 6th graders for “Gloucester Day”. For the past couple of years, I’ve spoken with classes about the HarborWalk because they study it at some point during the academic year. 6th graders are great and all (they were fantastic), but these O’Maley teachers make it seem effortless. Me? I bought cookies from Cafe Sicilia and Virgilios to hand out!  This year I ran into Tom Balf for Maritime Gloucester on the way in,  heard the teachers delight in seeing their former student, David Brooks for the Hive, back as a mentor, coach and leader. I caught some of Rick Doucette’s presentation because I heard the exclamations over YMCA summer camp and the 24 sleepless hours in a rocking chair fundraiser. Allison Cousins was heading into a class with Little Charlie Goes To Gloucester, a children’s picture book about poet Charles Olson by filmmaker Henri Ferrini and illustrated by Stefan Mallette. (It was also mentioned as it’s one of the links on the Olson marker for the HarborWalk and you can see it with other Cape Ann Reads published books.) This year, Gloucester day fell on National Teacher Appreciation Day. Every day could be National Teacher Appreciation Day.  Here’s the report from 6th grade social studies teacher, Jessica Haskell and her O’Maley colleagues:

On Tuesday, May 3rd, 6th grade students at O’Maley Innovation Middle School participated in “Gloucester Day” as part of an introduction to their end-of-the-year service projects.  Citizens who are active members of the Gloucester community volunteered their time and expertise to come in and teach students about organizations that work to make our community a better place.  Students were also introduced to ways in which they can personally get involved in these efforts through exploring and discovering their hometown, volunteering, participating in summer camps, and coming up with their own ideas.  Community mentors who attended were Catherine Ryan (HarborWalk), Rick Doucette (YMCA, Awesome Gloucester), Meghan Stratton (Backyard Growers), David Brooks (The HIVE), Tom Balf (Maritime Gloucester), Beth Klinefelter (The Open Door), and Allison Cousins (O’Maley Guidance).

Thanks for sending these photos and looking forward to hearing about the students’ projects!

Get better soon, Mr. Davis.



Out in the street around the bend


Have you seen the custom sign designed for the Gloucester Writers Center on East Main Street? I sent a picture of the drive by view to Henry Ferrini. He sent back “an interior shot of the sign with an effigy of Vincent working at his typewriter”  looking out their new-ish (2014) window thanks to another helpful grant of the Community Preservation Act.


The sign was made by Cheryl’s Signs in Gloucester and installed last fall. Ferrini added: “William Taylor who is on the board of the Gloucester Writers Center should get all the kudos. He came up with the idea and executed it.” Look out the window and listen:  Henry plays a part in the captivating restoration of classical radio WCVA-FM www.wcva.com. Turn it on.

This week: poets Jay Featherstone reading with Carol Seitchik at the Gloucester Writers’ Center, Wed April 6, 7:30 pm.


New Video: Henry Ferrini’s Windows Out of Gloucester

Lisa Smith writes,

Hi Kim,

I have something I hope you will post on GMG; it is a beautiful video.

Here is a video Henry Ferrini made during the great blizzard of 2015. It is called “Windows Out of Gloucester”. He captures the beauty of the snowstorm from his windows set high above Gloucester Harbor and uses Tchaikovky’s “Waltz of the Snowflakes” for the soundtrack. Note the red snowflakes-how did he do that?

President of Beauty ~ Film-in-Progress by Henry Ferrini

In 2014 Lester Young will have been gone 55 years, yet this swinging star shines brightly in the film-in-progress. In the film, Sonny Rollins calls Lester “god”, and a god he was for many players who paid their dues at mid-Century. The four-minute trailer includes interviews with Sonny Rollins, Harry Belafonte, Wayne Shorter, B.B. King, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, George Wein, David Amram, Amiri Baraka, Junior Mance, and Gunther Schuller. Collecting these interviews has been an ongoing process for about two years. Here are some pictures from the two-year journey that resulted in this trailer.

As a longtime documentary veteran, my approach uses contemporary places combined with archival film, interviews and music to evoke our shared history. In President of Beauty: The Life and Times of Lester Young, the music and America’s troubled social history combine to evoke a sense of this much-misunderstood American genius.

Read more about this exciting new film-in-progress from Henri Ferrini here.


Rocky Neck Legacy

This was one of my favorite films from the Red Shed Film Festival. I think after viewing, you’ll see why. Hit the V icon in the lower right hand corner to view larger.

A film by Henry Ferrini, Gloucester Mass., linking the artists of Rocky Neck Art Colony, past and present.

Willie Alexander Film & Performance In Gloucester This Thursday

Rob Newton submits ~


Ferrini film and concert celebrate Gloucester’s own Willie Alexander

Willie Alexander

On Thursday, May 24th at 7:30pm, The Cape Ann Community Cinema at 21 Main Street in Gloucester will present Hello Gloucester followed by a live set by Willie Alexander and the Persistence Of Memory Orchestra. Tickets are $15.00 ($13.50 for Cinema Members), and are available either at the box office or online at www.CapeAnnCinema.com.

January 12,  2013 was a memorable day in  rock-and-roll. On that day, Governor Deval Patrick issued a citation that acknowledged Bay State rocker Willie Loco Alexander on the punk vanguard’s 70th birthday. His significant other, Anne Rearick, had planned a “surprise party du la monde” at Jimmy Tingle’s old theater in Somerville and dozens of musicians showed up to honor Willie and play tunes he has written over the past 5 decades.

Bands at the January celebration included Rockport’s A-Train Orchestra, Moose Savage, Breadman, Jon Hardy and the Bags, Birdsongs of the Mezozoic, Reddy Teddy, Barrence Whitfield, the Nervous Eaters, Rupert Webster (all the way from London), Kenne Highland, Dave Sag, Jon Macy, Asa Brebner, John Powhida, Frank Rowe, Dennis Brennan, Peter Wolf, Mission of Burma, Andrea Gillis, Persistence of Memory, Roger Miller, John Macey and Gloucester’s own The Boyfriends. All were  there to honor a guy who has spent his life pushing the rock and letting it roll down on the hearts of Boston music lovers.

The film is produced by the Gloucester Writers Center video archive and directed by Gloucester filmmaker Henry Ferrini. The Gloucester Writers Center was founded to celebrate, preserve and promote the future of Gloucester’s rich literary legacy. Housed in the former home of poet Vincent Ferrini (1913-2007), the GWC is dedicated to fostering the tradition of local poetic investigation practiced by Ferrini and his friend and renowned Gloucester poet, Charles Olson (1910-1970).

Through a variety of community-based programming, including literary readings, workshops, youth programs, topical writers’ talks and conferences, and a residency program, the GWC will serve as a gathering place and resource center for local and international writers in all genres, fields and realms of interest.

The Cape Ann Community Cinema’s full schedule can be found online at www.CapeAnnCinema.com, with the week’s offerings available by phone at (978) 282-1988.

We’re Loco for Willie over the next 2 weeks with 50 Years of Rock n Roll History

Willie "Loco" Alexander at his 70th Birthday Bash

Photo by: Anne Rearick.

You may know that award-winning local filmmaker Henry Ferrini shot Willie “Loco” Alexander’s 70th birthday bash at Somerville’s Davis Square Theater back in January.  Well now he’s edited all that footage down to a one-hour show that will air on Cape Ann TV next week on Tuesday, March 26 at 9pm and Friday, March 30 at 9pm.  And, at Henry’s request, after his special, Cape Ann TV will air the Local Music Seen with Allen Estes show with Willie as guest.  Needless to say Allen, Vickie and I we are honored at Vincent’s request.  To get you psyched for the next week’s special Ferrini cablecast, we’re airing Willie’s Local Music Seen show this week Wednesday at 6:30pm, Friday at 1:30pm and Sunday at 6pm.

Willie "Loco" Alexander at his 70th Birthday Bash

photo Paul Cary Goldberg

Check out Henry’s official press release, below, with details on all the famous people who attended from Governor Patrick to Peter Wolf to locals Dave Sag, the Razdan’s and John Hardy (of Alexandra’s bread).

50 Years of Rock and Roll History
On January 12, 2013 at the Davis Square Theater in Somerville,  Gloucester resident, Willie “Loco” Alexander celebrated his 70th birthday.  Unbeknownst to the “god-father of punk,”  his wife Ann Rearick had put together a small army of musicians to help Willie celebrate his special day.  The theater was filled with 17 to 70 year old rockers from Cape Ann to London all pumped  to get on stage and perform from Willie’s prolific song book.  Writers Ted Widmer,  Amanda Cook and Jim Dunn provided some personal history of the School Street resident. Even Governor Patrick  chimed in with a birthday greeting.
Bands and players included:  Dave Saginario, Roger Miller, The Boom Boom Band, The Bags (with Jon Hardy on Bass and vocals), Birdsongs of the Mesozoic with Boby Bear, Peter Wolf, Roger Miller, Andrea Gillis, the Nervous Eaters, Mike Tucker, Mission of Burma, Barrence Whitfield, Persistence of Memory Orchestra,  w/ Ken Field and Marc Chenevert,  Manzie, Dennis Brennen, Randy Black, Ed “Moose” Savage,  Frank Rowe,  John Roy, and Jon Macie,  Reddy Teddy, The Darlings,  The A-Train Orchestra with Alek and Rikki Razdan,  David “Doc” Vincent , Dan Whalen and Ken Demaine, John Powhida and David Minahan & the neighborhoods.
The extravaganza was produced, shot and edited  by Henry Ferrini as a part of the Gloucester Writers Center video archive. Ferrini  said,  “This is the kind of event that usually happens when you’re dead, Willie deserves it while he’s still kicking.  Didn’t I hear he was going to be Gloucester’s next poet Laureate.”
The hour long show will be cablecast on Cape Ann TV.

Video- Middle Street from Henry Ferrini

There is a "Middle Street" in the middle of most cities and towns in America. This Middle Street is in America’s oldest fishing port, Gloucester, Massachusetts. It’s crowded with churches, municipal buildings and funeral parlors. The street is a conduit into the life of the city. Traveling over wharves, through religious festivals and into the movies transmuting a personal story into a Gloucester story. Middle Street is a chowder of sounds, gestures, syllables, looks and fleeting moments, a nature walk through Gloucester, Massachusetts with Willie Alexander and Henry Ferrini.
Winner: Somerville Film Festival-Best of Festival, 1995.

Celebrate Jack Kerouac’s 90th birthday

Come celebrate Jack Kerouac’s 90th birthday
with a screening of
Henry Ferrini’s film on Kerouac, “Lowell Blues”
introduced by Peter Anastas
with a reminisence of when Kerouac visited Olson deep in the 1960s.
Monday, March 12, 7:30 p.m.
126 East Main Street
(please park across the street)
For more info call Annie Thomas, 978-283-7738

Will Allen, Sponsored by Gloucester Writer’s Center

Will Allen gave a fascinating talk to a packed house last night. Mr. Allen is an organic farming visionary. He understands the complexities of farming and the impact of deadly chemicals. He draws from a combination of well-researched scientific knowledge and a rich understanding of organic farming practices.

Although dismayed by the breadth of, and decades over which, the chemical industries have negatively impacted every aspect of our nation’s farming practices, I was encouraged by Mr. Allen’s talk for several reasons. According to Mr. Allen, a worm-less (worms are the bellwethers of good soil) non-organic farm can typically be returned to a healthy and productive state approximately within three years, primarily by adding organic matter to the soil. By choosing to buy organic (as much as one can afford), every one of us can make a difference with our individual and collective purchasing power. I am looking forward to reading and writing a review of Will Allen’s The War on Bugs and am planning a trip this spring to the organic farm and educational center Mr. Allen co-manages, Cedar Circle Farm.

Annie Thomas, co-founder Gloucester Writer’s Center

Henry Ferrini, second from left, co-founder and president Gloucester Writer’s Center

Helen Garland, Wendy McGrath, Ann Molloy ~ Ann is one of the owner’s of Neptune’s Harvest organic fertilizers

Helen Garland, Ann Molly, Mac Bell

Click last image to see slideshow with more photos

The War on Bugs (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008) From the publishers’s webpage: Will Allen’s The War on Bugs reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large scale farmers, government agencies, and even Dr. Seuss, colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise.  Read more

“The Gold” By Willie Alexander Video From Henry Ferrini

Video From Henry Ferrini

Here’s the event that closed out the incredibly successful and stimulating  Olson100 Celebration. Hundreds of people came to Gloucester to celebrate Olson’s birthday. Willie Loco Alexander, Alek and Rik Razdan and Dave “doc” Vincent  perform Willie’s “the gold” a poem by Charles Olson’s good friend Gloucester Poet Laureate  Vincent Ferrini (1913-2007). The tune is from Willie’s award-winning CD, “Vincent Ferrini’s Greatest Hits.”  If people like what they hear, they can get Willie’s work at Gloucester Music or Mystery Train.

Vincent Ferrini and Charles Olson Named Honorary Poet Laureates Video From Henry Ferrini

Vincent Ferrini and Charles Olson designated Honorary poet laureates of the City of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Councilor Paul McGeary presents proclamation to Henry Ferrini and Charlie Olson.

Thanks to Henry Ferrini for providing this video

From Henry Ferrini- PBS to air Polis is This



POLIS IS THIS – Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place (‘2007, 57m) The film traces Charles Olson’s process of self-discovery and makes it clear why Kerouac, Ginsberg and others traveled to the oldest fishing town in America to meet the father of literary post modernism.

A second-generation modernist and former political advisor to the administration of President F.D. Roosevelt, Olson forsook politics and turned to full-time writing in the final twenty-five years of his life.  An outsized man of passionately held beliefs, expansive theories and ambitious projects, Olson was rector of the groundbreaking experimental art school Black Mountain College, Asheville, N.C.  Today he is best known for his brilliant literary essays, letters and his massive epic The Maximus Poems. Devoting his life to preserving Gloucester, Massachusetts from suburban overdevelopment, Olson created a template for the artist as social and political activist.  He was  a huge influence on the Beat scribes of the 1950s and is credited with coining the term “postmodern.”

In Olson’s world the universal is the local without walls. Filmmakers Henry Ferrini and Ken Riaf surpass the challenges of containing this giant and his ideas in cinematic form while expanding our awareness of the role of the poet in his community. A generous amount of Olson footage, striding his 6’8” corpus about his beautifully photographed polis or engaging in the teacher’s art, we also meet the polis of this film: the artists – Amiri Baraka, Robert Creeley, Diane di Prima, Vincent Ferrini, Michael Rumaker, Pete Seeger, Ed Sanders, John Sinclair, Anne Waldman, Jonathan Williams, – and the locals who knew him. Hosted, after an Olsonesque fashion, by John Malkovich.

In this time of great change, Polis speaks of the will to change.  Olson understood that the local was a deep source for understanding ourselves and solving contemporary problems Gloucester, Massachusetts as his lens. He wanted others to dig into their own place and encouraged us to think and act locally.  Just imagine what shape we would be in if all our local banks didn’t sell their mortgages to the big boys? We all have something to learn from this overlooked poet.

National Poetry Month Presentation

Monday, March 30, 9pm New Jersey Network –2

Tuesday, April 1 8pm New Jersey Network –2

Tuesday, April 1 8pm WHUT, Washington, D.C

Sunday, April 5 7pm WGBH, Boston, MA

Friday, April 24 2:30am WNET, NYC

Friday, April 24 1pm WHYY, Philadelphia

contact: Henry Ferrini www.polisIsthis.com

978-281-2355 henry.ferrini@verizon.net

Complete Screening Dates & Times http://polisisthis.com/screenings.html