Sara London & Maria Williams-Russell

Thursday, January 6, 2011, at 7:00pm, poets Sara London and Maria Williams-Russell will read as part of the fourth season of the Collected Poets Series. Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge Street, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)

Sara London


Sara London is the author of The Tyranny of Milk (Four Way Books, NY). She teaches creative writing and literature at Mount Holyoke College, and has previously taught at Amherst and Smith colleges. Her poems have appeared in such venues as The Iowa Review, Poetry East, The Hudson Review, the Poetry Daily anthology, AGNI Online, and elsewhere. She is also the author of two children’s books (HarperCollins; Scholastic). Born in San Francisco, she grew up in California and in Burlington,Vermont, and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has worked as an editor in New York, as a journalist on Cape Cod, and, since 2002, has been reviewing children’s books for The New York Times Book Review. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Maria Williams-Russell


Maria Williams-Russell‘s poems have appeared in BateauBellevue Literary ReviewSous Rature, and numerous other journals and sidewalks. She is the author of the chapbook A Love Letter to Say There Is No Love (FutureCycle Press 2010) and is the director of the Green Street Poetry series. Maria received her MFA from Goddard College and now teaches writing at Greenfield Community College.


EXPULSION / Sara London

At my fingers’ poor command,
Bach provokes the evening crickets.
Whistling trills

in the piano’s webbed hollows,
their protest tumbles
my spilling triplets,

our strange duet
becoming a seasoned battle
for the historic, rented

house, a duel
of inheritance. Each night
I press down harder

to sharpen the century-old
upright’s tone, but these
unvanquished, mere insects,

they issue notes
crustaceous; their argument
as old as blood,

as sharp as the first tusk.
The evenings pass
and still no truce, still

the stubborn syncopation
of our summer souls,
and at last

I make my move,
sweeping them,
en masse, out the door,

their dark shells popping up
like errant notes
crescendoing in the grass.

Afterwards I sit, tired conqueror
in the tacit heat, then play.
The ivory surrenders

to my sweaty fingers, melody
plunders the dark. But the song
that breaks forth beyond

the door belongs to them,
ancient keepers of rhythm,
their voices strident

even in exile, as  they rally
in honor of a new beginning,
their anthem

this Prelude
I’ve somehow, impossibly,
turned them on to.

(“Expulsion” from The Tyranny of Milk by Sara London ©2010. Reprinted by permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.)



I dream about fog, the black
…..arrows of geese overhead.

I crawl outside my bones in sleep
… love another and another and another.

The moon weaves blue wool
…..between our lungs. We are strung.

And when I wake, the sun beats
… a farmer on his oxen.

(“A Love Letter to Say There Is No Love,” from A Love Letter To Say There Is No Love by Maria Williams-Russell ©2010. Used by permission of FutureCycle Press. All rights reserved.)