Laura Foley & Sarah Sousa

Due to a crisis beyond her control, poet Chloe Honum is unable to join us as scheduled. We’re so thankful and delighted that poet Sarah Sousa is available in her stead, and wish Chloe the very best.

Thursday, April 2, 2015, at 7:00 pm, poets Laura Foley and Sarah Sousa will continue the eighth season of the Collected Poets Series. Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)

Laura Foley

Laura Foley

Laura Foley’s chapbook Joy Street (her fifth book) was published by Headmistress Press in 2014. Her previous book The Glass Tree won the Silver Foreword Book of the Year Award, was a Finalist for the New Hampshire Writer’s Project’s Outstanding Book of Poetry, and received Honorable Mention for the Sheila Motton Poetry Book Award. Her poems have appeared in many journals and magazines and won prizes, and she holds graduate degrees in English Literature from Columbia University. She is a volunteer chaplain and creative arts facilitator in hospitals, a certified Shri yoga teacher, and lives in Pomfret, Vermont with her partner and three dogs.

Sarah Sousa

Sarah Sousa

Sarah Sousa’s poems have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Fugue, Passages North, Barn Owl Review, and Salt Hill Journal, among others. She received the 2015 Anne Halley Prize from The Massachusetts Review and her poem ‘Learning my Name’ is affixed to a stone pillar in Edmands Park, Newton, MA as part of the poetry in the park project. She is the author of two poetry collections: Split the Crow (Parlor Press, 2015) and Church of Needles ( Red Mountain Press, 2014). She also edited The Diary of Esther Small, 1886 (Small Batch Books). She holds an MFA from Bennington College and lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.


DRIFT / Laura Foley

I eye-roll Aunt Lizzie, who can’t see me over the phone, tell her I’m dating a woman now, but at ninety she’s adrift in uncharted seas, till I say we may marry—and she crests the wave, her kind old voice soothing: Oh, but Laura, you’re still attractive to men, grasping the rudder with practiced hands.

[From Joy Street, by Laura Foley. “Drift” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.]



There’s not much her in the room: the hand
that pinned the filmy curtains back

as a woman pulls her hair up off her neck,
conch on the table, shells lined up on a sill,

the largest a matchbox boat’s sail,
the smallest a child’s thumb nail.

But what she hasn’t arranged is still attributable
somehow to her: the way he brushes sun

across the open door, thick cream, knife
of sunlight like a letter opener on the table,

her view through feathered glass. The artist paints
a vertical, body’s-width of entryway

like himself eavesdropping at her threshold,
a latent unease like the foundation

coat of beige beneath layers of beige.
When does distance become absence, are they

hues of the same longing? Windows fill with gray
sea, the white sky, tempera-luminous. As he works

the wind picks up, takes the door like a sail
and slams it wide, rattling the light in its transit.

He stands in the center of the cold space,
in the corner, beside the window,

to really see it/without her. Does his hand brush the fraying
curtain hem like a nightgown? Emerson said: without

electricity the air would rot. Wyeth’s diaphanous curtains
and nets are always so agreeable to the wind.

While he painted, his wife Betsy stood
on the opposite side of their island.