My Word!

Prose and Poetry

February 16th 7:30 PM

Published Writers + Open Mic*

Jotham Burrello

Maria Sangiolo

Nick Beams

Michelle Cole

Joe Miragliuolo

Emcee: Christine Kalafus

Suggested Donation of $10 to Benefit TEEG

*Sign-up sheet first come, first served

Pushcart Nominee

i’m honored that my poem Horses is a pushcart prize nominee and featured in the fall 2018 TNG Volume VII.

My prose poem “Horses,” featured in the issue, was selected the 2017 winner of their Knightville Poetry contest and now available for purchase HERE. I am in very talented company: the Machigonne Fiction Contest winner is Maureen Connolly with Featured Authors, Grace Carpenter and Eamon Murphy. Judges were Mark Doty (poetry) and Chris Abani (fiction). The letters section theme is “Letters to Aliens.” Contributors include Claudia Manley, Jessica Lipnack, Lyndsie Manusos, Naomi Ulsted and more.

The cover artist is Abraham Danso.

congratulations all!

Connecticut’s Emerging Writers

Reading at KGB Bar’s red room

WHOA. And after the readings, there’s something called Mistress Velvetina’s Variety HOUR.

I’ll probably be over-dressed for that.

Ekphrasis: April 2nd 7 PM


Ekphrasis: from the Greek: a description of a work of art produced as a rhetorical exercise.

I would love to say, “Sure, ekphrasis. I use that word all the time.” Except that I don’t. I have a master’s degree in creative writing and I’d never heard or read the word before.

Which is a little sad considering I have been known to fall asleep with the Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms over my eyes.

So it was with relief when I looked up the definition (after I’d already said yes to the reading event) and discovered I had ekphrasis-ed before. I just didn’t know it. When I was a young art major undergrad writing compare and contrast critical papers on pieces of artwork, I’d been ekphraisis-ing all over the place!

And now (too many years later to count), thanks to the wonderful invitation from Jotham Burrello, captain of the publishing ship Elephant Rock Books , director of the Yale Writing Workshop, and host of the ROAR Reading Series, I get to ekphrasis my little heart out. In public! And to a work by Edward Hopper! (I have a personal and very one-sided relationship with Hopper’s Rooms By the Sea.) Spoiler: I didn’t pick that painting.

April just can’t come soon enough. 

If you’re looking for me before then, I’ll be in the corner with the literary dictionary.


Spoken Word at The Complex!

 One of my favorite things to do is celebrate writers

and bring them to the attention of the Quiet Corner public. I mean, I really LOVE it.

Last year, Nichola Johnson, the one-woman whirlwind at the helm of The Complex for Performing Arts in Putnam, asked if I’d be interested in emceeing Spoken Word events, something she’d been wanting to do for years. Who needed to the think about it?! Not me. I was all in.

We held two events in 2017, each featured five writers, including poets, writers of fiction and non-fiction, playwrights, and songwriters. The best and most unexpected benefit of these events was bringing multiple generations together. This happened organically after the scheduled performers, when we opened the stage to the audience for open mic. There’s something especially resonant when a 60 year-old speaks about an enduring love followed by a 16 year old speak about having his heart broken.

The applause for each performer was consistent and warm, and totally addictive. What began as accident is now intentional: a celebration of diversity.

I’m over the moon to present five local writers next Thursday, March 1st 7 PM at the first Spoken Word of 2018.


Tim Peck is a noted composer and performer hailing from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. He has held residencies at Le Moulin à Nef in Auvillar, France, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Willapa Bay Air. Tim has produced two albums of original music: Rivulets and Ms. Matched. Currently, Tim is Artist-in-Residence and Director of Contemporary Music at Pomfret School, where he guides students through a centuries-old musical conversation, teaching courses in contemporary music, composition, and improvisation. Tim keeps an active performance calendar, and his upcoming shows can be found at his website



Erin Reid is a student of Fine Arts and English at Framingham State University and Theatre Performance at the Hanover Theater Conservatory. She writes poetry and memoir where she lives in Oxford, MA while doting on her fluffy, black kitten Coco.



John Etheridge is an engineer and Digital Systems Enterprise Architect, a surprisingly ‘techie’ background for someone who also writes poetry. That tension between the sciences and the arts explains much about him. Born a Canadian, but now also an American, John is married to the long-suffering, but infinitely patient and wonderful Lyn, and has lived in New England for the past 20 years. Who knows, he may even retire here, if something can be done about these winters…



Parker Kalafus is a junior at the Woodstock Academy where he is also a tutor at the writing center. Parker enjoys writing outlandish short stories which range from comical to extremely morbid and has submitted one such works to the Connecticut Student Writers magazine at UConn. Parker also acts from time to time and has been in two school plays at Woodstock schools. When not consumed by homework, video games, writing or sketching, Parker will be found reading a wide variety of novels ranging from classics such as “Frankenstein,” “The Three Musketeers,” the entire James Bond series, and most recently “The Silence of the Lambs.” He hopes to attend Roger Williams University with a double major in architecture and psychology.



Bridget Tsemo is a speaker, a thinker, and writer who loves participating in the lives of her two extraordinary teenagers, Kayta and Mambi. She is the co-host of “The Lighthouse” a radio show on arts and culture on WBVC 91.1 FM every Tuesday night from 7 to 8 PM. Bridget has a completed manuscript on nineteenth-century African-American writers that she can’t wait to share with the world as soon as she can get a publisher to knock down her door and demand to publish it. In the past two years, Bridget has been writing poetry and essays about her life as a mother, teacher, parent, and student in the 21st century. Bridget is an English teacher and English Department Chair at Pomfret School.

join us! Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Winner of the Knightville Poetry Contest

“Horses” wins the knightville poetry contest.

The contest judge was New York Times best-selling memoirist and National Book Award-winning poet, Mark Doty.

About Christine’s experimental prose poem, Mark Doty writes:

 “The poem is artfully understated; the speaker lays out a series of moments and invites the reader to draw connections between them. The form the poet has chosen feels just right, since this poem eschews the dramatic spotlight of the line, with its power to emphasize, in favor of the quieter, steady movement of prose. “Horses” is quietly devastating in its portrayal of an isolated speaker whose memories only serve to make her body seem more vulnerable and less reliable. But is there something comforting in the steady work of horses wearing a track into the grass? The speaker tells us she is not “horsey”, but the horses here serve as emblems of physicality, of the body as something both dangerous and durable. This multivalent quality makes the figure of the horse seem especially alive, and points movingly toward a speaker uncertain of the fate of her own body, a speaker subtly portrayed as desolate but not without hope.”

The New Guard  will publish “Horses” in its summer/fall 2018 issue.

The New Guard 

is a contest-centered, independent literary review, publishing 35+ emerging writers each year:

“We proudly publish in print, with the exception of our online feature, BANG!, a page on this site that publishes three short works by a single writer for a full month at a time. The New Guard is here to showcase newcomers alongside established writers, and to juxtapose tradition with experiment to create a new dialogue.”


Mark Doty:

is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently Deep Lane

(W.W. Norton, 2015), a book of descents: into the earth beneath the garden, into the dark substrata of a life. But these poems seek repair, finally, through the possibilities that sustain the speaker above ground: art and ardor, animals and gardens, the pleasure of seeing, the world tuned by the word. Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems was published in 2008 and won the National Book Award for that year—in their citation, the National Book Award judges wrote, “Elegant, plain-spoken, and unflinching, Mark Doty’s poems in Fire to Fire gently invite us to share their ferocious compassion. With their praise for the world and their fierce accusation, their defiance and applause, they combine grief and glory in a music of crazy excelsis.” Doty is the first American poet to have won Great Britain’s T. S. Eliot Prize, for My Alexandria (1993), which also received both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other collections of poetry include: Turtle, Swan (1987); Atlantis (1995); Sweet Machine (1998); Source (2001); and the critically acclaimed volume, School of the Arts (HarperCollins, 2005).

Knightville Poetry Contest Finalist

christine’s experimental poem, “Horses,” selected as a finalist in the 2017 knightville poetry contest

The contest judge is New York Times best-selling memoirist and National Book Award-winning poet, Mark Doty.

While the Winners, including Finalists and Semi-Finalists won’t be announced until the end of October, Christine is honored that her poem will appear in The New Guard Volume VII, in 2018.



Spoken Word at The Complex

Storytelling. poetry. Fiction. Non-fiction. wine(!) don’t miss it.

I am delighted to be appearing locally at The Complex for Performing Arts in Putnam, Connecticut on July 13th.

I am even more delighted that three of my writing workshop students: Barbara Schneider, Joe Miragliuolo, and Claudia McGhee will also be appearing.

Join us for an entertaining evening of storytelling, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Oh, and there’s wine, AND a chance for you to get on stage.

Tickets are $5 and available in advance HERE.

Reading at The Bowery Poetry

looking foward to appearing IN NYC at the bowery poetry on june 11th!