Alice Walker explains why #ArtsMatter

#ArtsMatter and Paris Press encourage all of you to vote on Election Day. ArtsMatter asks everyone to reach out to candidates running for office. Encourage them to support funding for the arts. Here is Alice Walker in a 4-minute video, showing why arts, especially poetry, are  vital in our communities and must be supported by our local, state, and national elected officials.  Click on the link below!

Thank you, Galway Kinnell (1927 –2014)

Paris Press is deeply grateful to Galway Kinnell — to his generosity, his poems, his teaching, his deeply meaningful life that changed so many of us. We mourn his death and in his unbearable absence we will do our best to celebrate his life. We send our deepest condolences to his family and to all who loved and admired him. It was an honor to host Galway and to have the opportunity to thank him for changing director Jan Freeman's life when he came to Ashfield last summer to read his poems in support of Paris Press. Galway was among the poets who praised the out of print Life of Poetry at an event at Poets House in 1986. This event led to the founding of Paris Press nine years later, to bring that extraordinary book by Muriel Rukeyser back into print. Galway Kinnell changed the course of Jan Freeman's life as a poet, and also as a publisher. He changed many lives through his poetry, his generosity, warmth, and humor, his teaching, and his wisdom. Rest in peace, Galway.


Galway Kinnell in Ashfield, MA, following his extraordinary poetry reading. Photo (c) Chelynn Tetrault Photography

Galway Kinnell in Ashfield, MA, following his extraordinary poetry reading. Photo (c) Chelynn Tetrault Photography

Portrait of Muriel Rukeyser by photographer Lida Moser

A heart-stop moment in early September. The New York Times published the obituary of photographer Lida Moser. In 1996, Director Jan Freeman had the first Northampton, MA, reading for the new edition of The Life of Poetry by Muriel Rukeyser. After the event in Neilson Library at Smith College, a woman in her seventies came up to Jan and said she'd known Muriel in NYC and had a photo of her that she wanted to show her. The woman, photographer Lida Moser, was moving away that week, and asked Jan to visit the next day....

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Galway Kinnell reading with his grandchildren in Ashfield, MA

A year ago, Paris Press was privileged to host Galway Kinnell reading his poems at Saint John's Church in Ashfield, our hometown. It was an extraordinary afternoon of poetry. During the reading, Galway recited poems from the past and offered new work. He also treated the audience to a recitation of Yeats, while his grandchildren recited Keats and Shelley. It was a heart-filled event. After the poetry reading, Galway signed books at the Curtis House next door, where Gloria Pacosa served a summer feast -- all in support of Paris Press. Many thanks to Galway Kinnell and his family, to St. John's Church, and to Dave Gold for recording this magical event. Nearly thirteen months later, listening to this recording makes it clear that Galway's reading was a highlight of the year.