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Spring Street Reading Series: Press Fair

Join us for the second of a monthly reading series to take place in the Gallery at Atlas

Press Fair and Cocktail Party 5-7PM

Readings at 7PM

Atlas Studios and its Spring Street Reading Series present an evening with four unique Hudson Valley Presses. Editors and Publishers from Conjunctions, Off the Grid Press, Slapering Hol Press, and Thornwillow Press will describe their projects and introduce a representative poet. There will be readings from books published by the presses. Readers are: Martine Bellen, Rebecca Doverspike, Elizabeth Murphy, and Colonel David Harper. Conversations among the participants and with the audience will follow.

Committed to supporting the exciting arts scene in Newburgh, Atlas Studios is happy to to provide a venue for a growing literary arts culture in the Hudson Valley. This spring Atlas presents a new series of literary events. Spring Street Reading Series gathers together distinguished writers from the Hudson Valley and counterparts from outside the region. Each evening during this first season is organized around a specific topic. The Readings are intended to provoke meaningful conversation among writers that then open out to include the audiences.

Curated by Ruth Danon

Slapering Hol Press

Named from the Old Dutch for Sleepy Hollow, Slapering Hol Press (SHP) was founded in 1989 by Margo Taft Stever to advance the national and international conversation of poetry and poetics, principally by publishing and supporting the work of emerging poets. Peggy Ellsberg, Jennifer Franklin, and Margo Taft Stever are the current SHP co-editors. In 1990, Slapering Hol Press launched its first publication, the anthology, Voices from the River. With its simple and elegant design, this anthology, which featured established poet sand soon-to-become luminaries such as Hayden Carruth, Jean Valentine, Dana Gioia, Stephen Dunn, and Billy Collins, set a high aesthetic and literary standard. Since 1991, SHP has conducted an annual anonymously judged national competition for the publication of a chapbook by a poet who has not previously published a poetry collection. For nearly three decades, SHP has published close to forty finely crafted poetry anthologies and chapbooks by promising new poets whose work has not yet appeared in book form and has fostered collaborations between new and established authors. Through publications, readings, and workshops, Slapering Hol Press, the small press imprint of the Hudson Valley Writers Center, has featured poets whose diverse themes of survival and hope cross cultures. On a strong foundation of aesthetic quality, Slapering Hol Press has sustained an enduring tradition of discovering new and significant voices in contemporary poetry. In 2008, SHP launched the Conversation series, which includes publishing a chapbook of poems by two women poets, one established and one emerging, chosen by the former, with an interview at the end. The featured poets include: Elizabeth Alexander and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon; Denise Duhamel and Amy Lemmon, Molly Peacock and Amy M. Clark, Kim Addonizio and Brittany Perham, Kimiko Hahn and Tamiko Beyer, and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon and Leela Chantrelle.

Peggy R. Ellsberg (editor) is a poet and a professor of English at Barnard College in Manhattan. Her poetry and reviews have been published widely in literary journals and magazines such as The Paris Review, Commonweal, Atlantic Monthly, and Salmagundi. Her book, Created To Praise: The Language of Gerard Manley Hopkins, was published by Oxford University Press in 1987. Her new text on Hopkins was published in 2017. Her chapbook, Riding Out, was published by Kattywompus Press in October 2017.

Rebecca Doverspike (author) is currently finishing an Mdiv at Harvard Divinity School focused on Buddhism and interfaith hospital chaplaincy. She grew up in the Wisconsin, wherein began a lifelong love for trees, books, deep conversations, long walks, and bike rides. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from West Virginia University.  Her chapbook, Every Present Thing a Ghost, was published in March 2019 by Slapering Hol Press. Previous work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ruminate, Leveler, Souvenir Lit Journal, Midwest Review, Valley Voices, and Periphery among others. While studying in Boston she has also loved hiking in the White Mountains, practicing at Greater Boston Zen Center, and walking her dog on old streets where roots crack through the brick. Upon graduation she will continue chaplaincy training in a residency program at Massachusetts General Hospital.


Conjunctions serves those who read dangerously and write fearlessly, publishing groundbreaking fiction, poetry, and narrative nonfiction by contemporary masters and astonishing new voices whose work marries visionary imagination with rigorous execution. Founded in 1981 by poet Kenneth Rexroth and novelist Bradford Morrow, who remains the editor today, Conjunctions is published biannually by Bard College, and also publishes a free weekly online magazine. Over the years, Conjunctions has remained committed to challenging accepted literary forms and styles, and it is dedicated to launching and supporting the careers of unknown authors—William T. Vollmann, David Foster Wallace, and Karen Russell all had some of their first publications in Conjunctions—while providing a space for better-known voices, like Joyce Carol Oates or Rick Moody, to work outside audience expectations. Recently, Conjunctions was named a finalist for both the 2018 and 2019 ASME Award for Fiction, as well as the 2018 CLMP Firecracker Award for General Excellence. Contributions to recent issues have been selected for The Pushcart Prize XLII: Best of the Small Presses and The Best American Essays 2019, and work from our pages has appeared in anthologies such as Harper’s, Best American Short Stories, Best American Experimental Writing, and Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. A nonprofit institution, Conjunctions receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and individual donors.

Nicole Nyhan (editor) is the managing editor of Conjunctions. A graduate of Bard College and the New School for Social Research, she has served on the editorial staffs of Grove Atlantic, Atavist Books, and Other Press.

Martine Bellen (author) is the author of nine collections of poetry, including GHOSTS! (Spuyten Duyvil); The Vulnerability of Order (Copper Canyon Press); Tales of Murasaki and Other Poems (Sun & Moon Press), which won the National Poetry Series Award, and, most recently, This Amazing Cage of Light: New and Selected Poems (Spuyten Duyvil Press). She wrote the libretto for Ovidiana, performed in New York City and Philadelphia, collaborated with David Rosenboom on AH! Opera No-Opera, which premiered at REDCAT in L.A., and co-wrote, Moon in the Mirror, which premiered in Flushing Town Hall in Queens, NY. Bellen has been a recipient of the Queens Art Fund, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fund for Poetry, and the American Academy of Poets Award and has received residency from the Rockefeller Foundation at the Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy Bellen is a contributing editor of the literary journal Conjunctions.


Grid Books

Grid Books is a publisher of poetry and other editions foregrounding creative work that springs from the margins. Grid Books was founded in the fall of 2003 as Off the Grid Press with the mission to provide a forum for older poets who are sometimes overlooked by the current marketplace. Today, the press represents writers of all ages and backgrounds and seeks variety of perspectives expressed in creative and collaborative formats, including poetry, scholarly editions, and projects encompassing oral history. In honor of its founding mission, the press administers the annual Off the Grid Prize for older poets, which awards $1000 and publication. 

Elizabeth Murphy (editor) is a poet and editor and cofounder of the online interdisciplinary journal The Straddler. Her edition of literary correspondence of American poet Donald Justice and novelist Richard Stern, A Critical Friendship, was published in 2013 by University of Nebraska Press. A collection of her poems, in the form of an exchange with the late poet Taylor Stoehr, was published in 2018 by Pressed Wafer. Her poems and essays have appeared in Salamander, Hopkins Review, and The Straddler. Elizabeth Murphy is a poet and editor and cofounder of the online interdisciplinary journal The Straddler. Her edition of literary correspondence of American poet Donald Justice and novelist Richard Stern, A Critical Friendship, was published in 2013 by University of Nebraska Press. A collection of her poems, in the form of an exchange with the late poet Taylor Stoehr, was published in 2018 by Pressed Wafer. Her poems and essays have appeared in Salamander, Hopkins Review, and The Straddler.


In 1985 Thornwillow was founded by Luke Ives Pontifell who spent his summer vacations from Harvard College printing and binding books. What started as a labor of love, has grown into one of the world’s leading fine presses in the world. Consolidating the related arts and crafts of the written word in a campus of historic buildings in Newburgh, NY, Thornwillow is committed to making important books that are beautifully designed and meticulously crafted. In this age of disposable and intangible communications, Thornwillow believes that now more than ever, real books matter. For more than 30 years, Thornwillow has been committed to enhancing the relationship between the reader and the written word. Thornwillow’s paper, printing, binding and books are a powerful means of communicating and preserving ideas in the modern world. Five years ago, Thornwillow established the Thornwillow Institute to teach and perpetuate the related arts and crafts of the written word and to develop the Thornwillow Makers Village. The Makers Village embraces crafts of all kinds with the goal of supporting the revitalization of the community. 

Luke Ives Pontifell was born in New York City and raised in New York and Western Massachusetts. He attended Berkshire Country Day School, the Collegiate School and Harvard College from which he received an AB in History and Literature (cum laude) in 1990. Mr. Pontifell founded Thornwillow Press in 1985 when he was 16 and has designed, printed and published handmade limited edition books ever since. Over the last 33 years, he has worked with numerous authors including John Updike, Louis Auchincloss, David Mamet, Henry Louis Gates, Walter Cronkite, Arthur Schlesinger, James Merrill, Helmut Kohl, and Barack Obama among many others, and has established operations related to different aspects of fine printing, papermaking, and binding in New York, Massachusetts, Florida, England and the Czech Republic. In 2004 he set up workshops in a complex of 19th Century factory buildings he purchased in Newburgh, New York to consolidate these operations. There his team of artisans is dedicated to practicing and perpetuating the crafts of traditional hand engraving and letterpress printing, decorative paper making, gilding, leather bookbinding and fine press publishing. The work of Thornwillow is diverse, but united in its commitment to the presentation and preservation of the written word.

In 2010, the 25th anniversary of Thornwillow Press was marked by an exhibition at Vassar College and the Century Association in New York. and the opening of its first library gallery at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. The second library gallery opened in 2011 at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C. In 2015, the 30th anniversary of the press was marked by a retrospective at The Grolier Club in New York City and a symposium on the place of the printed word in the digital age featuring Adam Gopnik, Harold Holzer, Lorin Stein, Honor Moore, Ronald Patkus and Luke Pontifell. In 2015 together with his wife Savine, he established the Thornwillow Institute, a 501(c)3 public charity committed to supporting efforts to unite the forces of craft, culture, and community as a catalyst for urban revitalization. The primary focus of the Thornwillow Institute is to teach, sponsor and coordinate fellowships, workshops, publications, exhibitions, concerts, and symposia; and is developing the Thornwillow Makers Village, a complex of . 19th Century historic buildings in Newburgh, New York.

Thornwillow’s books are in the permanent collections of The White House, The Morgan Library, the Bibliotheque Nationale, The British Library, The Vatican, the Metropolitan Museum, the Beinecke Library, and the Smithsonian Institution among many others. Thornwillow books have been collected and given as gifts by heads of state including George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, the Emir of Qatar, and Queen Elizabeth II. Mr. Pontifell is a Trustee and Secretary of the Board of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, a Trustee of The Newburgh Institute, a member of the U.S. Council of the American Museum in Britain, and a Member of The American Antiquarian Society. For many years he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The English Concert in America and remains an active member hj Committee of The Lighthouse International, was a member of The Boston Athenaeum, and a Fellow of The J.P. Morgan Library. In 2004 he was knighted by the House of Savoy and in 2007 was invested by the Queen of England in the Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Mr. Pontifell lives with his wife, Savine, and nineteen year old daughter in Newburgh, New York.

David Harper is Head of the Department of English and Philosophy at the United States Military Academy, West Point. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin, in 2012. His research focuses on Milton, Eighteenth-Century criticism, and Interregnum and Restoration texts. In both his research and approach to teaching, he often takes a book history approach, paying close attention to the material as well as the textual. His most recent article is “The First Annotator of Paradise Lost and the Makings of English Literary Criticism,” forthcoming in Studies in English Literature this summer. His ongoing book project . reexamines the early reception of Paradise Lost and its role in developing literary and textual criticism. Dave is also a book collector and enjoys letterpress printing (when he can find the time).

Earlier Event: June 27
Blooming Hill Farm Stand
Later Event: July 19
Dia Staff Art Show 2019