Dream worlds and dinosaurs see the sun — #berkshireweekend

Stories and art are coming together this week. I’ve been walking through the Norman Rockwell Museum this past week, looking through their illustration collection and imagining possibilities … What can happen when artists and writers come together, create new work inspired by each other?

We’ve seen this kind of play in other ways, dancers in museums, a poet and a composer creating an opera … but I’m a writer, and we’re standing on the edge of National Poetry Month, and so I wonder. If writers and artists had room enough and time, like Ishar Patkin and Agha Shahid Ali, or Trinh Mai and Shann Ray, imagine who could come together …

Even if I think of artists and writers with connections here, the possibilities have magic in them. Gloria Calderon Saenz, who once showed me waterfalls, would you want to fall into Guadalís Del Carmen’s Border of Lights, as Cindy De La Cruz brought her words to life on a summer night … or Emily Dickinson’s poems?

Brian Pinkney, would you think of sitting down with W.E.B. DuBois, maybe with his Afrofuturist fiction … or Meclina Priestly, shaping images out of words — I remember your micrography from the James Weldon Johnson group show at Simon’s Rock six years ago, and thinking of you, I’m remembering the morning Safiya Sinclair talked with me about her own words.

Or any artist immersed in any writer whose voice calls to them, and any writer drawing a story out of an image — what dreams can we imagine?

I’m wishing now that Jerry Pinkney could have painted in his vivid watercolors the people and the gardens in Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitudes, the way I heard Ross Gay reading his own poems aloud on a spring night.

Moments of Spring brightness

Mokoomba, an explosively talented six-man crew from the Victoria Fall, has been hailed as one of the most exciting bands from Africa in the 21st century.
Photo by Kundai Taz

Mokoomba, an explosively talented six-man crew from the Victoria Fall, has been hailed as one of the most exciting bands from Africa in the 21st century.


Mokoomba, above, will perform African music at Williams College on Friday, as the college’s museum of art offers some color, and spring ephemerals begin to emerge.

More events coming up …

Mass MoCA catches sunlight on a summer day.
May 29 2024 @ 11:00 am
Mass MoCA and the Williamstown Theatre Festival present The Plastic Bag Store, an immersive, multimedia experience by Brooklyn-based artist Robin Frohardt.
Mass MoCA catches sunlight on a summer day.
May 30 2024 @ 11:00 am
Mass MoCA and the Williamstown Theatre Festival present The Plastic Bag Store, an immersive, multimedia experience by Brooklyn-based artist Robin Frohardt.
Mass MoCA catches sunlight on a summer day.
May 31 2024 @ 11:00 am
Mass MoCA and the Williamstown Theatre Festival present The Plastic Bag Store, an immersive, multimedia experience by Brooklyn-based artist Robin Frohardt.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

BTW Berkshires
Shares