Wendell Man Named Massachusetts Beat Poet Laureate
August 1, 2017
Wendell, MA - Western Massachusetts’ Paul Richmond of Wendell has been name Beat Poet Laureate of Massachusetts by the National Beat Poetry Foundation headquartered in Wolcott, CT. Richmond, a long-time poet, author, spoken-word festival promoter and small press publisher expressed surprise at the selection, noting he opened an email recently and simply found his name there. “This really is a great honor, and unexpected,” Richmond said of the July 4th notification, “I’m hoping this will help get more people excited about writing and poetry.”
The Wendell writer has been hosting and promoting spoken-word poetry events in Western Massachusetts for well over a decade. His accomplishments include seven years coordinating and hosting the Greenfield Annual Word Fest (GAWFEST.org) where up to 160 poets and writers read their work annually during the six day festival--now called the Great Falls Word Festival, in Turners Falls, MA. Richmond is also the driver behind making poetry part of the popular North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival in Orange, MA, where forty featured writers read over two days from the “Word Stage” built by the new Beat Poet Laureate himself.
Originally hailing from Buffalo, NY, Richmond is known locally and regionally for encouraging regular people to express themselves through writing and poetry. He has presented his own work nationally and internationally on stages including the Austin International Poetry Festival in Texas and the Gödör Klubban at the Jazzköltexzeti est in Budapest, Hungry. His writing has appeared in journals, magazines, and anthologies, and most recently in the “Adult Anthology Di-verse-city of Austin”, “When Time and Space Conspire”, and Silkworm.
The Wendell poet’s style is best described as sometimes political, often deadpan, and wryly humorous. It’s nearly always delivered in the style of the “beats,” best known to most people through the readings of Jack Kerouac. Asked whether his style and inspiration has its roots in his urban Buffalo upbringing or the eccentricities of the unconventional hill town folks in Wendell where he’s made his home for the last 20 years, “I couldn’t tell you,” he laughs, “Beats me!”
Richmond's books of poetry include:
No Guarantees - Adjust and Continue
Ready or Not - Living in the Break Down Lane
Too Much of a Good Thing - In the Land of Scarcity -Breeds Contempt
You Might Need a Bigger Hammer
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