Sharon Bishop and Susan Martens-Baker
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Bishop and Martens-Baker Join the Writing Project Faithful at the NWP Annual Meeting in November

Sharon Bishop and Susan Martens-Baker joined about 150 teacher-writers for the New York City Writing Project’s Writing Marathon at the NWP Annual Convention in November. They met Richard Louth, creator of the New Orleans-style writing marathon, formed a group with WP folks from upstate New York, and descended into the NYC subway system to emerge in writing history-rich Greenwich Village. (They even found their way back into the subway, back to Times Square, and back to the hotel in time for lunch and the ride to the Javits Center for their NCTE presentation with Robert Brooke and Kim Ridder!)

The following are pictures and excerpts from Susan Martens-Baker’s notebook:

Storefront in Greenwich Village

10:12 a.m. Café Reggio, Greenwich Village, NY, via the “C” train from Times Square Writers have invaded this elegant Italian Café.   Groups are chattering away amid china ring
ed with little foil butter pats, jam-encrusted silverware, and clinking cups.

Classical music soundtrack no match for writerchatter
vibrating with joy
writing joy
we are writers
we are out and about
Greenwich Village, we are here!
My God, Walt Whitman might have sat here.
Allen Ginsberg maybe watched pretty Bohemian boys
from the window there,
this table soaked up the sweat of artists eking by
in their coldwater flats
writing poetry with pencil ends,
fueled by thin coffee and stale bread.

Washington Square Park Arch

These poor Village natives!
We have disrupted their groovy vibe with our writerchatter.
Perhaps they will forgive us, given our spirited defense of our craft…

11:00 Washington Square Park Arch, listening to the story of the Declaration of the Republic of Greenwich Village while
observing the Washington Square Dog Park

Dogs and man on bench at dog park

Viva La Revolution!
The Dogs of Greenwich Village
yawp with attitude,
hipster canines asserting their artistic manifesto:
Long Live Dogs!
Long Live Bones!
Long Live Squeaky Toys!
Live free and shed your coat where you please!

Snarl at life, and stuff your snout
with all the rancid richness of this city.

11:45 Atrium Lounge, Marriott Marquis, Times Square

Skyscraper elevator

How serene and antiseptic:
crystalline lobby,
gleaming neon elevators
silently sliding up and down the highrise.
A wall of water glides elegantly
over the glass fountain at my elbow.
Illuminated liquor bottles
sit in spotlight pools of violet
and magenta.
How far we’ve come!
Ten minutes on the subway
and we are in another world.
Whitman would never be here.
Ginsberg would climb on the bar and Howl,
rattle the cage holding the display booze,
then be carted away by security
before any of us could even beatnik snap.

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