Sunday, March 29, 2009

A "Grandfather Carp" "Teaser Videoem"....

Yes! We are currently calling this form a "Videoem" ...partially because we have never heard of anyone calling one that, but mostly because we are smarmy elitist snobs, who have nothing better to do than to make up words, that no one has ever heard of !!!

(oh, and voem was already taken...)



This is a "Teaser" for the forthcoming collection of poems by Alan Casline entitled: "Grandfather Carp". It was filmed on location along the Vly Creek in beautiful downtown Voorheesville N.Y. off of Pine Street. (Defiantly "the" Smarmy Section of Town.)

Hope you enjoy it!

Very Smarmally Yours,
bRAINdrop bOOkbENDER the III

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Available at cost of $10 plus $2 Shipping and Handling
50 pages * small press publication *
hand bound and trimmed as perfect bound 8 x 5 inch book

Check or money order to: Rootdrinker Institute
P.O. Box 522
Delmar, NY 12054

Alan Casline and Stephen Lewandowski are holding a big powwow for
Rootdrinker Magazine #17. Beginning in 1975 in Canton, New York,
Alan Casline’s Rootdrinker is a long standing magazine of watershed
poetics, folklife, natural history, art, and photography. The magazine’s
legendary tradition is continued with the 2009 publication of BIG
POWWOW. Co-edited by environmental leader and poet Stephen
Lewandowski, the issue draws from work by writers and poets from
throughout the Northeast, many of them early supporters of bio-regional
politics and local culture. The issue presents work concerned with myth
and story, creation of family myth, myth of a shared community, nation
and world.Poems wise in their craft by poets who question both the
representations of native culture and that of topical reality. BIG
POWWOW finds beauty in native sensibilities and rural life.
BIG POWWOW finds wonder in curiosity about animal and human
society and succeeds in celebrating the moment using a confluence of
ideas and visions to praise the natural world.

I see this as a “pebble in the pond” style publication. One small
wave will generate a larger wave. Contributors each given an
opportunity to speak and others the opportunity to hear.
— Alan Casline

Here’s what interests me and might expand on the Powwow
Theme: HOW do we become the equivalents of, if not the natives
of this place. So it’s Powwow Now/How.
— Stephen Lewandowski

The list of materials found in BIG POWWOW includes:

Billy Finnegan
[Waiting for the Train in Figueres]

Mark O'Brien
What if "The Beave" were an Ulster-Scot?

Albert Glover
Mistaken Identity

Alan Casline Not What You Know...
Briefing for the Poem Not What You Know...
Around a Public House Table

Dennis Sullivan
Civil Seer

Walt Franklin
The Stones Deliver a Sermon on the Duty of Staying Home
Headwaters Mountain, 1985

Alifar Skebe
Mockingbird Song

Joseph Bruchac
Between Two Thunders
On Padre Island, Texas

Helen Ruggieri
Rock City Hill Exercises

Gary Lawless
Two for the Po
I still talk to the animals

Stephen Lewandowski
Early Limnology
Not Alone

John Roche
Joe the Poet
To the Red Fox

Barbara Hatch Vink
How Magnolias Smell

Dale Hobson

Karin Spitfire
Be Belfastian: A Triptych

Michael Czarnecki

Contact information for Co-editors:

Stephen Lewandowski e-mail: stachu
Alan Casline e-mail:

Mailing: Rootdrinker Institute
P.O. Box 522
Delmar, NY 1205

Monday, March 9, 2009

Normanskill at Vale of Tawasentha

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft (1793-1864)

When I came across a reference to Longfellow mentioning Tawasentha in The Song of Hiawatha, I went to the text to find it. The passage is there and it is printed below. By the pleasant water-courses, dwelt the singer Nawadaha. Why Longfellow would start the story of Hiawatha with our local stream escaped me? Until I read in Arthur B. Gregg’s history Old Hellebergh the conviction Longfellow was placing a tribute to Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, who perhaps is represented as the singer in the poem. Schoolcraft is credited by Longfellow with saving the native lore he used in his poem. Schoolcraft is a local Normanskill watershed poet, born in Guilderland, educated at Union College, wrote lots poems and impressive works which got his papers to the Library of Congress. Quite a story, most of his life was lived out of this area but he always kept his ties and a home here.

In the vale of Tawasentha,
In the green and silent valley,
By the pleasant water-courses,
Dwelt the singer Nawadaha.
Round about the Indian village
Spread the meadows and the corn-fields,
And beyond them stood the forest,
Stood the groves of singing pine trees,
Green in Summer, White in Winter,
Ever sighing, ever singing.
And the pleasant water-courses,
You could trace them through the valley,
By the rushing in the Spring-time,
By the alders in the Summer,
By the white fog in the Autumn,
By the black line in the Winter;
And beside them dwelt the singer,
In the vale of Tawasentha,
In the green and silent valley.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

From Introduction to The Song of Hiawatha

A native name given to the Normans Kill is Tawasentha.


Rootdrinker Institute encourages artists, musicians, writers, and crafters to use local images, lore, and legends.

Rootdrinker promotes rediscovery of the inspirations and creative visions of earlier artists and writers of each unique watershed.

Rootdrinker advocates increased interest in nature, local history, and local traditions. Rootdrinker continues to publish small press books that reflect these purposes.

At the center of Rootdrinker Institute’s philosophy is the vision of people defining the territory they call their own in terms of their local watershed. This focus allows the natural rather than the political to inform their education. Such an orientation stimulates a sense of place, and the growth of a unique to its area cultural life. To promote this viewpoint, and to further its encouragement of the artistic community, Rootdrinker Institute sponsors publications, readings, concerts, conferences, seminars, and social gatherings.

On hiking trails, along streams, in libraries, through prose and poetry, the goal of preserving and improving the land and keeping alive the heritage of its people by joining with friends and neighbors is inherent to all of Rootdrinker Institute’s work