Residency and Reading
Diane Kendig
with JD Scrimgeour, Elizabeth McKim, and Rozi Theohari
North Shore Community College and Lynn Museum
March-April 2007

The residency opened in March with a faculty in-service day conducted on the Lynn campus by J D Scrimgeour and Diane Kendig on the topic of working class/  first generation college students.

Then for six weeks, usually two days a week, Diane Kendig visited classes on both the Danvers and Lynn campuses, reading the first day and asking students and teachers to write the second day. On April 12th, Kendig and Elizabeth McKim read together on the Danvers campus.

At the end of the residency, on April 19th, the Lynn Museum along with the college sponsored a reading of  "Contemporary Women Poets of Lynn"  featuring Kendig, Elizabeth McKim, and Rozi Theohari.

During our workshops, we wrote out of pasts, both distant and most recent.
In these brief pieces, you can readjust a few of the concerns that surfaced for faculty and students, from the most personal to those of national import.


Hurricane Katrina

Freight train howling wind
peeling siding off the battered bungalows
machine gun pellets,
unrelenting rain rising in the street
splitering tree branches  come colliding
over frightened people tossed about
like shipwrecked cargo

a tragedy of errors
and as always the people suffer

--Ralph Tufo, faculty


The night was just as dry & cold as the day
It brought out the dogs who scavanged and played
And the flag, whipped wildly
from the sand and wind, frayed.

--Phil Brooks, student

My Grandmother's Kitchen

They bought the multi-family house on North Ninth Avenue with the $8,700 saved from my great grandfather's toils as a bricklayer just days before the start of WWII. Little did they know, my uneducated Italian immigrant great grandparents, that that house would provide shelter, solace, and respite for five generations.

It is the only place that has been a constant throughout the forty years of my life. I have been a child, a girl, and adult, a daughter, a mother, and a grand-daughter in that house. It is the place I will forever associate with my grandmother. The hours we logged in her kitchen are beyond my capacity to calculate. I remember watching my grandmother at the stove, stirring the enormous pot of gravy. The fat on her arm would sway in the rhythm to her motion and the entire house smelled like Sunday. That kitchen was, is, and forever will be the safest, most loving place I have ever known.

The house is on the market for sale now. I will lose a part of myself when it is no longer ours.

--Lisa Altomari, faculty

wallpaper dream

                                               the red capped baseball players
                                               in their gray uniforms
                                               running the basepaths
                                               betwen the white bases
                                               on the tan wallpaper
                                               in my new bedroom
                                               with my old bed and new
                                               dresser nighttable and desk
                                               in our new house with
                                               a baseball field behind
                                               the fence in the backyard
                                               must have been chosen by
                                               my immigrant parents who
                                               came here from the Phillipines
                                               in the year of my birth
                                               when they were dreaming the
                                               American Dream for their dream
                                               son thinking perhaps what better
                                               way to realize that dream than
                                               to let him dream his dreams
                                               encapsulatd by
                                               the national pastime.

                                               ---Carl Carlsen, faculty