Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Friday, Dec. 12th Featured Readers

Please join us on Friday, December 12th at 6:30PM at Savin Bar + Kitchen as we welcome these exciting literary talents!

Alyssa Mazzarella

1.      How long have you been living and/or studying in Dorchester?

               3 years

2.      Last book you read that you just couldn’t put down?

             "Snowflake / Different Streets" by Eileen Myles


     3.      When and how did you find out Santa wasn’t real?

I was eleven or twelve and sharing a bench seat on the school bus with an older girl (can’t remember her name—we weren’t even friends!). She said, “If you don’t believe me, check the closets—you’ll find the gifts.” Instead, I pretended to be to asleep on Xmas Eve and subsequently heard my parents carry the gifts in and arrange them in front of the fireplace. (My infamous bedroom door has slats—easy for spying in either direction, to my teenage self’s horror.) Finding out Santa is a sham was disappointing, but it made me appreciate my parents generosity a lot.


4.      Best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

Last year, my family decided to visit my sister, who was living in Germany at the time, instead of buying gifts. It was an incredible privilege to spend Xmas in Nuremberg together. While we had some small gifts (mostly items from the nearby Christkindlesmarkt) under a random potted ficus tree that we dressed with red ribbon, it was nice to just be together as a family. Travelling far from our lives freed us up to just enjoy each other’s company in a way we probably wouldn’t have if we had been running to the mall or grocery store or five different holiday parties.


Danya Bush


1. How long have you been living and/or studying in Dorchester? 
I've been living and studying in Boston since September. I'm a first-year fiction student in the MFA program at UMass Boston. 

2. Last book you read that you just couldn’t put down?
"A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing" by Eimear McBride. 

3. When and how did you find out Santa wasn’t real?
As a Jew, I feel like maybe I have an unfair advantage with this question. 

4. Best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
When I was really young, like, maybe four or five, I got an American Girl doll for Christmas, and I was so happy that I wouldn't stop crying. Everything I've received since then has been a disappointment. 



Carol D. Carter


(bio forthcoming...)


Monday, November 3, 2014

A Bookstore for Dorchester ~ Interview with Yooree Losordo of On the Dot Books

 Yooree Losordo of On the Dot Books

LH: In the last 6 months you’ve gone from giving birth to your second child to signing up for a business plan class to winning $5,000 in seed capital and opening a pop-up bookstore in Dorchester. A very impressive start when summed up by the highlights – what have been your favorite and least favorite parts of this experience?
YL: I was a stay-at-home wife and mom for nearly five years, and while I love my family dearly, my life revolved around other people’s needs for a long time. It’s been so empowering and fulfilling to do something that’s my thing.

My least favorite part has been the sheer amount of labor. I got started at Ashmont Farmers Market in June 2014. I spent many hours loading and unloading books, sometimes with no sales to show for it. Those days weren’t any fun.

On the Dot Books Pop-up @ Ashmont Farmers' Market ~ June 2014

LH: You currently operate out of Dot2Dot CafĂ© and have an impressive list of local author events this fall, including UMass Boston MFA director Jill McDonough on November 6th and Write on the DOT founder Aaron Devine on November 16th. What’s the best way for folks to stay in the know?

YL: Right now the best way is to like us on Facebook - it’s the primary way we communicate with our customers. We also have an email list with an event listing section. To subscribe, please visit

Have breakfast and browse some NYT bestsellers at Dot2Dot Cafe! Win!
LH: You’ve attended several bookseller expos in recent months. What’s bookseller culture like? Are independent owners hopeful for a new model of local engagement?

YL: I have been to NEIBA and ABA (American Booksellers Association) events before, and find them tremendously helpful. Booksellers are passionate about what they do, and there is a “we’re in it together” ethos that I love. It’s a relatively small group, so everybody knows each other and help each other out.

LH: As a bookseller you are privy to receiving many advance copies. Any upcoming titles you’re really excited to offer your customers?

YL: I do get some paper advance copies, but mostly use Edelweiss and NetGalley, two services publishers offer digital advance copies to booksellers, bloggers, and other influencers...I try not to go on them too often because it’s very easy to get sucked in by all the exciting new titles. Most recently I enjoyed Bill Roorbach’s The Remedy for Love, and Charles Blow’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, so one novel, one memoir. I’ve also been rediscovering older titles. Currently I’m reading Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze’s Walk Out Walk On, which is a must-read for anybody who considers themselves social entrepreneurs or activists.

LH: What is the timeline for having your own brick and mortar location in Dorchester?
YL: Ideally, I’d like to have my own storefront by next fall, but we will see. A lot of things will have to come together to make that a reality - financing, the perfect location, recruiting a great staff.

LH: Okay, so we’re all now aware that Amazon is a monopolizing devil, but the service is so fast and easy! Give me three reasons why folks should support a local bookstore instead.
YL: Limiting to three is impossible! Franklin Foer just wrote a great story for The New Republic entitled Amazon Must beStopped. I urge everybody to read it as well as’s Working at Amazon is a Soul-Crushing Experience.
Most recently, I needed to buy my daughters ivory shoes for their Aunt’s wedding. I ended up having to use Zappos (owned by Amazon) because I could not find the shoes locally. Multiply this transaction by about one-million everyday and you can start to think about how that affects small businesses and main streets across the country. It is still small business that creates the most jobs - not behemoths like Amazon.

I don’t disagree that Amazon provides excellent service, but it comes at the cost of empty commercial districts and low wage jobs. And if Amazon is allowed to get even more powerful, it will be Amazon dictating who gets published, just as Wal-Mart has told Coca-Cola which sweetener to use. Amazon considers books to be a commodity, like diapers or paper clips. How can great literature survive in that climate?

I’m not telling people to stop using Amazon completely - just use them if you really can’t find something locally. I believe in a world where e-commerce and a healthy indie bookselling industry can co-exist peacefully.

Thanks Yooree! 

On the Dot Books

1739 Dorchester Ave.
Tues – Sun. 8am-2pm
Thurs and Friday 8am –5pm

* ORDER BOOKS ONLINE: Buy or special order your books from On the Dot Books' online store.

* LOCAL READINGS, CHILDRENS' STORY HOUR & MORE: Stay up to date on special events by liking On the Dot Books on Facebook.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ekphrastic Poetry Contest Winner!

Painted Faces

By Taj McDonald

I'm a nerd and I'm weird
but not another Erkyle,
I see the shades of grey,
so please don't make me
feel blue 'cause when it meets
my red temper it makes the
color purple.
I am not my hair, so please
don't mind me, my mental thoughts
do not concern you, when only
time will tell, you can tell it's
God I'll turn to, a picture's
worth a thousand words, mine
is worth medal, but please
don't make it gold.

When being humble hurts the devil,
and I don't mean to be violent but
violet's the ultra-level, so go a son's ways,
feel helpful when the culprit block's sun rays,
to purchase several things to help
it converse, this is the end of my
verse, I am a virgin rebel.

"Untitled" By Iris Du Pont, Dorchester, MA

What is Ekphrastic Poetry?

  •  Ekphrastic poetry is a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art.

How do you write an ekphrastic poem?

  • It's easy! 1) Visit an art gallery or museum (or look online) and find a painting or sculpture that surprises and enchants you. 2) Take some quick notes on your immediate reaction - How does the art make you feel? What does it remind you of? etc. Don't overthink it at this point, you want to get some good raw material for your poem. 3) Write a poem using your notes for reference. Ekphrastic is not a form but a method, so free verse is most often used.

Where can I find more examples of ekphrastic poetry?

Photos! Dorchester Open Studios 2014

Write on the DOT @ Dorchester Open Studios 2014

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood - so beautiful in fact that we were inspired to set up our table outside in front of the Erick Jean Center for the Arts on Washington St. in Dorchester.

 Lynn Holmgren and Elysia Smith, students in the UMass Boston MFA program and co-organizers of the Write on the DOT reading series.
Our 'Dot Poet Laureate' contemplates the next line he'll add to our community poem after getting his face painted.
Fellow vendor Flauxy exhibiting her beautiful handmade jewelry.
Checking out some local photography and cards.
Art Alive! Day of the Dead-inspired face paint.


Community Poem

A special thanks to everyone who stopped by our table during open studios and contributed to our community poem. Each line of the poem was authored by a different person. They selected a word at random from our word basket and composed a line on the spot. The original poem was written on an electric typewriter. Enjoy!

Dorchester Open Studios

I started the day on my bike,
the scarf fluttered around my neck – silky…
the wind blew the fog from my mind out one ear.

Fly away pigeon, fly away.

You’re always supposed to eat breakfast,
hopped up on caffeine from my coffeeyaaayy,
I’m so greedy I eat the crumbs!

Hippity-Hop, kangaroo’s don’t stop.
I only have a second so this is going to be short:

My goal is to be in the NBA,
I eat icicles in the winter,
pickles all summer long.
I like having a good night’s sleep
when the sky is blue and
the light is as heavy as the dark.
Who likes the light?
Roses all in white—

Una Rosa es unrosa, siempre bella es la cosa. Poderosa muy, Poderos
Siempre sere el Amor y una Rosa….Paz.

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Sunflowers are yellow and you
Thought I was going to write something romantic—
Nope, just gardening facts.

I write rivers,
to the ocean.

Cars stream down Washington Street,
never the same street twice.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Write on the DOT is proud to be participating in Dorchester Open Studios 2014! Please visit our table at the ERICK JEAN CENTER FOR THE ARTS (157 Washington St.) on Saturday, October 25th from 12-5pm.


1) Fresh, inspired, local art not made by dead white guys.

2) Buy handmade jewelry, sculptures and art made by your     neighbor.

3) Enter Write on the DOT's awesome Ekphrastic Poetry Contest and win a custom Write on the DOT tote bag plus publication on our website!

4) Run into Marty Walsh, Linda Dorcena Forry, or other Dot "celebs"*!

5) Be inspired to create your own art/poetry/drama/dance!

*marky mark not guaranteed.

Be sure to "like" Dorchester Arts Collaborative on facebook!

More info on Open Studios 2014 here:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Photos! September 2014 The Blarney Stone


 Featured poet August Smith describes what it's
like to have the confidence of a very large lobster.

August wonders how one of his "late night sessions with
explosion sounds" poems got into the mix.

Elysia and Grant share a laugh. Hence they are friends.

Featured writer Thelma Woodson shares a moving piece
about a family funeral.

Emcee and Write on the DOT coordinator Elysia Smith.

Featured Poet Matt Morrison shares a philosophical
moment at Chipotle.

"Did I just read another poem with food in it?"

"I double dog dare you to come up here and read!"

August and Chelsea.

Write on the DOT smiles.

Local poet Elaine Croce Happnie kicks off
the open mic.

Freshly graduated Karen Locasio reads from
her 2014 MFA Thesis.

Write on the DOT Co-founder and 2014 MFA graduate
Aaron Devine shares two thought-provoking poems about NFL player 
Adrian Peterson.

Carol D. Carter of The Pentimenti Writers imitates a "senior moment". 

Aaron listens intently.

August wins for most photogenic fall sweater of the evening.

"I am in love with your words!"

First-time reader and Dot Poet Margo Gabriel.

Second-year MFA grad student Lori Zimmerman is calling it in sick.

Third-year MFA grad student Alyssa Mazzarella puts the Awe back in "Awe Bod".

"Bravo! Encore!"

Thank you to Ben and THE BLARNEY STONE for giving us a warm place to gather on a rainy fall evening. Thank you to COLIN O'DAY for providing his music and tech support. Thank you to THE PENTIMENTI WRITERS for showing up in force and sharing the depths of your talent. Thank you to all of our featured and open mic readers. All pictures courtesy of Thang Ho Arts & Entertainment. Please tag shared photos #THAEphotography. Until next time - WRITE ON!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 30th, 2014 FEATURED READERS

Please join us at The Blarney Stone on Tuesday, September 30th at 6:30pm to hear original poetry and prose by these exciting local talents!

1. How long have you been living/studying in Dorchester?
I’ve been living and studying in Boston for approximately one month. I am a first-year graduate student in the MFA program at UMass Boston.
2.      Who would you like to dedicate your reading to?
I dedicate my reading to online banking, late night pizza deliveries, animes that take place in Japanese high schools, and all of my cool, respectable, attractive friends.
3.      Where do you go to find inspiration for your writing?
When I need inspiration, I log on to the World Wide Web and download as many explosion sound effect .mp3s as possible. Then, late at night, after everyone has gone to bed, I put on expensive headphones, maximize the volume on my computer, and listen to the explosion sound effects for hours while meditating on the divinely ironic nature of humanity. When I wake up the next day, there is a 7 megabyte .docx file on my desktop full of strange and terrible poems. I do this every night.
4.      Finish this sentence:
Boston needs more August Smith.
1. How long have you been living/studying in Dorchester?
I’ve lived in Dorchester for the past 30 years and I have been a member of the Pentimenti Women’s Writing Group for 5 years.
2. Who would you like to dedicate your reading to?
I would like to dedicate this reading to the man referenced in these pieces. To the young woman he is fire, water, joy and pain sunshine and rain.
3. Where do you go to find inspiration for your writing?
I find inspiration in my own experiences and through my spiritual life.  I hear the poetry or stories in my heat.  Often times they envelop my entire being.
4.      Finish this sentence:
Boston needs more young men willing to put down their guns.

1. How long have you been living/studying in Dorchester?
I’ve been studying in Dorchester for nearly five years.
2. Who would you like to dedicate your reading to?
I’ll dedicate my reading to my family, teachers, and friends.
3.      Where do you go to find inspiration for your writing?
Inspiration sometimes pops up, not always from positive experiences. My most recent poem came from a slightly dreary setting, but the poem and I pushed through that to a positive place.
4.      Finish this sentence:
Boston needs more bubble tea.  
1.      How long have you been living/studying in Dorchester?
I have been in the Dorchester area for 20 years.  
2.      Who would you dedicate your reading to tonight, and why?
I would dedicate my reading tonight to those who need a word of encouragement to let their souls feel restored.
3. Where do you go to find inspiration for your writing?
I seek God, reading the bible and listening to others for inspiration to write.
4.      Finish this sentence:
Boston needs more open hearts and listening ears void of judgment.

TWITTER: @dotwrites