DERRY — The Robert Frost Farm’s Hyla Brook Reading Series ends its 2018 season with a reading by poet and fiddler Dudley Laufman, along with Robert Crawford, co-founder of the Hyla Brook Poets, on Thursday, Sept. 13, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the historic farm, 122 Rockingham Road.
The event is free and open to the public. An open mic follows the readings and all audience members are invited to share their work.
Laufman’s home as a young boy was in Arlington, Massachusetts, but it was the people and places of New Hampshire that would reveal to him the country dancing and music that would become his life’s work.
Working at Mistwold Farm in Fremont, Laufler spent time in the Monadnock Region while developing himself as a musician and dance caller. He started calling dances at age 18 while attending Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole, Massachusetts.
While enrolled at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture in Amherst, Massachusetts, Laufman intended to become a dairy farmer. It was here that he developed an interest in poetry and discovered the works of Hemingway, Hardy, Thomas, Burns and Sara Teasdale. Laufman began with lyrical and prose poems and his first book of poetry, "I Hear Ringing Reels," was published in 1962.
At age 87, Laufman is still fully engaged in a 65-year career as a dance caller for local country dances throughout New England. He plays his melodeon, harmonica and sometimes his fiddle, at old town halls, farmers markets, folk festivals, weddings, barn dances and for the Canterbury Morris dance team.
Also appearing is Robert Crawford, director of poetry activities at the Robert Frost Farm and Derry’s first poet laureate. Crawford has published two books of poetry, The Empty Chair and Too Much Explanation Can Ruin a Man.
His sonnets have twice won the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award and his poems have appeared in many national journals including The Formalist, First Things, Dark Horse, The Raintown Review, The Lyric, Measure, Light and Forbes. He co-founded the Hyla Brook Poets, and is a long-time member of the Powow River Poets of Newburyport. He lives in Chester with his wife Midge Goldberg, also a accomplished, published poet.
Through September, the Hyla Brook Poets’ monthly writing workshop meets on the third Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. at its summer home at the Frost Farm, before moving to the Derry Public Library.