A half-hour documentary on a local writing workshop that began in southern New Hampshire in 1974 is being aired on public television stations across the country during National Poetry Month. Mondays at Skimmilk: 30 Years of Writers at Work, directed by Ken Browne, originally aired last April on New Hampshire Public Television, but has since been picked up by American Public Television and is being presented on nearly fifty PBS stations in more than two dozen states.
The documentary tells the story of late New Hampshire poet Jean Pedrick, who died in July 2006 at the age of eighty-three, and the workshop she hosted at Skimmilk Farm, an abandoned colonial-era dairy farm that her family bought as a summer home in the 1950s. In 1973, Pedrick was one of seven people who founded Alice James Books, a nonprofit, cooperative press in Farmington, Maine. Through the press, she met Marie Harris, who later became New Hampshire's poet laureate, and Elizabeth Knies, who is the current poet laureate of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The three women met at Pedrick's farm to share and critique their poetry, and an informal workshop has met each Monday from late May to October ever since.
Mondays at Skimmilk features actual workshop clips and interviews with workshop participants, music by the Borealis Wind Quartet, and narration by New Hampshire public radio host Laura Knoy. For more information, visit www.kbprods.com/skimmilk.html or your local PBS Web site.