Story teller and author William Pruitt joins our literary conversation

Story teller and author William Pruitt joins our literary conversation

Bill Pruitt


Recently, Bill Pruitt became a Talker subscriber. Today, we are pleased to share two of Bill’s poems: “What the River Sees,” and “Changing Trains in Motion.” (See more poetry at end)

Bill is a fiction writer, storyteller and poet, and an Assistant Editor with Narrative Magazine. He has published poems in such places as Ploughshares, and Cottonwood and in recent issues of Off Course, Otis Nebula, and Literary Juice; two chapbooks with White Pine and FootHills; and self-published Walking Home from the Eastman House. Bill has told stories in various places in Rochester and upstate New York, including the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Most recently, he performed his original story, “Two Kinds of Fear,” a completely documented telling about the lives of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass during their time in Rochester. Bill will be performing this story at Rundel in March of next year. His short stories appear in a recent issue of Crack of the Spine Literary Magazine and Midway; and in upcoming issues of Indiana Voice Journal, Sick Lit Magazine and Hypertext.  Bill taught English for 26 years to non-native speakers for BOCES 2 in Spencerport.  He and his wife Pam have two children and two grandchildren.

“Changing Trains in Motion” will be published in the fall issue of Stoneboat Journal of Sheboygan, WI.  Bill selected “What the River Sees” after reading “Looking at the Genesee River” by Kitty Jospé.

What the River Sees



from Rochester Democrat and Chronicle


                   Changing Trains in Motion


                                    Bobby Militello at the Lovin’ Cup 12/20/15

 A few of us willing to have our thought trains replaced

by polyrhythms in melodic sequence have gathered

at the Lovin Cup to sit below two half-circle ceiling

drop downs swathed in corrugated tin to listen to

the Fat Man and his friends talk to each other

using strings and sticks and stops


When he plays, his bulk leaves him and he gambols,

like a fawn or a young girl through a field of buttercups

or up a trellis he twines with his sax

followed by the guitarist and bassist and drummer

and when he plays flute, he grows even lighter,

as this holiday crowd begins to change trains


from their own track which was rapidly running out

to this different one which just keeps going, all of us

in the air, our mass supported by nothing but vine,

musicians thinking out loud, infinite thought quantified

by practice, then re-enchanted by sleight of hand, when Bobby

switched his bulk for grace without it being noticed


Photo provided by Bill


“In a clinic in Paiwas” — Thomas W. Harris (1925 – 1999)

Our first submission! “November” by Olivia Spenard, Creative Writing Program, School of the Arts

“Looking at the Genesee River” by Kitty Jospé

Emotions recollected in tranquility on University Ave

Some more poetry from the Mystic. And would love your submissions

On the Road. Destination Little Bohemia in the South Wedge.

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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