by Will Nixon
Illustrations by Loel Barr
This is the popular guide of 2012, fully revised—with a walking tour of the historic village, a directory to local hikes and nature preserves, and the story of the famed colony of the arts.
As coauthor with Michael Perkins of Walking Woodstock: Journeys into the Wild Heart of America’s Most Famous Small Town, a local bestseller, Will Nixon offers here a tour of his favorite places, which tell a strange and wondrous story. First settled by farmers, glass blowers, tannery workers, and quarrymen, who made hard livings cutting forests and carving into mountainsides, the town later reinvented itself as a major artists colony that has given us a legacy of galleries and music venues. Not to mention the Concert That Didn’t Happen Here.
They’re all included—the early Dutch settlers and their witches, the Sixties rock ‘n’ rollers led by Bob Dylan and Levon Helm, the Bohemian artists of a century ago, the Buddhist monks of today, the free-spirited visionaries drawn to Woodstock’s scenic mixture of nature and the arts. Learn what has made this town so inspiring and so famous.
Will Nixon is the author of The Pocket Guide to Woodstock and co-author with Michael Perkins of Walking Woodstock: Journeys into the Wild Heart of America’s Most Famous Small Town, a collection of “Walking Woodstock” columns from the Woodstock Times. Both were #1 paperback bestsellers of the year at The Golden Notebook, Woodstock’s independent bookstore. Acrostic Woodstock is his town portrait in poems. Other poetry books include My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse and Love in the City of Grudges from FootHills Publishing. His poems have appeared in many journals, won several awards, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Once an environmental journalist, he was a contributing editor to the Amicus Journal published by the Natural Resources Defense Council and a special correspondent for the Adirondack Explorer. He also wrote for Mother Jones, In These Times, and other magazines.
Will Nixon’s lively, engaging, and thoroughly researched The Pocket Guide to Woodstock will delight all who explore the town, whether walking, driving, or relaxing at home. The new edition of this comprehensive guide highlights the sites where remarkable artists, musicians, writers, and theater people have flourished since the creation of the Byrdcliffe arts colony in 1902, but also directs us to colorful shops, restaurants, and places of worship frequented over the years by the likes of Bob Dylan, as well as everyday Woodstockers and visitors. The beauty of the landscape, dominated by Overlook Mountain, that originally attracted the art crowd, can be enjoyed today as Nixon guides us to eleven public sites for leisurely walks or more strenuous hikes. His book makes an excellent case for exploring Woodstock, despite the fact that some of its worldwide fame rests on the 1969 festival actually held in another town miles to the south. --William B. Rhoads, author, Ulster County, New York: The Architectural History & Guide