Organizer and businessman Michael Ansara had been clandestinely writing poetry for years when his friend (and former congressman, but not the guitar player) Chet Atkins encouraged him to start the Massachusetts Poetry Outrach Project, aimed at bringing poetry back into the mainstream (or at least out of the back of the bookstore).
In this week's Portland Phoenix, I write about Abortion and Life, a new book by feminist author Jennifer Baumgardner. In the book, Baumgardner suggests that by ignoring or simplifying the emotional nuance of a decision to terminiate a pregnancy, we do a disservice, both the women who make that choice, as well as to the movement that protects our right to do so.
Two days after Jon Papernick told me that "I'm not certain that literature plays any role in the evolution or
resolution of international conflicts" (a statement with which I largely agree, though I also concur with his assessment that "literature can hold a mirror up to the world and
reflect it back in a more human and less biased way than one might see pictured
in the media"), I get an email about the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, which will be bestowed this Sunday in Dayton, Ohio.
This Thursday, in Newton Centre, the Jewish books Web site JBooks will team up with JVibe, a magazine for Jewish teens, to present Get Lit 2008, a literary event in Newton Centre. The event, which will take place at the Union Street Restaurant and bar, will feature conversations with several Massachusetts-based authors, including Jon Papernick, the current writer-in-residence at Emerson College.
Via the NYer's Book Bench blog.
No pun intended! In advance of her appearance in Portland later this month, I purchased Elizabeth Royte's Bottlemania today (it also has a Maine connection). I hope Lisa Margonelli's description of it as "undoctrinaire" is accurate.