MIDDLEBURY — Sydney Lea, poet, writer, former Vermont Poet Laureate and Pulitzer finalist, will read from and discuss his new collection of poetry, “Here,” on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 6:30 p.m., at The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury. He will be joined by fellow poet and Middlebury College educator, Karin Gottshall. The event is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow the discussion.
In “Here,” his 13th book of poetry, Lea gives voice to the deep connection between human life and the natural world as well as their fragility and transience. While there is reckoning, there are few...
There are a multitude of YouTube stars these days, I know, but bear with me, I believe Andrew Rea, best known for creating the “Binging with Babish” channel, is the real deal. As Andrew writes in his introduction (which is moving, raw and honest), he had reached a very low point in his life, doubtful that he would find a way to express himself creatively. Enter psychedelics… No, really.
Also revealed in the revealing intro (one paragraph begins, “Now you might be asking yourself, ‘I was certain I bought a cookbook, so why am I being subjected to your life story?’”), Rea...
When we meet Jacob Marley in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and yes, this is the selfsame man in Jon Clinch’s delectable new novel, he is a haggard specter, weighted down with heavy chains. It is his desire to save Scrooge from a similar fate that summons the apparitions to visit Ebeneezer Scrooge. In Dickens’ tale, we see snippets of what Scrooge’s life could have been; in Clinch’s tale, we get the entire backstory, and discover how the miserable miser came to be. It is, indeed, a dark yet lively re-imagining. Marley and Scrooge meet as young men at Professor’s Drabb’s Academy...
(Little Brown and Company)
Leslie Jamison, author of the award-winning essay collection, “The Empathy Exams,” is an astute observer of the people she investigates, holding her skepticism in check, as well as herself, and how she relates to the stories she uncovers and what they say about the storytellers, herself, and the human race at large. Her topics are fascinating — 52 Blue, a blue whale whose song was recorded at an impossible (for blue whales) frequency; virtual lives; a quarter century photography project — on the surface, but in the unraveling and unspooling, Jamison gets at the...
Luke isn’t interested in learning anything about Peshawar or Pakistan, because even though his dad “had him over Christmas vacation. It said so in the divorce,” Peshawar, and the “Great Goddamn Project,” as he and his mother referred to it, and his dad’s obsession with the project, was the reason the divorce happened. So Luke may be in Peshawar, but he’s planning on spending most of his time with his Walkman affixed to his person. It’s 1986. His dad is working with a professor he also worked with in the United States; their families become close in that time. Now the...
The epigraph at the beginning of William Kent Krueger’s could not be more apt: “Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story” from Homer’s epic “The Odyssey.” The award-winning author of the New York Times bestselling novel “Ordinary Grace,” Krueger has crafted an American saga, epic in scope, a glorious and grand adventure that speaks of the heart and history of this country. Odie O’Banion, a born storyteller, narrates the tale, set in 1930s Minnesota. A group of young orphans — himself, his older (and handier) brother Albert, their friend Mose, and little Emmy, whose life...
(St. Martin's Press)
Renia’s diary — because that is what you hold in your hands, the diary of a young girl, a teenager, whose childhood was, as Greta Thunberg would say, stolen from her — feels private and due consideration should be accorded when reading it, and yet it is important that this written testimony be read and shared. Miraculously, this long-hidden diary survived the Holocaust but the young woman, an aspiring poet and hardworking student, did not. It has been translated from the original Polish, with notes included by her surviving sister. In descriptive prose, with verses of...
FROM LEFT, EMILY Arnason Casey, Rahat Huda, Sara London, Sarah Wolfson
MIDDLEBURY — The NER Vermont Reading Series presents an evening of new writing with poets Sara London and Sarah Wolfson, essayist Emily Arnason Casey, and fiction writer Rahat Huda. The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury will host this event on Thursday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.
London’s new collection is “Upkeep,” from Four Way Books, and Middlebury native Wolfson’s debut collection, “A Common Name for Everything,” has just been published by Green Writers Press. Emily Casey of Orwell just released her debut essay collection, Made Holy (Univ. of Georgia), and Rahat Huda is a Middlebury College junior...
POET AND UNIVERSITY of Vermont professor Major Jackson will present work from “The Best American Poetry 2019,” on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 6:30 p.m., at The Vermont Book Shop in downtown Middlebury.
MIDDLEBURY — Poet, University of Vermont professor and guest editor of “The Best American Poetry 2019,” Major Jackson presents this new published annual collection with featured poets Didi Jackson, Vievee Francis, Camille Guthrie and Jane Shore on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 6:30 p.m., at The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury. The event is free and open to the public. A booksigning will follow Jackson’s talk.
Opening with a stirring essay on the transformative power of art in today’s tense times — and, in particular, the impact of accessible, daring verse — Jackson presents an illuminating collection of...
(University of Georgia Press)
As an essay collection, Emily Arnason Casey’s new book succeeds on every level. Her writing is evocative, relatable, haunting and magical. Using descriptive prose that stimulates your every sense, the essays transport you to particular places in time: the lake cabin of her childhood; her grandparents’ house in Minnesota, “beautiful to [her as one] who grew up in apartments and a walkout basement until the age of fourteen;” the cold blue room of her college apartment; the living room of a stranger as a naive teenager. The stories are quintessentially of the...