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“Jillian Hensley’s account of the 1704 raid on Deerfield, which is central to her story, feels authentic and fully imagined. I have read other accounts of this famous event, but for me this is the most engaging and original.”
“Hensley’s Jesuit narrator records his experiences, thoughts and observations in a voice so consistent and believable that one might forget he’s fictional. His perspective opens history and, in particular, humanizes missionary activity in the New World—both the good and the bad of it. Respectfully researched and thoughtfully composed In This Strange Soil is a work of grace and integrity.”
—Libby Maxey, Editor, Thornapple Press
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Eric Thomas Chester
Based on extensive archival research, The Wobblies in their Heyday looks at the union during the World War I era when it was able to organize militant strikes that drastically curtailed production in key industries, copper mining and lumber. It also looks at the debates within the union on how to build a broadly based movement to oppose the war. The book also details the coordinated campaign of repression launched by the administration of Woodrow Wilson with the intention of crushing the Wobblies.
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“Amazing, splendid! Andrea Stone’s anonymous protagonist—a mom who drops her tot (accidentally or murderously) from a bridge—displays the desperate sentiments of Plath, but also the frustration and alienation of Eliot’s Prufrock. So, Stone’s story must out as poetry, “the work of verse and belief,” as a disturbed stream-of-consciousness. The work exudes generic originality, organic genius: A “dropped” baby signals a mom who’s dropped out of maternity, opted out of “family negotiations … a lot like federal politics,” and becomes the “u” dropped out of Americanese (words like “color” and “neighbor”). Although American Spelling muses on the unspeakable crime of infanticide, its unceasing lyricism and urbane imagery render it a beautiful, newborn twin to William Carlos Williams’s verse-novel, Paterson. Like that work, American Spelling is a quirky, engrossing melange of “syllables [that] involve the whole mouth” and language whose simplicity is drop-dead scenic.”
— George Elliott Clarke, Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada
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Joshua Michael Stewart
“There’s a fearlessness in Joshua Michael Stewart’s collection Break Every String —tough, tightly written narratives and monologues about living poor with broken people (some of whom are your closest relatives) in hard times. This heartfelt gritty work reminds me of the hardscrabble accounts of humanity in some of our best poets—the work of Ai, Bruce Weigel, and Linda McCarriston’s landmark book, Eva-Marie. Stewart exercises the courage of truth telling and takes the revenge of real poetic craft. As Bruce Weigel says, “Say it clearly and you make it beautiful, no matter what.” Or as Stewart says, “Poets are the battered spouses of hope.” You can’t help but respect the maker of these streamlined vehicles, for his guts and his unsentimental, vivid poems.”
—Tony Hoagland, author of Application for Release from the Dream and Donkey Gospel
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My Friend Bill: The Life of a Restless Yankee
“For a long time, many of us have been encouraging Bill to write a memoir of his remarkable life. This gem of a book, written by Bill’s dear late friend Paul Schratter, fulfills that need. While we can’t hear Bill’s distinctive hilltown accent, through these pages we experience Bill Streeter’s quick mind, his Yankee frugality, indefatigable work ethic, stubborn courage, optimistic outlook, and big heart.”
Author Paul Schratter was born in Vienna, Austria. He came to America alone at age 16, escaping the Holocaust that later claimed the lives of his father and other relatives. His mother had died when he was about three years old. Paul graduated from the Maryland Institute of Art and, after studies at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, graduated from Boston’s Suffolk University. He served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War Two and had a fifty-year career in a business. As an executive he and his wife Marlis, a talented artist-potter, traveled extensively throughout the world while their homes were in Baltimore, then in Lexington and Boston, Massachusetts. Their only child is their daughter Reina of Leeds, Massachusetts. Paul died at the age of 93 just months after completing this book.
John Irving Clapp
“For brief, but profound moments, John Clapp and Henry David Thoreau look upon the world side by side. A loving book, The Tale of Two Cabins is crafted so the reader — as Thoreau would wish — saunters; destinations are encountered both by design and surprise yet there’s always a next step, an unexpected vista. Partly autobiographical, partly meditative and anecdotal, this book champions imperiled woodlands, fields, transcendentalism, a personal task, the quirks of family history and that wonderful human quality — a grin at one’s own past. The imperative of the next step for this carpenter, his spiritual queries and endeavor, the depth of love for his immediate family, and his trust — or at least hope — for his son’s future are all embraced and celebrated in the mixed narrative of this book. The affection which shines through these pages is both sustaining and precious. People who crave quiet around, and within themselves, who regard their world with at least some tenderness, will be moved, and well nourished by The Tale of Two Cabins.”
— Pamela Stewart, author of The Red Window, Ghost Farm, and Just Visiting
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Oonagh C. Doherty
Colombia is home to the longest running guerilla war in the Western Hemisphere. During the Truce is a memoir of Bogota in 1985, a time when the M19 and FARC guerillas were in truce with the Colombian government. Doherty takes the reader to luxurious military compounds, guerilla camps, and tar paper slums. She disputes the modern media soundbite of “narco-guerillas.” The truth, she asserts, is far more complicated, and the distorted history we are given hides a U.S. supported war which profits right-wing Colombian elites and transnational corporations at the expense of the Colombian people and American taxpayers.
“Doherty embeds a bewitching tale of her experiences as an American college student on a junior term abroad within a searing excursion through Colombia’s history. The two narratives speak to one another, and to the reader, with subtlety and power. The result is at once shocking and delightful.”
– Alison Richard, Crosby Professor emerita of Anthropology, Yale University
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When behavior becomes a cultural style, berserk abandon is terrifying yet also alluring. It promises access to extraordinary resources by overthrowing inhibitions. Berserk style has shaped many areas of contemporary American culture, from warfare to politics and intimate life. Focusing on post-Vietnam America and using perspectives from psychology, anthropology, and physiology, Farrell demonstrates the need to unpack the confusions in language and cultural fantasy that drive the nation’s fascination with berserk style.
Kirby Farrell is professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the author of Post-Traumatic Culture and other books of literary and cultural criticism, as well as several novels. He is a regular contributor to Psychology Today online.
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From the introduction: “Both the scientist and the mystic are explorers of space. With deepening exploration they come to see that the way we experience space is an indicator of our states of consciousness. Our views of reality influence the questions we ask about how we are living on the earth. It’s also the task of poets and philosophers to examine these questions, to see if it’s true that we are on the path toward the higher consciousness that alone will allow survival of the earth as a human and animal dwelling place.”
Alice Scheffey studied English Literature at Cornell and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan. She worked in Boston at The Atlantic Monthly and taught school children for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. She is a naturalist, writer and poet who lives on the edge of a New England forest preserve.
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From the Prologue: I am a political philosopher by trade, but I find in my past a series of takings of positions that grew only retrospectively into something that might charitably be called a coherent political philosophy. Those positions, taken singly or collectively, seem to grow from a common origin that I will call the logic of a sensibility. As I started this memoir, I asked myself a question: what were the actual experiences of a young person who unltimately became a political dissident, whether those experiences were embraced or rejected, loved or hated; and how did they appear at the time? In looking back I have found that the youthful adventures and challenges that I recount in these pages as well as the experiences of popular entertainment and poetry, love and rage, passion and irony, all seem to express the sensibility of a Romantic. This sensibility develops into what in adulthood becomes a political philosophy. that in my own mind I have dubbed Skeptical Romanticism, and finally remains unchanged: whatever is at stake, I must always be choosing sides, always taking a stance on the inchoate but permanent Left, and always be coming to a conclusion about who are the victims and who are the victimizers, for a political philosophy that does not know who the victims are is no political philosophy at all.
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Anne D. Emerson
Letters from Erastus: Field Notes on Grace, written by Erastus Hopkins’ great-great granddaughter Anne D. Emerson of Boston, is woven around twenty-two letters written by Hopkins to his daughters in the 1850s and 60s in Northampton, Massachusetts. Hopkins was a founder of the Free Soil Party in Massachusetts and its most eloquent advocate. A stirring orator, he was an effective legislator for Western Massachusetts on Beacon Hill. He was a Presbyterian minister in a sea of Congregationalists, founding president of the Connecticut River Railroad and an active agent of the Underground Railroad. The letters reveal an unexpected sensitivity and attempt to provide firm but gentle guidance to a family coping with years of domestic tragedy. Buried for one-hundred-fifty years in the archives of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the letters become a bridge to Linc, a schizophrenic cousin in prison, and a guide for the author’s understanding of her own life story and old New England family.
While this is a book full of engaging history, it is also a contemporary story, about a family of artists, the interplay of generations and values, and the ways we search for and find meaning as we move through the chapters of life.
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Coriander is a collection of honest and heartfelt essays that reveal an identity that requires straddling two worlds. Without hesitation, Bernini’s thoughts about belonging (or not) immediately pull us into life in a North American middle class suburb adjoining life as a Latino immigrant. Bernini engages the reader in humorous and shrewd speculation on the experiences she depicts.
In “Night of the Living Bible” she tells how Christian Evangelical Ecuadorean friends butcher a lamb in her garage before leaving to pick up her teenage daughter from a soccer game played under stadium lights. In “Good Fences” “Backyard American Dream,” and “Ode to the Fischer Cat,” we visit themes of private property, immigration and racism. Bernini’s moving essays are universal because her focus remains always on the “humanness” in hers and our own experiences. In “The Woman Astronaut“, she asks, “How will her tears flow in space where there is no gravity?"
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At once a portrait of a singular man and the story of a unique place, The Great Romance recounts the extraordinary life of Lee Elman, a lawyer turned real estate investor, longtime patron of the arts, public servant, bon vivant, expert horseman, accomplished mountain climber, polyglot, devoted father, and lover of all things—and people—beautiful. Set at Aston Magna, Elman’s historic estate in the Berkshires of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, The Great Romance articulates a philosophy of life that is rooted in an existential resolve to create meaning and a humanistic ardor to make every moment matter. Here, as well, we follow the story of a friendship that leads, finally, to the transformation of what for the author had been a lingering sadness. And we meet many of the men and women with whom Elman has worked, played, and together embraced the motto sculpted on the ancient sacrificial altar that stands by Aston Magna’s outdoor pool: “Sol redit, tempus nunquam”— “the sun returns, time never.”
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From Preliminary Remarks:
The Price of Hegemony
Managing an overextended empire has not been an easy enterprise for those who have tried over the past centuries. America has yet to experience the full range of “blowback” from its overextended empire. But it is coming. In spite of the brazen posturing of U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta — with his underling Kim Kwan-jin, South Korea’s defense minister, at his side — that the U.S. will continue to flex its military muscle in Asia, the day will come when the so-called U.N. Command, always under American generals, will come to an end. This is a critical issue of Korean sovereignty. How would Americans react to the Pentagon’s coming under the command of Marshal Georgi Zhukov or Ghengis Khan? Korea cannot be fully sovereign as long as the U.S. continues its hegemonic control over the Republic of Korea.
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Bad Atmosphere is the culmination of decades worth of writing by Don Ogden focusing on aspects of climate change that moved him to put into words, feelings and thoughts evoked by “the greatest crisis of our time”. The preservation of forests, forest soils and even individual trees in the struggle to confront climate chaos is raised often in Ogden’s work. As renowned environmentalist, Bill McKibben remarks: “As we face the climate crisis, we need art as well as science to help us reach the deepest parts of ourselves and fight the necessary fight. Thank heaven for the leadership of poets!”
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Fred Pelka’s poems occupy poetry’s narrow window, where words say what they mean and surprise at the same time. A Different Blaze takes on love, the fragility of being, war, and time, sidestepping sentimentality—but not heart, mixing darkness with humor. Pelka’s voice is both direct and lyrical. “It is forbidden to walk on stilts in the snow-filled rooms of your imagination.” Characters come alive; laughing Michael, in his souped-up power wheel chair; a German WW II soldier, awarded the Order of the Frozen Meat; a grandmother on her 100th birthday; a speech therapy student; a bank robber. These poems aren’t afraid to address love, which might need “a wheelchair to waltz,” or “a service dog to fetch the credit card receipt,” but which serves to send us into “another ecstatically exuberant form of life.”
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Helen R. Haddad
A window into the 1920s, this novel opens when young Josiah loses his parents and has to leave the city of Boston, moving to rural western Massachusetts. There, he struggles to adapt to life on his aunt and uncle’s farm and to adjust to a one-room school, where he meets Addy, who becomes a friend, and Alvin, the school bully. As his sense of belonging slowly grows, so does his realization that the Swift RiverValley, where he now lives, may be destroyed to create an enormous reservoir to supply water to Boston. The largely untold story of life in the towns flooded to create the Quabbin Reservoir is presented as a backdrop to Josiah’s story, as is a picture of traditional New England farming through the seasons.
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Edited by Janelle Cornwell, Michael Johnson and Adam Trott with Julie Graham
Building Co-operative Power explores strategies from the Connecticut River Valley as a guide and inspiration for developing a regional co-operative economy based on a vibrant and engaged worker co-op sector. It speaks directly to obstacles and opportunities for making worker co-operatives an increasingly important part of the U.S. economy. The authors relay practical insights on co-op governance, communication, conflict and inter-cooperation. These are highlighted by cautionary tales and sagas of personal transformation.
They explore the problems and triumphs of cooperatives, through practical, yet visionary eyes. … In the course of their exploration, they visit a great variety of co-ops in the Connecticut River Valley region, and discuss their successes and problems unflinchingly. This type of on-the-ground regional thinking is a key to developing cooperative networks that are deep and sustainable.
—John Curl, author of For All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements and Communalism in America
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A globalizing Rome has taken nations and tribes by force, and the loss of national and tribal identity leaves people adrift in an indifferent empire. To whom does one belong? Family? Gods? The State? What’s a person to do? An aging widow sends her former slave across the sea to fetch her granddaughter. A silver merchant dispatches his son on a trading journey to cities where Jews and Christians are pulling apart from each other. The Jews find themselves without their centralizing Temple and the Christians without their Son of God. Fatalists trust to the stars; Stoics and Epicureans to themselves. The two young people cross paths, bringing down the worlds of their parents and ultimately testing the wisdom of the man whom Rome calls Son of God—the emperor, Trajan.
Elegant, fast-paced. Its large cast of characters pulsates with life, inspiring the reader to meditate on the corruptions of power and the devastating consequences of military and religious warfare.
—Herbert Leibowitz, Editor, Parnassus: Poetry in Review
With unobtrusive authority and deft skill Zane Kotker achieves the astonishing feat of making the richly various Mediterranean peoples of the year 100 AD as familiar to us as our neighbors.
—Roger King, author of Love and Fatigue in America
We come to love [her characters] in all their complexity and confusion, hoping along with them for a better world. This story will stay with you.
—Susanne Dunlap, author of The Musician’s Daughter
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“A Heart Book contains greater detail than is typically provided in resources given patients by their doctors. In my experience, patients will only ask about and talk about their heart when they are afraid. Fear draws them to search for additional help and perhaps stumble on misinformation. I want to alleviate fear by providing direct answers, based on real evidence, to help patients make better decisions.”
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain
Jennifer Hakkarainen has worked as a Physician Assistant in the medical, surgical, and lipid specialty fields for the past twenty years.
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“Bring the War Home,” which had been a rallying cry of the anti-Vietnam War movement, was transformed on May 4, 1970 into a macabre irony when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student anti-war protesters at Kent State, killing four and wounding nine.
Many, most certainly not all, of the anti-war student activists were chauvinist, privileged, white men. Those cadres of the movement got a lot wrong then, but as the LGBT, environmental, and anti-war movements that followed have proven, they also had some core beliefs that were right. And while those 1960s activists most assuredly won’t achieve anything close to the idealism they purportedly believed in at that time, their kids just might.
When the War Came Home tells that story.
About this book Noam Chomsky writes, “Drawing from rich personal engagement, vividly portrayed, Bill Newman…capture[s] the courage and commitment of the young activists of the 1960s, the civilizing effect on the country in the years that have followed, and the shameful abuses that plague the society today. An enlightening collection, inspiring and often shocking.”
Bill Newman has been the Director of the Western Massachusetts Office of the American Civil Liberties Union for more than a quarter century.
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We Called Him Bunny
Positively Center Street: My 25 Years at the Iron Horse Music Hall, 1979–2004
Paradise Found: A Walking and Biking Tour of Northampton, Massachusetts through Poetry and Art
Alice Ott, cyber sleuth, veteran activist, and Raging Granny, returns to sound the alarm in highly suspicious murder case. When the body of a woman is found at the front gates of an aging nuclear power plant, Homeland Security is called in. The dead woman is wearing a peace sign on her jacket and a belt of explosives. Eco terrorism is suspected, but Alice doesn’t buy it.
After decades of opposition to the leaking nuclear plant, local environmental activists celebrate the news that the plant is finally going to close. But danger looms larger than ever as EnergX, the corporate owners of the Patriot plant, distract the local community from the deadly truth about the closure. Alice creates an unusual assortment of co-conspirators in her quest to uncover the identity of the woman at the gate. This diverse coalition includes her long-lost lover Gerard, a trio of young adventurers looking for a new start, a resilient resident of the local nursing home next door to the nuclear facility, and a top administrator from the nuclear plant. Alice Ott’s latest breath-taking adventure takes the reader from the peaceful banks of the Connecticut River into the dark secrets of the aging nuclear reactor. Alice and company prove once again that, from the youngest to the oldest, ordinary citizens have the power to change their destiny.
Dusty J Miller, mystery writer and local activist, is the author of Danger at the Gates:An Alice Ott Mystery, and Danger in the Air, the first in the Alice Ott mystery series. She is a retired psychotherapist and author of Women Who Hurt Themselves and other popular psychology books. For more information about Danger at the Gates and upcoming book readings, contact her at: www.dustyjmiller.com
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Susan Claire Schroder
Anger, fear, and uncertainty power the first day this horse and woman meet. The horse, six-months old, the woman, barely out of her teens, are to bond for life. But how is this going to happen? You Come Too is a compelling invitation to all animal lovers who appreciate the depth of feeling and meaning pets bring into our lives.
The author of this true story, Susan Schroder, artfully describes behaviors her equine heroine exhibits, giving the reader an intimate view of their relationship. This unique story focuses on the horse and her adaptation to the human world including her strong need to belong, to learn, to love, to heal, to play, and to get what she wants. It is heartwarming and inspirational. Beware. It may even change the reader’s idea about how this majestic species interplays with life.
New York Times bestselling author (The Good Good Pig) and naturalist Sy Montgomery writes, “You Come Too is riveting, beautifully crafted, full of love and insight, and has a powerful narrative arc. Everyone who has ever loved an animal will relate to this book – and even those who have known horses for years will learn something new from it.”
Best Selling author (The Dog Who Loved Too Much), world renown animal behaviorist, and founding member of Veterinarians for Equine Welfare Nicholas Dodman, DVM writes; “You Come Too is a beautifully written saga of a 28-year relationship between the author and her horse in which both came to deeply understand and trust the other. The connection between them was almost spiritual. The end of the story is very moving and testifies to the powerful and eternal bond of love that a person can have with an animal.”
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“I feel my disability walks ten feet in front of me, which is good and bad, depending on the person who is walking the other way.”
“I wonder if I should even be apologizing to anyone I’ve hurt in my past. After all, I can’t help my diagnosis. I can’t help the fact that I do these things.”
“If I could jump, then I’d probably jump up and down on the couch like Tom Cruise did on OPRAH. I’m so in love now!”
These are just a few of the fascinating responses that Katherine Duke received when she asked her fellow disabled people about their love lives. In Kissability, Katherine and forty other individuals from around the world open up about their bodies, minds, and hearts. Their words interweave to create a book about differences and common bonds, about inner selves and outward appearances, about change and acceptance—and about the many ways that people need and connect with one another.
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A biography that spans almost a century, the book is the story of 97-year-old Johnny Pail Face, a Native American born on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. His life’s journey began in the Old West and led him to soldier in three wars and to not one but two brushes with genocide in a single lifetime. In the first, his Native American people were the victims. In the second, he fought with gun and bayonet alongside fellow G. I.s against Hitler’s war machine and came out the victor. The first genocide left him crazy with anger, the second crazy with despair. It took him two more wars to work things out. Through it all, he struggled against the demons of depression and alcoholism to ultimately find the best pieces of what it means to be a human being within himself and to make peace with a troubled world.
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The Constant Heart explores a woman’s relationship to the men she partners with, as she learns to be more truly herself. Throughout her life she’s a pioneer, seeking adventure and testing herself again and again in the wild, paddling the Allagash, capturing wild goats on an island in the Aegean, fasting in the New Mexico desert, wandering the streets of Istanbul alone, and connecting with Spirit through nature and the elements. For twenty years she homesteads on a small farm in rural Massachusetts, drops out of the consumer culture and lives close to the land. She moves from devaluing herself toward steadily celebrating all of herself, until now in her sixties, she feels whole and alive.
A former English teacher, librarian, writing coach and founder of the Bear Mountain Writers, she’s published in Cobblestone, Calliope, and Faces magazines, as well as in School Library Journal. Fourteen of her poems are featured in Bone Cages, a collection of the work of five Massachusetts poets.
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Peter I. Rose
Postmonitions of a Peripatetic Professor describes the lucky journey of Peter Rose, an octogenarian sociologist, ethnographer, writer, teacher and world traveler. In the pages of this colorful memoir, the author comments on six decades of academic life in the U.S. and abroad, his work as researcher, editor and consultant, his excursions as a travel journalist, and some intimate portraits of those he met along the way.
With a foreword by the author’s former Smith College student, playwright and novelist Andrea Hairston, the narrative is enriched by occasional extracts from his earlier writings in essays, stories, reviews, poems, and books, including They and We, The Subject is Race, The Ghetto and Beyond, Strangers in Their Midst, Americans from Africa, Mainstream and Margins, Tempest-Tost, Guest Appearances, The Dispossessed and With Few Reservations.
Peter Rose is Sophia Smith Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow of the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute at Smith College. He and his wife, Hedy, live in Northampton and Wellfleet, Massachusetts.
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Trees of New England:
Anne Love Woodhull
Tuned to the instruments of dark… the gods in pieces around her, Anne Love Woodhull has given us a book to embrace when our own hours become uncertain. These poems pierce. Woodhull desires conflagration, not ceremony, wants more than reflection, an exploration of the interior dark, of how challenge is lived, of where fear fits. A moth walks along a neck. Locusts chew leaves into skeletons. What is unknown is as important as what is known. Whether summoning the memory of a newborn calf in a freezing barn, ghosts, or burning boats, caught in the unbearable in between, Woodhull is unblinking and brave. These poems allow us to be brave with her.
Anne Love Woodhull has co-authored three children’s books and is the author of This Is What We Have (March Street Press, 2001,) a poetry chapbook. Working with children and adults, she is a therapist and teacher. For the last thirty years, she and her husband, Gordon Thorne, have provided an open working space for the development of creative work on Main Street in Northampton, Massachusetts. They also preserve open land in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts to encourage the collaboration of organic farming, creative exploration and community.
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by Enid Keil Sichel
The title of this book takes its name from a thought experiment conducted by physicist Erwin Schrödinger. He was thinking about quantum states, represented by a live cat and a dead cat, and illustrating how the act of measuring a quantum state affects the outcome of an experiment. The titles of the stories are topics in physics that, to a physicist, are jokes about the subjects of the stories.
Enid Sichel is a physicist who has worked in industry, government, and academia. She is an alumna of Smith College, B.A., and Rutgers University, Ph.D. She is the author of numerous technical publications and holds seven U.S. patents. In addition to physics, her interests include botany and hiking. She lives in Woods Hole and Hadley, MA and has never had a cat.
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by Nadine Gallo
Nadine Gallo brings us to the countryside of Ireland in 1917. Nora, Gallo’s feisty, romantic protagonist, plunges us into the atmospheric intrigue that was Ireland during the years preceding the Irish War of Independence. The homespun dress she wore seemed the color of a distant hill. She was shoeless as usual. The colors woven into her dress were like a rainbow trout’s. When they all blended together they were like mist over a lake. Through this fifteen-year old adventurer, we see the misty hills of Eire, hear the brogues and turns of phrase and explore the politics of the times. Nora is steeped in the twists and turns of Michael Collins and DeValera, in the conflicted Irish participation in WWI, and her heart is full with Tim Keane, the local lad going off to the slaughtering fields of France: Nora loved his stories, his poems made up on the spur of the moment. She knew that he loved her for her sudden changes of mind, her devilment, as her father said. Not a girl to sit and wait, Nora visits a cave and hears the voice of an oracle: Faint harp music could be heard in the distance and then a voice spoke like water pouring over rocks. Throughout the book, Gallo’s prose is the voice in the cave, lyrical, irreverent, prophetic and alluring. She delivers Fitzgerald and Kennedy clan lore, curses and blessings in this brilliant telling of a brave and clever girl who sees ghosts in the gorse bushes and can sell her own hand spun, hand-knitted shawl for a pounds worth of salmon and eggs. This is a spell worth succumbing to.
Nadine Gallo was born in Astoria, Queens in 1936. Her parents were immigrants. Mother Nora told stories of rebels, ghosts and fairies while her father Stephen told sea stories from Liverpool to New York. Later they went to Brosna, Kerry where the stories came alive.
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Edited by Michael Dover, Caroline Hanna and Rebecca Reid
First Levellers title of 2013! In March 2009, the Hitchcock Center launched a biweekly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette called ”Earth Matters: Notes on the Nature of the Valley.” From the outset, we decided that a diversity of voices was needed to provide a full picture of the diversity of topics that our subject demanded. Hitchcock Center staff, board members, program presenters and friends have stepped forward to create a series that Larry Parnass, editor of the Gazette, describes as ”topical, well-researched, close to home, meaningful, enlightening.”
This book is a collection of the first three and a half years of the column. In it, 34 authors have contributed more than 90 columns about local flora and fauna, waterfalls, geology and prehistory, agriculture, even great places for a nap. They take readers on scientific explorations through an author’s yard and casual walks along woodland paths. Along the way, readers also learn about cougars in Patagonia and world-wide views on global warming, smart growth and home-grown energy production, ecovillages and the Transition movement. With this book, says editor Parnass, ”local environmental education takes a bold step forward.”
Illustrated with black-and-white and color photographs by Hitchcock Center photographer Rebecca Reid and others, along with drawings by contributing author and illustrator Elizabeth Farnsworth, the book divides the essays among eight subject areas:
—Teaching and learning about the environment
—The world is green: Plants around us
—Bugs, beetles and other small beasties
—Four-leggers great and small
—Birds and more birds: The endless fascination of the avian world
—As You Sow: Local food and agriculture
—Sustainability, Life choices and other big ideas
—Being here: In and around the Valley
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by Sarah Pirtle
This resource includes a two CD set of 40 songs.
Teachers and parents can use these time-tested activities in classrooms, families, camps, houses of worship and community programs.
Combine with reading and writing skills, learn how to talk-it-out, or, take five minutes to play and discuss a song.
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by Maya Janson
Like photogravures, the images of Murmur & Crush etch memory and landscape into indelible emotional content. The road, once, the fields, now, a boy, an afternoon, wings, horses, orchards, and ladders appear and disappear, woven into reoccurring motifs, always unexpected and elemental. These poems implicate the world broadly but depict it intimately. They exist in the past and present at once. Here, Janson writes, “Truth’s got a murky taste.” As poet Carol Potter says of this collection, “The joy we find… is an earned joy; rapture ‘in spite of the demise of everything.’ “We’re all/ pilgrims,” Janson writes, “Sometimes we’re incandescent.”
Maya Janson’s poetry has appeared widely in journals including Harvard Review, Lyric, Alaska Quarterly Review, Jubilat, and Rattle, and has been included in Best American Poetry. She received her BA from Smith College, her MFA from Warren Wilson College, and has been a recipient of an artist fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She lives in Florence, MA and is employed as a community health nurse and a lecturer in poetry at Smith College.
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Written by Joan Robb
Illustrated by Susan Weizman
In search of a break from her royal routine, Princess Andorra pops out of a storybook and, into a young friend’s living room for an afternoon of fun! Enjoy their unconventional “Princess” escapades. Author Joan Robb has been writing and performing for children for over 20 years. She was an integral part of touring musical group, Caribbean for Kids, and Director of countless theater programs targeted for youths of all ages. Susan Weizman is a Graphic Artist and Illustrator who has worked for national magazines such as Glamour, House & Garden and Self. She has published illustrations in Lifestyle Ventures magazines.
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by Robert H. Steele
During the 1990s, two Connecticut Indian tribes opened the world’s two biggest gambling casinos in the southeastern corner of the state, resulting in what has been termed a “gambling Chernobyl” The Curse is a novel based on those events. It begins in 1637 with the massacre of the Pequot Indians and a curse delivered by a Pequot sachem to the young English soldier who is about to kill him. The story then jumps 350 years as the soldier’s thirteenth-generation descendant, Josh Williams, becomes embroiled in a battle to stop a newly-minted Indian tribe from building a third casino that threatens his town and ancestral home. The lure of easy money drives everyone from the tribe’s fraudulent chief to a shadowy Miami billionaire, venal politicians, and Providence mobsters, while a small, quintessential New England town must choose between preserving its character or accepting an extraordinary proposal that will change it forever. As the battle over the casino reaches a climax, Josh discovers startling truths about his family’s past including centuries-old events that appear to be impacting the present with devastating effect.
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edited by David Bollier
and Silke Helfrich
We are poised between an old world that no longer works and a new one struggling to be born. Surrounded by centralized hierarchies on the one hand and predatory markets on the other, people around the world are searching for alternatives. The Wealth of the Commons explains how millions of commoners have organized to defend their forests and fisheries, reinvent local food systems, organize productive online communities, reclaim public spaces, improve environmental stewardship and re-imagine the very meaning of “progress” and governance. In short, how they’ve built their commons.
In 73 timely essays by a remarkable international roster of activists, academics and project leaders, this book chronicles ongoing struggles against the private commoditization of shared resources – often known as market enclosures – while documenting the immense generative power of the commons. The Wealth of the Commons is about history, political change, public policy and cultural transformation on a global scale – but most of all, it’s about individual commoners taking charge of their lives and their endangered resources.
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Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Holistic Approach is a book for:
…therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and others interested in a more effective, more holistic approach to PTSD.
…Aikido senseis, practitioners and dojos wanting to offer a valuable contribution to veterans with combat-related PTSD.
…veterans support programs open to expanding their options to include the kinesthetic therapeutic learning inherent in the practice of Aikido.
…veterans looking for a martial art that will enable them to redirect the energy of their anger and fear to constructive use.
The book presents an analysis of the disorder, an indication of what the statistics imply, a description of the power of Aikido as a kinesthetic therapy, and a one-year case history.
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Soon after enrolling her older son in a Boston public elementary school, Susan Naimark began to see that opportunities offered to her kids were often unavailable to their classmates of color. In The Education of a White Parent Naimark candidly describes her sometimes faltering efforts to create change in the school system, tracing what turns out to be the gradual transformation of a dismayed parent into a parent leader, school board member, and advocate for equal opportunities for all students. She acknowledges that the problem of racial privilege is overwhelmingly complex and freighted with awkwardness and frustration, but she asserts with humble confidence that it is not intractable.
Alongside compelling stories about her experiences, Naimark discusses numerous national studies, identifying the pattern of inequities in public schools and some signs of progress. In a clear, conversational tone, Naimark shares what she has learned about navigating school bureaucracies, collaborating across race, and achieving results that benefit all kids.
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Everybody loves the Valley’s vivid vegetables, but when harvests are at their brimming height, everybody needs a stash of new recipes for using them. Claire Hopley, author of several books on food and food history, has collected recipes from near and far for asparagus, peas, corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash and the myriad other vegetables now beckoning from fields and farmers’ markets.
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Angel Nieto Romero
Teacher and poet Angel Nieto Romero (Abu to his grandchildren) is a native of Cuenca, Spain, where he spent his childhood and later studied to be a teacher. As a young adult, he hitchhiked to France, England, and Germany and then settled in Madrid where he studied tourism and worked at Iberia Airlines.
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The 1840s were the 1960s of the nineteenth century: new technologies were creating a new prosperity for the new American nation, and self-reliant individuals thought that they could create a new world by following their hearts. Henry David Thoreau famously tried to invent the economics of self-reliance at Walden Pond, and when Margaret Fuller met Ralph Waldo Emerson, the guru of self-reliance, she thought she might reinvent marriage as well. Emerson was newly married to his second wife, but Fuller saw herself as Emerson’s ideal companion nonetheless, and she fought for a place in his heart and in his life.
The relationship that followed was never consummated, but it caused both Emerson and Fuller to question the value of marriage for self-reliant individuals. In their journals and in their writings, in their letters to each other and in their own marriages, Emerson and Fuller both strove to find peace between the long-term commitment of marriage and the relationships their hearts and minds suggested might be possible.
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“Here everything is lit with the sensual.” As in Caravaggio’s paintings, the light in these poems burns with a cold blue intensity, catching—in nuanced language that invites us into his mind and world—this strange amalgam of sexuality and remove, violence and delicacy, ugliness and beauty. With an incandescent clarity and a compassionate composure, Boutelle’s historical imagination—sophisticated, informed, free of judgment—opens us to possession by this seductive art and its defiant maker. See author bio and more on the Hedgerow Books site.
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“What an extraordinary accomplishment Bob Ellis has in Nuked: A G.I. Memoir. I am blown away by the expanse and detail of Bob’s memory, by his facility with language, both concrete descriptive detail and more abstract, meditative lyricism. And I am struck by the courage of his undertaking, a journey of moral suffering and extraordinary courage that should inspire all who live under the nuclear cloud. A riveting and unforgettable Pilgrim’s Progress for our own time — both in its conception and the persistence to see it through to the end.”
—Margo Culley, Professor of English Emerita, UMass
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A Memoir in Four Movements
At once a writer’s autobiography and a road book, with vivid portraits of an unusual group of people—ranging from an early mentor and one-time neighbor, the late poet Archibald MacLeish, to world renowned jazz great Wynton Marsalis (with whose bands Carl Vigeland traveled for many years) and the author’s charismatic, tormented father, also a musician—The Breathless Present tells several intersecting stories in a variety of voices that mirror music’s power to transmute memory and affirm life.
“If I were going to read a story,” Vigeland’s daughter Maren says as they walk their dog Jack in an early scene in the book, “I wouldn’t want to read it if you could explain the story in a couple of sentences. I would only want to read a story if you had to read all of it to understand it.”
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Take Us Closer to the Moon
Linda McCullough Moore
This Road Will Take Us Closer to the Moon is a life in stories, the life of Margaret Mackenzie, a woman whom the reader comes to love. Weaving back and forth across the years, these stories invite us in, they tell us secrets, whisper mysteries, allowing us to know and feel deep joy, distinct sorrow, the silliness and rich meaning, in the living of one precious lifetime.
“Like Raymond Carver, these linked stories attend unerringly to ordinary moments in ordinary lives. A life revealed in episodes, with breathless flights of imagination…..quiet, insistent, closely focused fiction.”
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Girls Got Kicks… the first ever photo documentary of the badass females, told from a unique angle: their passion for sneakers. From celebrities like WNBA Rookie-of-the Year Tina Charls, legendary b girl Rokafella, and “Downtown’s Sweetheart” Vashtie Kola, to extraordinary young women famous only for their obsessive love of sneaker, Girls Got Kicks celebrates the beauty and diversity of female sneaker fiends the world over. Whether they’re running home in the rain barefoot to save their precious kicks or tearing them up at the skate park, whether they’re matching them to their wedding dress or their basketball uniform, Girls Got Kicks documents how these sneaker lovers push beyond stereotypes, using kicks to be both athletic and sexy, hip and tomboyish, grown and youthful, as they define who they are—and who women can be—on their own terms.
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“Tzivia Gover tells us that according to the educator, Paulo Freire, ‘It is impossible to teach without the courage to love.’ In this beautifully written memoir, Gover musters up the courage to love her students despite the often difficult differences between them. By having the pregnant and parenting teens in her classroom learn to read, write, and recite poetry, Gover exposes her students to a whole new world. Upon reading their poetry, Gover is exposed to a whole new world as well. Learning in Mrs. Towne’s House is a testimony to the power of poetry. Reading it will enrich your life.”
—Lesléa Newman Poet Laureate, Northampton, MA 2008-2010
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Patricia Lee Lewis
High Lonesome is a pasture on a West Texas ranch, a state of being, an affecting personal mythology. Poet Patricia Lee Lewis writes, “Think how brambles catch her petticoats, hold them ‘til they tear, feed on blood….Say the old woman can find her way, can feel the thorns of walls,” and ”From her kneeling place between two great stones, she sends her voice.” These are poems of landscape and family, heart and perspective. “High Lonesome pulls you into the momentum of its sounds with urgency, shock, serenity and arrival. The language of Patricia Lee Lewis is devoted to noticing. Her poems digest the howling, look at what comforts, what invades to do harm, what remains.”
—Anne Love Woodhull
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D M Gordon
Weaving the “Fourth World” of snails, ravens, and sloths with imagined worlds of our human fragility, our power to destroy and to love, D M Gordon’s poems bring us face to face with the divine. Nightly, at the Institute of the Possible is often allegorical, language-rich, and always illuminating.
“In these sensuous, tough-minded and sophisticated poems, the possible extends its range to the clairvoyant. Like nature’s slow transformation of gleam to a rich patina of green brocade, the work of time and decay turns rich and strange in these poems of an original mind and an irrepressible spirit.”
D M Gordon’s poems and stories have been published widely. Prizes include The Betsy Colquitt Award from descant, The Editor’s Choice Award from the Beacon Street Review, and First Prize for a short story from Glimmer Train. Phi Beta Kappa, Masters in Music from Boston University, she’s the recipient of a 2008 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship in fiction, having been a finalist in poetry in 2004. She currently works as an editor and facilitates a weekly public discussion of contemporary poetry for Forbes Library in Northampton, Massachusetts. She is the author of Fourth World (Adastra Press, 2010,) and is at work on a novel set in the Gulf Islands.
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The men speaking in these pages come from vastly different backgrounds, yet many shared a similar experience: they could plainly see, even at the time, that wealth, race, education and social standing divided all too often those who would go to Vietnam from those who would not, those who might really die from those who need not worry. The telling of such things is hard. The telling of shame, fear, loss, ambivalence, anger (even righteous anger) is hard. Raising old memories to the surface is a mighty work.
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Bird of a Thousand Eyes
Janet E. Aalfs
The author of Bird of a Thousand Eyes does not tease or play games with the poetic toolbox. She is creatively honest, lyric and imagistic, and always gathering ideas and redefining the corners of perception. Readers comfortable with the narrow limitations of linear approaches to “Subject” will have to open and read with all of their senses. This poet mixes Schools. There are many styles and poetic containers here, all governed by the integrity of various ways of breathing––these lines, nearly, pluck themselves. It’s hard to poetically combine wisdom and experience without sounding like the know-it-all master of simile and metaphor, but Aalfs does so in stanzas that stay open long after they break or close. Enjoy the flight above voice and promise to, simply, the Art Spirit.
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Seven Years of Building Community and Enhancing Health
Sara S. Wolff
Six weeks of exploring aging with a group at the Senior Center in Amherst, Massachusetts leads to seven years of discoveries.
“Everyone ages. Some reflect on the process and find ways of retaining vitality in later years. Others are able to use the challenges of aging as a means of building community, thus enhancing their own health and the health of others. Among this last group is the talented psychotherapist, Sara S. Wolff, who led a group of elders through a seven-year journey of exploration and discovery. I highly recommend this book for anyone who cares about the well-being of older people, including, sooner or later, themselves.”
— Faye J. Crosby, Professor of Psychology
University of California, Santa Cruz
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Caring for Dying Loved Ones
Joanna Lillian Brown
Local first-time author Joanna Lillian Brown marshaled her own experiences to create this caring resource.
Caring for Dying Loved Ones: A Helpful Guide for Families and Friends is a useful guide book for persons already caring for chronically ill or dying relatives or friends as well as those who wish to prepare for care giving responsibilities in the future. The first chapter of the book, “Taking Your Own Temperature as a Caregiver” sets the tone for this practical and inspirational guide. Some other chapters in the book include “Financial Considerations,” “Family Dynamics and Conflicts,” and “The Final Days, Hours, and Minutes.”Helpful check lists, forms, and resource lists are interspersed with compelling personal stories from more than a decade of caring for dying relatives and friends. The final chapter on activism calls for a national dialogue about end of life care and proposes new options for providing and financing at-home care that are worthy of consideration.
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Slavery in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts
Robert H. Romer
In this first history of slavery in western Massachusetts in colonial times, Robert H. Romer demonstrates that slavery was pervasive in the Pioneer Valley in the 1700s, where many of the ministers and other “important people” owned black slaves. To show the role of slavery in the valley, Professor Romer presents a “snapshot” of slavery, choosing a moment (1752) and a place (the main street of Deerfield) to present detailed information about the slaves who lived in that place at that time – and their owners. Working largely from original sources – wills, probate inventories, church records, and merchants’ account books – he shows that slavery was much more significant than had previously been thought. Some twenty-five slaves belonging to fifteen different owners lived on that mile-long street in 1752. He emphasizes that these were individuals, some born in Africa, some born as slaves in New England, forced to live their lives as property, always subject to being sold away at the whim of an owner.
His work brings out of obscurity the many black slaves who lived in the valley, the invisible men and women of our colonial past.
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enough of a little to know the all
The Final Curtain
I left when I realized
the most expensive
piece of furniture
in our house
was your mother,
and you sat
in her lap
as she pointed
out to me
what needed to be done.
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