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Interview with Somerville novelist and bookseller, Josh Cook
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Josh Cook has for many years been an ubiquitous presence at Porter Square Books in Porter Square, Cambridge, where he works as a bookseller. Cook penned a detective novel recently, An Exaggerated Murder, that has echoes of Sherlock Holmes, as well as the detective Auguste Dupin created by Edgar Allen Poe. I talked with him on my Somerville Community Access TV show Poet to Poet/Writer to Writer.

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May 24

Pui Ying Wong was born in Hong Kong. She is the author of a full length book of poetry Yellow Plum Season (New York Quarterly Books, 2010), two chapbooks: Mementos (Finishing Line Press, 2007), Sonnet for a New Country (Pudding House Press, 2008) and her poems have appeared in Angle Poetry (U.K.), The Brooklyner, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (Hong Kong), Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Crannog (Ireland), Desde Hong Kong: poets in conversation with Octavio Paz, Chameleon Press (Hong Kong), Pirene’s Fountain, Prairie Schooner, The Southampton Review and 2Bridges Review, among others. She lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband.  She recently won the Pushcart Prize for her poetry and is a member of the Somerville Bagel Bards.
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‘Before We Were Birds’ by Susan Richmond
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Somerville Bagel Bard Lawrence Kessenich reviews a new book of poetry…

Before We Were Birds

Susan Richmond (Adastra Press, 2017)

A sentence from the blurb by Fred Marchant on the back of Before We Were Birds is a good jumping off point for this review: “Richmond’s poems … continually ask us to imagine the natural world as rife with spirits, ones that for a moment in the ongoing metamorphoses have taken on the form of dolphin or snowy owl … or a fox that stops and stares right back.” Nature, spirits, and metamorphoses are the common threads that run through this collection – and there’s a quality of nature staring right back at us that lends it power as well.

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May 17

Scott Ruescher’s book of poems, Waiting for the Light to Change, has just been published by Prolific Press. It is available at https://prolificpress.com/bookstore/.
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Aspect Magazine: The small press and Somerville, MA
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I was looking through my archives and decided to reprint this article that sheds light on what the Somerville small press scene was like – back in the day…

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May 10

David P. Miller’s chapbook, The Afterimages, was published in 2014 by Červená Barva Press. His poems have appeared in Meat for Tea, Main Street Rag, Ibbetson Street, Painters and Poets, Fox Chase Review, Third Wednesday, Wilderness House Literary Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, Oddball Magazine, Incessant Pipe, Clementine Unbound, and Ekphrastic Review, among others. Anthology appearances include Tell-Tale Inklings #1 and three Bagel Bards Anthologies. His poem Kneeling Woman and Dog was included in the 2015 edition of Best Indie Lit New England. David was a member of the multidisciplinary Mobius Artists Group of Boston for 25 years, and is a librarian at Curry College in Milton, Mass.
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Somerville’s JT Thompson: A Chronicler of Union Square
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I usually use my backroom perch at the Bloc 11 Cafe to interview the many poets, writers, artists, and interesting folks who live in the city of Somerville. On this April morning my position on the backroom table was to be reversed. I was to be interviewed by Somerville writer Thompson.

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May 3

Julia Monaco is a freshman at Endicott College from Sandy Hook, CT. She is double majoring in International Business and Marketing, and has always enjoyed poetry and writing creatively.
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‘From the Other Room’ by Anna M. Warrock
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The first thing I noticed about Somerville, Ma. poet Anna. M. Warrock’s new collection of poetry From the Other Room was the physical book itself. Usually, I merely glance at a book cover, but this was like love at first sight; I stopped to admire its simple beauty. The craftsmanship was at such a level that it reminded of the many finely crafted books put out by Gary Metras’ Adastra Press that – like Slate Roof – is located in Western, Massachusetts. Slate Roof is a small, collaborative press that published art-quality poetry books – the poetry that is between the covers in this case is more than worthy of its design.

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