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Imperial Jewelry: A new store that displays the art and craft of local artists

Medford Street, between Union Square and Ball Square, is sort of a forgotten neck of the woods in our city. As the gentrification of our burg progresses and speeds to the inevitable displacement that always happens at times like these, the city is taking some action. They are providing help to fledgling businesses so they can survive in a rapidly changing Somerville—a lofty goal to be sure. Adriana Fernandes, a Community Engagement Specialist for the city of Somerville, is a face of the city—who is helping Imperial Jewelry at 499 Medford St. have a fighting chance in the “new” Somerville. Fernandes is helping the new owner Cleuder Morias, negotiate the shoals of a new language (Morias recently arrived from Italy), as well to encourage his outreach into the community. Fernandes told me; “My role is not just about business, but about changing lives.”

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January 21

Poet Robert K. Johnson is the former poetry editor of the literary magazine  Ibbetson Street. He was a professor of English at Suffolk University for many years as well. Here, he writes wonderfully wistful poems, with a stunning clarity that is signature Johnson.

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Jim Baab: A Somerville photographer who sees the ‘naked’ possibilities

Photographer Jim Baab is a man who sees the naked possibilities in both the human and vegetable form. This Prospect Hill Somerville resident met me at the Bloc11 Café in Union Square to discuss his unique brand of photography.

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January 14

Every once in awhile I publish a piece of my own in the LYRICAL. Recently I have been writing a Lyrical memoir of my days living in Boston – right after I graduated college.  Here is an excerpt.

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Somerville Poet Gloria Mindock wins The Ibbetson Street Press Lifetime Achievement Award

The Ibbetson Street Press Lifetime Achievement Award has been awarded to many prestigious, and community-minded poets, publishers and writers over the years. Here is a list:

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January 7

Poet Jesse Mavro Diamond has a visit with Socrates and Gertrude Stein and tells us about it.

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December 31

Joanne DeSimone Reynolds has published poems in Salamander, Ibbetson Street Press, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Sanctuary Magazine among others. Her chapbook Comes a Blossom was published in 2014 by Main Street Rag.

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Kate Chadbourne: An Irish Gal for All Seasons*

Kate Chadbourne is about all things Irish. She radiates warmth and a passion for Irish folklore, music, literature, poetry, food…in short everything the Emerald Isle has to offer.

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December 24

Singer/Songwriter Jennifer Matthews responds to the massacre of school children in Pakistan with this poem.

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Local writer releases a lyrical memoir of the Civil Rights Movement*

Molly Lynn Watt, a longtime member of “The Bagel Bards” (a literary group in Somerville) has released a lyrical memoir with Somerville’s Ibbetson Street Press. The book concerns her work in the 1960s with the Civil Rights Movement. Somerville resident Bert Stern has reviewed this book for Off The Shelf.

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December 17

Jason Wright is the founder of the online literary magazine Oddball.

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Interview with Andrew Sofer: A poet involved with the theater and all that dark matter
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Andrew Sofer grew up in Cambridge, England, and, after boarding school, studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Boston University, and the University of Michigan. His numerous poetry awards include Southwest Review’s Morton Marr Prize; Atlanta Review’s International Publication Award; First Prize in the Iambs & Trochees Contest; and New England Poetry Club’s Gretchen Warren Award. Wave, his first book of poems, was named a finalist for the Morse Prize, the Donald Justice Award, and the New Criterion Prize. Andrew has acted and directed widely, and his writings on theater include the acclaimed book The Stage Life of Props. He teaches in the English department at Boston College. I had the pleasure to interview him on my Somerville Community Access TV show Poet to Poet: Writer to Writer

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December 10

Jessica Gray is a freshman at Endicott College in Beverly, MA.  She is currently studying two-dimensional studio art and is also minoring in music and creative writing.  One of her pieces is currently being displayed in a student show on campus.  The piece was part of a Graphic Novel workshop she participated in a few weeks ago.

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