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Local writer releases a lyrical memoir of the Civil Rights Movement
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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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Minds of McLean Hospital: A Creative Balance: A Report on the Poets in the Asylum panel at the Boston Book Festival
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Guest columnist Emily Pineau, a student of mine at Endicott College and an intern at Boston University’s AGNI magazine, wrote this article about a panel I hosted at the Boston Book Festival last month – I hope you enjoy.

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December 3

Anna Ziering will receive her MFA from Boston University in January 2015. She is currently traveling on a Robert Pinsky and Leslie Epstein Global Fellowship, spending time in Geneva and Prague before embarking on the Camino de Santiago. This is her first publication.

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With an old friend at Jacob Wirth: Jim Resnick and I
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This was written for my late friend Jim Resnick. Jim passed away last week at the age of 54. Jim was instrumental in helping me put out the first issue of the literary magazine Ibbetson Street in 1998.

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November 26

Ah … love … loss and gain – and all that pain. Poet Julian Gallitano gives us his take on “the same old story.”

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A Hard Summation,  Afaa Michael Weaver
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It is always a pleasure to get a new book published by a new local press. A colleague of mine at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, Enzo Silo Surin, the founder of the Central Square Press, has published a new book of poetry (A Hard Summation) by poet and Somerville resident Afaa Michael Weaver. Weaver is a professor at Simmons College in Boston, and recently won the prestigious Kingsley Tufts Award. He has penned a collection of 13 poems that cover the history of African- Americans from the Middle Passage to the present day. Weaver’s intention, according to Surin, is to give the reader, “an opportunity to listen, celebrate, commemorate, and appreciate the success and failures of the past in order to develop a current and contextual understanding of what it means to be an African-American.”

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November 19

Professor William Harney of Endicott College has the gimlet eye of a newspaper reporter and the sensibility of a poet. Look below and see why.

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The Somerville Poet Laureate – It is finally here!
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Harris Gardner (Tapestry of Voices) and myself (Doug Holder–Ibbetson Street Press) met with Gregory Jenkins,( The Director of the Somerville Arts Council), at the now defunct Sherman Cafe in Union Square this summer to discuss the prospects of getting a Somerville Poet Laureate. I have been pushing this for years, but to no avail. There were either vacant promises from local pols, the eye-rolling, the patronizing hand shake – slippery as a snake – well you know the drill. Jenkins was on board with the idea; so then we met with the mayor and he thought it was a good idea as well. Now we have an official announcement, and information about how to apply. We are forming a selection committee, so far it is Greg Jenkins, Doug Holder, Bert Stern, Harris Gardner, Linda Conte, Charles Coe, Ifeanyi Menkiti and others. So if you are a fine poet, community-minded, have a track record of promoting poetry, and have a strong vision for your possible tenure – apply!

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November 12

Somerville poet Afaa Michael Weaver has a new collection of verse out titled: “City of Eternal Spring.” Endicott College creative writing student Paige Shippie picked out her favorite poem from the collection and told us why.

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‘My Experience At Bunker Hill Community College’
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For the past five years I have taught a College Writing Seminar at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston. Bunker Hill serves an inner-city, and multiethnic population. Many of the students are older than traditional college students; many of the students are working full and part time jobs, and many will go on to four year institutions to continue their education. The college even offers midnight classes to accommodate the needs of this student population, and provides technical, nursing, and traditional liberal arts courses. Here is an essay from one of my students describing her first weeks in college. — Doug Holder

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