Congratulations to Mary Ann Mayer on Her New Book!

Kissing the Shuttle – A Lyric History (Blackstone River Books, 2018) is a full-length collection of poetry, historical illustrations and explanatory captions, reenacting a little known history.  The lead title refers to a common weaving practice that spread tuberculosis.  The book explores the nexus between labor and health, and features the first public health movement to stamp out TB.  Set largely in the newly industrialized Blackstone River Valley, notably Rhode Island, this associational history also traces “Cotton Fever’s” effects beyond regional borders.  Well-researched, engaging, and full of period details and diverse voices, it shows the human face of industrialization as well as society’s  new “esprit de corps” for public health.  Readers will experience daily life in the mills and villages, the TB sanatorium, and the nation’s first “open-air schools.”  The Historian Laureate of Rhode Island has praised the book as “a blend of both triumph and tragedy.”

For reviews and more information, please visit the link below.

https://www.amazon.com/Kissing-Shuttle-Mary-Ann-Mayer/dp/0692069216/

Author Bio:

Mary Ann Mayer’s most recent collection is Salt & Altitudes (Finishing Line Press, 2014).  Her poems, essays, and translations have been widely published. Her honors include the GrubStreet “Blue Period” Poetry Prize, a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant, and Massachusetts Book Award and Pushcart Prize nominations.  She has been a finalist for the May Sarton New Hampshire Book Award.  Mary Ann is an editor for Crosswinds Poetry Journal and volunteers with the Ocean State poets, promoting poetry in underserved communities.  She was raised in Rhode Island.  Newly retired from her occupational therapy practice, she divides her time between Sharon, MA and Franconia, NH.  Contact information:  blackstoneriverbooks@gmail.com

Reaching Across: Poems and Translations, Chloe Garcia Roberts & Ani Gjika, August 12th, 3 pm

Join us at the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters in Cambridge on August 12th at 3 pm for a poetry reading from award-winning poets and translators, Chloe Garcia Roberts and Ani Gjika. These two poets reach across cultures, bringing us new and lively voices as well as their own new work.

Chloe Garcia Roberts is the translator of poems by Chinese poet Li Shangyin. She lives in Boston and is managing editor at Harvard Review and a contributing editor for The Critical Flame.

Ani Gjika brings us her translated poems of Albanian poet, Luljeta Lleshanaku and Kosavar playwright, Xhevdet Bajraj. Gjika moved to the U.S. at age 18 and earned an MA in English at Simmons College and an MFA in poetry at Boston University.

Free and open to the public.

Yusef Komunyakaa, Golden Rose Award 2018

Yusef Komunyakaa with Laren McClung and members of the Board of NEPC Left to right: Linda Haviland Conte, Treasurer; Marjorie Thomsen, Programming Chair; Yusef Komunyakaa, Mary Buchinger, President; Ralph Pennel, Membership Chair; Laren McClung; Hilary Sallick, Vice President (Board Members not in photo: Wendy Drexler, Programming Chair, and Jennifer Markell, Membership Chair)

Lines by Heart: Physicians and Poetry


Award-winning poets and physicians Drs. Glenn Colquhoun and Rafael Campo explore the tremulous terrain of the doctor-patient relationship as they illuminate the richly human search for meaning in the face of mortality.Dr. Rafaeil Campo teaches and practices at Harvard Medical School, where he directs the Arts and Humanities Initiative’s Literature and Writing Program. Author of eight highly acclaimed books, he is the recipient of the National Poetry Series award among many others.

Glenn Colquhoun is a poet and children’s writer. He has written award-winning books on poetry and four children’s books.

Golden Rose Reading and Reception with Yusef Komunyakaa

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Join us in celebrating the 2018 Golden Rose Award recipient, Pulitzer Prize-winner Yusef Komunyakaa. The poet will also read a selection of his works.

His poems, rooted in personal narrative about his Louisiana childhood, his stint in Vietnam, urban living, and the legacies of slavery and racism, are infused with jazz and blues. The recipient of many honors and awards, Professor Komunyakaa currently serves as Distinguished Senior Poet at New York University.

Yusef Komunyakaa’s books of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau, Neon Vernacular (for which he received the Pulitzer Prize), Pleasure Dome, Warhorses, The Chameleon Couch, and most recently The Emperor of Water Clocks (FSG). His awards include the William Faulkner Prize (Université Rennes, France), the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, and the 2011 Wallace Stevens Award. His plays, performance art and libretti have been performed internationally, and include Wakonda’s Dream, Saturnalia, and Gilgamesh: a Verse Play. He teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and serves as State Poet of New York.

The Golden Rose Award is one of the oldest in the poetry prizes in the United States dating to 1919. The New England Poetry Club awards the Rose to a poet, who by their poetry and inspiration to and encouragement of other writers, has made a significant mark on American poetry. Winners have included three Nobel Laureates: Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott and Czeslaw Milosz, and several Pulitzer Prize recipients, all of whom received the Golden Rose before their international acclaim. Other winners include American icons Robert Frost, Katherine Lee Bates, Archibald MacLeish, David McCord, Robert Lowell, Stanley Kunitz, X.J. Kennedy, May Sarton, Adrienne Rich, Robert Penn Warren, John Updike and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Free and open to the public

Regie Gibson, July 1, 3 pm, Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters

Come experience the musings of literarymusician and educator, Regie Gibson!

Literaryperformer, educator & former National Poetry Slam Champion, Regie Gibson, has lectured & performed in the U.S., Cuba & Europe. Representing the U.S., Regie competed for & received the Absolute Poetry Award in Monfalcone, Italy. Himself & his work appear in “love jones”: a feature-film based on events in his life. He has featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, WBUR’s On Point, Radio Boston, & other NPR programs. Regie has presented at several TED X events & has been nominated for a Boston Emmy. He’s served as a consultant for both the National Endowment for the Arts “How Art Works” initiative & the “Mere Distinction of Color”: an exhibit at James Madison’s Montpelier, examining the legacy of slavery and the U.S. constitution. Regie has performed with, & composed texts for, The Boston City Singers, The Mystic Chorale & the Handel+Haydn Society & has been published in Poetry Magazine, Harvard’s Divinity Magazine, and The Iowa Review, among others. His volume of poems, “Storms Beneath the Skin” won the Golden Pen Award.

He is a recipient of the Walker Scholarship for Poetry from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, a YMCA Community Writer’s Fellowship, the Lexington Education Foundation Grant, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award & is a recent recipient of a 2017 Brother Thomas Fellowship for Artistic Excellence from The Boston Foundation. Regie teaches at Grub Street, Clark University, is part of the Emerson College Summer Faculty & is both Poet-in-Residence for Mass Poetry & head instructor for the Mass Poetry “Poets in the Schools Program” accredited through Lesley University. When not teaching, he is the lead singer for Atlas Soul: A world music, global funk ensemble & is Artistic Director of Shakespeare to Hiphop’s “Shakespeare Time-Traveling Speakeasy”: a multimedia performance focusing on the life, works & influence of William Shakespeare.

Free and open to the public.