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Jennifer Matthews debuts her new single ‘Oh Don’t, She Said’ with special guests
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A Celebration of the Marriage of Poetry and Song
Saturday, October 18 7:30 pm
@ Arts at The Armory
191 Highland Ave. Somerville, MA
Doors open 7 p.m.

Come celebrate in the Release of the song “Oh Don’t, She Said” A collaboration by Songstress Jennifer Matthews and Poet Doug Holder. Enjoy live musical sets by Sam Franklin & his band, Jennifer Matthews with Jack Holland on electric guitar, and special guest Jennifer Greer. Also, a poetry reading by Doug Holder and live, interactive drawing/painting with Syed Zaman.

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October 15

Our feature this week is poet Paige Shippie. She writes: “I am currently enrolled in the Honors Society and by May 2016, I will graduate from Endicott College with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Creative Writing concentration, and Studio Art Minor. As an artist, my interests span subject matter and I employ various uses of media. As a singer and performance artist, I enjoy being a member of ECHO, or (Endicott College Harmonic Overtones), as well as having a presence in Endicott’s Jazz Band (as a vocalist). As a writer, I compose lyrics for Jazz Band and submit poetry for publication in Endicott’s Literary Review Magazine. Since the summer of 2013 I’ve been working on a sci-fi novel called, The Doppelganger Effect. As a studio artist, I sculpt with copper wire and clay, paint in acrylic, illustrate in pencil, pen, and charcoal and am open to working with just about anything I can get my hands on.”

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What’s Next in Poetry? – A discussion about the future of poetry – Grolier Poetry Book Shop
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This week’s guest columnist is Somerville Bagel Bard Michael Todd Steffen. Mike is a widely published poet and critic, and a mainstay on the Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene http://dougholder.blogspot.com

What’s Next in Poetry? –a discussion about the future of poetry, hosted by the Grolier Poetry Bookshop on Friday September 13, with guests Adam Kirsch, Philip Nikolayev, and Marjorie Perloff.

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October 8

Somerville Bagel Bard Krikor Hohannesian is our feature this week. He wrote the LYRICAL: “The poem was written with the intent to contrast the Church Street of 1970 with what it is today as a sort of social commentary. As some of us “elders” remember the Chez Dreyfus was a somewhat upscale French restaurant with a separate bar room area. A Runyonesque group of characters, myself included, came to hang out at the bar on Friday afternoons – one would be hard-pressed to create a more disparate group of characters. The conversations were loud, raucous, lively and reflective of the socio-political sentiments of the times. The Chez, is of course, long gone and, as the end of the poem depicts, the scene on the Church Street of today is in stark contrast other than the Christian Science Reading Room still being there!”

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Modern Lovers: Sherman Cafe – Somerville, Mass.
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So there I was having a scone at Sherman’s…like I have done on and off for a decade, when I hear someone say, “Hey, I hear you are closing.” I asked the counterman, and he said today – Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 – was the last day of the Sherman Cafe. I guess it wasn’t making money and the owner decided to close it. They are going to morph into a somewhat tony ice cream shop – that will probably fit the high end image the hip and new square will affect in the coming months and years. It was a great cafe. I have interviewed many local and national writers and artists there like Hugh Fox, Ethan Gilsdorf, Afaa Michael Weaver, too many to name. I also reveled in their oatmeal/cherry scone…it made rare appearances as of late. I also composed many a poem there. This fateful morning I was having breakfast with my old friend Jennifer Matthews, who is relocating to another part of the state, and with who I just finished a music, poetry collaboration with. So parting is such sweet/sorrow. Here is a poem I wrote at the said cafe some years ago – hope you enjoy:

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October 1

Somerville Poet Kevin Dua writes: “I am a history teacher in the Somerville Public Schools for three years, who takes comfort in poetry writing since college. I consider this piece a reminder of how sincerity can falter towards what the majority deems right.”

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‘Looking for Art’ by Bert Robbens: A Somerville Gumshoe in a Gentrifying City
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The past informs the present. And in the mystery novel based in Somerville Looking for Art by Bert Robbens, the ghost of Somerville’s past haunts the present day landscape. Robbens mines the milieu of the 60s and 70s Somerville, the very one that spawned the likes of Howie Winter and the Winter Hill Gang, and other assorted thugs. His story involves the men and women from that crowd and its ilk who remain around today, and the younger folks who heard the stories, the myths, the hype, and the brass tacks.

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September 17

Any veteran human service worker has seen this before, ( I can say this because I have worked in Human Services in one capacity or another since 1978)— this scenario, this kid, in clinics, hospitals, at colleges, etc… across the country.

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Somerville Writer Mitch Evich: ‘A Geography of Peril: Essays About Growing Up in the Northwest’
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Somerville writer Mitch Evich has lived in our burg for many years, but he is originally from the Pacific Northwest. I  had the pleasure of interviewing him years ago about his novel The Clandestine Novelist.  Now Evich has landed with a new collection of essays. A good portion of his collection deals with salmon fishing, and its trials and tribulations. I must admit that my extent of knowledge of the heroic salmon is limited to the Nova on my morning bagel. But after reading Evich’s  A Geography of Peril… I have a better idea of what the agonies and joys are of the life of a fisherman. Evich grew up in Washington State in the 60s and 70s, worked on his dad’s boat the Independence and was privy to frustration of the oh what a tangled web we weave of fishing nets, the endless repairs of the ship, the diminished  fishing industry due to the successful claims of native Americans for 50% of the overall catch from salmon runs, and the endless uncertainties of making a living from this seasonal and mercurial business. Here is an evocative passage in which Evich describes his memory of the boat, his dad, the unraveling of the nets, and the fish when he was a mere lad of eight:

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September 17

I interviewed the legendary poet X. J. Kennedy on my Somerville Community Access TV show Poet to Poet/Writer to Writer. Kennedy gave me permission to use this poem in the LYRICAL SOMERVILLE.

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‘A People’s History of the New Boston’
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Our guest reviewer this week is Tom Miller. Miller is a Somerville Bagel Bard a history graduate student at Salem State University, and a retired auto industry executive.

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September 10

Philip Burnham, Jr. writes of the Ukraine – the carnage – the pain, and yet perhaps a hint of beauty and transcendence.

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