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‘The Aeneid’ by Virgil Translated by David Ferry

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Review by Dennis Daly
(correspondent to Off the Shelf and noted critic)

Whether carrying his father and leading his son out of a burning city, navigating his fleet through a tsunami, escaping a Carthaginian seductress, visiting the forbidden realm of Hades, or engaging in mortal combat with a Latin prince, Aeneas, in David Ferry’s new and superbly rendered translation of Virgil’s Aeneid, conveys the destiny of civilization forward into its ordained future. This epic journey with episodic tragedies, and mythological wonders still captures the imagination of modern readers perplexed by their own earthly impediments and those nasty, ill-deserved thunderbolt strikes from above.

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December 13
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Tara Skurtu is a two-time Fulbright grantee and recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University and a double degree in English and Spanish from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Tara has taught at Boston University as a lecturer in creative writing, a lecturer in composition at BU’s Prison Education Program, and she served on the planning and teaching team for Robert Pinsky’s 2014 MOOC, The Art of Poetry. Her poems are published and translated internationally, and her work appears in magazines such as Salmagundi, The Kenyon Review, Plume, and Poetry Review. Tara is the author of the chapbook Skurtu, Romania and the full poetry collection The Amoeba Game (Eyewear, 2017). Tara writes: My two January readings will be at: The Grolier, Tuesday 1/9, 7:00 p.m. and Porter Square Books, Saturday 1/13, 4:00 p.m.

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‘Before There Was Before’ Poems by Wendy Drexler

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I am not surprised that poet Wendy Drexler is a cavity-nest monitor for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. I am not quite sure what that is, but I imagine she spends a lot of time in nature – watching and observing – all fodder for this wonderfully observed collection, Before There Was Before.

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December 6
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Our poet this week is Carla Schwartz. Carla has a new collection out, Intimacy with the Wind. Here is what noted poet Fred Marchant wrote of the book: “Living on a solar-powered houseboat as it moves up and down Lake Champlain is bound to make one intimate with the wind – its vagaries, energies, and comforts alike. But in Carla Schwartz’s new collection of poems, there are also the winds that pass over and through the inner landscapes. There are, for instance, the winds that bring us together in love, and the winds that draw us apart in grief. Also, there is the chill wind of the harm that some may do to others, and there are the winds of determined resilience, the kind that carry the survivor to the shore. These finely crafted poems give us this poet’s vivid sense of being in the world, as if we are with her breathing in what life has to offer, a good wind overhead, like a blessing.” — Fred Marchant, author of Said Not Said (Graywolf Press, 2017).

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Somerville Bagel Bard releases new poetry collection

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Review by Lee Varon

In her new collection of poetry, Prayer For The Misbegotten, Julia Carlson takes us on a journey. I delighted in this journey as Carlson brought me fresh perspectives and opened new vistas. In the first poem in the collection, October, she begins this journey: “…we walk on/ from season to season/ our thoughts stiff and heavy/ betrayed/ by the autumn sun/ slipping faster every day.

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November 29
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Emily Laliberté is a sophomore at Endicott College. She is studying English and plans on concentrating in secondary education. She is a dedicated peer tutor for the Writing Center at Endicott College. She is also a member of the Campus Activities Board at Endicott College, where she enjoys planning events for the student body to enjoy among her other executive board members.

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Steve Glines wins the Kathleen Spivack Generosity Award

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Longtime Ibbetson Street Press designer, and founder of the Wilderness House Press, Steve Glines, has won the Kathleen Spivack Generosity Award.

Kathleen Spivack has been a visiting professor of American Literature/Creative Writing (one semester annually) in France since 1990. She has held posts at the University of Paris VII-VIII, the University of Francoise Rabelais, Tours, the University of Versailles, and at the Ecole Superieure (Polytechnique). She was a Fulbright Senior Artist/Professor in Creative Writing in France (1993-95). Her poetry has been featured at festivals in France and in the U.S. She reads and performs in theatres, and she also works with composers. Her song cycles and longer pieces have been performed worldwide.

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November 22
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Rianon Prushinski is an English major at Endicott College. She is from Lynn and graduated from Lynn Classical High School. When she isn’t writing in the library, she spends her time watching The Office or listening to Nirvana.

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