The Harvard Square of The Handmaid's Tale
It’s no secret The Handmaid’s Tale is having a moment at this time in history. But did you know that Margaret Atwood rooted the novel firmly in Harvard Square and the surrounding area, including vivid descriptions of places you can visit today? Come with us on a walking tour of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Looking for Boston's Newest Poet Laureate
Danielle Legros Georges' tenure as Boston's poet laureate is coming to a close, and the City is looking for it's new poet laureate. According to the Office of Arts and Culture: "The City’s poet laureate acts as an advocate for poetry, language and the arts, and creates a unique artistic legacy through public readings and civic events. She, he, or they will also attend a variety of civic functions, participate in poetry events, and oversee special civic projects. The mission for the laureateship is to raise the status of poetry in the everyday consciousness of Bostonians." Take a look through the application, and apply by September 3.
Grolier Poetry Book Shop Turns 90, with a Party
This Saturday, June 2, the Grolier Poetry Book Shop is celebrating its 90th anniversary by taking to the streets - Plympton Street, that is - with the The Grolier Poetry Festival. Sponsored by Harvard Book Store, with food by Grafton Street, there will be readings, performances, a children's program, workshops, live music, and more. View the program here.
Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith
This past March, Brookline Booksmith started the Transnational Literature Series, "a reading series focused on books and authors concerned with migration, exile, and displacement with an emphasis on works in translation." The series launched back in March with German author Jenny Erpenbeck; in April they welcomed Négar Djavadi and Shahriar Mandanipour; and just recently they hosted Luljeta Lleshanaku. As summer approaches, they're transitioning the reading series into a book club; the first meeting is June 25. Find out more info here.
David Hirshberg on Writing Historical Fiction
David Hirshberg’s new novel My Mother’s Son is set in 1950s Boston, and deals with a number of events happening at that time: politics, polio, sports, and more. The author himself writes about why he chose that time period, what historical fiction research is like, and how the past can speak to and about the present, in our new article "History as Current Events: Looking Back In Time and Staring Into A Mirror."
Writers Resist Event Announced for June 23
Aforementioned Productions announced yesterday the newest installment of Writers Resist in Boston, entitled Great Boston Writers Resist | Greater Boston Writers Persist, that will be held on Sat., June 23 at 1:00pm at the Boston Public Library. This year's line-up will feature Sam Cha, Jennifer De Leon, JoeAnn Hart, Krysten Hill, Simone John, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Kim McLarin, Alex Myers, Edwin Padilla, Khury Petersen-Smith, and Angie Ramos, and will be hosted by Carissa Halston. Read the full statement here. And read about last year's event in our article "Greater Boston Writers Resist: Voices of Comfort, Voices of Hope."
Reader Prom is Coming June 9
"Bring a favorite book as your prom date and DUMP IT!" is the tag for this event from Porter Square Books, happening on June 9. Reader Prom (really a book drive and fundraiser) will feature "free snacks and soft drinks, a cash bar, music, dancing, 'after-prom' style games and activities, and, of course, 'chaperones'" - which include local authors Celeste Ng, Krysten Hill, and Raul the Third. There will be prom photos with your "date," and a few lucky folks will be crowned King and Queen, or rather Author and Illustrator, of the night. Find out more information here, and get your wrist corsages ready.
Independent Bookstore Day is Sat., April 28
This Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day around Boston. Events, activities, games, raffles, discounts, and more are happening all day at Belmont Books, Blue Bunny Books, BookEnds, Brookline Booksmith, Harvard Book Store, IAM Books, MIT Press Bookstore, New England Mobile Book Fair, Newtonville Books, Papercuts JP, Porter Square Books, and Wellesley Books. Stop by these locations, and be sure to follow @MetroBostonBookstores on Instagram or @metro_day on Twitter for updates. We'll be out and about, too - it's going to be a great time!
Spec Boston Launches April
Spec Boston is a new reading series dedicated to authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and they're having their inaugural event tomorrow night (4/24) at the Coolidge Corner Library. Founder Andrea Corbin created Spec Boston as a chance for local authors to have community outside of the big conventions: "If you love fairy tales or space opera or mermaids with teeth, but are maybe a little overwhelmed by a con, you can still come hang out with the spec fic community." Find out more information here.
Celebrate Earth Day and Poetry Month!
April 22 is Earth Day - which also happens to be during Poetry Month! Local author Sarah Grace Tuttle collects a list of nature-inspired poetry picture books, as well as gives fun Earth Day activities to accompany the reading of each book - including scavenger hunts, bird watches, and more. Read more here!
The Journey of NEM Takes Flight: A Conversation with Erika Brannock
Erika Brannock was standing at the Boston Marathon finish line when a bomb denoted in front of her. Now, five years later, she just released a children's book entitled The Journey of NEM, about a dragonfly who loses her wing but finds that she's not so different after all. Read more in our conversation.
Cambridge Typewriter Company Turns 50
The Cambridge Typewriter Company turns 50 this year, and WGBH recently posted an interview they conducted with Tom Furrier, the owner. You can read the article (transcript) here, but definitely listen to the recording for some excellent typewriter tapping. Here's a video of a 2010 interview as well. Visit their website here.
Muse and the Marketplace Recap
The Muse and the Marketplace conference, run by GrubStreet, was this past weekend in Boston, and we have highlights from our sessions and our wanderings. Check out all three of our recaps, and head over to our Twitter and new Instagram for updates from the weekend!
826 Boston's Half Half Half Half Half Marathon
Want to help out a good cause, but not too keen on running 26.2 miles? Join 826 Boston's Half Half Half Half Half Marathon on April 12. Run or walk just .826 miles (get it?) to help them meet their goal of "$30,000 to support student writing and publishing in Boston." Find out more here.Tips and Tricks for Muse & the Marketplace Conference
Heading to Grub Street's Muse & the Marketplace conference next week? We talked to two local writers and past attendees who have some advice for you as you plan. And just a reminder that registration closes on Monday.
Poetry in America Premieres April 1
Poetry in America, a public television series created and hosted by local professor Elisa New, premieres on Sunday, April 1. According to the release: "Every half-hour episode offers the viewer a fully immersive experience in hearing, reading, and interpreting a single poem. Poetry in America gathers distinguished interpreters from all walks of life to explore and debate 12 unforgettable American poems. Athletes, poets, politicians, musicians, architects, scientists, actors, entrepreneurs, and citizens of all ages - including Shaquille O’Neal, Cynthia Nixon, Herbie Hancock, Joe Biden, Bono, John McCain, Nas, Yo-Yo Ma, Samantha Power, and Regina Spektor, among many others." Find out more at their website.
Your Poem on the Wall of City Hall
The Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture is doing a call for submissions, looking for "poets who reside or work in Boston...to send in work to help celebrate the city through poetry and to remind people of what a culturally exciting city Boston is to live and work in." A reading will take place in late April. Find out more information here.
Grub Street to Create Narrative Arts Center in Seaport
Grub Street, Boston's premiere writing center, is looking to make a significant literary mark on the Seaport District. According to a release by Eve Bridburg, Founder and Executive Director, "GrubStreet is making the case for building a Narrative Arts Center in the city of Boston...a 13,000-square foot cultural space in the Seaport." She adds "Our partners in this new venture are the Harvard Book Store, which will create a new bookstore on the first level, and Mass Poetry, which will expand its public poetry projects." But the project isn't certain yet, and they need help spreading the word. Find out how to support the endeavor here. And read their full vision here.
Porter Square Books' Future Is in the Hands of its Booksellers
"In a bid to ensure that their employees have a greater investment in the place where they work, Porter Square Books owners Dina Mardell and David Sandberg are selling half their stake in the Cambridge, Mass., bookstore to their senior staff members." Take a read through the article on Publisher's Weekly. It's a great plan to ensure the bookstore goes on after the owners retire, and to ensure a future for the booksellers involved by allowing them ownership of the store.
Call for Submissions
Mar. 10, 2018
Writers! There are some local literary magazines and writing contests open for submissions:
Redivider is now accepting submissions for their Beacon Street Prize
aptis now reading for their print edition, focusing on long-form work
Pocket Changeis accepting submissionfor their Spring 2018 volume through March 31
Ploughsharesis now accepting submissions for their
Emerging Writer's Contest
Cambridge Arts is looking to put your poems in cement in their
2018 Sidewalk Poetry Contest
Boston Literary History: Hannah Webster Foster
Mar. 8, 2018
Happy International Women's Day! In honor of it and Throwback Thursday, we have a new article up in our Literary History section on Hannah Webster Foster, the author of The Coquette. Find out more about her life and work in our newest post, by guest author Céillie Clark-Keane.
Help Out Trident Books
Mar. 6, 2018
Looking for a way to help out Trident Booksellers and Cafeas they recover from the fire last week? As they say on their website, "Our websiteis always open. Gift cards can be emailed and books are available to be shipped!" While you're inside hiding from the next nor'easter tomorrow, go buy some books!
New Book Club Begins at IAM Books
Mar. 5, 2018
Opened in Oct. 2015, IAM Books, the country's first Italian-American bookstore, is located in the North End (across from the Paul Revere house). They've just launched a book club that meets the first Wednesday of the month. Head herefor more information.
Black Writers of Boston's History
Feb. 26, 2018
Boston has a rich literary history, and in honor of Black History Monthwe wanted to highlight some of the literary personalities - from first published authors to journalists to literary magazine editors to literary society creators - of Boston's past, in our newest post.
SunsetRising: A Conversation with Laura Rees
Feb. 19, 2018
Meet the newest writer-in-residence of the Associates of the Boston Public Library, Laura Rees, currently serving a nine-month residency at the Copley Square branch. We talk about the novel she's writing, craft, YA literature, and more, in our interview.
ALA Awards Announced Today
Feb. 12, 2018
The American Library Association announced their awards this morning, honoring the top books, videos, and audio books for children and young adults. Find the complete listing, including the Caldecott, Newbury, Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré, and Stonewall awards, at their website. And congrats to local author Mackenzi Leefor winning a Stonewall honor!
Teaching Melville Summer Program
Feb. 11, 2018
The Melville Society Cultural Project(including local MIT professor Wyn Kelley) will be hosting a two week summer institute for high school teachers on how to teach Moby-Dickin the digital age. Applications are due March 1. Find out more information here.
The Blog Blog
Feb. 10, 2018
We have a new section! Head to The Blog Blog(a blog for the Blog, of course) to hear from our editor-in-chief. First up: "A Little Introduction, and a State of the Blog."
Submit to One City One Story
Feb. 6, 2018
Calling all (previously published) writers: The Boston Book Festival is looking for their next short story for the One City One Storyprogram. Submit your stories by February 28. More information and guidelines can be found here.
Local Author Celeste Ng Named Author Ambassador
Feb. 5, 2018
Local author Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You, has been named the official Author Ambassador for the 4th annual Indie Bookstore Day, celebrated by almost 500 bookstores nationwide. Read a little bit more about the role in this article from Shelf Awareness.
America's First Youth Poet Laureate
Feb. 1, 2018
The very first National Youth Poet Laureate has been named: Amanda S. C. Gorman, who is a sophomore at Harvard. Find out more about her in this feature in the Harvard Crimson.
Muse and the Marketplace Registration Still Open
Jan. 31, 2018
This year's Muse and the Marketplace, brought to you by Grub Street, will take place on April 6-8 in the heart of Boston. Though the sessions are filling up fast, registration is still open. And if you're nervous about attending Muse (OMG I'm going to be pitching to agents!), Grub Street is holding a "Muse and the Marketplace 101: Hone Your Networking Skills Before the Big Conference" class on April 1 to help you prepare - sign up here.
Help Transcribe BPL Manuscripts
Jan. 30, 2018
From the Boston Public Library: "We need your help to turn our collection of handwritten correspondence between anti-slavery activists in the 19th century into texts that can be more easily read and researched by students, teachers, historians, and big data applications." Up to the task? Head here.
Talking Writing Winter Issue Now Available
Jan. 29, 2018
Talking Writing, a local online literary journal specializing in "first-person journalism," published its Winter issue, "Writing and Faith." Find it here.
Evening of Inspired Leaders Feb. 5
Jan. 29, 2018
MassPoetry will be hosting an Evening of Inspired Leaders on Monday, February 5. The event "brings together exceptional leaders from diverse fields to read a favorite poem and reflect on its connection to their life and work" and includes local writers, politicians, journalists, public figures, and more. Find out more information, or grab your tickets, here.
Literary Trivia Night at Newsfeed Cafe
Jan. 28, 2018
Are you the book nerd in your group of friends? Drag them along with you to Literary Trivia Night at The Newsfeed Cafe (located in the BPL main branch) on Tuesday, February 6. More information and registration can be found here.
BPL Chinatown Opens
Jan. 27, 2018
A Chinatown branch of the Boston Public Library will open on Monday, February 5, after 54 years of no library services in the neighborhood. The location can be found at 2 Boylston Street, in the China Trade Building. More information can be found here.
Two Upcoming Frederick Douglass Literary Events
Jan. 23, 2018
Boston will be host to two upcoming literary events putting Frederick Douglass at the forefront. First, the MIT English department will be hosting the Mobile Reading Marathon: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass on Feb. 1 at various locations around MIT; more information can be found here. The second will be "Frederick Douglass: Images & Words," featuring Jabari Asim, Jeffrey Amestoy, John Stauffer, and Marita Rivero; more information can be found here.
National Book Critics Circle Finalists Announced
Jan. 22, 2018
The NBCC announced their finalists - over thirty of them in categories like fiction, autobiography, poetry, and more. View a full listing at the NBCC site here, or watch a clip from the exclusive BuzzFeed coverage on AM to DM. Winners will be announced on Thursday, March 15 in NYC.
MAAH Stone Book Award
Jan. 21, 2018
Boston's Museum of African American History will be bestowing the first Museum of African American History Stone Book Award this coming summer. The $25,000 prize will recognize non-fiction literature that celebrates African American history and culture. Find out more about the MAAH at their website. Also, check out this great interview Writer's Bone held with the MAAH Executive Director Marita Rivero.
Resurrect the Old Corner Bookstore
Jan. 20, 2018
Did you know that the little brick building at Washington and School Streets that houses the Chipotle used to be the hub of publishing world in the 19th century? The one historic site on the Freedom Trail that isn't converted to a museum, the Old Corner Bookstore needs a change - and there is a new petition to do just that. Head to Convert the Old Corner Bookstore into a Museum of Boston’s Literary History and give it a sign. They need less than 1,500 signatures to hit their goal!
Happy Birthday to Edgar Allan Poe!
Jan. 19, 2018
Did you know that Edgar Allan Poe was born 209 years ago, in Boston? Head down to Poe Square today (at the corner of Boylston and Charles, by Grub Street); Poe was born right nearby. Learn more about Poe's...interesting relationship with Boston in our newest Literary History post.
Boston Book Festival is Looking for Your Stories
Jan. 18, 2018
To celebrate the 10th (!) anniversary of the Boston Book Festival, they are publishing a book, entitled The Power of Two: Readers and Writers Connect. They're looking for your stories from the BBF, in 100 words or less, by Jan. 22. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MassLEAP Announces Louder Than a Bomb Dates
Jan. 17, 2018
MassLEAP has just released a slick new flier announcing the April dates for their Louder Than a Bomb poetry slam festival, happening at various spots around Boston. With over 300 teens competing last year from 40 different communities, it's the largest slam poetry festival Massachusetts. Register your teams now.
New Ploughshares Now Available
Jan. 17, 2018
The Winter 2017-2018 issue of Ploughshares is now available, featuring Alice Hoffman, Paige Lewis, Carl Dennis, Amy Gerstler, and Charlie Clark. Also included is the winner of the 2017 Emerging Writer’s Contest and the 2017 John C. Zacharis First Book Award winner. Get your issues here.
New apt Vol. 2, Iss. 8 Now Available
Jan. 15, 2018
apt has released its January 2018 print edition, which "focuses on long-form fiction and poems." You can get your copy here, or during their Feb. 5 event at Porter Square Books, featuring John Bonanni, Gillian Devereux, and Krysten Hill.
New Children's Literature Exhibit at Logan
Jan. 11, 2018
Got some time to kill before that flight? Check out the new exhibit at Logan Airport Terminal C entitled “Massachusetts: Where Imagination Comes to Life,” highlighting some of the area's children's literature, including A Very Hungry Caterpillar, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Curious George. Find out more at the Massport website.
"Dinner with Dickens" at Omni Parker House
Nov. 21, 2017
As the holiday season arrives, take an evening with Charles Dickens at the historically literary Omni Parker House. Dickens was in America on a lecture tour in the late 1860s, and stayed at the Omni Parker House during his time in Boston. He read his now beloved holiday classic, "A Christmas Carol," aloud at the Tremont Temple next door, but recited it first to friends and peers at the hotel. In honor of the occasion 150 years ago, on Tuesday, November 28 the Omni Parker Hotel will be hosting a five course Victorian meal. Actor and descendant of Charles Dickens Gerald Roderick Charles Dickens will perform "A Christmas Carol" to those in attendance. Tickets are $125. More information can be found here.
Writers' Room of Boston "No-Show" Gala
Nov. 11, 2017
The Writers' Room of Boston is hosting their inaugural "No-Show" Gala on Saturday, November 18 from 7:00-10:00pm. In lieu of traditional fundraisers, the Writers' Room is hosting a gala that they don't want you to come to (hint: there IS no gala - read on for the twist). Rather, they will be hosting a series of "events" online for attendees to enjoy, including Writers' Room members reading their original works, and works by Edgar Allan Poe. Tickets are $25; "tables" are $200. Find out more information at their EventBrite page.
Grolier Poetry Book Shop Turns 90
Nov. 11, 2017
Grolier Poetry Book Shop is celebrating its 90th birthday with a celebration and fundraiser at Oberon on Tuesday, November 14 at 8:00pm. According to their event page, the evening will feature the work of two distinguished poets with deep ties to the Grolier: Donald Hall and E.E. Cummings. Tickets start at $20. More information can be found here.
Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair
Nov. 3, 2017
Now in its 41st year, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair will be held at Hynes Convention Center on Friday, November 10 through Sunday, November 12. Tickets are $20 for the Friday evening Opening Night preview; otherwise, admission is free on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, head to their website.
A Big Literary Weekend: Boston Book Festival, and Boston Lit Crawl
Oct. 25, 2017
It’s that time of year again: apples, pumpkin spice lattes, and the Boston Book Festival, which brings hundreds of presenters and vendors to places in and around Copley Square. There are panels, readings, workshops, keynotes, a bookfair, book signings, kids events, food trucks (you get the point!), and the whole event is free and open to the public. In recent years, the BBF has added on a Friday evening component consisting of a few featured authors; this year’s Friday night event is entitled “The Book Revue: An Author Variety Show.” Last year, the BBF expanded back another day to Thursday evening, hosting the Boston Lit Crawl up and down Newbury Street. Part pub crawl, part literature geek heaven, the Boston Lit Crawl will be taking place again this year, featuring readings, literary trivia and games, and improv featuring Edgar Allan Poe. New this year is an Emerson partnership featuring music and songwriting. You can find out more information at the Boston Book Festival website. The Boston Lit Crawl begins at 6:00pm on Thursday, October 26; The Book Revue begins at 7:30pm on Friday, October 27; the Boston Book Festival begins at 10:00am on Saturday, October 28.