Preview GrubStreet’s New Narrative Arts Center on Sept. 19
Curious to know what the new Narrative Arts Center, being established by GrubStreet, Mass Poetry, and Porter Square Books in the Seaport, will look like? You can have your chance, as GrubStreet will be hosting a preview of their space on Thursday, September 19 from 3:30-5:30pm, with guest Mayor Walsh. Free and open to all, but RSVP is required; learn more and secure your spot here.
Associates of the BPL Announces Next Writer-in-Residence
Today, the Associates of the Boston Public Library announced the 2019-2020 writer-in-residence: Shawnna Thomas. Here’s a bio from the website: Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Shawnna received her B.A. in English and African American Studies from Yale University in 2015. She is a previous recipient of the Elmore A. Willetts Prize for Fiction, the Second Place Wallace Prize for Fiction, and was the inaugural recipient of the GrubStreet Emerging Writer Fellowship. When she isn't working, she's brainstorming ideas for new writing classes to teach and working on her novel. Learn more about the writer-in-residence program, a yearly fellowship given to writers of YA literature, at the Associates’ website.
Local Booksellers Vocal About Amazon’s Embargo Violation
If you’ve been even glancing at any connection to the outside world for the past year, you’ll know that not only has The Handmaid’s Tale made a glorious resurgence, but that Margaret Atwood has penned a sequel, entitled The Testaments, that will be released on September 10. And if you’ve been following bookstore news this past week, you’ll know that Amazon shipped out pre-ordered copies of The Testaments one week early - therefore violating the strict-on-sale embargo set out by the publishing company. We caught wind of it through Porter Square Books bookseller Josh Cook’s tweets. He also has a write-up about the incident up at LitHub, stating that the release of The Testaments “was going to be a cultural moment, one that Margaret Atwood, her publisher, booksellers, reviewers, and readers were all going to contribute to and participate in. But with that embargo now broken by Amazon, September 10 has been diffused and all of that positive attention and interaction is hobbled.” Dennis Johnson of Melville House in NYC has also written an excellent overview of the dust-up, explaining why this is a much bigger issue than a few early copies. He also quotes Rachel Cass of Harvard Book Store. (Not to be outdone, Trident Books tweeted out about its midnight release party on Monday night.)
Print Ain’t Dead Space Opens September 8
Those in the area may know Print Ain’t Dead as a pop-up bookstore “focusing on the literary and artistic productions of people of color.” They’ve settled into a new physical space (but will still pop-up around town) that will be opening on Sunday, September 8, at 1476 River Street in Hyde Park. You can learn more here.
Writers for Migrant Justice Reading on September 4
On Wednesday, September 4, Boston will participate in a 40-city network hosting “a nation-wide night of poetry and protest.” The Writers for Migrant Justice: Poetry Reading & Fundraiser will take place at the Arlington Street Church, and will feature local authors Danielle Legros Georges, Natalie Shapero, Martín Espada, Nicole Terez Dutton, Jennifer Jean, U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo, Pablo Medina, Yara Liceaga Rojas, Willy Ramirez, and more. Donations will benefit Immigrant Families Together. More information can be found here.
Two Boston Writing Groups Featured in Publishers Weekly
Last week, two Boston writing groups found themselves looking like rock stars (because they are!) in a Publishers Weekly article. The Chunky Monkeys and the Book Squad have a total of 12 books either out in the world or forthcoming, and they share their stories of formation, creative dynamics, and mutual support. Check out the article, pick up a copy of the books, and look for them around town at our various literary events!
Boston Literary District Announces First Writer-in-Resident
Justine Chang has been announced as the Boston Literary District’s first writer-in-residence. A photographer and writer from Providence, RI, Chang will be spending a month in Boston, in an Emerson College apartment located in the Lit District. The Boston Literary District is the first designated literary cultural district in the U.S., established in 2014. Find out more about the program and Chang’s work here.
Boston Book Festival Announces One City One Story Selection
This year’s One City One Story selection is “Yvonne,” by Ciera Burch, an Emerson MFA candidate and bookseller at Trident. One City One Story is an initiative to have resident across the city read a story together - copies are available only, but also around Boston at different locations - with a capstone story discussion at the Boston Book Festival. Look for copies locally soon, and find out more information here.
Boston Book Fest Announces Oct. 2019 Lineup
The Boston Book Festival has announced their headliners and featured presenters. The event, which will take place on October 19 and 20 - one in Copley Square and one in Roxbury - is now in its eleventh year. The full line-up of presenters and moderators (including us!) will be released in early Fall.
New Article: “The Traveling Library: Books on the T”
Books on the T is a local volunteer literary organization intent on “sharing new titles for adults and youth on the MBTA, creat[ing] a traveling library that introduces books to the Greater Boston community.” Learn more about the Book Fairies, book drops, and their connection to the local literary scene, in our newest article.
New Article: “Focusing Outward: Living Literary Citizenship in Community”
What does it mean to be a good literary citizen? Is it simply a focus on how a writer can push their work forward? Or is there something broader to be understood, knowing that writers in fact live in community with one another, and that perhaps the greatest contribution to that community is selflessness and support. Local author L. M. Poplin draws on literary blogs, psychological research, French literature, and her own experience as both a writer and a literary non-profit leader, to explore that question in our newest article.
Owner of Grolier Poetry Passes Away
The owner of Grolier Poetry, Ifeanyi A. Menkiti, has passed away today, June 18. The Nigerian poet and Wellesley philosopher professor was only the third owner of 92-year-old Grolier, a hub and haven for poetry in the area. Details on services can be found at their website.
Here’s a little bit about Menkiti from the Grolier Poetry website:
Born in Onitsha, Nigeria, Ifeanyi Menkiti first came to the United States to attend Pomona College from which he received his undergraduate degree. Later he went on to Columbia University and New York University for further studies. He received his Ph.D in Philosophy from Harvard University. He has taught Philosophy at Wellesley College for more than 41 years.
Ifeanyi Menkiti is the author of Before a Common Soil (2007) and Of Altair, The Bright Light (2005) and two previous collections of poetry, Affirmations (1971) and The Jubilation of Falling Bodies (1978). Other poems have appeared in journals and periodicals such as the Sewanee Review, Ploughshares, New Directions, New Letters, the Massachusetts Review. In addition, such other publications as the Evergreen Review, Stony Brook, Bitterroot, the Southwest Review, Chelsea and the African journals Okike, Transition, and Nigeria Magazine have also carried his work. In 1975, he was honored with a fellowship in poetry from Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities through the Artists Foundation, followed in 1978 by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Menkiti’s poetry has also been aired on National Public Radio and he has given public readings in the New York City public schools under the auspices of the Academy of American Poets as well as for radio stations WBAI (NYC) and WGBH (Boston).
Lesley Evening Reading Series Returns
This Friday, June 21, the Lesley University Evening Reading Series returns with its summer installation. Journalist and author Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan will headline the series that will feature both published authors, Lesley MFA faculty, and graduate students, covering nonfiction, poetry, fiction, writing for stage and screen, and writing for young people. Readings run through June 28. More information, including the line-up, can be found at their website.
Boston’s Frugal Bookstore Featured on LitHub
In case you missed it, Frugal Bookstore, located in Roxbury, had an interview featured on LitHub back in May. Take a read through the interview with founders Clarrissa and Leonard Egerton, and go visit! They are a neighborhood-focused bookstore that features new books, both in the store and online. And as mentioned in the article, “Our specialty is that the books in our store are predominantly written by authors of color. Our diverse selection is a good representation of the people within the community and those who come to visit.” More information can be found at their website.
Reader Prom and Book Drive Returns Saturday, June 15
This Saturday, June 15, Reader Prom and Book Drive returns for a sophomore dance (as in, second annual). Join Porter Square Books and “chaperones” Stephanie Gayle and M. T. Anderson for an evening of snacks, drinks, dancing, and more (that will surely bring back awkward memories from those teenage years). Bring a book date (which you will promptly dump), but not before you get a quick pic for posterity. Corsages optional.
Ok, for real - Reader Prom is an opportunity to have a cool writerly party while making a difference. Proceeds go to the Porter Square Books Foundation, and your book donation will go to a local non-profit. Find more details and ticket information at their site.
Prison Book Program, Part II: Literary Citizens Serving
”I must admit, too, that finding the perfect books for someone, hoping that their day will be brightened by the books we choose for them — that feeling makes every moment at the PBP feel precious.”
In Part II of our series on the Prison Book Program - whose volunteers meet in Quincy to pack and distribute books to incarcerated members of society - guest writer Katie Vhay interviews volunteer Lee Collins, to discuss her work with and rewards from being a part of the PBP.
Prison Book Program, Part I: Books, Connection, and Community
On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and one Saturday a month, volunteers gather in Quincy to sort books to send to incarcerated members of society. Volunteer with the Prison Book Program and its social media editor Katie Vhay describes the work the volunteers with the PBP do in our newest article, and shares responses from the recipients of the books - and how not just a book but the human connection involved in giving the book can change lives.
Boston Book Festival Announces Two-Day Expansion
After ten years of the Boston Book’s Festival’s one day event in and around Copley Square, they announced that this October’s event will be a two-day literary affair. Saturday, October 19 will be held in Copley Square as usual, and with added programming in Dudley Square in Roxbury on Sunday, October 20. Visit their website for more information. In the meantime, get ready for the Lit Crawl on June 6, and learn more about the application for BBF Unbound programming.
Boston Book Festival’s Lit Crawl Returns June 6
One of our more unique literary events, Lit Crawl, returns on Thursday, June 6 for its third year. Imagine strolling around the Back Bay and stopping into various shops and establishments to find literary events - from straight readings to local authors playing Balderdash to Poe-inspired improv, and more. And yes, drinks are provided! The full schedule is now available. We’ll see you there!
WriteBoston Holds Pros&Conversation on May 9
On Thursday, May 9, WriteBoston will host its annual fundraiser, Pros&Conversation, in order to support WriteBoston’s "teacher training and free student writing programs.” The evening will feature Danielle Allen, Joshua Foer, Meredith Goldstein, and Marjan Kamali, as well as WriteBoston student journalists. Find more information and tickets at their website.
Raising a Reader Holds Dinner with an Author on May 8
Raising a Reader of Massachusetts will host Dinner with an Author on Wednesday, May 8, a fundraising for the organization whose mission is "to end the cycle of low literacy in high-need communities in Massachusetts.” Featured authors include Ace Atkins, Marianne Leone, Claire Messud, William Martin, Ben and Tonya Mezrich, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and more. Tickets are still available at their website.
New Opera The Handmaid’s Tale Open at Boston Lyric Opera
A new opera of The Handmaid’s Tale, staged by the Boston Lyric Opera, opens on Sunday, May 5, running for four performances to Sunday, May 12. Directed by theater icon Anne Bogart and led by conductor David Angus, the score will combine traditional opera and contemporary musical themes, and it will be set at the Lavietes Pavilion at Harvard (next to “the football stadium…where they hold the Men’s Salvagings”), a gymnasium reminiscent of the Red Center.
They’re offering friends of the Boston Book Blog a 30% literary discount on tickets! Simply enter the promo code BOOKS at checkout for any one of the performances. You can find more information and tickets at the BLO website.
826Boston Hosts Night of 1,000 Stories May 2
826Boston will be hosting its annual fundraiser, Night of 1,000 Stories, on Thursday, May 2 at the Royal Sonesta. The gala event for the nonprofit that supports youth writing and publishing will feature Stephen King and 826Boston students for “an evening of showcases and surprises.” Tickets are still available, and you can find more information at their website.
ArtWeek Write-In at the Boston Athenæum
On Wednesday, May 1, the Boston Athenæum will be partnering with GrubStreet and the Boston Literary District for a first-ever ArtWeek Write-In at the historic library. Led by Denise Delgado, this free session will give writers the chance to explore story and craft while meeting in the halls where Emerson, Hawthorne, and Alcott frequented. Find more information and registration at the Athenaeum website below. (Want to get the chance to explore the Athenaeum closer? Their open house happens May 4.)
31st Annual Literary Lights to be Held on April 28
The Associates of the Boston Public Library’s annual black tie event, Literary Lights, will be celebrating its thirty-first year on Sunday, April 28 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. The event, which seeks to "honor outstanding writers from the Northeast and to celebrate their contributions to literature,” will have Dan Brown as the keynote, with John Grogan, Jennifer Haigh, Jeff Kinney, Min Jin Lee, and Jeffrey Toobin honored. Tickets are still available; you can purchase them and learn more about the work of the Associates of the Boston Public Library, here.
Writers Without Margins 4th Annual Journal Contributor Reading April 25
Local non-profit Writers Without Margins will be hosting its 4th Annual Journal Contributor Reading on Thursday, April 25 at the Old South Church on Boylston Street. The organization’s mission is "to expand access to the literary arts for unheard and under-resourced communities in Greater Boston,” with a focus on "those isolated by the challenges of addiction recovery, trauma, poverty, disability, and mental illness.” Learn more about their work at their website, and visit their Eventbrite page to RSVP (for free) to their April 25 event. Can’t make it? Purchase the journal online.
Metro Boston Bookstore Day Returns Thursday, April 27
Metro Boston Bookstore Day - a local focus of the national Independent Bookstore Day - celebrates its second year on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Bookstores will be hosting authors, having special games and activities, selling exclusive merchandise, and more. Learn more about the day, what’s new for this year (think trolleys), and why bookstores are as important as ever, in our interview with the two organizers, Clarissa Murphy and Katie Eelman.
Porter Square Books New Literary Salon Series Announced
In addition to their stellar line-up of in-store events, Porter Square Books has announced that they will be hosting some events off-site as well, in a new Salon-style reading series. The Salon series will feature “an up-close-and-personal evening where you'll have a chance to meet, mingle and hear from an author over light refreshments in a local Porter Square Books community member's own home.” RSVP, of course, is required. The first event will be with Jessica Francis Kane on May 15.
Newburyport Literary Festival Begins April 26
Beginning on Friday, April 26, the Newburyport Literary Festival returns for its fourteenth year to various spots around the North Shore. There is a stunning list of authors speaking at the Festival, including Jenna Blum, Andre Dubus III, Louise Miller, William Martin, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Major Jackson, and more. The event kicks off on Friday night with a ceremony honoring Elaine Weiss. Find a schedule of events, a map, and tickets, at their website.
Porter Square to Be the Bookstore at GrubStreet’s New Narrative Arts Center
It was announced officially at GrubStreet’s The Muse and the Marketplace conference last weekend that Porter Square Books will be the bookstore partner of the new Narrative Arts Center. Opening on Liberty Wharf in the Seaport sometime next Spring, GrubStreet’s Narrative Arts Center will feature a first-floor bookstore and cafe, which will sell wine and beer in the evenings. The first floor will also feature a stage and space for literary events. The second floor will feature classrooms and offices. Mass Poetry will also be a partner in the venture. You can find more information on GrubStreet’s website.
Half Half Half Half Half Marathon April 11
It's Boston Marathon time, when thousands of brave runners pound out 26.2 miles. Not up to running that far, but still want to support a good cause? 826 Boston will be holding its annual Half Half Half Half Half Marathon next Thursday, April 11 in Boston Common. Come out to run .826 (get it?) miles to raise money for 826 Boston's free writing and publishing programs for kids and teens. Their fundraising goal is $40,000, so even if you can't participate, be sure to donate. Registration is still open, and you can learn more at their website. "Break a light sweat for literacy."
Boston Literary District Announces Writer-in-Residence Program
The Boston Literary District has announced its first writer-in-residence program, in partnership with Emerson College. Open to writers from New England, the residency offers an apartment in the heart of the city, interaction with Emerson MFA students, and other opportunities. The residency runs July 15 - August 15, and applications are due April 15. Find out more information here.
Mass Poetry Evening of Inspired Leaders on Monday, March 25
On Monday, March 25, Mass Poetry will be hosting its annual fundraiser, Evening of Inspired Leaders. The event, which will be held at the Huntington Theater, “highlights the power of poetry to inspire and delight while showcasing an all-star field of leaders,” with local community leaders, authors, artists, and more, reflecting on their favorite literary works. The event will be emceed by WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti. Tickets are still available.
Year in the Life: The Silver Unicorn Bookstore Turns One
Head northwest out of Boston up the incline of Route 2, pass where Thoreau spent his two years at Walden Pond, and in the next town you’ll find The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, which celebrates its one year anniversary on March 24. We talked with owner Paul Swydan to learn more about how the store came to fruition, its first year in business, and the array of events planned for the anniversary, in our newest article.
How to Conference: 11 Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Next Writing Conference
Whether you’re headed across the country to AWP at the end of March, or headed around the block to The Muse and the Marketplace at the beginning of April, we have some guidance for making the best out of your next writing conference - how to plan, how to socialize, how to handle that massive book fair - in our newest article.
Sidewalk Poetry Submissions Due March 10
The 5th Annual Cambridge Sidewalk Poetry Contest is still accepting submissions through Sunday, March 10. What is sidewalk poetry, and what happens if you win? Well, according to the Cambridge Arts website, “winning poems will be imprinted into the fresh concrete of new sidewalks around the city beginning in fall 2019.” You can find out more information, pictures, and a map of current Sidewalk Poetry, at their website.
Boston Immigrant Writer’s Salon Launches
The Boston Immigrant Writer’s Salon is a new literary venture launched in January seeking to “create a community which empowers and inspires immigrant voices.” We had the chance to chat with founder and community-centered writer Frankie Concepcion about the Salon’s origins and initiatives, its upcoming event launch, its underlying values and intentionality, and more, in our newest article.
Boston Book Blog Featured on Writer’s Bone Podcast
Well…we got to be on a podcast this week! Our EIC Jessica A. Kent sat down with Daniel Ford and Caitlin Malcuit at Writer’s Bone to chat about the Blog, the Boston literary scene, the writing process, Boston literary history, and more. (Basically all the nerdy content you’ve come to love.) You can find the episode page here, but what you SHOULD do, as a book fan, is just subscribe to their podcast. They have five years of excellent podcast and website content, on both the Boston writing scene and way beyond. Enjoy!
Poe Featured in City of Boston’s New Video Series
The City’s new Boston Uncovered video series highlights “different, unique pieces from Boston’s history and getting the perspective from the City’s resident experts.” This week they’re at the Edgar Allan Poe statue in Poe Square on Bolyston Street, chatting with Boston Literary District director Kit Haggard. Have a watch!
Lit Crawl Event Applications and One City One Story Submissions due February 28
The third Boston Lit Crawl will be happening on June 6 (you may remember it being the Thursday before the Boston Book Festival; as a way to keep the momentum going, it’s been moved to June). The Lit Crawl features literary stop-offs up and down Newbury St., including readings, improv, writerly games, trivia, and more. Have an idea for an event? Applications are being accepted until Thursday, February 28.
Speaking of the Boston Book Festival, submissions are open for One City One Story. The program features one story distributed throughout Boston, and a big discussion about that story during the Boston Book Festival. Submissions are being accepted until Thursday, February 28 as well.
A Whirlwind Romance Pop-Up Begins February 13
A Whirlwind Romance pop-up bookstore opens tomorrow, February 13, at Bow Market in Union Square, just in time for Valentine’s Day (and will be open for some post-Valentine’s Day escapism, too). The Silver Unicorn Bookstore is partnering with longtime local booksellers Clarissa Murphy and Katie Eelman to make the pop-up possible. Learn more about this local bookseller project, and about why there’s more to the Romance genre - and Romance readers - than you thought, in our newest article.
Jeopardy! Features Indie Stores…Including Grolier
On February 6, Jeopardy! contestants were greeted with the category “Independent Bookstores.” Grabbing a spot in the listing, along with The Strand, Powell’s, City Lights, and Square Books, was our own Grolier Poetry Book Shop, located in What is Cambridge? You can view the full episode here.
Spec Boston Reading Series Returns January 31
Speculative Boston is our city's reading series for all things "science fiction, fantasy, and horror of all kinds." Sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Spec Boston returns on Thursday, January 31 at Trident Books for readings from Lyra Selene, N.S. Dolkart, and Elaine Isaak (writing as E.C. Ambrose). Learn more about who they are, RSVP for Thursday's event, and submit your own work to be part of an upcoming reading at their website.
Boston Literary History: Katharine Lee Bates
You may have grown up singing “America the Beautiful,” but do you know about the woman behind its words? Local author Clara Silverstein gives us the story behind the interesting life of Katharine Lee Bates, who was a poet, yes, but was also a literature professor at Wellesley, a prolific writer, a traveler and war correspondent, and Robert Frost's mentor. Find out more in our newest Literary History post.
(Want more? The Newton Free Library is hosting a program on Bates next week!)
Peter Balakian and Susan Barba Read at Grolier Fundraiser
On Friday, January 25, the Grolier Poetry Foundation and Forums Trust will be hosting poets Peter Balakian and Susan Barba for a reading and fundraiser at the Sheraton Commander Hotel. According the website, the poets will "read from our work, reflect on poetry and its relationship to trauma, collective memory and the poem’s engagement with history." Tickets for the event begin at $100 ($70 for students), and all proceeds will go towards supporting the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, who recently applied to become a non-profit organization. Find out more here.
GrubStreet "So You Want to Be a Writer" Sessions January 24 and 26
One of the challenges of the writing life is not necessarily craft, but business: Where do I submit, how do I apply for fellowships, what is a query letter, etc. In order to help you, GrubStreet will be holding two upcoming sessions of "So You Want to Be a Writer: Tips on Applying to GrubStreet's Emerging Writer Fellowship and Other Opportunities." The first will be held on Thursday, January 24 in the evening in Mattapan, with instructor Eson Kim; the second will be held on Saturday, January 26 during the day in East Boston, with instructor Dariel Suarez. Each session will seek to demystify the process around applying to "fellowships, contests, scholarships and other creative writing opportunities," as well as provide information on the GrubStreet Emerging Writer Fellowship. Teens are encouraged to attend. Find out more here and here.
Tell-All Memoir Reading Series Returns January 17
Tell-All Boston, the new memoir reading series born from the alumni of GrubStreet’s Memoir Incubator, will be holding its second event on Thursday, January 17 at the Middlesex Lounge in Central Square. The evening will feature local authors Cheryl Levine, Rani Neutill, Catherine O’Neill, and Melanie S. Smith, and will feature special guest Garrard Conley, the author of Boy Erased and former instructor of the Memoir Incubator. Find out more information at the Tell-All Boston website. And want to learn more about the first event? Take a read through our interview with hosts Mike Sinert and Alysia Abbott.
Posman’s Book Coming to Boston
Publishers Weekly announced today that Posman’s Books, based in New York City, will open their new location this coming summer on Newbury St. The store will feature both books and ice cream, and will hold more “non-traditional” selections. According to the article, the owners are aware that Trident Booksellers and Cafe, a Boston literary staple since 1984, occupies the “other end of Newbury St.,” but they’re confident that they’re going to differentiate enough from Trident as not to compete. We’ll keep you updated as we hear more!
District Hall Hosts Conversation on Libraries as Civic Spaces
District Hall, the Seaport’s “public innovation center,” will be holding a program entitled "Conversation in Civic Innovation: Libraries as Drivers of Civic Engagement” on Wednesday, January 16. Featuring David Leonard of the Boston Public Library, Dan Cohen of Northeastern Library, Chris Colbert of the Harvard Innovation Labs, and Elizabeth Soeiro, a Cambridgeport School librarian, the panel will be moderated by Kim Lucas of the City of Boston's Department of Information Technology. The evening’s intention is to have "a discussion on libraries as drivers of civic engagement.” The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
BPL Marks Molasses Flood 100th with Stephen Puleo Talk
The Great Molasses Flood is one of the more odd pieces of Boston history. On January 15, 1919, a massive 2 million gallon molasses tank in the North End (located where the bocce ball courts are now) burst, sending a 20’ high wave of molasses across Atlantic Avenue, flattening everything in its path, twisting the rails of the elevated train, and killing 21 and injuring over 150. Stephen Puleo, who wrote the book Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, will be giving a talk at the Boston Public Library main branch on Tuesday, January 15 about the Molasses Flood on its 100th anniversary. More information can be found here.
Writers’ Room of Boston Fellowship Applications Due January 15
The Writers’ Room of Boston, "an urban writers' retreat committed to providing a quiet, affordable, and secure workspace for emerging and established writers,” is accepting fellowship applications until Tuesday, January 15. Fellowship benefits include full access to the space around the clock, as well as other perks. Recipients also have the opportunity to contribute to the blog, assist with outreach, have a public reading (if they choose), and more. Fellowships can be for any genre as well. Interested in applying? Find out more at their Fellowship page. And learn more about the Writers’ Room of Boston in our profile from last year.
Ben Franklin at Bibliophile Birthdays
The next event in the Old South Meeting House Bibliophile Birthdays series will highlight the literary side of Benjamin Franklin, born just across the street from the OSMH. Join scholar Robert Martello on Friday, January 11 at 1:00pm to learn more about Franklin's literary works - including poems, stories, and essays - how his background as a printer informed his writing, and more. Tickets $6; free for OSMH members. Visit the website for more information.
Arlington Authors Salon Returns on January 10
Founded in 2015 and hosted at the Kickstand Cafe, the Arlington Author Salon is a quarterly reading series “with a twist: each author’s presentation includes something special to tickle the senses. Let yourself be transported with an immersive, literary experience.” Past readers have included Steve Almond, Margot Livesey, Alysia Abbott, Mira T. Lee, Reggie Gibson, and more. Their next event on Thursday, January 10 will be entitled “A Short Story Suite,” and will feature local authors Ben Berman, Virginia Pye, and Dariel Suarez. More information can be found here.
Lesley University Winter Evening Reading Series January 4-12
Starting Friday, January 4, Lesley University will be hosting their annual Winter Evening Reading Series, featuring MFA program professors, graduate students, and visiting writers, including outgoing Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges. YA author Renée Watson will be headlining. The line-up will be:
Friday, Jan. 4: Steven Cramer & Laurie Foos
Saturday, Jan. 5: Renée Watson
Sunday, Jan. 6: Stephen Haven & Kate Snodgrass
Monday, Jan. 7: Danielle Legros Georges & Chris Lynch
Wednesday, Jan. 9: Jane Brox & Jason Reynolds
Thursday, Jan. 10: Graduating Student Readings
Friday, Jan. 11: Graduating Student Readings
Saturday, Jan. 12: Graduating Student Readings
All events are free and open to the public, and you can find more information here.
Boston Names Next Poet Laureate
On December 17, the city of Boston announced that Porsha Olayiwola will assume the role of the city’s next Poet Laureate, beginning on January 1, 2019. Olayiwola, who will be taking the mantle from Danielle Legros Georges, will serve a four-year term. According to the City of Boston website, “The Poet Laureate acts as an advocate for poetry, language, and the arts. They create a unique artistic legacy through public readings and civic events.” She has already made a considerable artistic contribution to the city: an MFA candidate at Emerson College, Olayiwola is the artistic director for Mass LEAP, is the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and 2015 National Poetry Slam Champion, and co-founded The House Slam at the Haley House Bakery and Cafe in Roxbury, among other achievements. She has a book forthcoming next year. Learn more at her website.
GrubStreet Narrative Arts Center Moving Forward in Seaport
One of the nation’s leading writing centers will now have the chance to make an even bigger impact. GrubStreet announced on Tuesday that they will be moving to 50 Liberty Drive next year. The space was reserved by the City of Boston to be used to house a local cultural organization, and GrubStreet won the bid. The new Narrative Arts Center will feature a bookstore, cafe, stage and events space, as well as classroom space, and Harvard Book Store and Mass Poetry will be involved as well. Grub has put out an FAQ with initial information about the upcoming move. Need some background? Check out our article from the Spring.
ICYMI: Best-of Lists of 2018
It's late December, which means the best-of lists for 2018 are surfacing! We collected a few from our favorite literary websites. From Literary Hub, check our their Favorite Books of 2018; additionally, they have a list of the Best Book Covers of 2018, and they've been counting down the top literary news stories of the year. From Electric Literature, here are the 20 Best Novels of 2018; also, read through their 10 Moments That Shook the Literary World in 2018. From Book Riot, check out their list of the Best Books of 2018, and their Great Children's Books of 2018 list as well. Finally, from Buzzfeed Books, they have The Best Books From 2018 For Every Kind Of Reader guide, as well as best fiction and non-fiction lists from the year; and don't forget to look through their Books for Anyone Who's Had a Tough Year list (because let's face it, we all have).
The 90-Second Newbery: Showcasing Kid Filmmakers Inspired by Great Literature
Have you ever seen Charlotte’s Web interpreted in the style of a horror movie? What about Ramona and Her Father in the style of a James Bond flick? That’s exactly what you’ll find at the 90-Second Newbery film festival, returning to the Boston Public Library on April 27, 2019. We connected with creator James Kennedy about this unique festival and the creative kids that have made it what it is. Find out more in our newest post.
“Rebels and Admirers” at the Old South Meeting House
Next week is John Greenleaf Whittier’s birthday, which means the Old South Meeting House will be holding another event in its Bibliophile Birthdays series, celebrating the authors of the Old South’s past. On Tuesday, December 11, they will be hosting “Rebels and Admirers – Poets of the Old South, 1700s to Today,” featuring readings of poems from the past by local poets of the present. This “literary salon-style program” will also include a talk on the Old South’s literary past, a chance for some poetry discussion, and a poem generated on the spot for the event. Featuring Allison Adair, Serina Gousby, January Gill O’Neil, Anna Ross, Lloyd Schwartz, and Lloyd Schwartz. More information can be found here. RSVP is requested.
“Lessons Learned from Striking a Deal”
What happens when a writer steps behind a microphone to do a reading for the very first? Are there nerves to contend with, distractions, fear - or can it be a fun, transcendent experience? With stylistic prose and self-revelation, Emerson MFA candidate Megan Fitzgerald tells the story of taking a chance and taking the stage at the Breakwater Reading Series in our newest post.
An Evening with Grolier on December 8
The Grolier Poetry Book Shop, a 90-year institution in Harvard Square, will be hosting An Evening at the Grolier on Saturday, December 8. The evening will feature poet Tino Villanueva reading from So Spoke Penelope. A reception will follow, with international cuisine, wine, dessert, and more. Tickets start at $23.36. Find out more information here. Curious about the Grolier Poetry Book Shop? Read this lovely blurb from their site:
Take a step off Plympton Street, walk through the doors of our Book Shop, and into the rich cultural world of the Grolier. The Grolier has been a home to poets and those who love poetry for almost a century. The walls of the Grolier are lined with photographs of our friends, and of poets who have read for us when we first opened in 1927, through the present. The legacy of all the poets who have read at the Grolier is palpable within these walls, bringing poets past and present together in our historic Book Shop.
7th Annual Mystery Night Gala December 6
This Thursday, December 6, the New England Mobile Book Fair will be hosting its 7th Annual Mystery Night Gala, a meet-and-greet with area mystery authors, including William Martin, Hallie Ephron, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Dale Phillips, JM Taylor, Maureen Milliken, Clea Simon, and many more. The Robert B. Parker Award will be given to honoree William Martin as well. Event is free and open to the public. More information can be found here.
GrubStreet Open House December 5
Are you looking to up your writing game, diversify your writing game, or simply start your writing game? The seasonal GrubStreet Spring 2019 Open House and Showcase will take place on Wednesday, December 5. Instructors will be on-hand to answer questions and direct you towards what would be best for your writing plans; the evening will also include a reading from current students. The open house begins at 5:30pm, with the reading beginning at 7:00pm. More information can be found here.
Athenaeum Pop-Up and Brookline Booksmith Author Gift Wrapping
Looking to start your holiday shopping this weekend? Here’s some incentive. On Saturday, December 1, from 1:00pm-3:00pm, the Boston Athenaeum will be hosting a Pop-Up Holiday Bookstore. Their librarians will be on-hand to give you some book-buying guidance - and if you’ve never toured the wonderfully historic Athenaeum, then would be a good time! On Sunday, December 2, from 1:00pm-4:00pm, Brookline Booksmith will be hosting Holiday Author Gift Wrapping, which is literally what it sounds like: Local authors providing gift wrapping for you. Look for Louise Miller, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Delia Cabe, Lisa Borders, Stephanie Gayle, Ilan Mochari, and many more.
Louisa May Alcott at the Old South Meeting House
Join Louisa May Alcott - played by Jan Turnquist - for “a captivating living history experience that will bring you behind-the-scenes stories from Alcott's life.” The event will be held on Wednesday, November 28 at the Old South Meeting House, and corresponds with Alcott’s birthday, and the 150th anniversary of Little Women. Turnquist, who is also a consultant for the Little Women movie filming in Boston, will give some behind-the-scene stories as well. The event is free, but RSVP is requested. You can learn more here.
Books for the Harvard-Yale Game
Today is The Game, the annual and legendary Harvard-Yale football game, being held for the first time at Fenway Park! If you’re interested in learning more about The Game, we found these titles available:
🏈 The Game: Harvard, Yale, and America in 1968 | George Howe Colt
🏈 Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 | Kevin Rafferty
🏈 The Coach Who Strangled the Bulldog: How Harvard's Percy Haughton Beat Yale and Reinvented Football | Dick Friedman
🏈 The Only Game That Matters: The Harvard/Yale Rivalry | Bernard M. Corbett & Paul Simpson
Orange Door Kitchen Hosts Food-Focused Fiction Writers
This Saturday, November 17, the Orange Door Kitchen, in partnership with the Silver Unicorn Bookstore, will be hosting three local authors for an evening of literary feasts: “A Feast of Fiction with Local Novelists.” Guests will join novelists Jenna Blum, Crystal King, and Louise Miller for a menu built around dishes from their respective recent novels. You can view the menu, and pick up tickets, here.
Boston Antiquarian Book Fair Returns Nov. 16-18
The 42nd annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to Hynes Convention Center on Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18. With free admission on Saturday and Sunday (Friday’s Opening Event is ticketed), visitors can browse the rare collections of 132 collectors from around the world. In addition to seeing incredibly rare first editions and treasures, visitors can attend various events as well, including a screening of the film Ex Libris about the New York Public Library, a Ticknor Society roundtable, and a session on Sylvia Plath’s letters. You can find more information here.
“Writers Finding Room: A Dedicated Space for Creativity in Downtown Boston”
The Writers’ Room of Boston, opened in 1988, is celebrating thirty years of being an “urban writers' retreat committed to providing a quiet, affordable, and secure workspace for emerging and established writers.” We got the chance to tour the space, and speak to Kate Gilbert, one of the members of both the space and the Board of Directors, about the experience and the community. Learn more about the writing sanctuary they offer in downtown Boston in our newest article.
ICYMI: Some Literary Multimedia
On November 2 and 3, Illuminus Boston lit up the Old Corner Bookstore as part of their city-wide show. Called “New American Scholar,” here’s a video from our Instagram that shows some of the writers of old projected onto what once was the Hub of the Boston literary scene. In case you missed Spec Boston’s October 25 session at Trident, here’s a video of the readings, featuring Julie C. Day, Hillary Monahan, and Paul Tremblay. Boston Public Radio recent read Moby-Dick for their book club, and podcasted about it here.
Boston Cream Pie and Boston Lit History
Last week was National Boston Cream Pie Day, the official dessert of Massachusetts that originated at the Omni Parker House. There was another sweet, rich contribution to American society that came out of the Omni Parker House: It was one of the hubs of Boston literary society. Read more about the Saturday Club, the Dickens Door, Twain, Wharton, Cather, and more, in our new Literary History article.
Porter Square Books Announces Writers in Residence
Porter Square Books today (Oct. 31) announced its 2019 Writers in Residence. Writing for young readers is Kathryn Amato, and writing for adults is Catherine Flora Con. What is the Writer in Residence program? In its inaugural year, the Program offers the opportunity for local writers to have access to the resources of the bookstore (think office space, ARCs to read) and will be expected to contribute to the PSB blog, give intros or “in conversation” for events, and be a presence during Independent Bookstore Day. (Find out more about the “perks and responsibilities” here.) A launch event for the writers will happen in February.
“A Bookstore with Identity: Cultivating the Cultural Hub of I AM Books and IDEA Boston”
Located in the North End, I AM Books has not only established itself as the only Italian-American bookstore in the country, it’s also created a cultural hub around it. This week, they’re launching the inaugural IDEA Boston festival. We talked with co-owner Nicola Orichuia about the bookstore’s origin and identity, and about the exciting new Italian-inspired festival of ideas. Take a read through our newest article.
ICYMI: A Few Book Parties Coming Up
This Thursday morning, November 1, 826 Boston will host its annual Books for Breakfast fundraiser. The morning’s speaker will be Joanne Chang. GrubStreet’s Grub Gone…POP! will be taking place this Saturday, November 3 at Scholars American. The event aims to be a celebration of Grub’s more prolific publishing year ever. And on Saturday, November 10, the Writers’ Room of Boston will be hosting its annual fundraiser, this year entitled “Cops and WROBbers No-Show Gala.” That’s right; no-show means you get to party at home in your jammies.
Tell-All Boston Literary Series Premieres, Focusing on Memoir
Tell-All Boston, the area’s newest literary series, premiered on Thursday, October 18, with a large crowd and stellar line-up of writers, including Deborah Schifter, Beya Jimenez, Angie Chatman, and Norman Belanger, with special guest Joan Wickersham. Read more about that evening, the origins of the series, and what co-hosts Mike Sinert and Alysia Abbott had to say about the importance of memoir, in our newest feature.
ICYMI: Faux Poe, Foggy Macbeth, Grub Pubs, and I AM Talks IDEA
Remember a few weeks back we mentioned you could hang out with Poe in a graveyard? The Harvard Crimson published an interview entitled “Edgar Allan Faux” with Rob Velella on his presentations at the Mt. Auburn Cemetery. This past Sunday, the Actors’ Shakespeare Project staged a performance of Macbeth at the Arnold Arboretum, which currently features Fujiko Nakaya’s fog sculpture; find pictures here. GrubStreet recently released a list of Grubbies who have published this year, its “most prolific publishing year.” Nicola Orichuia, co-owner of I AM Books in the North End, wrote an article for We the Italians about the upcoming IDEA Boston festival.
Porter Square Books After Hours: Speakeasy Revives the 1920s
In partnership with Miranda’s Hearth, Porter Square Books will transform into a Speakeasy (yes, you’ll need a password to get in through the back door) on Saturday, October 27. According to the event page, the Speakeasy will feature “signature cocktails, snacks, card and parlor games, period readings, live music, a blues dance demonstration, and more.” Featured readers will include Jennifer S. Brown, Lisa McGirr, and Charles Coe, and readings may include selections from Mina Loy, T.S. Eliot, Dorothy Parker, and the Harlem Renaissance authors. Tickets are $55, and are limited to 100 tickets.
Exploring the Book as Artistic Subject in Panopticon Gallery's Bibliophile
The Panopticon Gallery, located in Hotel Commonwealth, has a current installation entitled Bibliophile, “a studious exhibition for lovers of photography and the printed page.” We got the chance to stop by and speak to the director Kat Kiernan about the show’s creation and books as objects of art. Discover more in our new article, and visit the exhibit, on display until November 2.
"Why Is Boston's Most Important Literary Site a Food Court?"
Or, why is the Old Corner Bookstore, once the hub of the publishing industry in the U.S. and currently a historic site and stop on the Freedom Trail, functioning as a Chipotle? Those of us in Boston who know the building’s famed literary history are pained each time we have to walk by it. BC professor and local literary historian Paul Lewis has recently written an article for the Boston Globe Magazine detailing the building’s history, and efforts that are being made - including a feasibility study - into turning the location into a literary museum. (Yes please!).
Throwback Thursday: Bay Psalm Book
Did you know that the first book printed in Colonial America happened right in the vicinity of Harvard Square? And did you know that the first printing press in America was owned by a woman? Learn more about the Bay Psalm Book and the first printing press in the New World. Find out more in our Literary History section.
An Afternoon with Edgar Allan Poe
Have you ever wanted to spent some time with Poe just hanging out in a cemetery? You have your chance. Join the famed poet (played by literary historian Rob Velella) for an afternoon of readings, macabre, and living history at Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Tickets are still available for the 1:00pm performance this Saturday, October 13 (the 4:00pm sold out weeks ago). Find more information here.
GrubStreet’s Lit Up Gala is October 11
Tickets are still available for GrubStreet’s annual fundraising gala Lit Up, taking place at Laugh Boston in the Seaport on Thursday, October 11. The event will feature readings from GrubStreet authors, music, food, open bar, and more. Last year’s event raised “$108,070 to provide scholarships as well as free creative writing workshops to teen and adult writers in low-income communities.” Tickets start at $200.
Boston Book Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary
It’s become the literary highlight of Fall in the city. The Boston Book Festival returns for its 10th event on Saturday, October 13, all day in and around Copley Square. You’ll be sure to find its signature line-up of stellar authors, delivering readings, panels, discussions, and more - and plenty of events for kids, too. Local bookstores will be selling books on-location all day. And a plethora of literary organizations will be providing information in the exhibit fair. Check out the Berklee Stage as well! (Gosh, so many things!) New this year, the BBF will be hosting satellite locations in East Boston and Roxbury. The events begin on Friday evening with the keynote kickoff.
Boston Teen Author Festival Returns Sept. 22
The 7th annual Boston Teen Author Festival will take place at the Cambridge Public Library and Rindge and Latin School on Saturday, September 22. The lineup features over 30 authors, including Holly Black, Dhonielle Clayton, Malinda Lo, Mary E. Pearson, and Kiersten White. The event is free and open to the public. Find more information here.
Trident Booksellers & Café Reopens
After closing their doors due to a fire last March, Trident Booksellers & Café has reopened. The delay? Substantial remodeling and a fresh look. Their official reopening week will begin on September 17. Look for tours of the new space as well.
Local Native Jana Casale's New Novel
What does it mean to write a novel about the trivial, and can deep meaning be found therein? Jana Casale, a local native whose debut novel is set in Boston, talks to local writer Meaghan O’Brien about themes, process, and what it means to not read Noam Chomsky, in our newest article "Women Contain Multitudes: A Discussion on Writing Modern Womanhood with Jana Casale."
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 email@example.com.
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.