Many of you have been hearing my voice on your radio, using the word “disparate” and saying that I’ll be having a drink “or two” at Northampton Brewery this Wednesday from 6-8. All of this is true.
My friend Vanessa at WFCR is organizing their first official NPR PUB NIGHT! Please come out, have some free snacks, and enter the raffle to win Sarah Vowell tickets. Tina Antolini and John Montanari will be there too so you can finally see what they look like!
Yesterday’s jubilat/Jones Reading was cancelled due to bad weather conditions. I usually love the snow but not when it means that we miss out on Kimiko Hahn & Robyn Schiff. Luckily we are working to reschedule this reading for later in the spring so I will keep you all updated when that’s finalized.
There are two super exciting readings happening this weekend.
Friday, February 20 @ 8pm @ Amherst Books
Kimiko Hahn & Robyn Schiff — jubilat/Jones
Sunday, February 22 @ 3pm @ The Jones Library
I’ve spent the last week reading and re-reading Schiff‘s latest book, Revolver, and there is so much to admire. My students enjoyed the stream-of-consciousness feel of her poems that twist and turn in really unexpected ways. I personally love her meditations on fashion and brand-name designers blended into poems about automatic weaponry.
Kimiko Hahn ‘s most recent book, The Narrow Road to the Interior, combines autobiography with Japanese literary traditions (pillow books, zuihitsu, etc.) and is equally wonderful. I read it last winter when a bad cold knocked me out for an entire weekend, which turned out to be the best excuse to stay in bed with this beautiful book. Snow was falling outside and I remember feeling very happy.
My fashionforward friend Brian just turned me on to this blog called The Sartorialist. The man behind it is someone in the fashion industry who travels around Europe and photographs people on the street who have crazy style. He mostly focuses on men in interesting tailored suits, but the women are equally soignée.
I am completely obsessed with this Parisian woman who was recently featured.
And when she turns around there is gold up and down the backs of her legs.
Today my students and I talked about Book for My Brother and decided that if he were a color he would be crimson and if someone were to direct a film inspired by his poems it would have to be Michel Gondry.
Here’s one of their favorite poems:
“We Club Stars”
We club stars
down from their stems,
to our shoes.
We turn around
in the same
bed. Do not
This is you.
This is one part
of the same picture.
Yesterday my parents came to visit and we went to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art at Hampshire College. It’s a wonderful little museum and right now they have an amazing exhibition up called “Over Rainbows and Down Rabbit Holes: The Art of Children’s Books” with original artwork by illustrators like Beatrix Potter, Lewis Carroll, Maurice Sendak, Chris Van Allsburg (“Polar Express”), and Ludwig Bemelmans (who painted his “Madeline” murals on the walls of Bemelmans Bar at the Carlysle Hotel–one of my favorite places to have a cocktail in New York).
For me and my mom the highlight was this original Kay Neilsen illustration from the fairy tale “Blue Beard”. Neilsen was a Danish illustrator from the early 20th century and he’s one of my favorite artists. He illustrated a book of Norweigian folk tales called East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North that my great-grandmother Sadie used to read to my mom when she was a little girl.
I still have the book that’s almost 100 years old–it’s completely falling apart and half of the pages are stained with the cream of wheat my mom would eat while great-grandma Sadie read to her.
We went to the bookstore to see if they had a new edition of the book and learned that they did (!) and it was just released a few months ago (!). It’s still as beautiful as ever with color plates of Nielsen’s illustrations.