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Amherst Books
8 Main Street  Amherst, MA 01002   ·  413.256.1547 ·  800.503.5865 · books @ amherstbooks.com   
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< October 2019 >

Events listed in white are at the bookshop; events listed in yellow are elsewhere.

Unless noted otherwise all events are free & open to the public.

Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint will read at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Frost Library, Amherst College.   Myint, who is a visiting writer in residence at Amherst College, is author of the novel, The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, a Haven, which won the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.   For more information see the Amherst College Center for Creative Writing’s event calendar.
Natasha Trethewey—UMass alum, Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, & two-time U.S. Poet Laureate—will give the 2019 Troy Lecture in Bowker Hall, UMass, Amherst.   Her talk is entitled, “‘You Are Not Safe in Science; You are Not Safe in History’: On Abiding Metaphors & Finding a Calling.” For more information, see here.
This years' WriteAngles conference which will take place in the Willits-Hallowell conference center on the Mt. Holyoke College campus in South Hadley, will feature Martín Espada, Tzivia Gover, Dina Friedman, Bill Campbell, Ellen Meeropol, Dusty Miller, Jacqueline Sheehan, David Daley, & many more.   Click on Program to go to the WriteAngles website.
Charles Mann will speak at the UMass Design Building, Room 170, UMass, Amherst , as part of the American Institute of Architects New England Regional Conference.   Mann, who lives in Amherst, is author of several books, including 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, & most recently, The Wizard & the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists & Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World.   For more information see here.
Amherst Books Noontime Book Conversation will feature a discussion of Herman Melville’s, Billy Budd.   Meeting ordinarily on the second Tuesday of every month from 12:10pm until 1:00pm, the group has no fixed members (although quite a few regulars).   Readers are urged to nominate a book to be read, especially if they are willing to lead the discussion.   We focus on fiction & drama with occasional foray into the graphic novel.   We limit the length of our selections to about 200 pages, although this is a guideline rather than a fixed rule.   We believe in the joy of re-reading, so some of our selections are works that many have already read at least once.   The noontime book group is under the general oversight of Michael Greenebaum (mlgreenebaum33@gmail.com) who selects the books & leads the discussions.   He is happy to hear from those with ideas or questions.   Amherst Books offers a 10% discount on the month’s book for those who plan to join the group.

(November’s discussion will meet on Tuesday the 12th.   November’s choice will be selected work by Flannery O’Connor.)
Ross Gay, featuring the Tenderness Project will read at the Powerhouse, Amherst College.   Tracy K. Smith said of Gay's recent collection of essays, The Book of Delights, that his “eye lands upon wonder at every turn.”   Gay is the author of three books of poetry & is co-founder of “The Tenderness Project,” an on-line archive of radical empathy.
Chaya Grossberg will talk about her new book, Freedom from Psychiatric Drugs. Grossberg has been working as an activist for change in the “mental health” system & provided holistic mental health alternatives for the past 15 years, starting as a Freedom Center organizer for six years in Northampton, Massachusetts.   She has consulted for the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community, Massachusetts Protection & Advocacy council, Windhorse Associates, & Alternative to Meds Center.   She was the community organizer of the Mental Health Association of Portland, assistant director of Portland Hearing Voices & a Warm Line specialist at the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, helping to launch their Warm Line.

Poets David Mason & Cally Conan-Davies will read from recent work.   Mason is author of numerous collections of poetry, including the recent The Sound: New & Selected Poems.   Also, the verse novel Ludlow & a collection of essays, Voices, Places.   He is teaches at Colorado College & is the Poet Laureate of Colorado.   Conan-Davies was born in Hobart, Tasmania.   She has taught at secondary & post-secondary levels, worked as a bibliotherapist & free-lance writer, founded Lit For Life Centre for Creative Reading.  Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Hudson Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Harvard Review, & many other journals.
Amherst resident David Bollier will talk about his & Silke Helfrich’s new book, Free, Fair, & Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons.   From co-housing & agroecology to fisheries & open-source everything, people are increasingly using “commoning” to emancipate themselves from a predatory market-state system.   Free, Fair, & Alive presents a foundational re-thinking of the commons — the self-organized social system that humans have used for millennia to meet their needs.   It offers a compelling vision of a future beyond the dead-end binary of capitalism versus socialism that has almost brought the world to its knees.   Written by two leading commons activists of our time, this guide is a penetrating cultural critique, table-pounding political treatise, & practical playbook.
Kamala Shamsie will read from recent work at the Old Chapel, UMass, Amherst, as part of the UMass MFA Program for Poets & Writers’s Visiting Writers Series.   Shamsie, who got her MFA at UMass, is author of three novels, including In the City by the Sea; Burnt Shadows, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction & won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in the US & the Premio Boccaccio in Italy; &, most recently, Home Fire, which won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, was long listed for the Man Booker Prize, & shortlisted for eight other awards.   For more information, see the MFA Events Calendar
Christian Rogowski, G. Armour Craig Professor in Language & Literature in the Department of German at Amherst College, will talk at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Frost Library, Amherst College, about his new book, Wings of Desire.   Wender’s film has been hailed as a paean to love, a rumination on the continued presence in Berlin of the troubled German history, as well as an homage to the life-affirming power of the cinematic imagination.   Rogowski guides the reader through the film’s many aspects, using archival research to bring out new insights into its making & its meanings.
Poet Kimberly Burwick will read from her new collection of poetry, Brightword.   Kaveh Akbar, writing of the book, says that it “takes its name from a line by Paul Celan—‘Near, in the aorta’s–arch, / in the bright blood: / the brightword’—& the whole collection feels inflected by that poet, that bright blood.   Here, ‘white friction, snow more specific / than snow’ Burwick’s singular ear is matched only by her singular spirit; there is a grace in these poems few of us will ever know.”  Burwick is author of numerous volumes of poetry, including Custody of the Eyes & Good Night Brother.   She is Clinical Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Washington State University.   This will be her third reading at Amherst Books.
Nicholas Mancusi will read from his new novel, A Philosophy of Ruin.   His features, interviews, & criticism have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, NPR, BOMB, & many other publications.   Co-sponsored by the Amherst College Visiting Writers Series.
Richard Goldsby & Mary Catherine Bateson will talk about their new book, Thinking Race: Social Myths & Biological Realities.   Bateson is Robinson Professor Emerita of Anthropology at George Mason University in Virginia.   She has taught at Harvard, Amherst College, & the University of Tehran in Iran.   Goldsby is the Thomas Walton Jr. Memorial Professor Emeritus at Amherst College.   Now visiting scientist at MIT’s associated Whitehead Institute, he has taught at Amherst, the Universities of Massachusetts & Maryland, Stanford, & Yale.   Bateson & Goldsby have co-written an earlier book, Thinking AIDS.   Their new book clarifies the relationship between biology & race, showing how racism can result from a misguided blending of biology with social construction.
Local poet, anthologist, essayist & UMass professor of English emerita, Peggy O’Brien will read from her latest collection of poetry, Tongues.   O'Brien is author of three volumes of poetry, including Trusting Ice & Frog Spotting; is editor of Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry, & author of the study, Writing Lough Derg: From William Carleton to Seamus Heaney.   She will be introduced by local poet, John Hennessy.
Introduced by recent acting Hampshire College President, Ken Rosenthal, this evening’s guest Jonathan Wright will talk about his new book, Living Building Makers: Creating Sustainable Buildings that Renew our World.   Wright has been an expert builder specializing in the construction & design of sustainable, healthy, high-performance buildings.   Wright Builders, Inc. constructed two Living Buildings on the Hampshire College campus known as the R.W. Kern Center & the Hitchcock Center for the Environment.   Living Building Makers is a tribute to the unsung individuals — builders, tradespeople, designers, engineers, educators, craftspeople, & owners – who rolled up their sleeves to play a part in creating two of the greenest buildings in the world.

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