BRIAN CLEMENTS, ALEXANDRA TEAGUE, and DEAN RADER, editors of Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence
Focused on the crisis of gun violence in America, Bullets into Bells brings together poems by dozens of the country’s best-known poets, including Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Martín Espada, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ocean Vuong, and Juan Felipe Herrera. Each poem is followed by a response from a gun violence prevention activist, including Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Senator Chris Murphy, and Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts, or from gun violence survivors of the Columbine, Sandy Hook, Charleston Emanuel AME, and Virginia Tech shootings. The result is a persuasive and moving testament to the urgent need for gun control.
JESSICA KEENER, author of Strangers in Budapest, in conversation with RISA MILLER
In JESSICA KEENER’s atmospheric and intricately woven novel, a young American couple and their infant son move to the mysterious city of Budapest. Eight months into their stay, they receive a secretive request from friends in the United States to check in on a Jewish American World War II veteran
JESSICA KEENER is the author of the national bestselling novel Night Swim and a collection of award-winning short stories, Women in Bed. Her work has appeared in O, Redbook, and the Boston Globe. She has taught English literature and writing at Brown University, Boston University, and GrubStreet.
Moderator RISA MILLER holds an MFA from Emerson College and is the author of two novels, Welcome to Heavenly Heights and My Before and After Life. She is a recipient of the PEN New England Discovery Award and has taught fiction writing at GrubStreet, UMass Boston, and Emerson College.
You’re in the Wrong Bathroom! A Discussion of the Myths and Misconceptions about Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming People
Between 2010 and 2016, at least 111 transgender and gender-nonconforming Americans were murdered according to a study by Mic, especially transgender and gender-nonconforming people of color; meanwhile, TGNC youth face bullying from families, peers, and outsiders. Though there has been prolific media coverage of the lives of Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, and Caitlyn Jenner, harmful and inaccurate beliefs about the transgender community still permeate society. LAURA ERICKSON-SCHROTH and LAURA JACOBS bring together the medical, social, psychological, and political aspects of being transgender today and provide useful tools for the transgender community, educators, and allies.
Erickson-Schroth, MD, is a psychiatrist working with LGBTQ+ people in New York City. She is the editor of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, a resource guide written by and for transgender people. She was featured in Out’s “Out 100” list in 2014. Jacobs, LCSW-R, is a trans and genderqueer-identified psychotherapist, writer, activist, and public speaker working with transgender and gender-nonconforming, LGBTQ+, and sexual/gender diversity issues. Mx. Jacobs serves as chair of the board of directors for the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York City.
LAURA YOUNG, author of “Boston Ballerina: A Dancer, a Company, an Era”
Boston Ballerina is both a memoir of LAURA YOUNG’s personal journey and a fascinating account of Boston Ballet’s rise from a regional troupe to the internationally recognized company that it is today. It is interspersed with ruminations on the history of ballet, stories from the company’s Balanchine-influenced early years under founder E. Virginia Williams, and recollections from noteworthy tours, including those featuring the legendary Rudolf Nureyev, with whom Young was frequently paired.
Young was a company dancer in the Boston Ballet since its inception in 1965 and continues with the organization as a Boston Ballet School faculty member.
PAUL LEWIS: A is for Asteroids, Z is for Zombies: A Bedtime Book about the Coming Apocalypse
The Boston Public Library is pleased to host local author/Boston historian PAUL LEWIS.
Paul Lewis’s fascination with gothic fiction and horror films prepared him to publish “The Funeral Game” in Crazy Magazine while he was in graduate school, coin the word “Frankenfood” at the dawn of the GMO era, and write A Is for Asteroids, Z Is for Zombies as gallows humor for a time of global threats. In the spirit of taking these threats seriously while also finding relief from the anxiety they provoke, Lewis asks, “If you can’t laugh about the Apocalypse, what can you laugh about?”
Lewis is an English professor at Boston College, president of the Poe Studies Association, and the author of Cracking Up: American Humor in a Time of Conflict.
Journalist/Author MAUREEN BOYLE on the “New Bedford Highway Serial Killer”
Eleven women went missing over the spring and summer of 1988 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, an old fishing port known as the Whaling City, where Moby Dick, Frederick Douglass, textile mills, and heroin dealing are just a few of the many threads in the community’s diverse fabric. In Shallow Graves, investigative reporter MAUREEN BOYLE tells the story of a case that has haunted New England for forty years.
Boyle, an award-winning journalist, has been a crime reporter in New England for more than twenty-five years, including at the Standard-Times of New Bedford during this serial murder case. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Bridgeport and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College. She is now director of the journalism program at Stonehill College.
ERICA FERENCIK, author The River at Night
The Boston Public Library is pleased to host ERICA FERENCIK, author of The River at Night.
The River at Night is set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charts the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident. With intimately observed characters, visceral prose, and pacing as ruthless as the river itself, ERICA FERENCIK explores creatures both friend and foe.
ERICA FERENCIK has an MFA in creative writing from Boston University. Her work has appeared in Salon and the Boston Globe as well as on NPR.
Dr. FREDERICK DOUGLASS OPIE, author of Southern Food and Civil Rights
From home cooks and professional chefs to local eateries and bakeries, food has helped activists continue marching for change for generations. Paschal’s Restaurant in Atlanta provided safety and comfort food for civil rights leaders; Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam operated their own farms, dairies, and bakeries in the 1960s; “The Sandwich Brigade” organized efforts to feed the thousands at the March on Washington. Dr. FREDERICK DOUGLASS OPIE details the ways southern food nourished the fight for freedom along with cherished recipes associated with the era.
Dr.OPIE is a professor of history and foodways at Babson College and the author of Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America; Black Labor Migration in Caribbean Guatemala, 1882–1923; and Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food: Recipes, Remedies, and Simple Pleasures. Opie is a regular contributor on the radio show The Splendid Table.
Make Way for Ducklings Sculptor NANCY SCHON in conversation with ANITA DIAMANT
NANCY SCHON is best-known for her iconic Make Way for Ducklings sculpture in Boston’s Public Garden. Based on Robert McCloskey’s book and visited by thousands of children and adults every year, it has become a beloved Boston landmark. In Make Way for Nancy, Schön explores her major public projects and commissions, what inspired them, and what goes into making a beautiful and tactile work of public art.
Schön will be interviewed by ANITA DIAMANT, author of The Red Tent and The Boston Girl.
Authors CLAIRE MCMILLAN (The Necklace) and DENISE KIERNAN (The Last Castle) at the Boston Public Library
A stunning inheritance stirs up old jealousies in CLAIRE MCMILLAN’s The Necklace, which alternates between past and present to link two women—a bewitching Jazz Age beauty and a young lawyer— to a spectacular Indian necklace and an even more valuable secret. DENISE KIERNAN’s The Last Castle explores the true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore—the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States.
McMillan is the author of Gilded Age, inspired by Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth. She practiced law until 2003 and then received her MFA in creative writing from Bennington College. Kiernan’s The Girls of Atomic City was a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and NPR bestseller. She has also worked in television, serving as head writer for ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire during its Emmy Award-winning first season.