Washington Post review for new novel A Catalog of Birds

goodlinens shares a Washington Post review for Laura Harrington’s second book of fiction, A Catalog of Birds

“It’s 1970 in Laura Harrington’s brilliant new novel, “A Catalog of Birds,” and Nell Flynn is about to graduate from high school. A young scientist on…” 

Laura Harrington’s novel is available locally at The Bookstore of Gloucester and Toad Hall Rockport.

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Read the review : http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwlIf9vjU by Charlotte Gordon, a professor of humanities at Endicott College, author most recently, of “Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley.”

 

Winners announced! Poetry aloud! SFL Poetry without Paper reception June 15

20150604_190508.jpgSAVE THE DATE poetry aloud!

POETRY WITHOUT PAPER AWARDS June 15

The 14th Annual Poetry without Paper Awards Ceremony and Poetry Reading is Thursday June 15th at 6:30pm at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library under the direction of Christy Russo. Author and poet John Ronan will present awards to High School, Middle School and Elementary school students who will then read their poetry aloud. Winners in each division receive prizes,  a book of poetry, certificate of excellence, and an invitation to appear on Cape Ann TV’s long running series The Writer’s Block. Poetry without Paper is open to students living in or attending school in Gloucester. Look for it each April.

The Bookstore of Gloucester and local artists for Deborah Cramer’s Narrow Edge talk at Sawyer Free Library

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Fans, friends, colleagues, and teachers enjoyed a free public program at Sawyer Free Library to hear more about the making of the Narrow Edge by Deborah Cramer. The talk was sponsored by the library, Kestrel, The Gloucester Writers Center, and Eastern Point Lit House (Deborah will be leading one of the upcoming book discussions at Duckworth’s). It was a treat to hear more about the long friendship and collaboration of Deborah Cramer and Susan Quateman (learn more about Susan’s art here) Patty Hanlon’s Cedar Tree Gallery at Walker Creek Furniture in Essex held the inaugural exhibit for this series.

 

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Cramer read quotes from her book that also inspired Janet Essley’s art; Quateman, Essley and works by Michael DiGiorgio and George Textor were exhibited at the Matz Gallery in the Library.  Martin Ray’s sculpture seen to the right and behind Deborah during her talk is part of the library’s art collection.

 

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“Unbeknownst to most people horseshoe crab blood safeguards human health.”

Avery from The Bookstore of Gloucester helped with the crush at book signing time.

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Heidi Wakeman, a Gloucester O’Maley teacher, was excited to visit with her first grade teacher, and Barbara Kelley who we learned accompanied Cramer on a research trip for The Narrow Edge.

 

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More scenes from this wonderful evening

Continue reading “The Bookstore of Gloucester and local artists for Deborah Cramer’s Narrow Edge talk at Sawyer Free Library”

street art Gloucester: 21st Century Orphans by Danny Diamond graffiti writer and mural artist

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There’s a monumental outdoor mural behind Prince Insurance at 3 Washington Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts, that changes every year. It’s sited on private property.

Thanks to the Greeke family who own Prince Insurance and let him have at it, artist and writer Danny Diamond has expressed his ideas and showcased his can command on this same outside wall annually since 2011.

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My favorite sight line is from Middle Street heading to the Captain Lester S. Wass American Legion Post 3 and the Joan of Arc sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington. It’s in a tight spot, and so is the kid with the green, green eyes staring back from the latest mural.

Diamond is using his talents to bring awareness to homelessness and the economy. Here’s an excerpt from his statement about 21st Century Orphans: “The windfall of green-backs that flies from my letters gives way to dingy news-print and beggars’ placards–this orphaned child’s currency. It’s rarely discussed, in our scenic little fishing town, that the homeless population has increased in Massachusetts by 40% since 2007, even as the national average was in decline. This in part due to the fact that the cost of living here in Mass is among the highest in the country; the cost of housing continues to increase now that the market has come back, and there is no relief in sight… Fifteen percent (over half a million) of our children here in the Bay state live in poverty; of the over seventeen-thousand homeless people here, thirty-eight percent are children.” – Danny Diamond, 2016

A Gloucester native, Diamond is busy with commercial art and commissions on both coasts.  I had a chance to ask him more about his art and writing after I did a post about the sea monster fence he painted. He brushed off the street artist description: “I consider myself a graffiti-writer and sometimes a mural-artist, but not a “street-artist” (semantic distinction).”  I asked him about Gloucester connections and if he went to the high school. Did any teachers influence him? He wrote back swiftly:

I studied art under Jackie Underwood, who was “Jackie Kapp” at the time, as well as theatre and set-design with Krista Cowan and Kim Trigilio. I went on to earn a cum laude BA in English Lit and Creative Writing at UMass Boston, class of ’06… I spent a lot of time at Artspace on Center St. as a kid, and so Gloucester’s sub-cultural grandmaster Shep Abbott had a big effect on me by bringing punk rock and mural art into downtown. I was mentored in the world of graffiti art by the late Jed Richardson of Manhattan who was a major figure in the NYC subway-train art movement of the 1980’s; he moved to Gloucester in 2001 or so and remained here until his passing in September of ’09… ” 

Diamond created a tribute chalk mural to his mentor at Minglewood Tavern. I worked in New York and saw first hand the 1980 era kings (and not so kings) of subway and club graffiti. I didn’t know Jed Richardson’s work and wondered if Diamond had an image to share for this post.

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artist Jed Richardson c.2008 (photo from artist Danny Diamond)

I also thought about the owners who turned over their wall for Diamond’s art. I learned that the building is owned by Peter Greeke who founded Prince Insurance. Aha! A creative family that understood and allows Danny Diamond the use of a large wall to practice and express his art. The Prince Insurance company is on Washington Street between Middle and Main and directly across from the Legion. It is a second generation family business that has specialized  in personal insurance for more than 35 years. It’s now co-owned by sisters, Melissa Moseley and Wendy Prendergast. A third sister, fashion designer Jennifer Greeke, operates Harpy Fashion out of the back office. The Prince Insurance storefront stands out with such original picture window displays.These windows are an entire family affair. Melissa doesn’t remember a time before the windows. Their mother creates them; Jen has made clothing, sculpted papier-mâché  creatures and mermaids. “Of course because of the community we  live in, over time artistic customers and friends joined in…like Richard Harding and the built boat. They’re just a lot of fun.”   Prince Insurance has a beautiful new website.

I hoped Danny Diamond had a record of his devoted wall mural project, which he obliterates and repaints every year. He did. Photographs below are from Diamond or his website, www.skribblefish.com.  His Instagram is @pyse117.  I added one showing a work in progress he is  completing for a new restaurant opening in Salem in February and other local commissions.

Continue reading “street art Gloucester: 21st Century Orphans by Danny Diamond graffiti writer and mural artist”

The 4 Cape Ann public libraries announce the Cape Ann Reads jury panel

See the 2016 Cape Ann Reads selection panel  

After a year of monthly programming by the libraries and community partners, the Cape Ann Reads original picture book contest is in full swing and has moved into the jury processing stage. The contest is hosted by the 4 public libraries of Cape Ann. They will publish the first edition printing for one book from entries that were submitted by December 15, 2016. The jury selection panel includes representatives from each of the public libraries: Justine Vitale Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library; Carol Bender, Children’s and Teen Librarian,  Rockport Public Library; Kate Strong Stadt, Head of Youth Services, Manchester-By-The-Sea Public Library; Anne Cowman, Young Adult Librarian, Manchester-By-The-Sea Public Library; and April Wanner, Assistant Librarian at the TOHP Burnham Library, Essex. Joining these talented library participants are three artists and award winning children’s picture book authors and illustrators: Pat Lowery Collins; Giles Laroche; and Anna Vojtech.  Bob Ritchie proprietor of Dogtown Book Shop will provide another crucial area of book world expertise.  Cape Ann Reads is grateful for their time and considerable talents to help the participants and the process. A second jury of children will select their favorites and is chaired by Liza Browning from the Cape Ann Museum, a Cape Ann Reads partner.

About the Cape Ann creates for Cape Ann Reads Children’s Picture Book Contest:
The 4 public libraries hosted a one of a kind call for entry seeking new and original children’s picture books showcasing local artists and writers. 

Cape Ann residents of all ages, students attending school on Cape Ann, and people who work on Cape Ann were invited to create part or all of a picture book for consideration to be published, and to submit their entries by December 15th, 2016. A first edition printing of one of these submissions will be published in 2017 by the 4 public libraries and with the support of various sponsors. The copyright is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of a Caldecott award for the children’s book, “Little House”, by Virginia Lee Burton, eminent Gloucester artist, author and illustrator.

When good fences make good neighbors, and Robert Frost was here thanks to Walker Hancock

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Photo without irony. For irony scroll down to see the poem, Mending Wall, by Robert Frost, and for Hancock’s portrait of Frost.

Update: shortly after posting and thanks to Good Morning Gloucester facebook feed and readers, there may be more information coming on the outside-r artist who built such a great fence design. Please send in more information soon. And here is some! Danny Diamond writes: “I painted this octopus (and the rest of the fence) back in October. It belongs to  Jon Just Jon and Lisa Bouchie. The octopus was painted entirely with low-pressure spray-cans.” And Lisa Redbird adds:  “…conceived by Lisa Bouchie, built by Mark (Girard) of Spotless Monkey and spray painted by Danny Diamond. A true artist collaborative…”

Mending Wall

1914 poem by Robert Frost, American poet  (1874-1963), first published in anthology North of Boston

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To  please the yelping dogs. The gaps I made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door-game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines,  I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
Spring is mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.”  I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go beyond his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

Robert Frost sat for Walker Hancock, Gloucester resident, esteemed sculptor and one of the country’s Monuments Men. Frost walked our local woods.

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Artist: Walker Kirtland Hancock, (b.1901-December 30, 1998)
Sitter: Robert Lee Frost, 26 Mar 1874 – 29 Jan 1963
Date: 1969 bronze sculpture cast after 1950 original (collection Amherst)
Dimensions: Without socle or mount: 16 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 10 inches
Collection: National Portrait Gallery

The Robert Frost Farm, Derry, NH (home 1900-1911)

Friends of Robert Frost, So. Shaftsbury, VT

Frost Place in Franconia, NH

Robert Frost Society established in 1978

Robert Frost collection at Amherst College (on the faculty for 40 years; also University of Michigan, Middlebury, Columbia, Harvard, and Yale, among other places) Hancock’s sculpture is in this collection. Sculpture of Frost by artist Penelope Jencks was unveiled in 2007

Robert Frost collection at Dartmouth College (alumnus)

A Frost Bouquet: Robert Frost, His Family, and the Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, a digitized rendering of the 1996 exhibition at University of Virginia

Victor E. Reichert Robert Frost Collection, University at Buffalo

Audio of Frost reading poems, Part III includes Mending Wall or here read and listen to Frost’s voice as he recites Mending Wall: