The 2016-17 “South End Writes” Speaker Series Will Resume on September 13 With a Political Gabfest by WGBH’s Award-winning Journalist Callie Crossley, Followed by Authors Louise Miller, Dina Vargo, and the South End’s Greatly Missed Culinary Genius Gordon Hamersley
The upcoming fall season of the South End Writes author series features a dynamic group of speakers, starting with the Emmy-award-winning, Oscar-nominated film producer and current WGBH radio host, journalist and TV commentator Callie Crossley on Tuesday, September 13. FOSEL is finalizing dates for additional speakers, but at this point here is the line-up:
Tuesday, October 25: Louise Miller, a Boston-based writer and pastry chef who won a scholarship to GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator program, will read from her debut work of fiction, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, published this summer by Viking’s Pamela Dorman Books imprint.
Tuesday, November 22: Just in time to get advice about Thanksgiving’s feast, the beloved and greatly missed South End culinary luminary, Gordon Hamersley, will talk about his life as a prize-winning chef, current food writer for the Boston Globe and long-time neighborhood fixture.
Tuesday, December 6: Dina Vargo, a local tour guide for Boston By Foot, will tell you about her amazing discoveries of Boston’s “secret” history which she compiled in her debut work of non-fiction, Wild Women of Boston.
A fantastic group of speakers for the 2017-18 spring season is scheduled, as well, including the Pulitzer-prize and National Book Critics Circle award-winning author Junot Diaz (This Is How You Lose Her), who has agreed to come sometime in January (final date not yet set). We hope his colleague, Pablo Medina, whose poetry reading FOSEL hosted two years ago, will introduce him.
Tuesday, March 14: Former New York Times bureau chief and current Boston Globe Op-Ed writer Stephen Kinzer will return to the South End library to talk about his new book, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire.
Tuesday, April 4: New York Times best-selling author Jenna Blum (Those Who Save Us) has been rescheduled to read from The Lucky One, part of an anthology of women authors who wrote about one day at Grand Central Station, called Grand Central. Jenna Blum had to cancel her booking with us this spring.
Tuesday, April 18: The very popular Harvard professor of education, sociologist andacclaimed author, Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, has generously agreed to return to the library to discuss her about-to-be-published work, Growing Each Other Up When Our Children Become Our Teachers, fulfilling a promise she made when she spoke at the South End branch last year about her compelling last book, Exits: The Endings That Set Us Free.
Several other authors have agreed to come, their schedules willing, as soon as their forthcoming books are on the shelf, including the highly acclaimed local authors Gish Jen (Tiger Writing) and Allegra Goodman (Kaaterskill Falls). Stay tuned…
Bring Your Dancing Shoes on Tuesday, August 23rd, 6:30 PM, to the Final Summer Jazz & Blues Concert in Library Park, Featuring Three Vocalists with Pat Loomis and his Friends
As per tradition, the fourth and final Library Park Summer Jazz and Blues concert coming up on Tuesday, August 23rd, at 6:30 PM with Pat Loomis and his Friends will bring you three vocalists for the session of Let’s Groove Tonight: A Funky Dance Party with Ivory Jones and White Chocolate. Performing will be Pat Loomis on the alto sax; Antonio Loomis, guitar; Tommy Bounce on drums; Thunderfoot will do percussion; and Jimmy Dow-Dow is on keyboard. The vocalists include the versatile Pat Loomis, Sarah Soulchild and the multi-talented Jimmy Dow-Dow. There may be a surprise guest or two. There may be dancing in the streets. The weather is supposed to be warm and dry.
The August 9 concert, Grits ‘N Gravy: A Soulful Evening of Jazz and Blues, saw an enthusiastic and gratified audience, including District Councilor Tito Jackson and his staff. The fine organist, Rusty Scott, brought his humongous wood-cased organ, and played beautifully with the outstanding drummer Benny Benson, alto-saxophonist Pat Loomis and Antonio Loomis on guitar. The fantastic tenor-sax solos by Berklee student Yesseh Farah Ali brought some in the audience to their feet.
The songs featured in The Soulful Evening of Jazz and Blues featured Au Privave, by Charlie Parker; Stanley Turpentine’s Sugar; Body and Soul, by Johnny Greene; Caravan, by Juan Tirol; Back at the Chicken Shack, by Jimmy Smith and, like last week when surprise guest
Arni Cheatham came by, another rendition of Errol Garner’s Misty. Concerts in Library Park are free and sponsored by The Friends of the South End Library (that means you!) and the BPL’s South End branch. We serve freshly sliced watermelon…
We thank the Ann H. Symington Foundation for their generous grant to FOSEL to bring music to Library Park. There will be limited seating so bring your own chair if you can. Restrooms are available inside the library. The South End branch is fully handicapped accessible. We thank the Boston Parks Department for their continued efforts to make the park shine.
A New Window Display Showcasing the Image of the Book in Ceramics and Folded Art Will Be Installed This Week in the Library’s Tremont Street Window as Part of its “Local Focus” Initiative
Since a board member of the Friends of the South End Library discovered the potential of the South End library’s beautiful large windows as a community exhibit space earlier this year, the branch has showcased displays of whimsical kites (Throw Caution to the Wind); wire sculptures by local artist Will Corcoran based on themes from Edgar Allan Poe and the Grimm Brothers; summery girls dresses patterned after children’s book characters that are the trademark of the local enterprise Smiling Button; and, currently on exhibit, an informative representation of groundwater and filtration issues as they relate to the award-winning Library Park solar-powered LightWell installations. Coming up next is a dual display in the Tremont Street window of the image of the book itself, one by a local ceramicist who used to work in publishing; the other, the town librarian of a small public library in New Hampshire who wanted to do something more creative with the to-be-discarded books, and learned how to fold them into paper sculptures. (The local connection is that a FOSEL board member also volunteers at the NH library.)
Lori Pease was for many years the design director for a local literary publishing house, Zoland Books, but has since worked with the image of the book in clay, using the book’s texture, form and color as her inspiration. Pease’s clay books can be hung on the wall, used as coasters or book ends, or arranged in decorative groupings. Veronica Mueller, the town librarian in Warren, NH, began to practice folding books after a seeing a picture of it on the Internet. She has given classes to adults and children, and folds books upon requests for special occasions. They make unique gifts for friends and family who want names or messages folded into the books, she explains. “The only tools required are old books without value, a pencil, a ruler, graph paper, and depending upon the design, a bone folder. There is no cutting or gluing involved,” she says.
The Local Focus initiative, formerly called Window Take-over, is meant to use the library windows as a showcase for local artists, non-profits and entrepreneurs and has to be compatible with the library’s mission to serve and inform the community. All inquiries are most welcome and should be directed to Anne Smart, head librarian of the branch. The Friends of the South End Library are finalizing simple guidelines, which will be available at the library as soon as they are completed. Price lists of any items for sale are at the circulation desk. Thirty percent of Lori Pease’s ceramics will be rebated to the South End library to support its programs.
The Third Summer Concert in Library Park with Pat Loomis and his Friends Will Bring You “Grits ‘N Gravy: A Soulful Evening of Jazz and Blues,” and Watermelon, Too, on Tuesday, August 9 at 6:30 PM
After hours of rain on August 2, the sun returned and dried out Library Park just in time for another fine outdoor jazz and blues evening presented by Pat Loomis and his Friends. The first songs, Green Dolphin Street and There Will Never Be Another You, had already warmed up the crowd when surprise guest sax player Arni Cheatham walked into the park, unpacked his instrument case, and joined the band. The audience was treated to a great session of Misty, with Pat Loomis, trumpeter Scott Aruda, and Cheatham each doing their solo interpretation. The high-energy final piece, What Is This Thing Called Love, could be heard blocks away by lucky Southenders sitting on their roofdecks and balconies.
More of the same coming up Tuesday, August 9 at 6:30 PM, with that evening’s theme of Grits ‘N Gravy: A Soulful Evening of Jazz and Blues. With Pat Loomis on alto-sax and Antonio Loomis on guitar, we’ll hear Rusty Scott’s organ, and Benny Benson on drums. Again, the weather should cooperate, and the watermelon will be sliced fresh.
The final concert, Let’s Groove Tonight: A Funky Dance Party with Ivory Jones and White Chocolate, will take place on Tuesday, August 23rd, 6:30 PM. It will feature a number of vocalists including Pat Loomis, who in addition to playing the alto-sax also sings a really great tune; Sarah Soulchild; and keyboardist Jimmy Dow-Dow, another marvelous vocalist. Then there will be Antonio Loomis, guitar, Tommy Bounce on drums, Thunderfoot performing percussion and..a special guest or two.
Concerts in Library Park are free and sponsored by The Friends of the South End Library (that means you!) and the BPL’s South End branch. We thank the Ann H. Symington Foundation for their generous grant to FOSEL to bring music to Library Park. There will be limited seating so bring your own chair if you can. Restrooms are available inside the library. The South End branch is fully handicapped accessible. We thank the Boston Parks Department for their continued efforts to make the park shine.
The Friends of the South End Library (FOSEL) Has Launched Its 2017-18 Membership Drive: Please Support Us So We can Continue Our Great Programming and Library Support For You
It’s been a while since FOSEL volunteers have asked for your financial support to assist the South End library staff with programming, library refurbishing and repair, but here’s the moment you can do what we know you’ve been longing to do all along: Donate generously to the best institution in town.
In addition to sponsoring the annual jazz-and-blues concerts with Pat Loomis and Friends in Library Park, we have lined up another outstanding series of writers and commentators for the 2017-18 season (Callie Crossley, Richard Fifield, Louise Miller, Gordon Hamersley, Dina Vargo, and Jenna Blum) and are in the middle of arranging additional bookings for authors who have agreed to come but not yet settled on dates (Junot Diaz, Gish Jen, Allegra Goodman, Steve Kinzer, and Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, among others).
That is not all: since the beginning of this year, we have lobbied the BPL’s executives and our local and state representatives to support renovating and expanding the physical space of our too small and worn-out branch; we hope to solidify our efforts this fall. And, finally, the Boston Parks Department’s project manager has begun to scope out Library Park for a renovation that will take place in the 2017-18 fiscal years. None of this would have happened without the dedicated advocacy and community efforts of your FOSEL board. We hope you will return the favor by becoming a member at a financial level you can afford so we can continue to make the South End branch the best it can be.
Please click on the convenient DONATE button on the web site, or pick up a donation letter with an addressed envelope at the South End library. If you have received our solicitation letter in the mail, and prefer to use that, please do so. Thank you for your support.