Author Christopher Castellani Returns on Tuesday, April 9, with a Widely Praised New Novel, "Leading Men," about Tennessee Williams's Life of Love, Glamour, Desire and Ambition in Italy in the 1950s
Apr
9
6:30 PM18:30

Author Christopher Castellani Returns on Tuesday, April 9, with a Widely Praised New Novel, "Leading Men," about Tennessee Williams's Life of Love, Glamour, Desire and Ambition in Italy in the 1950s

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Christopher Castellani, the award-winning novelist of three critically acclaimed works of fiction reaching back in to the Italian immigrant background of his family, will return to the South End Library on Tuesday, April 9, with his acclaimed new book of fiction about Tennessee Williams’s time in Portofino, Italy, in the early 1950s, Leading Men. With a focus on the playwright’s longtime relationship with Frank Merlo, the Boston Globe calls it a “seductive, steaming novel.” The New York Times book reviewer, Dwight Garner, describes it as a novel that casts "a spell right from the start” and “vividly reimagines” the relationship between Williams and Merlo, while offering “intricate thoughts about the nature of fidelity, the artistic impulse, and estrangement.” 

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The artistic director of Grub Street, the country’s largest independent creative writing center, Castellani was at the South End library in 2014 to read from All This Talk About Love, the last of his trilogy about Italian-American immigrants, a novel that was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Literary Award. In addition to  A Kiss from Maddalena, which won the 2004 Massachusetts Book Award;  The Saint of Lost Things, a BookSense (IndieBound) Notable Book; and All This Talk of Love, Castellani authored, The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story, a collection of essays on point of view in fiction.

He received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council to write Leading Men. Castellani is on the faculty and academic board of the Warren Wilson MFA program and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.

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The Twelfth Annual South End Library Easter Egg Hunt, Featuring the Easter Bunny, Will Take Place in Library Park, Sunday, April 21, 11:00 AM
Apr
21
11:00 AM11:00

The Twelfth Annual South End Library Easter Egg Hunt, Featuring the Easter Bunny, Will Take Place in Library Park, Sunday, April 21, 11:00 AM

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…and it will be over by 11:05 AM, so come early. As always, the Easter bunny will distribute many hundreds of eggs filled with chocolates, poems and knock-knock jokes. There will be delicious refreshments, warm coffee and cool lemonade after the hunt.

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FOSEL has already ordered good weather and hope it will be delivered in time. We have baskets for those who can’t find their own from last year. We expect the Area D4 police to be available, as they always have been, for those crossing Tremont Street.

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There will be a separate area cordoned off for the very young so they won’t be crushed by their enthusiastic and experienced older hunter colleagues. For those whose naps ran a bit late, the Easter bunny will have some extra eggs reserved especially for you..

The Easter Egg Hunt of 2018 when District 2 Councilor  Ed Flynn  assisted the bunny and kept the crowd behind the fencing as long as he could…

The Easter Egg Hunt of 2018 when District 2 Councilor Ed Flynn assisted the bunny and kept the crowd behind the fencing as long as he could…

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Jun
25
6:30 PM18:30

Erica Ferencik, Novelist, Essayist and Former Stand-up Comedian, Presents "A Night in the Amazon" Together with Her New Book, "Into the Jungle"

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Erica Ferencik, a Boston novelist, essayist, and former standup comic will be at the South End library with a slide show to introduce her second suspense novel, Into the Jungle, on Tuesday, June 25 at 6:30 PM. Her first thriller, The River at Night, was an Opera #1 Pick and a Must read selection of Entertainment Weekly. The author has been a ghostwriter, editor, and screenwriter and did stand-up comedy for ten years at various comedy clubs in Boston and New York. She was a material writer for David Letterman during the early years of his national late-night show. Her work has appeared in Salon and The Boston Globe, as well as on National Public Radio. A previous novel, Repeaters, has been optioned for film.

I

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Suzanne Berne, Orange Award-Winner for "A Crime in the Neighborhood,"  Will Talk about her Latest Suspense Novel, "The Dogs of Littlefield," Tuesday, March 19.
Mar
19
6:30 PM18:30

Suzanne Berne, Orange Award-Winner for "A Crime in the Neighborhood," Will Talk about her Latest Suspense Novel, "The Dogs of Littlefield," Tuesday, March 19.

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On Tuesday, March 19, prize-winning author Suzanne Berne will be at the South End library to read from her latest suspense novel, The Dogs of Littlefield. The New York Times reviewer wrote that “..nothing sucks a reader in like psychological menace, and Berne is a master of the craft.” The Boston Globe said it was a “..near-flawless satire of middle-class America…”

Berke, who is the fiction editor of The Harvard Review, teaches creative writing at Boston College and the Ranier Writing Workshop. She won the U.K.’s Orange Award for A Crime in the Neighborhood. Earlier novels are The Ghost at the Table and A Perfect Arrangement. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in magazines including PloughsharesAgniThe Threepenny ReviewMademoiselleVogueThe New York Times MagazineThe Guardian, and The Quarterly.  

 

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Dan Kelley, Architect Affiliated with the Firm that Designed the South End Library in 1960s Will Talk about the Building's Architecture on Tuesday, March 12
Mar
12
6:30 PM18:30

Dan Kelley, Architect Affiliated with the Firm that Designed the South End Library in 1960s Will Talk about the Building's Architecture on Tuesday, March 12

The Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) is the headquarters of NATO’s Allied Command Operations located near Mons, Belgium.)

The Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) is the headquarters of NATO’s Allied Command Operations located near Mons, Belgium.)

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Does the image above remind you of the design of the South End library? No surprise if it does, as it was the product of the same architectural firm of Mitchell/Giurgola, then based in Philadelphia, now in New York. Dan Kelley, the principal architect of MGA Partners, which began as Mitchell/Giurgola, will be at the South End branch to talk about the library’s architectural history on Tuesday, March 12, at 6:30 PM.

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In a talk titled, Beyond City Hall, Kelley will describe how Romaldo Giurgola, one of the key figures of The Philadelphia School of the 1960’s, challenged doctrinaire modernism with designs and buildings that conceptually recognized their context.  Giurgola completed the BPL’s South End library branch in 1971 as he and the Mitchell/Giurgola Architects firm attracted national and international attention for their work.  Giurgola was awarded the AIA Gold Medal in 1983. In his presentation, Kelley will track the ideas in Giurgola’s work and survey the design history of the firm’s South End library project.

The South End branch of the Boston Public Library was designed by Ronaldo Giurgola in the late 1960s

The South End branch of the Boston Public Library was designed by Ronaldo Giurgola in the late 1960s

Romaldo Giurgola left Philadelphia when he became the chair of the Columbia University School of Architecture and Planning, around the time the South End branch was designed. He opened a second office of Mitchell/Giurgola in New York City, and later moved to Canberra, Australia, when the firm won the competition to design the Australian Parliament building. He passed away in 2016. His partner in the firm, Ehrman Mitchell, died in 2005. The Philadelphia office is now called MGA Partners.

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Feb
26
6:30 PM18:30

From Page to Stage: Zeitgeist Stage Director David Miller, Will Discuss "Trigger Warning," a New Play about the Impact of a School Shooting from the Perspective of the Shooter's Family

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In the spring of 2019, Zeitgeist Stage Company, a resident theater company at the Boston Center for the Arts, will present the world premiere of Trigger Warning by playwright Jacques Lamarre. Zeitgeist Stage commissioned the play, in which the playwright looks at the impact of a school shooting from the perspective of the shooter’s family. Playwright Lamarre will join Zeitgeist’s award-winning Artistic Director, David Miller, for the event, February’s weather permitting, as he is traveling to Boston from Hartford, CT. The event was rescheduled to February 26 from the previous date, January 8.

This Page to Stage discussion, a first for the South End Writes author series, will illuminate the process of preparing a script for presentation in a premiere production. It will  include the reading of a scene from the play. Zeitgeist’s Miller, a South End resident, has recruited several of the actors in the production to participate in the event. 

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Eamon Shelton, BPL's Director of Operations, Will Discuss Library Renovation Plans at FOSEL's Annual Members Meeting  and 2019 Board Election on Tuesday, February 5, at 6:30 PM
Feb
5
6:30 PM18:30

Eamon Shelton, BPL's Director of Operations, Will Discuss Library Renovation Plans at FOSEL's Annual Members Meeting and 2019 Board Election on Tuesday, February 5, at 6:30 PM

Next Tuesday, the Friends of the South End Library (FOSEL) will have its Annual Members Meeting where you can elect our proposed slate of directors, get updates on our financial status, programming and renovation plans. Eamon Shelton, the Director of Operations at the Boston Public Library. will be at the meeting to discuss renovation plans for the branch and answer any questions you might have. This is also the time when you can propose yourself as an advisor to the FOSEL board and/or sign up for any of its programs.

Our proposed 2019 slate of voting-board directors this year is made up of current officers for the second of their two-year terms, most current directors and one new candidate. Officers serve two-year terms; directors one year. The candidates are: Marleen Nienhuis (President); Barbara Sommerfeld (treasurer); Kim Clark (clerk); Marilyn Davillier; Gary Bailey; Duncan Will; and Jennifer Watson (new).

Our proposed 2019 advisory board includes many of the 2018 advisory board members: Anne Smart, Don Haber, Jacqueline McRath, Stephen Fox, Liane Crawford, Susanna Coit, Michael Cox, Michelle Laboy, Gail Ide and Nick Altschuller. Maura Harrington and Licia Sky asked to move from the 2018 voting to the 2019 advisory board due to increased commitments in their professional lives. In addition, Reinhold Mahler has agreed to join as a new advisor. Two wonderful 2018 advisory board members, Karen Watson and Ed Hostetter have moved out of state and are directing their generous volunteer efforts elsewhere. We thank them for their important contributions. Jon Santiago, who served on the FOSEL advisory board for three years, was counseled by legislative advisors to step down from all boards now that he is a newly elected State Representative (replacing Byron Rushing). We thank Jon for his advocacy and volunteering, and wish him the best.

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Here are brief descriptions of the proposed candidates:

Barbara Sommerfeld has been a meticulous treasurer for eight years, patiently and graciously processing innumerable contributions for both capital and membership campaigns by FOSEL. She is an active and devoted South End library user who is always ready to volunteer in any FOSEL project.

Kim Clark has organized board meetings, kept track of by-laws and written crisp and accurate board minutes. She has enthusiastically introduced numerous speakers for South End Writes, and recruited wonderful speakers (Mel King, Byron Rushing, Melinda Lopez). She is a longtime South End library user.

Marilyn Davillier, a therapist, is an active contributor to numerous FOSEL ventures, including the South End Writes program and the Holiday Party, and has made excellent recommendations for past and future speakers on the subject of children’s developmental psychology. She and her husband, Ed Tronick, a renowned child psychologist at UMass, hope to create a seminar series at the library for families of young children. 

Gary Bailey is a Professor of Practice at Simmons School of Social Work, very active in and connected to a range of neighborhood associations, and interested in the role the South End library can play in the lives of homeless patrons.

Duncan Will’s background is in secondary education. He is a member of the Local/Focus group, taking apart old displays and installing new ones. He works closely with Reinhold Mahler in this program.

Jennifer Watson. contacted FOSEL in 2018 and has taken on FOSEL’s newest program, the Award-winning Books Window. She was in charge of the first display, the 2018 Massachusetts Book Awards. She is now planning the second display, the Edgar Awards for Crime Fiction. She works as an executive’s chief of staff at the Boston Medical Center.

Anne Smart is the head librarian of the South End library is an invaluable member of FOSEL advisory board, especially in light of the library’s renovation projects.

Maura Harrington was the FOSEL Capital Campaign’s invaluable co-chair, a generous volunteer for Local/Focus and the Holiday Party, and will continue to be devoted to the branch’s well-being.

Licia Sky, a poet, composer and playwright, hopes to organize poetry slams at the branch, and aan evening of local folk music.

Don Haber, as co-president of the Jamaica Plain branch library, is an invaluable sounding board and source of information about library renovations and BPL developments.

Jacqueline McRath has been a loyal volunteer at FOSEL events, and has a wealth of knowledge about fiber artists, writers and poets in the South End community.

Stephen Fox, as chair of the South End Forum and the Rutland Square Association, has been a vocal and important advocate for the South End library and Library Park with our elected city representatives and appointed heads of city agencies.

Liane Crawford has made great recommendations for the Local/Focus window and has been very helpful in our fundraising efforts.

Susanna Coit is a trained archivist at the Perkins School for the Blind. She is very excited to continue as an advisor as the library is going through its renovation process and has kept FOSEL abreast of new information about libraries.

Michael Cox has recruited a number of speakers for South End Writes and is an active volunteer who distributes posters and flyers for our events throughout the neighborhood.

Michelle Laboy’s contribution to FOSEL as an architect helping us to envision a welcoming and beautifully renovated South End library has been inspiring and gratifying. She has participated in numerous meetings with the BPL’s executive and project teams to advance the renovation plans. 

Gail Ide is a library abutter who has been a longtime South End library and Library Park advocate.  She will continue to work  on the redesign and planting plans for Library Park.

Nick Altschuller has made very nice recommendations of authors for South End Writes and compiled a wonderfully curated set of crime fiction titles for our January Local/Focus mystery window, centered on Boston writers and/or fiction set in the Boston area. 

Reinhold Mahler is also an abutter to the library and has a background in architecture. He has made fantastic contributions to the formatting and design of the Local/Focus windows in the past year. The installations have never looked better and Reinhold is delighted to do more of the same in 2019. 

 Marleen Nienhuis founded FOSEL in 2007. After leaving the voting board in 2010 and returning in 2014, her current term will end next year. A 2019 nominating group will focus on expanding/renewing FOSEL’s leadership for the 2020 terms.

 

 

 

 

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Joan Diver, Subject of J. Anthony Lukas's Pulitzer prize-winning Busing Chronicle, "Common Ground," Will Read from her Memoir, "When Spirit Calls: A Healing Odyssey," January 15
Jan
15
6:30 AM06:30

Joan Diver, Subject of J. Anthony Lukas's Pulitzer prize-winning Busing Chronicle, "Common Ground," Will Read from her Memoir, "When Spirit Calls: A Healing Odyssey," January 15

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Joan Diver will be at the South End library on Tuesday, January 15 at 6:30 PM to talk about her debut memoir, When Spirit Calls: A Healing Odyssey. It describes the voyage by Diver, a former South End resident, from nationally recognized foundation executive and social-justice advocate to spiritual healer through times of family crisis and confrontation with the challenges of urban life, while managing intense physical pain resulting from back injuries and, finally, her spiritual awakening after exploring healing traditions in East and West.

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Diver and her husband, Colin, lived a few steps from the South End library on West Newton Street in Boston in the 1970s and 1980s when gentrification and the busing crisis made a roller-coaster out of the daily lives of many Bostonians. Struggling to raise their family in the South End and navigating the school system, the Divers finally moved with their children to suburban Newton to provide a better education for their children than seemed possible in Boston at the time. “You’ve heard the expression, ‘A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged,’ ” Colin Diver told Yvonne Abraham in an interview with the Boston Globe in 2014. “I guess I was thinking, ‘A suburbanite is an urbanite who has had his kid’s reading scores decline.’ ”

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The Divers agreed to be one of the three families profiled by J. Anthony Lukas for what became his Pulitzer Prize winning book, Common Ground, which chronicled the heart-wrenching changes resulting from court-ordered busing. After the Divers left the South End, Joan Diver became the executive director of Boston’s Hyams Foundation. Colin Diver was appointed dean of Penn Law School in Philadelphia and, subsequently, became president of Reed College, in Portland, OR. The Divers returned to Boston in 2012 when Colin retired, and currently live in the Back Bay.

The event is free. Seating is limited.

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You're Invited to the South End Library's Annual Holiday Concert on Tuesday, December 18 at 6:30 PM, Offering Music by Pat Loomis's Jazz & Blues Band, Food and Good Cheer
Dec
18
10:30 AM10:30

You're Invited to the South End Library's Annual Holiday Concert on Tuesday, December 18 at 6:30 PM, Offering Music by Pat Loomis's Jazz & Blues Band, Food and Good Cheer

Chef John Hampton serving the holiday dinner at the South End library last year, with Pat Loomis and his Friends in the background.

Chef John Hampton serving the holiday dinner at the South End library last year, with Pat Loomis and his Friends in the background.

Yes, it’s that time of year when library staff and library supporters and friends get together for the Annual Holiday Party. As always, there will be Jazz and Blues music between the stacks, with Pat Loomis and his Friends who will include Antonio Loomis on guitar, Jim Dower, piano, Colescott Rubin, bass, and Benny Benson on drums. In addition, Loomis hopes to book a Special Guest, who shall be announced shortly.

In previous years, the husband of library staffer Carol Glass, John Hampton, prepared dinner but, regrettably, he is unable to do so this year (though we hope he’ll attend). Instead, library staff and FOSEL board members are organizing dinner and drink. As always, culinary donations will be welcomed.

Free to all. The library is fully handicapped accessible.

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Dec
11
6:30 PM18:30

Iran and Syria: Our Enemies or Potential Partners? Prize-winning Foreign Correspondent, Stephen Kinzer, Will Return to the South End Library, Tuesday, December 11

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Stephen Kinzer, a long-time South End resident, will be back at the South End library by popular demand to give us an update about his latest insights, this time into the fraught relationship between the US, Iran and Syria. He will be introduced by the esteemed WBUR OpenSource radio host, Christopher Lydon. An October 25 interview with Christopher Lydon on the fraught Middle East situation is linked here.

Kinzer’s thought-provoking assessments of foreign-policy matters are rooted in a distinguished career of reporting and managing several New York Times bureaus in, among other places, Istanbul and Berlin. His weekend op-ed pieces in the Boston Globe always offer the reader an unexpected new twist on the usual media story to chew over for the remains of one’s supposed day of rest. Kinzer, who won Columbia University's Maria Moors Cabot prize for outstanding coverage of Latin America, has reported from more than 50 countries on five continents as a foreign correspondent. The Washington Post described him as "among the best in popular foreign policy storytelling." His two decades working for the New York Times placed him at the center of historic events and, at times, in the line of fire.

When Kinzer was the New York Times bureau chief in Nicaragua in the 1980s, he covered war and upheaval in Central America and wrote two books about the region, Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala, co-authored with Stephen Schlesinger, and Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua, a social and political portrait that The New Yorker called "impressive for the refinement of its writing and also the breadth of its subject matter." In the 1990s, he was posted in Germany and became chief of the Berlin bureau after German unification, from  where he covered the emergence of post-Communist Europe, including wars in the former Yugoslavia.

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As chief of the New York Times bureau in Istanbul, Turkey, he traveling widely in Turkey and in the new nations of Central Asia and the Caucasus, after which he wrote Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds. While in Turkey, Kinzer hosted the country’s first radio show devoted to blues music.  He is the author of the entry on Jelly Roll Morton in The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge.

In 2006 Kinzer published Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq  which describes the 14 times the United States has overthrown foreign governments, why these interventions were carried out and what their long-term effects have been. He has made several trips to Iran, and is the author of All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror. Word has it, this book was part of John Kerry's library when he was Secretary of State under the Obama administration. It described, among other events,  how the CIA overthrew Iran's elected government in 1953.

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Kinzer wrote about Africa in his book A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It. Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa called it "a fascinating account of a near-miracle unfolding before our very eyes.” Among his later books are The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War and The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire, each of which were the subject of Kinzer's earlier popular talks at the South End library.

After leaving the New York Times, Kinzer taught journalism, political science, and international relations at Northwestern University and Boston University.  In addition to writing a world affairs column for The Boston Globe, he is a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

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Janet Fink, Recorder Player, and Alastair Thompson, Harpsichordist, Will Play Johann Sebastian Bach Suites and Sonatas on Saturday, December 8 at 1:00 PM
Dec
8
1:00 PM13:00

Janet Fink, Recorder Player, and Alastair Thompson, Harpsichordist, Will Play Johann Sebastian Bach Suites and Sonatas on Saturday, December 8 at 1:00 PM

South End recorder player Janet Fink and harpsichordist Alastair Thompson will play another one of their popular concerts on Saturday, December 8 at 1:00 PM, upstairs at the South End Branch of the Boston Public Library. The program will be of suites and sonatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, specifically numbers BWV 1031, 1033, and 1034. The program notes will tell the story of the multigenerational connections in the Mendelssohn family to Bach's works.

Recorder player Janet Fink has studied with numerous local teachers and coaches. She has performed in the Boston area for more than twenty-five years, in recorder consort with, among other groups, A Moveable Feast, and as soloist with the Witchtrot Consort, the St John’s Ensemble, and the Hemlock Consort. Always on the lookout to help young struggling musicians, she currently serves as President of the Board of the new wind band, Grand Harmonie. Fink offers frequent recitals at the South End and West End branches of the Boston Public Library.

Harpsichordist Alastair Thompson comes from a family of musicians and dancers and could not possibly stay away from the stage for long. In April 2011 he co-directed a stage performance of Matthew Locke's 1657 masque Cupid and Death (the masque is a form of festive festive entertainment that flourished at courts in 16th- and early 17th-century Europe). As a harpsichordist, he has accompanied performers at Boston-area conservatories and collaborated with many chamber ensembles, including Seven Times Salt, Les Enfants Terribles, the Zelenka Project, Patalena, the Weckmann Project, the Cavalier Consort, and Fourscore. He is also active as accompanist and administrator with Amherst Early Music.



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Nov
29
6:30 PM18:30

Boston Medical Center Pediatricians Will Host Parents and Children at the Library to Talk about Oral Health for Toddlers and Tweens

In the second of two interactive health programs for parents and children at the South End library, a team of excellent local pediatricians will talk with caregivers, parents, grandparents and teachers about their children’s oral health. There will be space for play and crafts during the programs. It offers parents an opportunity to express their concerns about child-rearing in a supportive environment with other parents.

The first program is centered on literacy, reading together and screen time for toddlers and preschoolers. Both events are free to all. For further information, please contact Anne Smart, head librarian, at 617 236-4077 or at asmart@bpl.org.

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Nov
27
6:30 PM18:30

Award-winning Author and Boston Globe Op-ed Contributor, Joan Wickersham, Will Talk about her Acclaimed Short-story Collection,"The News from Spain," Tuesday, November 27

Joan Wickersham

Boston Globe columnist and award-winning author, Joan Wickersham, will talk about her latest collection of short stories, The News from Spain, on Tuesday, November 27. The San Francisco  Chronicle called it "Divine." Kirkus Reviews and NPR said it was “one of the best books.” Her 2009 memoir, The Suicide Index: Putting my Father's Death in Order, was a National Book Award finalist and won Salon Book Award. She is also the author of a novel, The Paper Anniversary. 

Wickersham introduced the Pulitzer-prize winning biographer, Megan Marshall, when she was at the South End library in May to present her biography of the poet Elizabeth Bishop,  A Miracle for Breakfast. Wickersham's fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and has been published in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her op-ed column runs regularly in The Boston Globe. She has published essays and reviews in The Los Angeles Times and The International Herald Tribune; and has read her work on National Public Radio’s On Point and Morning Edition. She also writes frequently about architecture, including The Lurker, a column she created for Architecture Boston magazine.

The author has received the Ploughshares Cohen Award for Best Short Story and has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. She has taught at Harvard, Emerson, the University of Massachusetts (Boston), and the Bennington Writing Seminars. Joan graduated from Yale with a degree in art history, and she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.

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Nov
13
6:30 PM18:30

Jessica Keener, Bestselling Novelist ("Night Swim") and Short-story Writer ("Women in Bed") Will Read from her Latest Work, "Strangers in Budapest," Tuesday, November 13, 6:30 PM

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In her second novel, the December 2017 Indy Pick Strangers in Budapest, Jessica Keener delves underneath the surface of the architecturally glittering city of Budapest where the characters are presented with inhabitants who live with the scars inflicted by Communism and the Nazi occupation. A young American family, Annie and Will with a newly adopted child, Leo, moves to Budapest (where the author lived herself), to pursue one of those irresistible business opportunities that popped up after the Communist era ends. In what Library Journal called “a slow burn of an international psychological thriller,” Annie is led into that city’s past as well as her own.

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The author of the national bestseller, Night Swim, Keener grew up in the greater Boston area and devoted the early part of her writing career to short stories. One of them, Recovery, informed by the author’s battle with a life-threatening illness right after she graduated from high school, won a Redbook magazine prize and became part of the award-winning collection, Women In Bed.

The recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant for fiction, Keener was listed by the editors of the Pushcart Prize under “outstanding writers.” She has been published in literary magazines and on-line sites such as The Southeast ReviewChariton ReviewNorthwest Corridor, Night Train, Eclectica, Wilderness House Literary Review, Connotation Press,The Nervous Breakdown, and Huffington Post. In the 1990s and 2000s for the Boston Globe Magazine, Poets & Writers, O, The Oprah MagazineInspired HouseCoastal Living and Design New England.

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Acclaimed Playwright and Actress Melinda Lopez Will Talk at the South End Library About Her Recent Work on Tuesday, October 30, 6:30 PM
Oct
30
6:30 PM18:30

Acclaimed Playwright and Actress Melinda Lopez Will Talk at the South End Library About Her Recent Work on Tuesday, October 30, 6:30 PM

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by Kim Clark, FOSEL board member

The acclaimed Boston playwright, Melinda Lopez, will be at the South End library to talk about her work on Tuesday October 30 at 6:30 PM.  Lopez will be introduced by Isabel Alvarez Borland, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Humanities at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and author of Cuban-American Literature of Exile: From Person to Persona.

Lopez, also an accomplished actress, is recognized as one of the most exciting playwrights currently working in the U.S.  In 2013, she was named the first Playwright-in-Residence at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Before becoming a playwright, Lopez came to the theater as an actress. She launched her career by taking part in readings of new plays at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, MN, and moved on to roles in staged performances. She acted in numerous plays, including Romeo and Juliet at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, ME (1997); A Month in the Country (2002); The Rose Tattoo (2004) and Persephone (2007) at the Huntington.  As an actress attuned to dialogue, Lopez wondered if she might do more than interpret the stories of others if she had her own compelling stories to tell? 

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Early forays into writing plays, primarily about her family, were encouraging. She was accepted into the MFA Playwrighting Program at Boston University where Nobel Prize-winning poet and author, Derek Walcott, was her mentor. Her play, Sonia Flew, debuted at the Huntington in 2004 and was awarded both the IRNE and Eliot Norton Awards for Best New Play in that year. Sonia Flew has since been produced by the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, the San Jose (CA) Repertory Theatre and other theater companies. Lopez's other plays include Becoming Cuba (Huntington Theatre, 2014), Caroline in Jersey (Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA 2009) and Alexandros (Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach, CA 2008).

Her poignant and powerful one-character play Mala, the only one of her works in which she also appears, debuted at ArtsEmerson Boston in 2016 and won the 2016 Eliot Norton Award for Best New Play. Mala has also been performed at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis (2017) and at the Huntington (2018).

Lopez is currently working on an adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s 1934 classic Yerma, set to be staged at the Huntington Theatre in June 2019. She likes to feel that a play must have 'heart and compassion, must celebrate the human condition,' whether she is the author, a cast member or, as with Yerma, the translator and adaptor. She feels that theater is at its best when a play explores the existential questions of life and living.

 

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Oct
23
6:30 PM18:30

Boston medical Center Pediatricians Will Host and Interactive Program on Children's Health for Parents and Children: Literacy, Reading Together and Screen Time for Toddlers and Preschoolers

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A team of Boston Medical Center pediatricians will be at the South End library to offer advice and suggestions in two interactive programs for parents and children. The first one-hour program will take place on Tuesday, October 23, at 6:30 PM, and center on literacy, reading together, and screen time for the young and very young. The second will take place on Tuesday, November 29 at 6:30 PM, and focus on oral health for toddlers and tweens.

Parents can share concerns about child-rearing in a supportive environment with guidance from three top-notch local pediatricians. There will be space for play and crafts during the program. Teachers, parents, caregivers and grandparents are all welcome. For further information, contact head librarian, Anne Smart, at 617 536-8241 or at asmart@bpl.org.

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Oct
9
6:30 PM18:30

Randolph Fuller, Opera Aficionado and Co-founder of Odyssey Opera, Will Stand in for Odyssey Conductor Gil Rose, Who Had to Cancel the Tuesday Talk Due to a Scheduling Conflict

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Randolph Fuller, a passionate opera fan and financial backer of Odyssey Opera, has graciously offered to stand in for Odyssey’s conductor Gil Rose, who had to cancel his Tuesday, October 9 appearance at the South End library due to a last-minute scheduling conflict. Rose emailed FOSEL to say Fuller would be “very entertaining,” and hopes to return himself at a later time.

On Tuesday, Fuller will focus on the 19th-century French composer Charles Gounod’s most famous opera, Faust, first performed at La Scala in 1862. When the Metropolitan Opera in New York City opened in 1883, Gounod’s Faust was its premier performance. This year is the composer’s 200th anniversary of his birth. Fuller has asked for a CD player to accompany his talk so the sound of opera will resound in the library’s community room on Tuesday, October 9 at 6:30 PM.

Randolph Fuller talking to an engaged audience last year about Boston’s distinguished history with opera companies and the sad demise of the Opera House, formerly on Huntington Avenue.

Randolph Fuller talking to an engaged audience last year about Boston’s distinguished history with opera companies and the sad demise of the Opera House, formerly on Huntington Avenue.

Last October, Rose and Fuller discussed the 2017-18 Trial by Fire performances of Odyssey Opera, five operas by different composers, each focused on the life of Joan of Arc. Fuller, a longtime South End resident and local benefactor, gave an erudite talk about the history of opera in Boston, an art form he's been in love with since he was nine, when his parents took him to see Die Fledermaus at the Boston Opera House.

Odyssey’s 2018-19 season includes two of Gounod’s operas. The first, The Queen of Sheba, received a glowing write-up from Boston Classic Review; the next, The Doctor In Spite of Himself  will be preformed at the Huntington Theatre on November 9 and 11. Odyssey's three spring 2019 operas are inspired by "the face that launched a thousand ships," Helen of Troy: Paris and Helen by Christoph Willibald Gluck (2/15 and 2/17); The Egyptian Helen by Richard Strauss (4/19); and The Beautiful Helen by Jacques Offenbach (6/14 and 6/16).

Artistic director/conductor Gil Rose greeting admirers at last year’s Odyssey Opera event at the South End library

Artistic director/conductor Gil Rose greeting admirers at last year’s Odyssey Opera event at the South End library

Fuller recommends the following readings on Faust: by Thomas Mann (Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkuhn As Told by a Friend); Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust); and a short story by Stephen Vincent Benet (The Devil and Daniel Webster).

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Award-winning Novelist of Domestic Drama, Randy Susan Meyers ("The Murderer's Daughter," "Accidents of Marriage"), Will Read from "The Widow of Wall Street," Based on the Bernie Madoff Case
Sep
25
6:30 PM18:30

Award-winning Novelist of Domestic Drama, Randy Susan Meyers ("The Murderer's Daughter," "Accidents of Marriage"), Will Read from "The Widow of Wall Street," Based on the Bernie Madoff Case

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Randy Susan Meyers, known for her novels of domestic drama, will present her latest work, The Widow of Wall Street, on Tuesday, September 25, at the South End library at 6:30 PM. Her novels, international bestsellers, are informed by years of working with families impacted by violence, and represent her personal long journey from idolizing 'bad boys' to loving a good man. Her most recent work, a novella called, 19 Myths About Cheating, also will be available at the event.

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The Widow of Wall Street, her fourth novel, was called an “engrossing emotional journey” by Kirkus Review, and “compelling” by the Associated Press. Library Journal wrote it was  “..full of deceit, scandal, and guilt.." and that it "..expertly explores how rising to the top only to hit rock bottom affects a family. The consequences will leave readers reeling.” Meyers, who calls her latest book a roman à clef, a form of fiction she enjoys reading herself, delves into the role of Ruth Madoff, wife to Bernie, of the infamous Ponzi scheme.

The author won the 2015 Must Read Fiction Massachusetts Book Award for her earlier work, Accidents of Marriage. The Boston Globe reviewer said the book, which explores emotional abuse in a family living in a Jamaica Plain Victorian, a 'complex, captivating tale.'  It was chosen by People Magazine as "Pick of the Week." 

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The Boston Globe called Meyers's second novel, The Comfort of Lies, as “..sharp and biting, and sometimes wickedly funny when the author skewers Boston’s class and neighborhood dividing lines." In addition to her debut novel, The Murderer's Daughters, Meyers has published an author's guide called What To Do Before Your Book Launch. The Los Angeles Times called The Murderer's Daughters a "knock-out debut." Meyers's novels have been chosen twice by the Massachusetts Center for the Book as "Must Read Fiction,” and she has been a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award twice, as well.

 In a 2010 article published in the U.K., Meyers disclosed her own father tried to kill her mother when she was four. She described in the interview how domestic violence affected her family for decades after.

 

 

 

 

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Sep
11
9:00 PM21:00

Library Park Now Under Reconstruction: Due to Re-open in Mid-fall

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Library Park has been under construction since late July and is expected to be completed sometime in early fall. According to Lauren Bryant, the project direct for the park's reconstruction, the contractor will demolish the items in the park that will be replaced, like the bluestone pavement and the brick seating areas.

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Then the concrete pavement will be built (currently almost completed) and new benches, tables installed, as well as previous wrought-iron seating.  Trees will be pruned and the soil will be amended. Any further updates will be reflected on this website. 

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Iory Allison, Author, Bon Vivant and Restaurateur, Will Introduce Book Three of the "Glamour Galore Trilogy: The Mermaid and the Sailor," Tuesday, September 11, 6:30 PM
Sep
4
6:30 PM18:30

Iory Allison, Author, Bon Vivant and Restaurateur, Will Introduce Book Three of the "Glamour Galore Trilogy: The Mermaid and the Sailor," Tuesday, September 11, 6:30 PM

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How to describe Iory Allison? 

Here's a good try: a world traveler, blogger, husband to Leo Romero of Back Bay's Casa Romero, admirer of beautiful spaces created by friends or the ancients in countries elsewhere, a bon vivant who has just completed the Glamour Galore Trilogy with Book Three, titled The Mermaid and the Sailor? Come and hear for yourself on Tuesday, September 11 at 6:30 PM.  

Check out the website: the blog posts about World Travels, the Homes of his Creative Friends, the Portraits of Interesting People, his Visits to Beautiful Gardens, Woods and Fields, the recent March for Our Lives. 

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Aug
20
8:30 AM08:30

Longterm Effort to Redo Library Park Is Now Bearing Fruit: The Park's Reconstruction Is Underway; Park Will Re-open Sometime In the Fall

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In late July, the longterm effort by FOSEL to redesign and refresh the park finally bore fruit: Construction equipment arrived and workers began to dismantle the broken pavement and brick seating areas.  According to Lauren Bryant of the Parks Department, the contractor will then put in the concrete pavement, install new benches and tables and put back in the metal seats that had been there before.  At some point during the process prune the trees will be pruned and the soil will be amended once the paving work is complete. The park is expected to re-open in mid-fall.

 

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July 10, 6:30 PM: Library Park Summer Jazz & Blues Concert with Pat Loomis, Starring Internationally Celebrated Saxophonist Elan Trotman
Jul
10
6:30 PM18:30

July 10, 6:30 PM: Library Park Summer Jazz & Blues Concert with Pat Loomis, Starring Internationally Celebrated Saxophonist Elan Trotman

Join us in Library Park on Tuesday July 10 at 6:30 PM, to celebrate the upcoming renovations of the park and the library with one of our fabulous Jazz & Blues summer concerts headlined by Pat Loomis and his FriendsFast footwork by bandleader Loomis is bringing the internationally acclaimed saxophonist ELAN TROTMAN to the Library Park, part of a new FOSEL/Loomis initiative to make the summer concerts more spectacular, yet. The first 'Special Guest' is the contemporary jazz musician, Trotman, known for blending Caribbean rhythms from his roots with skillful horn textures.  Born in Barbados, the award-winning musician and best-selling recording artist was educated at the Berklee College Of Music in Boston.  "He's one of the hottest guys on the scene and we're very fortunate to get him," Loomis said.

Free to all. We serve fresh watermelon. Bring your own chairs to compliment the one we'll set out. 

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Author and Renowned Harvard Health Policy Professor, David Hemenway, Will Discuss Gun Violence's Public Health Implications, with an Introduction by Police Commissioner, Bill Evans
Jun
5
6:30 PM18:30

Author and Renowned Harvard Health Policy Professor, David Hemenway, Will Discuss Gun Violence's Public Health Implications, with an Introduction by Police Commissioner, Bill Evans

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David Hemenway, Professor of Health Policy at Harvard University, has written widely on injury prevention, including articles on firearms, violence, suicide, child abuse, motor vehicle crashes, fires, falls and fractures.  He will be at the South End library on Tuesday, June 5, at 6:30 PM. The author will be introduced by  Boston's Police Commissioner, Bill Evans, known for  his long-standing commitment to reducing gun violence and removing as many guns from the streets of Boston as possible.

Hemenway, who is director of Harvard's Injury Control Research Center, comments frequently on the links between gun violence and public health, including in connection with the Las Vegas shootings, most recently for the Boston Globe, linked here. After the Parkland, FL, school massacre, he was quoted in the Washington Post, commenting on the importance of reversing the Dickey Amendment and releasing Congressional funding to study gun safety and public health. Hemenway  headed the pilot for the National Violent Death Reporting System, which provides detailed and comparable information on suicide and homicide. In 2012 he was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention as one of the “twenty most influential injury and violence professionals over the past twenty years.” His 2006 book, Private Guns, Public Health, describes the public health approach to reducing firearm violence, and summarizes the scientific studies on the firearms and health. His  2009 While You Were Sleeping: Success Stories in Injury and Violence Prevention details numerous ways in which a public-health approach can make the world a safer place. 

 

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Allegra Goodman, Award-winning Novelist, Short-story Writer and Essayist, Will Read from her Latest Book, The Chalk Artist, on Tuesday, May 22
May
22
6:30 PM18:30

Allegra Goodman, Award-winning Novelist, Short-story Writer and Essayist, Will Read from her Latest Book, The Chalk Artist, on Tuesday, May 22

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Allegra Goodman, a New York Times bestselling author whose new work fiction, The Chalk Artist, is set in Cambridge and focused on the world of on-line gaming, was quoted in the Boston Globe a year or two ago as being a mother of four whose favorite app for reading is a physical book. She uses the phone. She reads the paper version of the New York Times. She doesn't text. Her husband is an MIT computer scientist. She will be at the South End library on May 22, 2018, and you can ask her whether all of that still holds. 

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An award-winning novelist (the Whiting Writer's Award in 1991; the Salon Award 1996; and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study), Goodman has written two short-story collections (The Family Markowitz and Total Immersion) and half a dozen novels, including Kaaterskill Falls, a National Book Award finalist. Her short stories have been anthologized in, among other publications, The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories; The New Yorker magazine's September 11, 2017, issue features one of her short stories, F.A.Q., part of a series of about different members of the fictional Rubinstein family living in the Greater Boston area, in this case, focused on one of the youngest. A previous one, called Apple Cake, centered on the dying matriarch, displays the author's astounding ear for comic dialogue and unmatched empathy and understanding of family  conflict. Goodman studied philosophy at Harvard University and holds a PhD in English literature from Stanford. 

 

 

 

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Megan Marshall, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Biographer of Margaret Fuller, Will Read from her New Biography of Elizabeth Bishop, With an Introduction by Author Joan Wickersham
May
8
6:30 PM18:30

Megan Marshall, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Biographer of Margaret Fuller, Will Read from her New Biography of Elizabeth Bishop, With an Introduction by Author Joan Wickersham

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Megan Marshall, who once lived on Rutland Square right next to the South End library, will return here on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, to read from the biography of her former professor, the poet Elizabeth Bishop. Called Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast, the poet is the first 20th-century woman Marshall has written about. Her previous biographies focussed on women with spectacular lives from the 19th century, such as Margaret Fuller (Margaret Fuller: A New American Life) and The Peabody Sisters.  Marshall came to the South End library two years ago to talk about the Margaret Fuller biography for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014. She will be introduced by her colleague, author Joan Wickersham (The News from Spain; The Suicide Index)

The California-born biographer who came east to study New England literary culture first met Elizabeth Bishop when the poet came as a guest to a poetry workshop Marshall attended by Robert Lowell at Harvard in 1975. Shortly thereafter, Marshall took Bishop's last Advanced Verse Writing workshop. Bishop died three years later. According to her web site, Marshall intertwined the Bishop biography with her own coming-of-age-as-a-writer story.

Marshall has made the study of women's stories her life's work, as detailed in an interview with the MAKER's blog, linked here. She was the Gilder Lehrman Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers of the New York Public Library in 2014-15. She has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She teaches nonfiction writing and archival research in the MFA program at Emerson College where she has been named the first Charles Wesley Emerson College Professor. An elected Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, she also serves on the boards of the Margaret Fuller Society, the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society, the Copyright Clearance Center, and is a member of the Usage Panel for the American Heritage Dictionary. 

 

 

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"Mars on Earth," an Exhibit about Utah's Mars Desert Research Station by Photographer/Conceptual Artist Cassandra Klos on Display at the Jamaica Plain Library through April
Apr
30
10:00 AM10:00

"Mars on Earth," an Exhibit about Utah's Mars Desert Research Station by Photographer/Conceptual Artist Cassandra Klos on Display at the Jamaica Plain Library through April

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The recently reopened Jamaica Plain branch of the BPL has a beautiful new exhibit space devoted to a rotating crop of exceptional artists managed jointly by the JP Friends, the BPL and Uforge Gallery. The current display is by Cassandra Klos, a Boston-based photographer and conceptual artist, who was artist-in-residence at the Mars Desert Research Station, a space analog facility in Utah that supports Earth-based research in pursuit of the technology, operations, and science required for human space exploration.

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With prototype space suits and diets consisting only of freeze-dried food, people from around the globe dedicate weeks, or months, of their lives simulating the Mars environment to further the study of leaving Earth behind. Klos’s photographs of the project blur the lines between reality and science-fiction, depicting red desert landscapes, lonely astronauts, space station gadgets, and starry skies. 

A 2016 exhibit by Klos in the Griffin Museum in Winchester, MA, titled The Abductees, focused on Betty and Barney Hill, an interracial couple whose lives were forever altered after their controversial alien abduction in 1961 while driving through the White Mountains of New Hampshire at night. 

Klos studied art and psychology at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Her projects focus on manipulating the validity of photography and creating dual realities that breathe life into situations where visual manifestations may not be available. Along with several group and solo exhibitions, her work has been published in The Atlantic and The Boston Globe, and her photojournalism reporting has been published in TIME Magazine and Wired.

Cassandra Klos: Mars on Earth is on view from March 2 through April 30, 2018. The newly renovated Jamaica Plain library is open Monday-Wednesday 10-6, Thursday 12-8, and Friday-Saturday 9-5 (closed Sundays). The exhibition space is located on the lower level.

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South End Resident William Kuhn, Author of the Bestseller, "Mrs. Queen Takes the Train." Will Read from His New Coming-of-Age Novel, "Prince Harry Boy to Man," Tuesday, April 10 at 6:30 PM
Apr
10
6:30 PM18:30

South End Resident William Kuhn, Author of the Bestseller, "Mrs. Queen Takes the Train." Will Read from His New Coming-of-Age Novel, "Prince Harry Boy to Man," Tuesday, April 10 at 6:30 PM

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By Michael Cox, FOSEL board member

William Kuhn, bestselling novelist and South End resident, will read from his latest book, Prince Harry Boy to Man, on Tuesday, April 10, at 6:30 PM. Kuhn has long explored the interior lives of high-ranking people, both in fiction and non-fiction. In the process he’s given readers a new perspective on the way we view 'noblesse oblige.' 

In addition to serious, scholarly research, Kuhn has written biographies of prominent figures, like Jackie Kennedy Onassis (Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books) and Benjamin Disraeli (The Politics of Pleasure: A Portrait of Benjamin Disraeli), as well as quirky people you’ve probably never heard of, like Henry and Mary Ponsonby and their life in the court of Queen Victoria. His first novel, Mrs. Queen Take the Train – a book about the scandal that erupts when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little adventure – became a bestseller that was quickly optioned to be a motion picture. Of course this is remarkable but not surprising. Mrs. Queen is a delightful comic escapade, exposing the private side of the royalty without ever becoming vulgar. Unlike most of the political parody coming out of the UK, Kuhn’s novel shows the royalty with their hair down, not their pants – imagine Love Actually meets The Crown, as though Nick Hornsby (About a Boy) teamed up with Julian Fellows (Downton Abbey). 

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The author continues his tradition of ebulliently imagining history in his latest book, the lighthearted coming-of-age novel Prince Harry Boy to Man. In it Prince Henry of Wales is a young man battling the anxiety of his public responsibilities against the virility of his wild oats. He attempts to prove himself with his deployment to Afghanistan.

Kuhn mines his experience working in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle to tell a satirical story of how an irresponsible prince stumbles on his vocation. In addition, the author will share personal anecdotes, including his impressions of a Christmas party at Buckingham Palace.

The event is free. The South End library is fully handicapped accessible. We serve refreshments. Books will be available for borrowing, sale and signing. Seating is limited.

 

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The Proposed Re-design of the Re-design of Library Park Will be Presented to the South End Landmark District Commissioners Tuesday, April 3, at 5:30 PM
Apr
3
5:30 PM17:30

The Proposed Re-design of the Re-design of Library Park Will be Presented to the South End Landmark District Commissioners Tuesday, April 3, at 5:30 PM

The Boston Parks Department will present a revised proposal for the reconstruction of Library Park next Tuesday, April 3 at 5:30 PM at City Hall's Fifth Floor Piemonte Room. At the previous presentation in January to the South End Landmark District Commission, the project director, Lauren Bryant, was asked to come back with an amended proposal to include the commissioners' concerns about protection of the park's oak trees root systems, easy flow of foot traffic unimpeded by park furniture and an upgraded, more interesting hardscape that would include some details of typical South End materials like brick, slate or bluestone. The redesign of the redesign was different enough to require a second public hearing about Library Park's future, which was held at the South End library on Wednesday, March 22.

 

The proposed re-design for Library Park that will be presented to the South End Landmark District Commission on Tuesday, April 3 at 5:30 PM

The proposed re-design for Library Park that will be presented to the South End Landmark District Commission on Tuesday, April 3 at 5:30 PM

The March 22nd public hearing solicited a number of comments, including a request to create more intimate spaces through seating and paving areas. There was a question about what to do with the granite blocks that are a play opportunity for kids, but uncomfortable to sit on; a request to inset tables with game boards; and a concern that the seating feels restrictive given that it lines both sides of the plaza. The single chairs of the current park appear to be in good shape and will be re-used and matched in style with additional curved benches, cafe tables and chairs. The oak trees will be pruned.

A large part of the work will be devoted to improving the park's infrastructure, including the clean-up of the site, underneath which there is expected to be a great deal of remnants from previous housing, including oil tanks and a lot of bricks. The soil will be improved and re-graded to enhance future landscaping. Another important aspect of the reconstruction will be groundwater management and water filtration to benefit root systems of trees, shrubs and plantings.  

At the first public hearing in November last year, Parks Department's Bryant and Brandon Kunkel, landscape architect with the Weston & Sampson design and engineering firm, presented attendees with three proposals. The one below was favored by the audience and was presented to Landmarks in January, but has been altered to comply with Landmarks's comments.  

The re-design of Library Park proposed in January but not accepted by South End Landmark commissioners concerned about root system protection, foot traffic flow and the quality of the concrete hardscape.

The re-design of Library Park proposed in January but not accepted by South End Landmark commissioners concerned about root system protection, foot traffic flow and the quality of the concrete hardscape.

After deducting the cost of design services, the remaining budget for the reconfiguration is $115,000, a small amount, which will be augmented with private fundraising efforts by the Friends of the South End Library until a more comprehensive renovation of library and park will take place in the next few years. Further information about the current project can be obtained at the Parks Department website, linked here.

 

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The 11th Annual Friends of the South End Library Easter Egg Hunt Will Take Place on Sunday, April 1 (No Kidding) at 11:00 AM, Ending at 11:03 AM (Just Kidding)
Apr
1
11:00 AM11:00

The 11th Annual Friends of the South End Library Easter Egg Hunt Will Take Place on Sunday, April 1 (No Kidding) at 11:00 AM, Ending at 11:03 AM (Just Kidding)

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The next South End Library Easter Egg Hunt will take place, rain or shine (well...if it's a Nor'easter we might reconsider) in Library Park on April 1 between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. In reality, it will be over by 11:03 AM as the crowd of children that breaks through the fence at 11:00 AM sharp is primed for the hunt, as the image above attests.

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There will be more than 1,500 eggs filled with chocolate eggs, poems and knock-knock jokes (after all, we are a library Friends group), and delicious baked goods, coffee and lemonade will be available for all. We will have sectioned of a safe space for the defenseless very young children who would otherwise be run over by their older and intensely focused friends. The Easter Bunny has been convinced to do it one more time and apparently can't wait for the Hunt: it is the Bunny's favorite event of the year. 

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We have some free baskets for those who can't find the ones from last year. They can be taken home and do not have to be returned. As always, we request and usually receive a police presence from our officers at Area D4. The gates will be closed until the countdown at 10:59:30 AM. Balloons decorating the fences can be taken home as well. 

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This is usually the first event after the New England winter season has ended, and likely the last in Library Park as it is now constituted. If the weather gods are with us, it should be a lovely day, and a good farewell to the old and tired park. Next year in...well, maybe not Jerusalem but certainly in a better green space at the corner of Tremont Street and Rutland Square.

 

 

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State Rep. Byron Rushing, will talk about "My Life and Debt in the Massachusetts State House," Tuesday, March 27 at 6:30 PM, with an introduction by State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz
Mar
27
6:30 PM18:30

State Rep. Byron Rushing, will talk about "My Life and Debt in the Massachusetts State House," Tuesday, March 27 at 6:30 PM, with an introduction by State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz

The South End's longtime State Representative, Byron Rushing, will be at the library on Tuesday, March 27 at 6:30 PM to reflect about his years as a Massachusetts legislator for the Ninth Suffolk District in a talk titled, My Life and Debt in the Massachusetts State House. He will be introduced by his colleague, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz. When Rushing gave the lecture at the 30th W.E.B DuBois Address in the Community Church of Boston a few years ago, it was pointed out that "the earliest African American elected public officials in the United States were from districts in New England" and  the legislator will "reflect on his political career in the context of the definitions of race and slavery and inclusion from the 'beginnings' until the current realities of electoral representative democratic politics."  Rushing, currently the Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts State House, has represented the Ninth Suffolk district since 1983, succeeding the influential South End social justice activist, Mel King, who spoke at the South End library last year.

In 2010, Rushing was appointed a trustee of the Boston Public Library by Mayor Thomas Menino, who was under fire at the time over his unfortunate attempt to close up to a third of the BPL branches. His appointment was seen by library advocates as a signal that, as long as Rushing was a BPL trustee, no libraries would be closed in Boston, which is roughly what happened. (One branch library in South Boston was closed as part of the demolition of the Old Colony housing project where it had been located, and two other branches, in East Boston, were also shuttered, but replaced within a few years with a splendid new and very popular East Boston library.)  

During his distinguished legislative career focused on social justice, Rushing sponsored the law to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public schools, as well as the original gay rights bill in Massachusetts. He also led the effort for Massachusetts state pension funds to invest in the development of poor communities in the state.

State representative Byron Rushing and his wife, Frieda Garcia

State representative Byron Rushing and his wife, Frieda Garcia

From 1972 to 1985, Rushing was president of the Museum of Afro-American History, when it purchased and began the restoration of the African Meeting House, the oldest  black church building in the United States. In 1979, Rushing oversaw the lobbying effort in Congress to establish the Boston African American National Historical Site, a component of the National Park Service. Byron led the Museum in the study of the history of Roxbury for which the Museum conducted the archaeological investigation of the Southwest Corridor for the MBTA. As a legislator he sponsored the creation of Roxbury Heritage State Park and occasionally leads walking tours of African American and working class neighborhoods in Boston and Roxbury. 

A graduate of Harvard College and MIT, Rushing is an elected deputy to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church; a founding member of the Episcopal Urban Caucus; and serves on the boards of the Episcopal Women's Caucus and the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice. His priorities are and have been human and civil rights and liberties; local human, economic and housing development; environmental justice and health care. 

 

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