South End Writes

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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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Gil Rose, Artistic Director/Conductor of Odyssey Opera Will present the 2018/2018 Season Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Composer Charles Gounod
Oct
9
6:30 PM18:30

Gil Rose, Artistic Director/Conductor of Odyssey Opera Will present the 2018/2018 Season Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Composer Charles Gounod

Gil Rose, the artistic director Odyssey Opera will be at the South End library to present the 2018-19  season of the opera series, including a celebration this fall of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Gounod.

Last year, Rose and Randolph Fuller, a  passionate opera backer, discussed the 2017-18 Trial by Fire performances of Odyssey Opera, five performances by different composers, each focused on the life of Joan of Arc. Fuller gave an erudite talk about the history of opera in Boston, an art form he's been in love with since he was nine and his parents took him to see Die Fledermaus at the Boston Opera House. This year, he may attend but is not sure due to other commitments. 

The 2018-19 series will open with Gunoud's grand opera at Jordan Hall, La Reine de Saba (The Queen of Sheba), on Saturday, September 22. It is followed by a rare stage performance on Friday, November 9 and Sunday November 11, at the Huntington Theatre of his most admired comedy, Le médecin malgré lui (The Doctor in Spite of Himself). Gunoud's opera of Goethe's Faust (1859) was the most staged opera at the time, with 2,000 performances at the Paris Opera alone. 

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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.

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? 

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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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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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

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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 of 2017. 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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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. His irrepressibly independent and 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 give you something surprising to chew over for the remains of your 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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Jan
8
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.

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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 a reading of a scene from the play. Zeitgeist Stage Company Artistic Director David Miller, a South End resident, will be on hand, as will some of the actors in the production. 

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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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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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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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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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South End Historical Society's Lauren Prescott to Talk about "Boston's South End," a Postcard History, With an Introduction by District Councilor Frank Baker
Feb
27
6:30 PM18:30

South End Historical Society's Lauren Prescott to Talk about "Boston's South End," a Postcard History, With an Introduction by District Councilor Frank Baker

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By Kim Clark, FOSEL board member

On Tuesday February 27 at 6:30 PM, the South End Writes will host Lauren Prescott, executive director of the South End Historical Society, who will introduce her first book, Boston’s South End, published in January.  It illustrates the story of the South End neighborhood through vintage postcards that depict a series of local scenes and landmarks that define the feel and flavor of the neighborhood. She will be introduced by District 3 City Councilor Frank Baker who, with district councilors 2 and 7, Ed Flynn and Kim Janey, respectively, represent different parts of the South End on the Boston City Council. 

Drawing from the approximately 200 postcards that she discovered in the SEHS collection archive, augmented by photos that were also in the collection, Prescott presents an intimate and charming view of South End history, illustrated by pictures of private residences, schools and churches, theaters and nightclubs, businesses, industries and more. Many of the buildings shown are, sadly, no longer in existence but a number of them remain and, thankfully, continue to house families and businesses.

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Many postcards date from what is known as the "golden age of postcards," a period from about 1898 to 1915. Postcards were so popular during that era that demographic records show that in 1905, some seven billion postcards were mailed around the world. The number of postcards in circulation, which did not calculate those created by businesses for advertising purposes or the collections of individuals, is truly astounding when we consider that the world population during first decade of the 1900s is estimated to have been 'only' 1.7 billion.

Prescott was born and raised in New Bedford, MA. She is a public historian, who received a B.A. in History at UMass Amherst and M.A. in Public History at UMass Boston. She has previously served as a Collections Management Intern at the Arlington Historical Society. In 2015, she became temporary administrator at SEHS but advanced to executive director in May 2016. The postcard collection, which was donated in 2012 and contains a number of unique examples, inspired her to choose this art form as the innovative theme for her book.

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Prescott hopes that the postcard history will raise the profile of SEHS, which was founded in 1966. Her primary goal is to make the collection more accessible to researchers and neighborhood residents. She also plans to explore and catalogue SEHS documents, photographs, maps and related historical records, and create “finding aids" that will make it possible for researchers to determine through an online search whether certain items are available at SEHS, and deserve a visit for further research. Her long-term vision is to establish SEHS as a true archive and research library, one that offers valuable information through its collections.

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Located in a classic and totally funky Victorian town house at 532 Massachusetts Avenue, Prescott invites all to visit the SEHS and join neighbors and friends in the Drawing Room to hear an enlightening lecture on local history or meet there to start a neighborhood walking tour. For a schedule of events and more information,  please visit http://www.southendhistoricalsociety.org.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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On January 23rd, urban historian Russ Lopez will discuss "Boston 1945-2015: The Decline and Rise of a Great World City," after an introduction by the South End's new District 2 councilor, Ed Flynn
Jan
23
6:30 PM18:30

On January 23rd, urban historian Russ Lopez will discuss "Boston 1945-2015: The Decline and Rise of a Great World City," after an introduction by the South End's new District 2 councilor, Ed Flynn

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Russ Lopez, who once was invited to a party in the South End and never quite left after that, has come out with another book about Boston's history, Boston 1945 - 2015: The Decline and Rise of a Great World City. He will talk about it at the South End library on Tuesday, January 23 at 6:30 PM. He will be introduced by the South End's newly elected District 2 City Councilor, Ed Flynn.

A few years ago, Lopez spoke at the South End branch about his earlier work, Boston's South End: The Clash of Ideas in a Historic Neighborhood. According to his web site, his latest book is the story of how Boston, seemingly in an unstoppable downward spiral since the 1940s, somehow righted itself into something new and vastly better. Lopez is part of the informal but dedicated South End Library's historical archives group that collects information about the South End for safekeeping at the branch's second-floor archives' office. It's located next to the community room, where grand windows overlook one of those sleepy South End alleys (although the recent construction boom has enlivened that scene more than some like). The archives group represents a small cottage industry of South End historians and history buffs who have written about the neighborhood's art, culture, gentrification and urban renewal battles. Many of them have talked about their work for the South End Writes program at the library. They include South End News’s former Police Blotter scribe, John Sacco (famous for his iconic phrase, "The Scoundrel Was Arrested on the Spot"); Lynne Potts (A Block in Time: a History of the South End from a Window on Holyoke Street); Hope J. Shannon (Legendary Locals of Boston’s South End); Jean Gibran (Love Made Visible —a biography of her marriage to South End sculptor Kahlil Gibran); Alison Barnet (South End Character: Speaking Out on Neighborhood Change and the South End thriller Sitting Ducks); and Richard Vacca’s outstanding history of the local music scene (The Boston Jazz Chronicles: Faces, Places and Nightlife 1937-1962).

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A native of California, Lopez received his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Earth Sciences from Stanford University and his Master of City and Regional Planning degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His doctorate is from the Department of Environmental Health at the Boston University School of Public Health His research interests include urban environmental health and the role played by cities, neighborhoods and the built environment on public health outcomes.  Current and past studies by Lopez include the role of neighborhoods in long-term diet and exercise interventions; the influence of schoolyard renovations on student test scores; and the association between the built environment and obesity.  Lopez has published articles on the health effects of racial segregation, income inequality and urban sprawl.  He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Environmental Health at the Boston University School of Public Health.

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

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James-Beard Award-winning Chef Jody Adams Plans to Demo Making Pasta at the South End Library on Tuesday, December 5
Dec
5
6:30 PM18:30

James-Beard Award-winning Chef Jody Adams Plans to Demo Making Pasta at the South End Library on Tuesday, December 5

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Star chef Jody Adams, currently the owner of Porto, Saloniki and TRADE, will be at the South End library on Tuesday, December 5 at 6:30 PM, and give a demonstration on how to make pasta. Seating is limited. Additional tastings may become available. Final details are still being worked out. 

Italian food has been fundamental to Adams, who won the James Beard Foundation Award for the Perrier-Jouet Best Chef Award: Northeast in 1997. She traveled through the Mediterranean countries after graduating from Brown University with a degree in Anthropology, and began as a line cook at Seasons restaurant under chef Lydia Shire in 1983. Three years later, she helped open Hamersley’s Bistro as sous-chef of Gordon Hamersley's with whom she developed Hamersley's famous roasted chicken recipe. (By the time she left in 1990 she stayed away from eating chicken for two years, she says.) Adams also has a fantastically photographed and finely detailed food blog, The Garum Factory, with recipes ranging from Duck Ragu with Pancetta and Green Olives to Passion Fruit Sponge Custard, and everything in between. 

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In 1990, Adams became executive chef at Michela’s in Cambridge where she combined New England ingredients with Italian culinary traditions. In September of 1994, Adams opened Rialto in Cambridge. In addition to running Rialto, Adams published a cookbook, In the Hands of a Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant. She co-wrote the book with her husband, Ken Rivard. Copies will be available for sale at the December 5 event.

The widely admired chef has a strong reputation of supporting local farms and purveyors. In 2008, she launched an internal educational program, Guerilla Grilling, designed to connect her staff to the farmers and artisan producers that supply the restaurant. Adams is actively involved in organizations that support child’s advocacy and hunger relief, including the Greater Boston Food Bank, Share Our Strength and Partners In Health. In October 2010  was presented with the Humanitarian of the Year award by Share Our Strength.

 

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Pediatrician Claudia Gold Will Talk about her Recent Book, "The Silenced Child," on Tuesday, October 10
Oct
10
6:30 PM18:30

Pediatrician Claudia Gold Will Talk about her Recent Book, "The Silenced Child," on Tuesday, October 10

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Claudia Gold, who has practiced pediatrics for more than 25 years, wrote The Silenced Child after an accumulation of observations led her to believe that the single act of listening to young patients and their caretakers was in jeopardy. She was alarmed to see how in the prevailing system of mental health care unruly behavior, or a particularly challenging emotional state, was answered by time-pressed professionals who increasingly relied on psychiatric medication, sidelining time and space for listening. The author will give a PowerPoint presentation, followed by a discussion on this important subject. She will be introduced by Southender Ed Tronick, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at UMass and researcher in infant social and emotional development. 

Gold had begun to see behavior as a form of communication, and noticed as well how healing took place when that communication was heard. "Behind every 'behavior problem' is a story that gives meaning to that behavior," she was quoted as saying in an interview. "Only when we know that story do we know how to help that child and family."

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Subtitled From Labels, Medications and Quick-Fix Solutions to Listening, Growth and Lifelong Resilience, Gold's book refers to an avalanche new research in child development and neuro-biology that shows how the brain grows in relationships where listening and interpersonal give-and-take happens. "My thesis is that our current system of care, in which we simply label behavior and seek to eliminate it with behavior management or, increasingly, medication, may interfere in a child’s development if we do not protect space and time for listening," Gold said in an interview on the subject with Psychology Today

Claudia Gold is on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts, Boston Infant-Parent Mental Health program, William James College, and the Austen Riggs Center. She is also on the advisory board of the Sackler Parent Infant Project at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and currently works as a consultant in Human Development at the Austen Riggs Center

The event is free. The South End library is fully handicapped accessible. We serve refreshments. Books are available for borrowing, sale and signing by the author. 

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The Fall South End Writes Authors Series Will Begin on Tuesday September 12, Featuring Local History Scribe and Poet Lynne Potts, Followed by Laura Gold (10\10), Sam Allis (11/ 28), Jody Adams (12/5)
Sep
12
6:30 PM18:30

The Fall South End Writes Authors Series Will Begin on Tuesday September 12, Featuring Local History Scribe and Poet Lynne Potts, Followed by Laura Gold (10\10), Sam Allis (11/ 28), Jody Adams (12/5)

The South End Writes author series, now in its seventh year, will start the 2017-18 season of local literary, culinary and otherwise exemplary luminaries on Tuesday September 12 when long-time South End resident Lynne Potts will talk about her recent Faces of a Neighborhood. The sequel to A Block in Time: History of Boston's South End Through a Window on Holyoke, published four years ago, Faces describes the South End lives of 24 residents she interviewed, newcomers, long  timers, the rich and the poor. 

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Both Faces and A Block in Time were successfully self-published, but Potts is also a poet whose 2013 book of poems, Port Hole View, was brought out by the National Poetry Review Press and won its prize for publication in 2013.   Potts has been a poetry editor for both the Columbia Journal of Art and Literature and AGNI, and was selected a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellow in 2012. Her second book, Mame, Sol, and Dog Bark was released by the same press recently.

The South End Writes will host the following speakers after Lynne Potts talk: author/pediatrician Laura Gold (The Silenced Child) on October 10; veteran Time magazine correspondent and its former Rome bureau chief, Sam Allis (A Hero of Two Worlds) on November 28; and the James-Beard award-winning chef Jody Adams (In the Hands of a Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant) on December 5

The authors' books will be available for sale, signing and borrowing. The South End library is fully handicapped accessible. 

 

 

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