He calls himself "The Urbanologist" and even has a web site by this name, www.theurbanologist.com. He's described as "a curious traveler" and someone with 'dizzying' knowledge of "history, culture, architecture and 'local secrets' of places like Chicago, Boston, San Francisco." Raised in Seattle,WA, and Madison, WI, Grinnell was educated at the Universities of Chicago and Wisconsin. He has designed and taught courses on urban studies, community development, geography, planning and sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Boston University, the Massachusetts Colege of Art and Design and the University of Chicago.
In 2012, Grinnell published an article in Boston Magazine, bemoaning the lack of good public art, called Nothing Here to See. He lauded the exciting and colorful new mural, The Giant of Boston, by two Brazilian brothers and graffiti artists, Os Gemeos, then newly installed by the ICA. There for all travelers on Boston's South side to see, the art work has since been replaced but Grinnell's point was its warm reception proved "Boston is desperate for more and better public art."
You'll here more about this when you come to Grinnell's talk about all things urban on March 18, at 6:30 PM, at the South End Library. Seating is limited. Refreshments will be served. The library is fully handicapped accessible.
Coming up next in the remaining 2013/2014 season of the South End Library's authors series are:
Tuesday, April 1:
Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times foreign correspondent and bureau chief in Berlin and Instanbul, will talk about his most recent book, The Brothers. It details the lives of 1950s secretary of state John Foster Dulles and his brother Allen Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency in that same era. “Anyone wanting to know why the United States is hated across much of the world need look no farther than this book,” wrote theNew York Times last November.
Tuesday, April 8:
Poet Colin D. Halloran, who served with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan in 2006. A former public school teacher, Colin works with students and teachers to find ways in which poetry can inform the media’s and historians’ portrayals of war. His debut collection of poems, Shortly Thereafter, won the 2012 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award.
Tuesday, April 29:
Anita Shreve, award-winning author of numerous books of fiction, including the international bestseller The Pilot’s Wife. which was made into a movie of the same name and was an Oprah Book Club selection. Her new novel, Stella Bain, has just come out to excellent reviews in the Boston Globe.
Tuesday, May 14:
Pablo Medina, Cuban-American poet (The Man who Wrote on Water) and novelist, whose latest book, Cubop City Blues, just came out in paperback. The South End resident has received fellowships from the Oscar B. Cintas Foundation, state arts councils of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is a professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College.
Tuesday, May 20:
South End resident and author Wendy Wunder (The Probability of Miracles) will return to talk about her latest novel, due out in April 2014, called The Museum of Intangible Things. She teaches writing at Boston's non-profit writing center, Grub Street, and yoga in various locations in the area.
Tuesday, June 10:
William Landay, award-winning author of crime fiction including the New York Timesbestseller Defending Jacob, The Strangler and Mission Flats.