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Poet Charles Simic is shown at the City University of New York, May 13, 2003. Although Simic is a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, he understands that poets in the United States aren't followed with the same enthusiasm as rap stars or other pop culture icons as they may be in Europe. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

UNH professor Charles Simic wins Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize for poetry

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Poet and University of New Hampshire professor Charles Simic was recently selected as the sixth winner of the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry. Simic, 77, is a writer who has published many books of poetry and won some of the most prestigious awards in the country, including the MacArthur Fellowship, the Pulitzer Prize and the Wallace Stevens Award He served as the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2007 to 2008. The Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon prize is co-sponsored by the Monitor and the Concord City Auditorium, with assistance from the Kimball Jenkins Estate. Simic was selected for the prize by fellow poet …

A delicious book on the changes of food

Saturday, August 22, 2015

What’s cooking? This was not a terribly difficult question for our grandparents or great-grandparents to answer. Yet somewhere along the way in the great prosperity that came over most of North America in the post-World War II era, the question became more complicated. We didn’t know what we were eating. Oh sure, we …

New book urges parents to let kids fail

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A new book written by a schoolteacher has a simple yet compelling message for parents: Back off. In The Gift of Failure, author Jessica Lahey pushes back against helicopter parenting, which she acknowledges having fallen victim to when raising her own children. “(T)oday’s parents simply are not allowing their child to muck about …

The story of America’s deadliest cook

Saturday, August 15, 2015

There’s some irony to the title of Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s new book Terrible Typhoid Mary. As this engaging account makes clear, Mary Mallon (1869-1938) was hardly a “terrible” person, either before or after she became known in the …

The romance of the duel in literature

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A duel is inherently stupid, being largely a form of ritualized murder or suicide. Perhaps chance will favor one opponent over another, a foot might slip, a gun misfire. But, in general, the better swordsman or more practiced …

1920 defined a century

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Blame Downton Abbey if you must, but the 1920s are hot right now. Enter Eric Burns, a TV correspondent turned author and media critic whose new book, 1920, may capitalize on this interest. Burns does not merely argue …

Barclay delivers gripping story in ‘Broken Promise’

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Linwood Barclay returns to the small town of Promise Falls for his latest novel, Broken Promise, bringing back several characters and delivering another gripping tale. In this story, journalist David Harwood returns to his childhood home to create …

Sequel doesn’t live up to hype

Saturday, August 8, 2015

James Abel’s follow-up to the stellar White Plague, the new Protocol Zero, is intriguing, but ultimately doesn’t live up to the premise or anticipation generated by the earlier novel. Marine Joe Rush has dealt with many things that …

Ike Barinholtz book coming in 2017

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ike Barinholtz is the latest funny person with a book deal. Grand Central Publishing announced Monday that it had acquired a collection of humorous essays by the writer-performer whose credits include The Mindy Project and MADtv. The book, …

Long-lost Fitzgerald story finally published

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A year before F. Scott Fitzgerald died of a heart attack, he completed a short story about a hard-drinking writer diagnosed with cardiac disease. “And as for that current dodge ‘No reference to any living character is intended’ …

Dundas finds something new about Sherlock Holmes

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Is there anything left to say about Sherlock Holmes? The fame of Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective has now stretched across three centuries, with no expiration date in sight. Today, some 130 years after the first story was …

Killer caught – after 38 years

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Beatrice Johnson or Swanzey recently published She’s Not Just a Faded Photograph (Clara’s Life) with Dorrance Publishing Co. The book tells the story of abuse, secrecy and murder, and the author’s promise to find justice for her beloved …

‘The Girl With Seven Names’ reveals complexities of freedom

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Escaping North Korea was the easy part. In her memoir, The Girl With Seven Names, Hyeonseo Lee, as she is called today, takes us on her gripping journey from the Ryanggang Province of North Korea where dustless portraits …