Pulitzer Prizewinner Edna St. Vincent Millay has stood the test of time both as poet, feminist and cultural icon. Without help, Steepletop, her 200-acre preserved home and grounds in the Columbia County town of Austerlitz, will close to the public.
Wednesday, May 2: Benjamin’s new overtly self-effacing first book, Failure Is an Option: An Attempted Memoir is a detailed litany of failure and, ultimately, a defense of it: an “apology” in the old sense of the word.
Activities include a combination poetry walk and window shopping event with a correspondence contest, a series of poetry readings over the course of the month and an hour-long reading of a new translation of the Odyssey written by Emily Wilson, the first penned by a woman in the over 60 translations of Homer’s text into English.
Sunday, April 22: Emily Wilson’s new translation of Homer’s epic poem will be read by local poets, artists and actors.
Thursday, 4/19 and several dates afterward: In his ongoing 100 Novels project, Youd specializes in retyping novels (with the same make and model typewriter used by the author) from beginning to end in locations that are charged with literary significance in the author’s biography. The retyping of Mary McCarthy’s The Group will constitute the 56th novel that Youd has typed, and is one of several titles that he will undertake in the Hudson Valley in 2018.
Sunday, April 15: Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change has already garnered critical accolades, including from such environmentalist icons as Jane Goodall and Bill McKibben. The book makes the case that Lyme disease is spreading rapidly around the globe as ticks move into places they could not survive before, infecting half a million people in the US and Europe each year, and untold multitudes in Canada, China, Russia and Australia.
Wednesday, April 18: Díaz won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics’ Circle Award for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, but this week in particular, the world of belles-lettres is abuzz with admiration for Díaz’s moving account in The New Yorker about the fact that he was raped at the age of eight, and the way that the need to conceal that fact has twisted his life and relationships ever after.
Thursday, April 12: A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He is also the author of more than 20 books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator.
Philip Roth’s alternate history that imagines Charles Lindbergh winning the 1940 presidential election and allying with Nazi Germany is the choice for this year’s community read.
Turn Out the Lights, the sixth book by Saugertiesian Laura Lonshein Ludwig, promises to contain “a new wave of movies that are as good as the classics of the Gold and Silver Age” on its jacket.