Book Notes: Literary Magazine Launches Its Latest Issue

The running of a literary magazine is a tenuous pastime, which explains why relatively few new ones show up, much less stand the test of time.

Bloodroot Literary Magazine appears to have some legs, however. Founded in the Upper Valley in 2007, BLM has reached its sixth issue, which will launch from its customary pad, Hanover’s Howe Library, with a reading and reception on Wednesday evening at 7.

Of the 60 writers published in the new issue, 17 are from the Twin States, many of them from the Upper Valley and familiar to Bloodroot readers.

For example, the issue includes two poems by Thomas Cary Kinder, one of which placed second in the magazine’s annual poetry contest. Kinder, a South Strafford resident, is pastor of Thetford’s First Congregational Church and was present at the creation of Bloodroot.

∎ Dartmouth College is hosting a pair of literary figures from disparate backgrounds as part of its celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

On Monday, playwright Katori Hall will give a keynote address at 7 p.m., in the Hopkins Center’s Moore Theater, with a reception to follow in the Top of the Hop.

Just 32 years old, Hall is the first black woman to claim an Olivier Award for best new play. The Mountaintop, Hall’s fictional account of King’s last night, before his assassination on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn., earned an Olivier (the British equivalent of a Tony Award) in 2010, and opened on Broadway in 2011. Free tickets to her talk are now available to the public at the Hopkins Center box office.

Amos Kennedy, a self-proclaimed “humble Negro printer,” turns out work that belies that description. He uses his Detroit letterpress shop to make posters and hand-printed and -sewn books to illuminate issues of race, freedom and equality.

Baker-Berry Library is exhibiting his work this month, and Kennedy will conduct drop-in book arts workshops for the public Jan. 28-30 in Baker Library’s lower level, rooms 21-23.

The times for the workshops are Jan. 28, 1 to 5:30 p.m., Jan. 29, 1-4 p.m., and Jan. 30, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will also be a screening of Proceed and Be Bold, a documentary film about Kennedy, on Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hood Auditorium.

∎ Norwich Bookstore has posted a slate of readings on its website, starting on Jan. 30 at 7 p.m., with a reading by poet and Dartmouth professor Cleopatra Mathis.

Mathis will read from Book of Dog, a collection of poems released late last year to favorable notices, particularly from The Rumpus.

Other writers scheduled to read this winter include current Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea on Feb. 20 and the obscure Etna novelist Jodi Picoult on Feb. 26. Events at Norwich Bookstore are free, but seating is limited, so call to reserve, 802-649-1114.

∎ Dartmouth grad and lecturer Charles Wheelan, author of 10½ Things No Commencement Speaker Ever Said, will read at Dartmouth Bookstore in Hanover on Jan. 26 at noon. He’ll read from, and no doubt sign copies of, his new book, Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data.

∎ Early next month, Howe Library will team up with Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art for a book discussion and exhibition tour on Feb. 6 at 6 p.m.

Participants will tour the Hood’s ongoing exhibition of contemporary Australian aboriginal art with curator Stephen Gilchrist, and discuss Doris Pilkington’s novel Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, which chronicles the experience of a family of Australia’s “Stolen Generation” of indigenous children. The book was made into a deeply moving film, Rabbit-Proof Fence, released in 2002.

This event seems far off, but registration is open now and participation is limited. Call the Howe at 603-643-4120 to register.

∎ Among the other events at Woodstock’s Norman Williams Public Library (including an ongoing seminar about Edna St. Vincent Millay and other New England women poets) is a Downton Abbey support group that meets on Jan. 30, 6:30 to 8 p.m. to talk over the third season of the acclaimed PBS series.

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