Book of the Week #17

Famous Poems edited by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Volume XX of Young Folks' Library (Boston: Hall and Locke Company, 1902)

Collections of poetry for children were very common in the early 20th century and were often, as is the case with this volume, extensively illustrated with line drawings and color plates. Many of the poems in this book are by poets who are still known today: Shakespeare, Milton, Blake, Coleridge, Keats, Poe, and Whitman. Not surprisingly women poets are not well represented here. The NH State Library has a variety of these children's poetry collections dating from various periods. I looked through several before selecting this one and was struck by the fact that the later editions (from the mid-twentieth century) included many more poets that I had not heard of and left out quite a few of the poets mentioned above. (Women were not much better represented though).

This volume was part of a series edited by New Hampshire author Thomas Bailey Aldrich


Book of the Week #16

Richard Eberhart: The Progress of an American Poet by Joel Roache (NY: Oxford University Press, 1971)

Richard Eberhart was a founder and Honorary President of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and served as New Hampshire Poet Laureate from 1979-1984. This volume was published when Eberhart was  67 years old, but it cannot be viewed as a full biography as Eberhart lived to age 101.

"Mr. Roache's account of the twistings and turnings of Richard Eberhart's life and his literary fortunes is both fascinating in its biographical detail, and important as an illustration of what it means to be a poet in America today. This eminent poet's career parallels, in a sense, the way poets and poetry in general find acceptance in American Society. 
Eberhart's poetry has, by now, taken the Pulitzer Prize, the Billingen Prize, and the Harriet Monroe Prize, among others, and most recently he was awarded the 1969 Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets. He has served also as Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress. But not until he was well past youth did Eberhart receive real recognition as a poet; not, until 1952, was he paid a living wage as a poet. His art remained individual and separate from his professional life, unrecognized and unremunerated by society.
Concentrating upon the facts of Eberhart's life, Mr. Roache tells of his comfortable childhood and youth int he American midwest, of his schooling, of the period of rebellion and alienation following his mother's death and the collapse of his father's fortune, and of his prolonged and unsatisfying search for acknowledgement and support as a poet. The narrative shows that an integration of artistic and social roles was not easily achieved. 
Before his first university appointment Eberhart had worked in a department store and a slaughterhouse, had been a sailor, a tutor to Asian royalty, a soldier (of sorts), a preparatory school teacher, and a business executive. As the author examines Eberhart's successive confrontations with reality, he shows also their relation to the inner vision expressed in his poetry, and to the process through which his recognition by society as a poet led to his own acceptance of that society. 
In a final section the author discussed the poet's activities during the last decade and the distictive themes and qualities of his poetry. He offers also an evaluation of recent criticism of the poets work." --Jacket copy


Q&A: Marty Kelley

Marty Kelley
There are a lot of wonderful writers living in our state. As the Director of the NH Center for the Book  I get the opportunity to talk to many of them. This interview series of Q&As with New Hampshire authors here on Book Notes lets me share that experience a bit with my blog readers. 

If someone hasn't read your work yet, where should they start?
I guess it depends on who that person is. I've written books for a wide range of audiences. Older readers would probably enjoy the dark humor in Twelve Terrible Things or the nuttiness of my first chapter book, Fame, Fortune, and the Bran Muffins of Doom. Younger readers generally get a kick out of my early picture book, The Rules.

When did you first think of yourself as a writer?
I've always loved to write. I thought of myself primarily as an illustrator for the longest time, however. It wasn't until my third or fourth book was published that I actually started thinking of myself as a writer.

How did you end up living in NH?
I was born in Manchester and grew up mostly in Milford. I went away to Boston and Toronto and Orlando for college, but wound up living in New Boston, twenty minutes from where I was born. I love it here.

Where do you like to write?
It depends what I'm working on. Chapter books get done on a laptop. I like to sit in my living room and work when the weather is bad, but during nice weather, I sit outside on our back porch to write. Picture books get written in a sketchbook. I can work on those anywhere and I frequently take it out and write notes or ideas wherever I happen to be.

How important is place in your writing?
My agent tells me that I need to focus on setting and place more in my writing. I tend to enjoy writing dialog more and can neglect the setting, opting to let the reader fill it in for himself. None of the books I've done are tied inextricably to their setting, though it is certainly an important element.


What do you do when you aren't writing?
I love to hike in the White Mountains. I draw and paint. I visit anywhere from 50-75 schools each year to talk about creating books. I also play drums and perform music shows with my good friend Steve Blunt, a wonderful children's musician. I stay pretty busy.

What's the best piece of advice (writing or otherwise) you were ever given?
Fail early, fail often, and fail spectacularly, but learn from each failure.

What books do you love and what about them speaks to you?
I love funny books that are a bit dark. Roald Dahl is a favorite author of mine. The Witches and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are amazing books that work on many levels. They tell wonderful stories full of humor, but with an element of very real danger in them.
I'm also a huge fan of David Sedaris, Chuck Palahniuk, Terry Pratchett, and Christopher Moore; writers who can combine humor with strong storytelling and great characters.

What are you working on now?
I'm working on final edits for my next chapter book (as yet untitled) about two boys who think they have super powers and try to use them to rescue the neighbor's dog. I also just finished up the dummy for a very simple, fun picture book that was definitely born from the super hero theme in the chapter book. It's about a young boy who finds a cape and uses it in an extraordinary way.


What do you want to share that I neglected to ask about?
I think you covered it all!

You can learn more about Marty's work at www.martykelley.com


Shortlist for 2014 Dublin Award

Ten novels have been shortlisted for the 2014 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award, managed by Dublin City Libraries. The list includes five novels in translation from Argentina, Colombia, France, Norway, and The Netherlands and novels from Australia, Ireland, Malaysia, the UK and the USA. The IMPAC DUBLIN Award, an initiative of Dublin City Council, is worth €100,000 to the winner and is the world’s most valuable annual literary award for a single work of fiction published in English. 
The shortlisted titles, announced by The Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Henry Upton, in Dublin are:
  1. The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker(Dutch) translated by David Colmer. Published by Harvill Secker. 
  2. Questions of Travel by Michelle De Kretser (Sri Lankan / Australian) Published by Allen & Unwin.
  3. Absolution by Patrick Flanery (American) (First novel) Published by Atlantic Books.
  4. A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard (NorwegianTranslated by Don Bartlett. Published by Harvill Secker.
  5. Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye (French) Translated by John Fletcher. Published by MacLehose / Quercus and by Alfred A. Knopf.
  6. Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman (Argentinian) Translated from the original Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia. Published by Pushkin Press and by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  7. The Light of Amsterdam by David Park (Northern Irish) Published by Bloomsbury.
  8. The Spinning Heart  by Donal Ryan (Irish) (First novel) Published by Doubleday Ireland / Lilliput Press.
  9. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Malaysian) Published by Myrmidon.
  10. The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombian) Translated from the original Spanish by Anne McLean. Published by Bloomsbury.
In all 110 library systems in 39 countries world wide participated in nominating books for the 2014 award, including the New Hampshire State LibraryThe titles on this year’s shortlist were nominated by public libraries in Australia, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, South Africa and The Netherlands. 
The five member international judging panel, chaired by Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan, will select one winner which will be announced by the Lord Mayor of Dublin and Patron of the Award, Oisín Quinn on Thursday 12th June in a morning announcement.


Congratulations to the 2014 LAL NH semi-finalists!

  • Adam Cataldo, North Haverhill
  • Adam Hamel, Milford
  • Andrew McNeil, Milford
  • Anna Meldrum, Milford
  • Arya Patel, Nashua
  • Cameron Magari, Meriden
  • Caroline Fischer, Nashua
  • Chiara Cross, Brookline
  • Chris Cashman, Exeter
  • Claire Emily Reynolds, Nashua
  • Cynthia Kectic, Rindge
  • Dylan Shedd, Dunbarton
  • Elizabeth Hunter, Bow
  • Elizabeth Jones, Meriden
  • Ella French, Rindge
  • Erica Kneeland, Exeter
  • Erin Farley, Exeter
  • Gavin McGough, Meriden
  • Hannah Cloonen, Pembroke
  • Justin Carbone, Exeter
  • Kylie Greska, Milford
  • Lindsay Kendall Anikis, Meriden
  • Luke M. Sandmann, Meriden
  • Madison Bailey, Pembroke
  • Marley Mailloux, Hampstead
  • Matthew Stollstorff, Exeter
  • Megan Hutar, Durham
  • Rebecca Durham, Milford
  • Riley Matthews, Milford
  • Robert S. Cornett, Milford
  • Ryan Fischer, Nashua
  • Salina Chadbourne, Pembroke
  • Sierah Miles, Milford
  • Sydnie Breton, Pembroke
  • Thomas M. Herner, Milford
  • Timothy Bilik, Milford
  • Timothy Faulkner, Exeter
  • Tristan Thompson, Exeter
  • Tyler Boudreau, Exeter
Please note that in addition to the students listed here, there were 8 more students honored as semi-finalists who had not given us permission to announce their names as of today. This year forty-seven semi-finalist letters were selected out of 560 letters received from New Hampshire students. 

The state's winning letters will be selected from these letters and announced at the end of April. The Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library will award $100 to each first place winner. State winners will advance to the national competition.