One woman came by train from Minnesota, on a sort of pilgrimage, she said. There were the two lovely sisters on their annual reunion. An African American man with a rich sonorous baritone; an elementary school girl from Vermont who recently learned she was a distant relation of the Belle of Amherst. College students; grandparents; a Chinese woman struggling with pronunciation, as we all sometimes did. An odd choir of devotees, we gathered once again in the parlor of the Dickinson Homestead to read all 1789 of Miss Emily’s poems.
This year’s annual poetry marathon dovetailed with the Amherst Poetry Festival. We heard James Tate, Doug Anderson and Linelle Moise read from their extraordinary work. Small presses and literary magazines offered their wares at the local park. A tarot reader read from an Emily-themed deck. A flotilla of small rubber duckies bobbed in a nearby fountain, each with an Emily poem tied around its neck. Amherst knows how to celebrate the literary arts and have some fun, too. All this and 500 varieties of beer down at the Moan & Dove. Don’t miss next year’s marathon reading likely in late September when Emily’s newly restored bedroom will be revealed.
Meanwhile, share your favorite Dickinson poem here and keep the marathon going. Then join us in early December for our own Dickinson celebration around her birthday. Who’ll be first to comment?
Published June 20, 2014
CALENDAR of EVENTS
Welcome, Friends of Canio’s, to our “new” look. Canio’s has long been a pillar of Sag Harbor’s literary and artistic community with thousands of events over the years within our storied walls. This October we celebrates our 34th year. Stay tuned for details of the celebration. The summer of 2014 brings lots of exciting news. Our calendar is full of events with local & well known writers; and other great events, including the jazz guitarist, Jack Wilkins on July 12. Check out our listing.
Saving Bookstores, Saving Lives
James Patterson is giving a million dollars to bookstores for specific projects. We need your help! Please recommend Canio’s Books for a James Patterson Grant. Here’s how: go to jamespatterson.com/booksellers and answer a few questions. That’s it! Let us know & we’ll keep you posted. Thanks in advance.
TEST our NEW e-book offering
Are you reading e-books on your iPad or iPhone? If yes, please test our e-book storefront on ZOLA Books. ZOLA is an online e-book purveyor for small Indies. They are building their inventory and have signed many publishers. They don’t carry Random House-Penguin title yet; but this will change soon. In the meantime, give it a try. We’d love your feedback.
go to zolabooks.com/profile/caniosbooks,
CLICK the IndiePledge button on our page. All your purchases will be credited to Canio’s once you make the pledge.
Maryann & Kathryn are offering writing & photography workshops throughout the summer. Please call or email for information. Private lessons and editorial services are also available. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, but most importantly, come in & see us and discover why Canio’s is where good books, ideas & community meet.
Published April 9, 2014
Books we love , Current Events , History , Memoir , Poetry
Tags: Alex's Wake, Holocaust literature; Philip Schultz, Holocaust Remembrance Day, In Paradise, Martin Goldsmith, Peter Matthiessen, The Wherewithall
Three books just out challenge us, once again, to confront the evils of the Holocaust: Philip Schultz’ The Wherewithall, a long poem about the Shoah set in 1968 San Francisco and 1941 Poland; Peter Matthiessen’s In Paradise a novel about a group of Buddhists who sit meditation at a selection platform; and Martin Goldsmith’s Alex’s Wake: a Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance about his family’s odyssey on the SS St. Louis. All three courageous authors wrestle the demons that continue to disturb us, whether second-generations directly and indirectly effected by The Shoah, or those of us simply citizens of the global village struggling to understand.
These books deserve our attention. Reading at least would be a fine way to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day ( it begins at sunset April 27 and concludes at sunset April 28). Which one will you read first?
Published April 1, 2014
Books we love , Bookselling in the 21st century , Bookstore Lore , Novelists , Sag Harbor
Tags: Carol Steinbeck, Covici Friede Publishers, Holliday Bookshop, John Steinbeck, Susan Shillinglaw, The Red Pony
An afternoon of spring cleaning on a day that actually feels like the season, yielded a surprise. A charming copy of John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony surfaced like a fragile crocus finally breaking ground. This limited edition volume, published in 1937 by Covici Friede Publishers , shows signs of age and wear, but also bears the tiny sticker from New York’s famed Holliday Bookshop. A beloved shop that specialized in British and American literary works, Holliday became an institution over its 30-plus years in business.
Later this month we welcome Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw back to Sag Harbor. She’ll speak on Saturday, April 26 at 5 p.m. as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath. Our copy of The Red Pony is signed by Steinbeck and dedicated to his first wife Carol, (see also Shillinglaw’s Carol and John Steinbeck: Portrait of a Marriage).
The osprey are back now reminding us of Steinbeck’s love/hate relationship with these mighty raptors. Mostly love. See his humorous essay “My War With the Osprey” reprinted in our Sag Harbor Is: a Literary Celebration. His “war” turns out to be a jousting match between two clever species, one human, one avian. Guess who wins?
I field a call from a friend considering entering the book business. What advice do I have? Well, considering it’s the first of the month, April Fool’s Day in fact, and our rent’s due, I advise extreme caution. Yet the appearance of The Red Pony feels hopeful. Our copy’s for sale. It’s number 535 of 699, signed and printed on handmade paper. What’s it worth to you?
Thanks to all cash-mobbers who jammed into Canio’s last Saturday in a huge show of support for our efforts to be your community bookshop. It was a record-breaking day at the shop thanks to friends Bobbi, Eric, April, Eric and many others who contacted friends and spread the word and showed up to give us what felt like a great big hug.
We put a lot of energy into creating an interesting, thought-provoking shop filled with books worth reading, and artists and writers worth meeting. We felt affirmed in our efforts this past Saturday, when the community responded with a resounding, “Yes!” Sag Harbor’s long literary legacy continues!
And we say, “Thank you!” to all who participated. And please do come again. Canio’s is Canio’s because of this wonderful community we all live in and love, and because of people like you.
When a new boy enters her third grade class, Nora’s staid life as a quiet, dependable elementary school teacher simmers to scintillating as she falls headlong into an intense friendship with the boy’s mother, Sirena, an artist and the boy’s father, Skandar an intellectual, as well as with the boy himself. Nora’s long suppressed desires to lead her own creative life are tested against the example of Sirena with whom she comes to share a studio. In Claire Messud’s mesmerizing new novel, The Woman Upstairs, she portrays the inner world of Nora with such psychological precision and subtlety, we find we’re falling headlong too, before we even notice. Is it a cautionary tale? A wake-up call for women still struggling to name themselves artists before all others? Read it, and tell us what you think….
One of the truly remarkable experiences we’ve had here recently was a reading by Paul Genega of his short prose piece, A Stone For Nina. An elegy really, the story describes a fascinating and unusual older woman who befriends a group of naive but intelligent college boys. It’s the late ’60s Washington, D.C. Nina has a long tale to tell about her life, full of strange twists and turns and possible fabrications. She captures the heart and imagination of our narrator, a sensitive and perceptive soul. Author and poet Paul Genega’s reading of this piece joined voice, cadence, word, and physical gesture all in subtle and expressive alignment. It was as if all the many disparate elements of a life harmonized in the work of this artist, writer Paul Genega.
In fact, Stone for Nina is such an impressive work, I’ve decided to devote an entire writing workshop to the piece. We will read and closely examine the piece, and use it as inspiration for our own long loving look at character, memory and storytelling. Contact the shop for details about this summer workshop, “Character, Memory and the Long Short Story”.
We were delighted that Paul’s proud father, in his nineties, was able to attend the event and share in the accomplishment of his son.
Editor, publisher and poet Antje Katcher also read from her new poetry collection, For Bananafish, a collection of recent work, sestinas and haikus that demonstrate strict adherence to form combined with surprising flights of imagination. Both works are published by Three Mile Harbor Press. Signed copies are available at Canio’s.