Today we honor the life of Marvin Bell, who passed away on December 14 at the age of 83. Bell was the first Poet Laureate of Iowa as well as a National Book Award Finalist, and wrote over twenty volumes of poetry, most recently Incarnate: The Collected Dead Man Poems. You can read a poem from this collection published in New York Magazine on September 24 and read Copper Canyon‘s celebration of Bell’s life and legacy.
Reaching Mithymna, poet Steven Heighton’s memoir about his experience assisting in the Syrian refugee crisis in Greece, was named a New and Noteworthy title by the New York Times Book Review on December 13. Also mentioned in the Times was Etel Adnan’s Shifting the Silence, which was recommended in an article about her ongoing gallery exhibition. Dubravka Ugresic’s The Age of Skin, which “brings deep personal insight into the grinding despair and destructive nationalism of post-communist societies,” was also made an Editors’ Choice.
50 Ways to Cook a Carrot by Peter Hertzmann was in the New Yorker on December 15, recommended as one of the best cookbooks of the year: “With instructions and explanations delivered with the pleasingly brusque encouragement of a seasoned teacher, this is a brilliantly audacious act of culinary pedagogy that (also quite brilliantly) verges on the absurd.” Bon appetit!
IntersectionAllies by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi, illustrated by Ashley Seil Smith (Dottir Press) was recommended in Keys Soulcare, the lifestyle website founded by Alicia Keys.
Book Riot recommended Any Other Place by Michael Croley and Step into the Circle: Writers in Modern Appalachia edited by Amy Greene and Trent Thomson (both Blair) in their list of “15 Books About Appalachia to Read Instead of Hillbilly Elegy” on December 11.
Excerpts from Red Wave: An American in the Soviet Music Underground by Joanna Stingray and Madison Stingray (Doppelhouse Press) were shared by the NYU Jordan Russian Center.
A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Biblioasis) has been named a Foyles Book of the Year. Ní Ghríofa’s memoir is the winner of the Nonfiction Book of the Year 2020.