Pictures from the 1970s
In the 1970s, John Duncan drove a cab, picked up trash, washed dishes, and took photos in Portland, Maine. He photographed the city in which he lived in the moment he lived, photos of friends and strangers, of children playing and old people on benches, of street scenes and apartments on Saturday mornings. “Take It Easy: Portland, Maine in the 1970sâ(Islandport) gathers its black and white images and the assemblage captures the atmosphere and personality of Portland almost half a century ago. It’s summer on one of the front steps, a woman slouching with the relaxed, empty gaze of the unobserved bar scenes, messy bedrooms, jam sessions, Volkswagen’s. In a photo of a woman at the wheel of one of the VWs and a man who drives a shotgun next to her, taken from the back seat, a whole story shines out of the picture, a whole novel from their expressions and the atmosphere of expectation. âSuch was my life and the life of many people in the 1970s,â writes Duncan, âexperimental, temporary and unplanned; an experience. “The most striking thing about the book is the joy – there are people who smile in quiet moments, lean back, with light in their eyes and an obviously calm joy in whatever happens. And there is mischief in many faces which gives the impression that these kids, or the barely adults or older folks, can get away with something or have a good time. It doesn’t feel nostalgic, but more like a document captured by someone with an eye for it Has sparkle from other people and probably expresses it in them.
The Boston Foundation recently announced the 16 Greater Boston artists who will be Brother Thomas Fellows in 2021. Each fellow will receive an unrestricted scholarship of $ 15,000. This year’s group was the largest in its 12-year history and was nominated by a committee. Three local writers have been accepted into this year’s fellowship cohort. Poet and educator Tatiana Johnson-Boria received her MFA from Emerson College; her work focuses on inherited trauma and identity. Grace Talusan is Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis and author of âThe body papers“Which won the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, and she is currently working on a novel. Cynthia Yee grew up in Boston’s Chinatown and writes non-fiction books that focus on what it meant to grow up as an American-born Taishanesin in Boston in the 1950s and 1960s; She turns her attention to social justice and the ingredients for building strong communities. Since 2009, 72 artists have been awarded over a million dollars.
Bookstore is back
I AM Books, which focuses on Italian and Italian-American heritage and literature, has just opened its doors in its new location at 124 Salem St. in Boston’s North End. The store, founded in 2015, closed its stationary area in August 2020, kept online operations and set about finding a new storefront. It was hoping to open earlier in the fall, but the pandemic and supply chain issues created a number of delays that prevented the hoped-for opening. And although âthe bookstore is not running at full speed yet,â says owner Nicola Orichuia, they are happy to have a physical space again and look forward to welcoming the readers there.
“They don’t know us, negroes and other essaysâ by Zora Neale Hurston and Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Amistad)
“No land to light upâ by Yara Zgheib (Atriums)
“Bibliolepsyâ by Gina Apostol (Soho)
Choice of the week
Ellen Hartwell of Broadside Bookshop in Northampton recommends: “Here if you need me“By Kate Braestrup (Back Bay):” Braestrup’s memories of her life as a chaplain in the Maine Warden Service touched my heart. The guards conduct search and rescue operations in the forest and on the waterways; they also monitor the same areas and protect wildlife and people. Your job is to maintain hope and bring comfort to the families of the lost or injured. She does this with humility, grace and, if necessary, with the right dose of humor. In times of need nobody can ask for more. “