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Books

Writing Toward a Better World: 2021 PEN America Literary Award finalists with local ties

Ninety-nine years ago, Thomas Hardy sent a message to a dinner gathering of writers in London: “The exchange of International Thought is the only possible salvation of the world.” The collection of poets, essayists and editors, and novelists contributed their literary skills to the group’s acronym: P.E.N. Club, which celebrated the opening of organizations in […]

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Kevin’s Culture Picks: Stay entertained like Kevin does this month

Every week, I’ve been doing a deep dive into cultural issues, usually theater-related, that are bothering me or that deserve a second look. But who needs another thinkpiece, right? I host two weekly programs on my theater company’s Faceboook page (www.Facebook.com/EpicTheatreCo) where I ask guests what has been keeping them creatively engaged or excited, and […]

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“A Thrilling Tale”: The magic and medicine of Rudolph Fisher

When, in 1932, Rudolph Fisher’s The Conjure-Man Dies was published, the journal Opportunity called the mystery “startling in its cleverness,” predicting the protagonist, a Harlem doctor with a detective’s eye, would reappear. That year, Agathie Christie spun her investigative hero, Hercule Poirot, into a seventh book and William Faulkner’s Light in August reflected the weight […]

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Dispatches From the Fort: Jeff Danielian publishes his fourth volume of poetry and it’s about time

Jeff Danielian is back with his fourth volume of poetry (to go along with four works of non-fiction geared toward educating youth), featuring his introduction, 56 poems and what he describes as “a short non-fiction adventure.” Danielian doesn’t pull any surprises with his writing style, keeping things humble and to the point. My favorite poem […]

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Chazan! Unfiltered: Art and medicine collide in this locally produced biographical graphic novel

Dr. Joseph Chazan, like the character Billy Pilgrim in the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, is unstuck in time. The phenomenon is localized in a new graphic novel Chazan! Unfiltered, which takes a here-there-and-back-again approach to his personal and professional life story. Rhode Island’s own Dr. Chazan is a nephrologist (in layman’s terms, a kidney doctor), and while […]

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