Brattleboro Literary Festival 2022 Brattleboro Literary Festival 2022

National Book Award Winner

Saturday, October 15, 2022

- EDT
Internal Lives—Megan Mayhew Bergman & Andrea Barrett
Megan Mayhew Bergman
Megan Mayhew Bergman
How Strange a Season
Andrea Barrett
Andrea Barrett
Natural History

Natural History is masterful new collection of interconnected stories National Book Award–winning author. Andrea Barrett. In Natural History,  she completes the beautiful arc of intertwined lives of a family of scientists, teachers, and innovators that she has been weaving through multiple books since her National Book Award–winning collection, Ship Fever.

 In Megan Mayhew Bergman’s How Strange the Season, a recently separated woman fills a huge terrarium with rare flowers to establish control over a small world and attempt to heal her broken heart. A competitive swimmer negotiates over which days she will fulfill her wifely duties, and which days she will keep for herself. 

This masterful collection from a celebrated Vermont author portrays women who wrestle with problematic inheritances. 

- EDT
Safe Places—Julia Glass & Alice Elliott Dark
Julia Glass
Julia Glass
Vigil Harbor
Alice Elliott Dark
Alice Elliott Dark
Fellowship Point

National Book Award-winning author Julia Glass’s new book, Vigil Harbor, is the story of two unexpected visitors who arrive in an insular coastal village, then threaten the equilibrium of a community already confronting climate instability, political violence, and domestic upheavals.  Vigil Harbor transcends the mood of collective but cloistered worry and becomes a novel about what remains. 

In Alice Elliott Dark’s Fellowship Point, two octogenarian women whose long friendship is entangled with their families’ landholdings in coastal Maine, seek to save the acreage from development, and as they do, they must also confront their past choices and find some peace in the present. The New York Times calls it  “a novel rich with social and psychological insights, both earnest and sly, big ideas grounded in individual emotions, a portrait of a tightly knit community made up of artfully drawn, individual souls.”

 

- EDT
Martin Espada & Doug Anderson
Martín Espada
Martín Espada
Floaters
Doug Anderson
Doug Anderson
Undress, She Said

Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His new book of poems from Norton is called Floaters, winner of the 2021 National Book Award. Other books of poems include Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016), The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006) and Alabanza (2003). He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). He has received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. 

The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. His book of essays and poems, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and reissued by Northwestern. 

A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

 In Doug Anderson’s newest collection, Undress, She Said, we accompany a speaker undaunted by the complex reckonings of history, evolving relationships, and an aging body, a speaker that, besieged by a storm, resolves to "set out into it, the wind / playing the rigging like a harp." Over and over in these pages, Anderson makes music of the gales and rain and turbulent sea. These poems voyage from the subtle violences of a religious upbringing to complex remembrances of time served in the Vietnam War to contemporary emergencies of real and political plagues. Yet, no matter the subject, compassion rudders these lyrics as they turn always and at last to myriad beloveds-the enigmatic "Angel of Death," literary and mythological influences, kind strangers, the constantly elusive and elusively constant moon. These words reach out to the reader the way the poet addresses frozen joy from the confines of winter: "Red berry trapped in ice, / let me touch you."