March 29th at 6:30pm: Abby Fabiaschi, I Liked My Life
“Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, this hard-to-put-down, engrossing debut will have readers wondering until the very end. It examines life and death, despair and faith, parenthood and marriage, the choices we make, and, most of all, love.”
—Library Journal, STARRED review
I LIKED MY LIFE unfurls the story of the Starlings, a seemingly happy family whose matriarch, Madeline, dies tragically in what is deemed a suicide. Madeline was a model wife and mother who chose to stay at home after many successful years in the corporate world; she was the glue that held her family together. Through alternating points of view, Fabiaschi reveals her characters: Madeline, postmortem, as she attempts to make things right for her family; Brady, as he struggles to balance his high-powered career with the demands of single fatherhood; and Eve, as grief thrusts her into adulthood and she grapples to find her identity without her mother by her side. The result is a “vivid, gripping”** and achingly beautiful portrait of a father and daughter trying to redefine their understanding of family and a striking depiction of the transcendent power of unconditional love.
In explaining her inspiration for the story, Fabiaschi writes, “I was inspired by a sentiment from Adrienne Rich’s poetry: If we could learn to learn from pain even as it grasps us. I love the idea that slivers of beauty exist in life’s most agonizing moments, if only you know where to look. Madeline, Eve, and Brady learn exactly that, each on their own timeline and in their own way.”
March 31st at 7:00pm: Waterline Writers Academy Reading
One dozen ‘alumni’ of RiverRun’s new Writing Academy will be reading selections of their work on back to back Fridays this month: March 24th and 31st. The Readings begin at 7:00 PM at the bookstore in downtown Portsmouth. This is a free event and open to the public. Bring all your friends! The readings will include selections from memoirs, creative non-fiction, personal essays and short stories. Please join us in celebrating local talent!
April 18th at 6:30pm: Elliott Baker, Sun God’s Heir: Rebirth
Join us for the release party of part two of Elliott Baker’s great trilogy. Baker’s first book, Return, was one of the winners of the Piscataqua Press Novel Contest, and introduced us to René, a young swordmaster in 17th Century France whose fate tossed life leads him to sea, and to the sun-drenched shores of Northern Africa. It’s part Three Musketeers, part The Mummy, and lots of fun. We are excited for the book two!
April 19th at 7:00pm: Poetry After Hours
Our series continues. Come at 7pm to hear from some up and coming young authors, and stay for the open mic afterward.
April 20th at 6:30pm: Katherine Towler, The Penny Poet of Portmsouth
We celebrate the paperback release of Towler’s fascinating study of a literary life here in Portsmouth during the 1990s.
The Penny Poet of Portsmouth is a memoir of the author’s friendship with Robert Dunn, a brilliant poet who spent most of his life off the grid in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The book is as well an elegy for a time and place―the New England seaport city of the early 1990s that has been lost to development and gentrification, capturing the life Robert was able to make in a place rougher around the edges than it is today. It is a meditation on what writing asks of those who practice it and on the nature of solitude in a culture filled with noise and clutter.
April 21st at 6:30pm: Alison Hawthorne Deming, Stairway to Heaven
In her fifth book of poems, Stairway to Heaven, Alison Hawthorne Deming explores dimensions of grief and renewal after losing her brother and mother. Grounded in her communion with nature and place, she finds even in Death Valley, that most stark of landscapes, a spirit of inventiveness that animates the ground we walk on. From the cave art of Chauvet to the futuristic habitat of Biosphere 2, that inventiveness becomes consolation for losses in family and nature, a means to build again a sense of self and world in the face of devastating loss.
“Deming’s sophisticated yet accessible work is an ecopoetic disquisition and aphoristic guidebook, but most saliently, it is an imagist gem that is urgent and masterly in its evocation of place, liminality, and waking dreams.”
– Publishers Weekly
Deming’s huge, impressive biography can be found here: http://alisonhawthornedeming.com/bio/