This indie bookstore is back — and busy with a full schedule. Tidepool Bookshop, 372 Chandler St., Worcester, has increased activity, after a long COVID era of reduced operations, by holding an open house and a 2 pm ribbon cutting on Saturday, April 23. Owners Jo and Huck Truesdell, Worcester area natives, have scheduled speakers and activities throughout the month.
The bookshop opened months ago on a muted basis, but resumes full action with a public invitation to its April events.
Launching events include an evening dedicated to Longfellow, with Jeff Lantos of California, author of “Why Longfellow Lied,” and Nick Basbanes of North Grafton, author of “Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.”
Lantos’ segment of the 6:30 pm April 14 session includes a look at fictional “facts” written into Longfellow’s famous “Paul Revere’s Ride.” A fifth-grade teacher, Lantos has created a presentation that is also of interest to younger readers. “Why Longfellow Lied” came from a question one of his students asked him, seeking to learn how much of the poem could be considered true. True or false, the poem made by Paul Revere an American Colonial history icon.
Basbanes’ “Cross of Snow” came from many years of research, drawn out of access to never-before-examined letters, diaries, journals and notes. Basbanes, author of 10 works of cultural history — many based on books and book culture — reveals the life, the times, the work and thoughts of the man who shaped literature in a new nation through poetry, sonnets, stories, essays and translations.
At that time of his life, Longfellow’s renown was so wide-reaching that he formed friendships with Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Julia Ward Howe and Oscar Wilde. In his presentation of him, Basbanes explores his literary life.
Basbanes has a long career in such exploration. “A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes and the Eternal Passion for Books,” Basbanes’ first book, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction in 1995, and a New York Times Notable Book. His “On Paper: The Everything of Its Two Thousand Year History,” published by Knopf in 2013, was a finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and was named a best book of the year by seven major publications.
Also upcoming at Tidepool: “Mapping Worcester in Poetry: The City in Motion,” at 7 pm April 21. It will be a reading of poems set all over the city and an Open Mic for poems set in Worcester. Visit https://worcestercountypoetry.org/mapping-worcester-in-poetry/ for information about submitting one’s own poems about Worcester.
City’s poets laureate at Worcester Public Library
Worcester Public Library welcomes the city’s poets laureate, Juan Matos and Adael Mejia, for an afternoon of poetry from 4 to 5 pm April 15, via Zoom, with questions and answers at the end. For anyone 16 or older.
Matos, a Spanish teacher in the city’s public schools, has published 12 books of poetry and participates in local and international literary festivals. Mejia’s parents, in Ecuador, encouraged writing and fine arts activities within the family and community. I have joined Worcester’s first Create 508 program, working with young artists. Register at the WPL website.
• On April 27, 6:30 pm, members of Gardner Public Library’s book group will meet there to discuss “The Stationery Shop” by Marjan Kamali. Set in 1953 Iran, the book involves a bookshop and an ill-fated romance between readers during a time of political upheaval.
• Members of the Gladys E. Kelly Library book club, in Webster, will meet at 6:30 pm April 18 to discuss Christina Baker Kline’s “The Exiles.” Meeting will be in person at the library, 2 Lake St.
• WPL’s True Crime Book Club meets at 7 pm April 13 on Zoom. Walter Hunt’s “The Darkwing” is the selection for the 1 pm April 19 Science Fiction Book club at the library — by Zoom.
• Memoirs: Gateway to Dreams and Reflections meets at 1 pm April 12 in Joshua Hyde Public Library, Sturbridge. The topic is “Always Home: A Daughter’s Recipes and Stories” by Fanny Singer. Also at the library, Armchair Travelers will meet at 6:30 pm April 20 to discuss “The Seed Keeper” by Diane Wilson.
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