The Bookshelf

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This weekend, the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program is celebrating 20 years of building community around poetry. It's considered one of the oldest municipal laureate programs in the country that provides a stipend and support for the laureate. Each laureate launches a project that's meant to bring poetry into the community. Bill Burtis is the co-chair of the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Board of Trustees. He spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

How did the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program come to be?

Peter Biello / NHPR

This week on The Bookshelf from NHPR​, poet Liz Ahl of Holderness. Ahl's new collection of poetry, Beating the Bounds, is a proclamation that says: I live here now.

"Here" in this case is rural New Hampshire. In poems that feature town moderators, transfer stations, and the perambulation of town boundaries, Ahl explores what it means for her to have finally set down roots in this place. I spoke with Ahl in her office at Plymouth State, where she teaches poetry.

Peter Biello

NHPR’s literary conversation series The Bookshelf from NHPR is venturing out of the studio and into the stacks, with a special appearance at The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough.

On Wednesday, April 25, The Bookshelf Host Peter Biello will interview longtime Peterborough resident Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, a New York Times best-selling author.

Marshall Thomas will be reading from her latest work, The Hidden Life of Life: A Walk Through the Reaches of Time, followed by her literary conversation with Peter Biello.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Peter Biello/NHPR

This is the Bookshelf from NHPR. I'm Peter Biello. This Super Bowl Sunday, people all over the country turned on their televisions to watch the New England Patriots face the Philadelphia Eagles. Among those watching: New Hampshire author Joseph Monninger. He's a Pats fan, but he says he can't believe he still watches football.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Author Paul Durham has a short commute. His writing studio is in the backyard of his home in Exeter.

“I call it an abandoned chicken coop,” Durham says, “because chickens used to live here. It's really an eight by twelve-foot shed with barn-style doors on the front. I have it decorated with a Christmas wreath. There’s my doorknocker and the coop sign. And then—go ahead and step in if you want."

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Ernest Hebert is best known for his novels. His first book, The Dogs of March, was published in 1979 and cited for excellence by the Hemingway Foundation. It was the first of seven novels in his Darby Chronicles series, which painted a vivid portrait of working class life in rural New Hampshire. 

(Scroll down to the end to read Ernest Hebert's top five reading recommendations.)

Peter Biello / NHPR

In the late 1880s, rail was creeping across western America, connecting towns and changing lives. The west was still relatively wild in those days, and that Wild West is the setting of the new young adult novel by Erin Bowman. Retribution Rails is the story of a young man caught up with a band of cold-hearted killers and thieves and the young woman who aspires to write for a newspaper, any paper, and prove that she can write just as well, if not better, than any man out there. Erin Bowman spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

Peter Biello / NHPR

This week on The Bookshelf, author Joe Hill of Exeter, N.H. joins Peter Biello in studio.

Hill's new book, Strange Weather, is a collection of four short novels. In one, the sky rains needles that rip to pieces anyone unlucky enough to be outside. In another, a skydiver gets stuck on a cloud. And in a story without any supernatural connection, people with easy access to guns use them to devastating effect. Joe Hill is the author of many works, including the novels Horns, NOS4A2, and The Fireman.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Earlier this year, Keith Howard stepped down as executive director of Liberty House, a transitional living facility for formerly homeless veterans.  And he started something new.

Howard now lives at a converted hunting camp in northern New Hampshire, on the grounds of Warriors at 45 North, where he's going to run writing retreats for veterans.  Howard himself lives in what he calls the Tiny White Box. I went to visit him there. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Since the advent of film in the early 20th century, movies have taken up the task of depicting poverty and homelessness. Scenes of the poor have been informed by the culture in which they were made, and in turn influenced public opinions about what it means to be poor or homeless.

Peter Biello for NHPR

Author Tim Weed has spent many years putting together his latest short story collection, which finds inspiration in a variety of settings: Rome, Nantucket, Cuba, Venezuela, and of course New Hampshire.

The collection is called A Field Guide to Murder and Fly Fishing. Tim Weed joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to discuss the work. Scrool down to read a top five reading list from Tim Weed and a transcript of his conversation with NHPR’s Peter Biello.

Tim Weed’s Top Five Reading Recommendations:

Peter Biello / NHPR

Robert Frost is one of America's best-known and beloved poets. He lived many places over the span of his 88 years: San Francisco, Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire, and Vermont.

And then there's the house in Franconia, New Hampshire. From 1915 to 1920, Robert Frost lived on Ridge Road. There he wrote poems, cared for animals, and raised a young family.

That home is now known as The Frost Place, run by a nonprofit dedicated to Frost's memory and legacy. This weekend, it's celebrating its fortieth anniversary. 

Peter Biello

Heather Mulgrew is a young woman with a plan. She’s going to work at Bank of America, make good money, and live in New York City. But first, she’s off to Europe for a last hurrah with her girlfriends before real life begins.

Peter Biello

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

The state of New Hampshire is as much an idea as it is a place. New Hampshire represents the idea of living simply, close to nature, and, of course, freely. In the early 1930s, the state began marketing itself as a kind of Yankee paradise with a magazine called The New Hampshire Troubadour. This magazine, long out of print, may be responsible for the way people outside New Hampshire think about it.

Nathaniel Boesch

The Bookshelf is NHPR's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State. All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. 

If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Courtesy Kianny Antigua

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

Michael Seamans

The Bookshelf from NHPR is New Hampshire Public Radio's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is books@nhpr.org.

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