Tuesday, February 28, 2006

portrait of gulf of maine by bryce muir

Sunday, February 26, 2006

anthologies list

Poet/editor/educator Pam Perry writes "A good anthology entertains when you don't know who you are in the mood to read, and introduces you to new names and fresh words."
Here is her list of 5 anthologies:

A Book of Luminous Things ed. Czeslaw Milosz
Thes Are Not Sweet Girls - poetry by Latin American Women ed. Marjorie Agosin
The Extraordinary Tide - New Poetry by American Women ed. Susan Aizenberg, Erin Belieu, Jeremy Countryman
Night Out: Poems about Hotels, Motels, Restaurants and Bars ed. Kurt Brown, Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Surrealist Love Poems ed Mary Ann Caws

Saturday, February 25, 2006

John McDonald to read

Maine humorist/storyteller/author John McDonald will be at Gulf of Maine Books on Saturday, March 4, 4 PM. He will be reading from Down The Road A Piece - A Storyteller's Guide to Maine, and from AMoose and A Lobster Walk Into A Bar, both published by IslandPort Press.

Friday, February 24, 2006

A Booklist from the United Kingdom

A 4 book list from Geraldine Green, Cumbria U K

The Master and Margharita Mikhail Bulgakov
Gathering Seaweed - African Prison Writing ed. Jack Mapanje
Hidden Music Rumi
Border of A Dream - Selected poems of Antonio Machado

karin spitfire poem

This week one of the books I (gl) have been reading is Karin Spitfire's new collection of poems "standing with trees". Karin is one of four poets reading at our store tomorrow for our 27th store birthday party. I feel especially close to the title poem, as I was arrested, along with 14 others, for standing with trees on us route one in warren several years ago, protesting the unnecessary cutting of trees to widen the road. Here is that poem:

Standing with Trees

I haven't breathed easy
since the first time
I heard the chainsaws
cutting the Amazon

full of unnamed species
producer of great
drafts of O2

My lungs, soft pink
fitting like a glove
over branches and tips

Conjoined twins cut
who gets the heart
who mourns the phantom limb,
who dies?

3 more book lists

From Italy's Po River Valley
farmer/editor/author Giuseppe Moretti ("Watersheds of the Mind")

Real Horsepower Martin Lanz
The Surre(gion)alist Manifesto Max Cafard
A Silent Joy Etain Addey
Snows Gone By James Koller
Danger on Peaks Gary Snyder

from Maine poet/publisher Tom Fallon

ABC of Reading Ezra Pound
Wiliam Carlos Williams' Imaginations
The Wastemaker Bern Porter
Maine Speaks anthology
Clyfford Still - The Buffalo and San Francisco Collections

and from poet/sailor Peter Felsenthal

Sailing Alone Around the World Captain Joshua Slocum
NxE Rockwell Kent
The Boat Who Wouldn't Float Farley Mowat
First Lady Kay Cottee
My Old Man and the Sea David Hays, Daniel Hays

Thursday, February 23, 2006

3 More Booklists

from Poet David Budbill, his latest collection "While we still have feet". (check him out at
www.davidbudbill.com )
Collections of poems by the Chinese poet Han Shan

Collected Songs of Cold Mountain - Red pine, translator
Cold Mountain: 100 poems by the T'ang poet Han Shan - Burton Watson, translator
The View from Cold Mountain - Arthur Tobias, translator
Rip Rap and Cold mountain Poems, Gary Snyder, translator

from Alice Persons, editor of Moon Pie Press, who will read at our upcoming birthday party poetry event:

The Secret garden - Frances Burnett
A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving
Alexandria Quartet Lawrence Durrell
Margaret Atwood - novels and poetry
Desire Lines - poetry by Lola Haskins
Cavafy poetry
Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

and from Alessandro Spinazzi, in Venice
Allen Ginsberg: Howl, Kaddish
Arthur Rimbaud Season in Hell
Charles Baudelaire Les Fleurs du Mal
Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass
Percy Shelley Collected Poems

herschel sternlieb 5 book list

A 5 book list from fable crafter Herschel Sternlieb, author of The Adventures of King Bushy Tushy:
Civilization and Capitalism - Braudel
Memory of Fire - Galeano
Candide - Voltaire
Fabulous Fables - Ambrose Bierce
Common Sense - Thomas Paine


we like to play music at the store, and mix up the cultures and sounds. Our current favorite radio station for music (yes, we do also play Air America in the store) is Radio Nova, a Parisian radio station. They play a lot of American funk and soul (where else do you hear James Brown or Al Green followed by North African hip hop or Fela Kuti?). You can stream them at:


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cuban poet nancy Morejon

Here is a poem by Cuban poet Nancy Morejon:


for the pleasure of Rafael Alberti

Between the sword and the carnation,
I love utopias.
I love the rainbow and the kite
and I love the song of the pilgrim.
I love the romance between the bear and the iguana.
I love passports: when will passports cease to exist?
I love daily chores and the taverns
and guitars in the evening.
I love a thorny island in the throat of Goliath
like a palm tree in the center of the Gulf.
I love David.
I love liberty, which is an everlasting flower.

and another:

As in days gone by

We could sit down, as in days gone by,
to read the famous writer's last book.
We prefer the river, the dam, the bird,
the bottom of the heart open
for the reaper.
O what blessed smoke from the future
vanishes between our hands.

Cuban Poets

Brunswick has a sister city in Cuba: Trinidad, and every year Brunswick celebrates Cuba Week, to honor this connection. This year's events are from March 3 - 10.
I (gary) traveled two years ago to Trinidad with a group of musicians artists and a poet (myself)
I will read Cuban poetry in English Tuesday, March 7, 4 PM at the Little Dog Coffee Shop.
Here are some of the books of Cuban Poetry we carry at the bookstore:
Jose Marti was the first really widely recognized international poet of Cuba. We carry a Selected Writings, and the Jose Marti Reader. After Marti, Nicolas Guillen was the next internationally recognized poet in Cuba. Both Langston Hughes and Federico Garcia Lorca traveled to Cuba and were influenced by him. We carry Man-Making Words - Selected poems, and Yoruba from Cuba - Selected Poems.
Several contemporary Cuban poets at Gulf of Maine are: Jose Lezama Lima ("Selections"), Reina Maria Rodriguez (Time's Arrest, Violet Island and Other Poems) and Nancy Morejon (With Eyes and Soul, Looking Within - Selected Poems, and her introduction to Letters of Love and Hope - the story of the Cuban Five)
Part of the reason that there is not more contemporary Cuban poetry is the US imposed embargo. Until recently, writing was one of the embargoed items, because editing, translating or publishing the works of Cuban writers would be adding value, and that would be against the embargo. Recently this was somewhat lifted, although writing by members of the Cuban government is still covered by the embargo. City Lights Publishers will bring out a new anthology of contemporary Cuban poetry in March

first five book list

Our first five book recommendation list comes from Karin Spitfire, who will read poetry at out 27th birthday party this coming Saturday:

favorite all time/ radical feminist primers

GynEcology: The Meta-ethics of Radical Feminism Mary Daly (only to be read as poetry)
Borderlands Gloria Anzaldua
Sister Outsider Audre Lorde
From the Margin to the Center Feminist theory bell hooks
The Fifth Sacred Thing Starhawk

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

favorite literary blog

Gary's current favorite literary blog is
and yes, we carry her novel (Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami)

another site I am currently reading is
Dove's Eye View

Nazim Hikmet

a poem by Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet

from "Beyond the Walls - Selected Poems of Nazim Hikmet"


Bees like big drops of honey,
bees carrying vines to the sun, came flying out of my youth:
these apples too are from there,
these heavy apples,
this golden-dusty road,
these white pebbles along the stream,
my belief in folksong,
my lack of envy,
and this cloudless day,
this blue day
the sea hot, stripped bare, lying back,
this longing,
the gleaming teeth of a full lipped mouth,
they came out of my youth
to this Caucasian village
like big drops of honey on the feet of bees,
from somewhere in my forgotten youth,
from somewhere;
I never had enough of that somewhere.

13 September, 1958


We have been thinking about traveling to Turkey, and even to the Istanbul Book Fair (a business trip!) This has led to a lot of reading about Turkey and the Ottoman Empire.
I actually started on this path after reading "The Ornament of the World - How Muslims, Jews and Christians created a culture of tolerance in Medieval Spain" by Maria Rosa Menocal, and then "Our place in al Andalus - Kabbalah, philosophy, literature in Arab Jewish Letters" by Gil Anidjar.
I wanted to know what had happened to the Jewish population once they left Spain, so I next read "Salonica - City of Ghosts - Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950" by Mark Mazower, chronicling the history of Salonica from the arrival of the Spanish Jews to the Nazis sending over 50,000 Jews from Salonica by rail to their deaths in Auschwitz. From there I read a sweet little book, in Ladino and English, called "In Search of a Lost Ladino" by Marcel Cohen, and translated by Raphael Rubinstein. (Ladino being the language ofJudeo-Spanish - the language of the Jews of the Ottoman Empire)
Then, to read about another city, I read Orhan Pamuk's memoir of his native city - "Istanbul".
Both "Salonica" and "Istanbul" sent me next to the poetry of Nazim Hikmet, a poet banished from his homeland. I then read Orhan Pamuk's novel "Snow", with the central character being a poet who is returning to his homeland after a long period of banishment. To find out what the contemporary Turkish poets were writing I read Eda: An anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry.
at some point in all of this we rewatched the Costa Gavras movie Z, which is based on events taking place in Salonica (or Thessaloniki as it became)
A little lighter was The Janissary Tree, a mystery novel taking place in Istanbul in 1836, whose inspector, Yashim Togalu, is a eunuch of the court. The author, Jason Goodwin, also wrote thhistory "Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire. and recently we have the new novel Birds Without Wings (set in the Ottoman Empire) by the author of Corelli's Mandolin.

We would welcome suggestions to add to this list, or comments on titles (or travel to Turkey). Thanks!

Monday, February 20, 2006

anniversary poetry reading

on feb 25, 2006, gulf of maine books marks our 27th anniversary with a birthday party poetry reading.
the readers will be:
Karin Spitfire reading from her new collection "Standing With Trees"
Nancy Henry and Alice Persons, editors of Moonpie Press. Nancy's chapbooks include "Eros Ion" and "Europe on $5 a Day". Alice's chapbooks include "Never Say Never" and :Be Careful What You Wish For". Steve Luttrell, editor of The Cafe Review, will be reading from a new collection of poems. His books include "Conditions", "The Green Man", "This n That", and "Pemaquid and other poems".

You can reach:
Karin Spitfire kspit@midcoast.com
Cafe Review at www.thecafereview.com
and moonpie press at www.moonpiepress.com

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Gulf of Maine Books

Gulf of Maine Books opened for business in February 1979, and for the last 27 years we have been Maine's independent alternative bookstore. We are located at 134 Maine Street, Brunswick, Maine 04011. Our telephone is 207 729 5083.
We are celebrating the anniversary of the bookstore in a number of ways, one of them being the creation of a bookstore blog where we will share with readers the books we are currently reading, past book interests, store events, and more. We invite you to post responses, book suggestions, reviews, lists, and to engage in a conversation with us.
Beth Leonard, Gary Lawless
Gulf of Maine Books