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Young poets, old books, colorful characters, and more


The City of Boston has announced a search for its first Youth Poet Laureate . The young poet will serve as part of the city’s poet laureate program, working to celebrate poetry and elevate appreciation and attention on literary arts, and will be called on to do readings and attend events as a “literary ambassador,” working in collaboration with the Boston Poet Laureate, currently Porsha Olayiwola, whose debut collection comes out this month. To be considered for the position, applicants must be between 13 and 18 years old and have lived in Boston for a least one year, as well as show a “strong commitment to their community” and an enthusiasm for the role and its duties. “Applicants must have produced work that demonstrates poetic flexibility, reflects the vibrancy of the City of Boston, and is significant to Boston residents,” according to a release from the mayor’s office. The two-year position comes with a $500 honorarium, mentorship from the Poet Laureate, and publication of a book of poems. The announcement comes on the heels of Mayor Marty Walsh doing away with overdue library fines for people under 18 with a Boston Public Library card. The deadline to apply is Nov. 25, and the application can be found online at www.boston.gov/news/call-bostons-first-youth-poet-laureate.



The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair rolls into town this weekend for the 43rd time with a number of panels, presentations, and opportunities for collecting and getting appraisals. A highlight of the weekend is a two-part discussion of the making and collecting of comic books and graphic novels: Hillary L. Chute, Tim Flynn, Liz Prince, and Nick Thorkelson will engage with “The Graphic Revolution: Exploring the Comics Culture,” and Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, Otto Nuckel, Milt Gross, Helena Bochorakova-Dittrichova, and Lawrence Hyde will explore “The Wordless Novel in the First Half of the 20th Century.” In the lead-up to the fair, the Katherine Small Gallery will present Barbara Heritage, associate director and curator of collections at Rare Book School, giving a talk called “Reading the Writing Desk: The Instruments the Brontës Used to Craft Their Novels,” which will look to the tools of the trade of 19th-century writing — quills, inks, blotting papers, bone folders, and how the Brontës’s novels got built. It’s part of the gallery’s “Standing Room Only” series. That’s Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 7 pm at the Katherine Small Gallery in Somerville. Tickets are $10. And the Antiquarian Book Fair runs Nov. 15-17 at the Hynes Convention Center. Tickets for opening night are $25; admission is free for the rest of the weekend.



Artist Maira Kalman, best known for her exuberant, colorful New Yorker covers, as well as her acclaimed books like “And the Pursuit of Happiness” and “Beloved Dog,” has also illustrated 18 children’s books — her first, “Stay Up Late,” was a visual version of the Talking Heads song — and her work in the kids’ book realm is the subject of a new exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. “The Pursuit of Everything: Maira Kalman’s Books for Children” highlights her illustrations from “Cake,” “Next Stop Grand Central,” and “Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote,” among others. Besides the illustrations, the exhibit includes objects and images from Kalman’s studio in New York like sketchbooks, shoes, family photos, postcards, and other ephemera. The exhibit opens Sunday, Nov. 10, with a gallery talk with Kalman, and runs through April 5, 2020.


Coming Out

“Long Live Latin” by Nicola Gardini (FSG)

“Labyrinth” by Burhan Sönmez, translated from the Turkish by Umit Hussein (Other)

“The Intangibles” by Elaine Equi (Coffee House)

Pick of the Week

Kate Mikell at Porter Square Books in Cambridge recommends “Virga & Bone: Essays From Dry Places” by Craig Childs (Torrey House): “Few books capture the spirit of the desert Southwest quite like this collection of essays. His prose finds both the stillness & the shimmer of heat rising over stone. If you’re cold, restless, or longing for summer days under the sun & stars, pick this one up. It’ll stick in your soul long after you read it, like the red dust of the canyonlands.”

Nina MacLaughlin is the author of “Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter.” She can be reached at nmaclaughlin@gmail.com.