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Recipes for reading, a prize-winning poet, and Santa’s shelves

Boston-based poet Allison Adair has won the third annual Max Ritvo Poetry Prize.Max Green


Chef Joshua Lewin describes himself as a storyteller. And like all the best stories, the ones he tells – at restaurants Juliet and Peregrine in Boston – are grounded in time and place. Besides the two restaurants and a magazine (“Of Juliet") he’s now releasing his first “cookbooklet,” two years in the making and workshopped at Grub Street. “Our Market Season” offers up recipes that move from what you can find at the farmers markets from late spring into deep fall. Throughout, he emphasizes play, which is to say be loose, be creative, enjoy each step of the process: from selecting your parsley bunch, your rhubarb stalks, and your cabbage heads, to the chopping, seasoning, and roasting -– and especially the eating and sharing. The recipes, accompanied by elegant, earthy line drawing illustrations by Ariel Knoebel, are accessible, with an emphasis on technique and practice. You’ll find recipes for simple stand-bys (like corn soup and tomato bread) and more complicated adventures (like ratatouille and pisaladierre), and each recipe comes served with a story. The launch takes place Sunday, November 24 at 4 p.m. at Juliet in Union Square; admission is $15 and includes a copy of the cookbook. For more information, call 617-718-0958.



Boston-based poet Allison Adair has won the third annual Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, a first-book prize which honors the work of emerging poets. Her manuscript “The Clearing” was selected by judge Henri Cole for its “wise, mineral-like poems,” which he described as “haunting and dirt caked” with “tense beauty everywhere.” The prize, started in honor of poet Max Ritvo, who died from cancer in 2016 at the age of 25, and includes a $10,000 purse (making it the largest first-book prize in the country) as well as publication with Milkweed Press. The title poem, a dark and bodily nod to folk- and fairy-tale energy, asks “What if this time instead of crumbs the girl drops / teeth, her own” and wallops us some lines later: “We’ll write this story again and again, / how her mouth blooms to its raw venous throat — that tunnel / of marbled wetness, beefy, muted, new.” Adair teaches at Boston College and Grub Street, and “The Clearing” will be published in June 2020.



In advance of the oncoming holiday season, Brookline Booksmith has just opened PopSmith, a pop-up extension of the much-loved bastion of bookselling. Running through December 30, PopSmith lives almost directly nextdoor to the bookstore, in a nearly 1400-square-foot space that used to be occupied by a Peet’s Coffee. The selection features a large number of curated bargain books — fiction, non-fiction, kids’ books, as well as discounted art and design books, cookbooks, and UK editions. And besides the books, they’ll be selling small gifts and stocking-stuffers as well. The displays will shift daily, and PopSmith will also host a number of evening events, readings and open mics through the season.

Coming Out

“Sweet Days of Discipline” by Fleur Jaeggy, translated from the Italian by Tim Parks (New Directions)

“I Offer My Heart as a Target” by Johanny Vázquez Paz, translated from the Spanish by Lawrence Schimel (Akashic)

“Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer” by Carol Sklenicka (Scribner)

Pick of the Week

Dan Chartrand at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, New Hampshire recommends “The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer’s Iliad and the Trojan War” by Caroline Alexander: “Alexander dons her scholarly detective cap to dig beneath all the layers of myth built up over the centuries on top of Homer’s epic poem. What she reveals is Homer’s breathtaking struggle to find a meaning within the meaninglessness of war. Alexander breathes new life into Homer’s Iliad for the contemporary reader.”