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    new england literary news | nina maclaughlin

    Changes at Brookline Booksmith; Grolier turns 90

    Albert Samaha performs as part of a recent Pop-Up Magazine performance.
    Albert Samaha performs as part of a recent Pop-Up Magazine performance.

    Brigham retiring from Brookline Booksmith

    Dana Brigham, co-owner and general manager of the Brookline Booksmith, has been part of the pulse of the store for 37 years, and recently announced she’ll be retiring at the end of May. More than a job, she says over the phone, running the bookstore has been “a life and a passion and a family.”

    Lisa Gozashti and Peter Win, who became co-owners in 2015, will take over as managers. Brigham will sell her shares when she retires, leaving Gozashti and Win as owners alongside store founder Marshall Smith and his family.

    Gozashti, who’s been with the store for 19 years, said in an e-mail Brigham was an “excellent guide” to placing “our customers at the center of our work.”

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    She said that customers shouldn’t notice any big differences as she and Win have no major plans to change the way the store is run or its offerings.

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    They are, however, hoping to putting “more serious emphasis” on events like the recent Transnational Literature Series which answers the “need to bring voices and points of understanding from the larger world,” writes Gozashti, and she credits Brigham for “encouraging us to see beyond ourselves and to value the lives of those around us.”

    Brigham will continue on at the bookstore as a member of the board.

    Grolier celebrates 90th

    A tiny store with outsized influence, the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, tucked around the corner from the Harvard Bookstore on Plympton Street, is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a poetry festival and street fair on May 19. The festival will open with a children’s program featuring the Boston Shakespeare Project’s spoken word adaptation of “Twelfth Night,’’ underscoring the store’s plans to focus more attention at poetry geared towards kids. There will be readings by David Ferry, Kathleen Spivack, Harris Gardner, Gloria Mindock, Martha Collins, Fred Marchant, and many others, including a reading of poets published by the Grolier Poetry Press, including X.J. Kennedy, Keith O’Shaughnessy, and Partridge Boswell. The poetry party will also include a segment of dance-poetry performance and jazz performances by Stan Strickland. For more information visit grolierpoetrybookshop.org.

    Pop-Up Magazine returns to Boston

    Unlike the magazines that accumulate on our front hall tables, the conceit behind Pop-Up Magazine is a one-time there-and-gone experience. The performance series is a “live magazine” in which contributors on stage tell nonfiction stories accompanied by images and music, with none of it to appear online afterwards. It made its first Boston stop in November and is headed back with a new edition on May 19 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, this time bringing John Jeremiah Sullivan (Pulphead’’), artist and writer Leanne Shapton (Swimming Studies’’), the New Yorker’s Helen Rosner, Found Magazine editor Davy Rothbart, Botnik Studios lead scientist Elle O’Brien, the Globe’s Meredith Goldstein (Can’t Help Myself’’), and a number of other writers, photographers, and filmmakers, for features on Trump’s preferred salad, mass shooting condolence gifts, child boxers in Thailand, and much more. The show is produced by a Bay Area group that also publishes The California Sunday Magazine, which specializes in longform journalism. Tickets from $29 and more information can be found at popupmagazine.com.

    Coming out

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    True Stories: The Collected Short Nonfiction’’by Helen Garner (Text)

    Be With’’ by Forrest Gander (New Directions)

    Kudos’’ by Rachel Cusk (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

    Pick of the Week

    Lee Miller at Belmont Books recommends One Goal: A Coach, A Team, and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together’’ by Amy Bass (Hachette): “We can use more books that make us feel good about being Americans. This one does that, not by hiding the dissension that arose in Lewiston, Maine after an influx of Somali refugees, but by showing how the town grew in dealing with it. And along the way, telling an exciting and inspiring sports story.’’

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