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BC team discovers early Boston poets

Paul Lewis is a professor of English at Boston College.handout

A POETIC FIND Literature classes have long studied poets from the established literary canon. But a Boston College English professor launched a different pursuit with his students: a treasure hunt of sorts, using newly available searchable databases to find long-forgotten poems about Boston.

The verse they uncovered reflects a city from long ago but still recognizable today: Boston Common, Boston Neck, Beacon Hill, Boston Harbor, Cambridge, the Charles River.

“We found all these poems we thought were really interesting,” said Paul Lewis, a professor of English. “Some were funny, some were moving, some expressed opinions we didn’t expect. Gradually it dawned on us that we were connecting to a lively, interactive and intimate literary culture in Boston that we hadn’t seen before.”


Over their three year “literary archeology” project, Lewis and his undergraduate students reviewed about 4,500 poems published in literary magazines over three decades following the Revolutionary War. The result is a new anthology: “The Citizen Poets of Boston: A Collection of Forgotten Poems, 1789–1820,” published this month by University Press of New England.

The public is invited to a book launch, at which Lewis and students who worked on the anthology will discuss their project, this Thursday, April 14, at 4 p.m. at the O’Neill Library, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill. Subsequent events celebrating the book will be held in April and May at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Porter Square Books, the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester and the Boston Public Library; for a full schedule go to www.upne.com/events.html.

NOT JUST FOR KIDS The Needham Free Public Library hosts its second monthly Joys of Coloring for Adults program on Thursday, April 14, with sessions from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The program is free, and the library will supply pencils, markers, coloring sheets and small snacks. The library is located at 1139 Highland Ave, Needham Heights. For more information, call 781-455-7559.


TOUCH OF FLAMENCO On Friday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m., virtuoso Flamenco guitarist Juanito Pascual performs at the Concord Conservatory of Music. Pascual, who brings influences as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Miles Davis, and Bach to his art, will be joined by Jose Moreno, percussion, and Barbara Martinez, singer/dancer. Tickets are $25 students, $10 adults. The Concord Conservatory of Music is located in the West Concord Union Church, 1317 Main St., West Concord. For tickets and more information, go to www.concordconservatory.org.

SCOTTISH MUSIC Scottish trio Cantrip, made up of piper Dan Houghton, fiddler Jon Bews, and guitarist/mandolinist Eric McDonald, will perform a concert on Saturday, April 16, at 8 p.m. in the Nunes Barn, 125 Powers Rd., Sudbury. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at m.bpt.me/event/2525246. For more information, call 781-648-5579 or go to www.cantrip-music.com.

MARITAL COMEDY The national tour of the relationship comedy “You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!” has its Boston area premiere April 13 through May 22 at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. The show was scripted by a real-life married couple, actor-writers Annabelle Gurwitch and Emmy Award winner Jeff Kahn. Another real-life married couple, Michael and Mara Greer,star in the Regent Theatre production. Tickets are $45-$65. For tickets and a complete schedule of performances, go to www.regenttheatre.com.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY DYLAN The appropriately if confusingly named The The Band Band, a tribute to Bob Dylan and The Band, performs in honor of Dylan’s upcoming 75th birthday on Friday, April 15, at The Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Rd., Shirley. The show starts at 8 p.m.; doors open at 6 for dinner and seating. Tickets (for the performance only) are $20 advance/$23 day of show. To purchase tickets, go to www.bullrunrestaurant.com or call 978-425-4311.


Reflecting the theme of Belmont’s current townwide reading selection, Anita Diamant’s “The Boston Girl,” the Belmont Gallery of Art is exhibiting prints and paintings on the theme of family titled “Family Ties/Memory” now through May 8. The gallery is located on the third floor of the Homer Building, Town Hall Complex, 19 Moore St., Belmont. Regular gallery hours are Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors are also welcome to visit other weekdays after 10 a.m. For more information, go to www.belmontgallery.org.

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