Local poet, museum, historian earn literary honors

  • Amherst Town Hall

Staff Writer
Thursday, January 03, 2019

AMHERST — Tickets will soon be available for the sixth annual Samuel Minot Jones Awards for Literary Achievement, which will be presented to Richard Michelson and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art this spring.

The awards ceremony, scheduled for April 25 at 6 p.m. at Converse Hall at Amherst College, will also feature a special centennial Sammy award for local author Bruce Watson, who is writing a history of the library as it marks 100 years.

Michelson, earning the local literary achievement Sammy, is the author of 19 children’s books and has written poetry for adults. An Amherst resident, Michelson has served two terms as poet laureate of Northampton and hosts Northampton Poetry Radio.

The significant contribution to Amherst’s literary culture is going to the Eric Carle Museum, a non-profit organization that works to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books.

Watson, a frequent contributor to Smithsonian magazine, has written more than 40 feature articles on subjects ranging from eels to Ferraris to the history of Coney Island. The longtime columnist for the Amherst Bulletin is working on the book about the library’s history, with much of the writing taking place in the Amity Street building.

Sammys tickets can be purchased at the Jones Library or online at www.joneslibrary.org/sammys. Tickets are $75, $125, and $200, allowing people to choose their level of support for the Library’s collections.

Proceeds from the Sammys supports the Jones Library and the Munson and North Amherst branches. Over the first five years the awards has brought in $120,000 to support collections.

Children’s author and illustrator Aaron Becker is creating a print for the event. The first 100 ticket orders of one or more tickets will receive this print signed by Becker and numbered.

Holiday window decorating contest

Hope & Feathers Framing and Printing again took the top prize in the holiday window decorating contest sponsored by the Amherst Business Improvement District.

The store, at 319 Main St., featured a large peace sign – made from discarded frame pieces – that was surrounded by the store’s advertising slogan, “framing with love.” At night the peace sign was lit against a deep red background.

The framing shop took also earned raves from voters in 2017 and shared the best honors with the Jones Library in 2015.

Ski and winter gear sale

An Adirondack chair created from old skis will be raffled as part of the Amherst Historical Society’s annual ski and winter gear sale.

The sale, which features new and used skis, skates and other winter items, will be held Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pacific Lodge, 99 Main St.

The upcycled Adirondack chair was made by David Dunn from unclaimed skis from the 2018 sale. Dunn oversees the maintenance of the Strong House museum.

For more information about the sale and the items that will be available, contact info@amhersthistory.org or call 687-9493.

Eric Carle presentation

“The Life and Legacy of Eric Carle” is the title of a talk that Alix Kennedy, executive director of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, will give at the Amherst Woman’s Club on Monday at 1:30 p.m.

The discussion, at the 35 Triangle St. site, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served after.

Jewish genealogy fair

The Western Mass Jewish Genealogical Society is holding its first Jewish Genealogy Resource Fair Sunday afternoon.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will run from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community of Amherst, 742 Main St.

Experts at eight tables will talk to visitors about finding their ancestors in Central or Eastern Europe, tracking relatives in America, using online resources, DNA testing and organizing and sharing their data.

Resource materials for more experienced researchers will also be available.


MONDAY: Town Council, 6:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

TUESDAY: Amherst Cultural Council, 4 p.m., Amherst Room, Jones Library.