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Arts Previews

  • Joshua Garcia will perform at the Song & Story Swap in Amherst on Saturday. Photo courtesy Pioneer Valley Folklore Society

  • Ben Grosscup will perform at the Song & Story Swap in Amherst on Saturday. Photo courtesy Pioneer Valley Folklore Society


Thursday, April 04, 2019
Poetry series continues at Jones Library

Poet Martín Espada of the University of Massachusetts Amherst will be joined by George Abraham on Sunday, April 7 at the Jones Library for the fourth reading of the jubilat/Jones Reading Series of 2018-19.

Espada, who in additon to his teaching is a poetry editor and translator, is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including “The Republic of Poetry,” “Alabanza,” “The Trouble Ball” and his most recent collection, “Vivas to Those Who Have Failed.”

His work has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and last year he received the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a $100,000 award that recognizes lifetime achievement. Espada became the first Latino poet to win the award since its inception in 1986.

Abraham, a Palestinian-American poet and Bioengineering Ph.D. candidate at Harvard, is the author of “Birthright” and two poetry chapbooks and has published work, or has work pending publication, in a number of online journals, including “The Paris Review,” “Tin House” and “American Poetry Review.”

The reading, free and open to the public, takes place at 3:00 p.m. in the library’s Goodwin Room.

Song & Story Swap features Joshua Garcia and Ben Grosscup

The Pioneer Valley Folklore Society’s monthly Song & Story Swap returns Saturday, April 6 at the Nacul Center in Amherst, featuring songwriters Joshua Garcia and Ben Grosscup. The event begins at 7 p.m.

Garcia, of Queens, New York, draws on the work of his musical heroes Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan and has honed a folk/blues style of performing that has made him “one of the most sought after singers in the NYC folk world,” according to press notes.

Grosscup, of Greenfield, is the executive director of a group co-founded by Pete Seeger, the People’s Music Network (www.peoplesmusic.org), a community of singers, artists and activists promoting a more just world. Grosscup leads songs at picket lines, rallies and marches and is working on his debut CD. The Song & Story Swap is open to members of the public of all ages. Admission is free, with a suggested minimum donation to the artists of $5-10.

Award-winning film and director come to Amherst Cinema

“Distant Constellation,” an acclaimed documentary about the colorful residents of a Turkish retirement home, comes to the Amherst Cinema for a single showing on Thursday, April 11 at 7 p.m.

Also attending the screening and speaking about the film will be director/cinematographer Shevaun Mizrahi, a Turkish-American filmmaker who won a Guggenheim Fellowship for her work on “Distant Constellation.” Among a number of honors, the documentary was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 2018.

The film chronicles a retirement home full of “pranksters, historians, artists, and would-be Casanovas,” according to press notes. One critic wrote, “With her patient camera, Shevaun Mizrahi makes a portrait of not only the elderly residents ... but also of time itself, which seems to stand still within the building’s walls.”

Tickets are free for Amherst Cinema members; tickets for other movie-goers can be purchased at amherstcinema.org.