Shannon Taggart: Séance

Shannon Taggart: Séance

I was excited when I saw that photographer Shannon Taggart had a new book coming out this year. Séance is a collection of her photography in the community of Lily Dale, New York, the world’s largest populace of spiritualists. She’s spent 18 years documenting this community and I was fortunate enough to interview her about […]

Arthur Yorinks

With its depiction of destiny and decay and undertones of debauchery, “The Fall of the House of Usher” is Edgar Allan Poe’s hallucinatory fever dream of a short story. For Arthur Yorinks, the story has been not quite an albatross around his neck, but certainly part of a decades-long mission. Yorinks is well-known for his […]

Susan Mara Bregman: New England Neon

A new book shines a light on the seductive history of New England signs — specifically a neon light. Susan Bregman’s book, “New England Neon,” features signs from all over the region, including two from Great Barrington, the signs for Cove Bowling and Gorham & Norton Package Store. Bregman, a Boston-based photographer, became fascinated by neon signs […]

Chef Cortney Burns @ Tourists

When Chef Cortney Burns arrived in North Adams with the mission of creating a restaurant to accompany the new hotel Tourists, she looked to the land itself for guidance. Through foraging, Burns was able to put into physical form the spiritual journey that informs all her creations for the restaurant. “These forests are abundant,” Burns […]

Tony DiTerlizzi: The Art of Geeking Out

Surreal — that’s the word illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi uses to describe his new show at the Norman Rockwell Museum. DiTerlizzi says he was raised on Rockwell’s work, with a big coffee table book that he studied when younger. In high school, he copied Rockwell to hone his skills. His first two children’s books, he says, were strongly […]

James Warhola

James Warhola

When illustrator James Warhola gives his talk at the Norman Rockwell Museum, he knows that as Andy Warhol’s nephew — who has written children’s books about his famous uncle — that part of his job is demystifying the art legend. People want to know what Andy Warhol was like in real life and Warhola gets asked that all the […]

Martin Espada

Martin Espada

Poet Martin Espada’s work draws from his biography as a Puerto Rican American, as well as the communities he’s devoted his life to. A previous Pulitzer Prize finalist and vigorous activist, Espada teaches creative writing at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and continues to mix activism and advocacy with his poetry, raising awareness, fighting […]

Charles Dew

Charles Dew, a professor at Williams College, has written several books about the history of the South, but his new one, “The Making of a Racist,” enters new territory — memoir. Dew, who was born in St. Petersburg, Fla., recounts his experiences growing up in the South in the Jim Crow era of the 1940s and ’50s, […]

Okey Ndibe

Renowned Nigerian author Okey Ndibe is known for his journalism and his novels, but his latest book takes him into territory that combines aspects of both, while taking him into totally new territory — the memoir. Ndibe’s new book traces his journey from Nigeria to America, examining the both the myths about America that preceded his arrival, […]

10 Minutes with Ali Benjamin

10 Minutes with Ali Benjamin

Ali Benjamin was more surprised than anyone when her debut novel for children, The Thing About Jellyfish, became a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Award finalist. The Williamstown author likes the word “blundered” to describe how she came to writing the book — she didn’t know it would be for younger readers until well […]

Lenox mysteries set scene for new book, ‘The Duration’

A new novel that takes place in Lenox, MA, pulls from the childhood memories of the author to craft a haunted landscape of mystery that hearkens to another time for the town. Dave Fromm’s The Duration follows two childhood friends who reunite in their hometown of Lenox, with one friend acting out his obsessions with […]

Joe Durwin: These Mysterious Hills

Berkshire County may not have an actual office of the X-Files, but if it did it would be run by local writer Joe Durwin, whose ongoing project, “These Mysterious Hills,” is about to enter a new stage as a book. “These Mysterious Hills” began in the pages of the now-defunct weekly newspaper The Advocate, first […]

Stephen Merritt: The Scrabble Interview

Stephen Merritt: The Scrabble Interview

Last year when Magnetic Fields guy Stephen Merritt and New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast’s book 101 Two-Letter Words (Amazon, iBooks, Powell’s), which aside from being entertaining is also meant to be helpful if you play Scrabble, came out, I had the opportunity to interview Merritt by phone. As it turned out, the poor guy had […]

Elizabeth Kolbert

New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert recent book “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” suggests that not only are we are in the middle of the Earth’s latest calamatous mass extinction, but humans are probably the major factor in it happening. Colbert will speak at Williams College on April 23 about this. The event’s organizer Sarah […]

Chris Van Allsburg

Wherever author Chris Van Allsburg’s name appears in a review, there’s a good chance the word “dark” will be attached to his picture books, but Van Allsburg isn’t so sure his work is very dark at all. “When I contemplate how dark my imagination can be and what I end up putting in books, this […]

Kate Hosford

When author Kate Hosford decided to tackle the concept of infinity in her most recent children’s book, she found there were possibly an infinite number of ways to even approach the subject. In Hosford’s book, “Infinity and Me,” a little girl works to conceptualize the real meaning of infinity. The book has garnered all kinds […]

Johnny Carrera

Johnny Carrera’s upcoming installation at Mass MoCA is technically an extension of his book, “Pictorial Webster,” but it’s also something that never would have happened if not for a chance encounter in his grandmother’s house. Carrera’s prints will be featured in the show “Life’s Work,” which opens at Mass MoCA on Saturday, March 23. As […]

Kadir Nelson

In his new book, “We Are The Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball,” illustrator Kadir Nelson discovers not only a voice for baseball heroes of yesteryear, but for his own transition to author. The book recently won Nelson two American Library Association awards. Nelson’s previous work is on display at the Eric Carle Museum […]

Michelle Cuevas

A new chapter book for kids by a Berkshires native channels lyrical work from the past in order to pave a promising future in the field. Michelle Cuevas is a Lee native and Williams College graduate. Her debut book, “The Masterwork of a Painting Elephant,” published by Farrar Straus Giroux and with illustrations by Caldecott […]

Brendan Powell Smith: The Brick Bible

Brendan Powell Smith’s new The Brick Bible: A New Spin On The Old Testament transforms the holy book into a colorful graphic novel through the use of Legos by way of his digital camera’s macro setting. Smith has long posted these adaptations to his website but now he’s spreading the Gospel of Lego in printed […]

Rebecca Rupp

In “How Carrots Won The Trojan War” from Storey Publishing, author Rebecca Rupp tackles the totality of everything through the topical springboard of vegetables — even that potato on your plate has several tales to tell. Rupp is a prolific author, with numerous titles and subjects ranging from homeschooling to meteorology to neuroscience, peppered with a number […]

Mo Willems

Author/illustrator Mo Willems is a genuine superstar in the world of children’s entertainment — and the creative energy that got him to that level keeps churning out idiosyncratic wonders. Willems will appear at the Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Road, in Amherst, on Sunday, March 27, at 11:30 a.m. for a public discussion of his work. […]

Etienne Delessert

Swiss-born illustrator Etienne Delessert is the subject of the new show at the Eric Carle Museum. “What A Circus!” pulls from his career of over three decades that features more than 80 published books. His most recent, “Moon Theater,” was released last September. Delessert never intended to become an illustrator. As a young man in […]

Adam Gopnik

Attitudes toward food can reflect both folly and necessity — in that regard, author Adam Gopnik really believes you can have your cake and eat it, too. Gopnik has been a writer for The New Yorker since 1986, and is the author of several books, including his memoir of living in Paris, “Paris To The Moon,” his […]

Lisbeth Zwerger

Austrian illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger was originally discouraged from even pursuing a career in drawing children’s books — decades later, she’s thrilled that she was able to follow her heart. Zwerger’s work is currently on display at the Eric Carle Museum, 125 W. Bay Road, through Sept. 26. Zwerger has worked as a children’s illustrator for over three […]

Profile: Jules Feiffer

Jules Feiffer is well known as a master of all trades and a jack of none when it comes to storytelling — a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, novelist, children’s book author and illustrator, Tony-nominated playwright, Academy Award-winning screenwriter — and a new autobiography celebrates his over 60-year career. Feiffer’s memoir, “Backing Into Forward,” was released this year by Doubleday. He […]

Bill Ayers

It was in the 2008 presidential election that Bill Ayers achieved notoriety as a would-be spoiler — the terrorist Barack Obama was supposedly palling around with was Ayers. This eye-brow raising recognition stretches back to his days in the activist group, The Weather Underground, which saw Ayers ad his cohorts conducting a bombing campaign in protest of […]

Leonard Marcus “Golden Legacy: Original Art from 65 Years of Golden Books”

Little Golden Books are about as iconic as a children’s book line can get, with their thick cardboard covers and golden spines bringing enduring characters like the Pokey Little Puppy into popular culture. The line of books can also claim a groundbreaking status for radical marketing that not only brought publishing to the people, but […]

Charles C. Mann “1491”

Columbus may not have actually discovered the Americas, but his voyage changed their landscape forever — and divided history in such a way that the history of the two continents prior to his arrival is only currently being introduced into popular history. At a talk today at Williams College journalist Charles C. Mann will focus on “The […]

Saxton Freymann

Not everybody can claim their sculptures are built from the actual ingredients for a healthy life, but children’s book creator Saxton Freymann offers work that is good for the body as well as the mind. Freymann’s books with partner Joost Elfers — which include “Food For Thought” and “How Are You Peeling?” — take on the task of getting […]