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New and Noteworthy
The Lost Child
by Wesley McNair

In this volume inspired by the impending death of his mother, Wesley McNair, long a poet of New England places, takes a new path, exploring her homeplace in the Ozarks of Southern Missouri. The linked poems of the book describe characters and events with the small, telling details for which McNair is noted, yet it also includes large themes: hope, delusion, family struggles, and lost selves. But the most important theme of all is reconciliation, as McNair attempts through these poems to know and understand his mother. Combining humor, sorrow, and his singular gift for narrative, this is McNair's most ambitious and moving collection, showing yet again why Philip Levine has called him "one of the great storytellers of contemporary poetry."

Praise for Wesley McNair

"By the faculty of his attention—to people, to their talk—McNair's compassion turns itself into art." – Donald Hall, The Harvard Review

"[He is] a master craftsman with a remarkable ear." – Maxine Kumin, Ploughshares

"He has produced one of the most individual and original bodies of work by a poet of his generation." – Ruminator Review

The Hand of the Small-Town Builder
by W. Tad Pfeffer

Northern New England in the late nineteenth century saw an explosion of what we now call "new home construction." The railroads had opened up the mountains to tourists while steamers regularly plied the coast. The concept of a paid summer vacation was gaining traction, and families, both rich and poor, were eager to rusticate in small villages where, close to nature, they would enjoy the blessings of a salubrious climate. Middle-class families could afford to build homes, and since their budgets precluded "name" architects, the need was answered by native builders, talented craftsmen familiar with the local resources who could draw the basic lines, muster and supervise a building crew, and meet the needs of clients. These weren't the fancy summer "cottages" of Newport or Bar Harbor, but simple structures erected on modest budgets for comfortable summer living. Many were, and still appear, very beautiful, and the best examples are shown in this striking survey of houses built by self-taught architects whose work survives as testaments to their skill.

The men behind the developments were far more than builders; they acted as land speculators, developers, and architects. They ran the typical three-man crews, house-sat over the winter, and were the liaisons with the "summer people" who would arrive in June and leave in early September. The houses they built were sensitive to the local topography and connected to the landscape as masterpieces of vernacular design. From the seacoast and islands of Maine to the hill towns, lakes, and rivers of Vermont and New Hampshire, Pfeffer has thoroughly researched and thoughtfully photographed the best examples. His text is rich with history and commentary. Far more than a pretty picture book, this is a scholarly and richly documented survey of master craftsmen whose subtle but powerful influence on the northern New England landscape is poignantly recorded in these pages.

W. Tad Pfeffer is a geophysicist, teacher, and photographer at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a Fellow of the University's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering. He has photographed architecture and landscapes in New England, Colorado, Alaska, Iceland, Greenland, and Arctic Canada, often focusing on the historical imprint of people through architecture and alterations of the landscape. His photographs have been exhibited and published throughout the world.

Why We Make Things and Why It Matters
by Peter Korn

The good life that society prescribes – the untram­meled pursuit of wealth and fame, leisure and consumption – often leaves some essential part of us malnourished. We may be capable, competent indi­viduals yet find ourselves starved for avenues of engagement that provide more satisfying sustenance.

Furniture making, practiced as a craft in the twenty-first century, is a decidedly marginal occupation. Yet the view from the periphery can be illuminating. For woodworker Peter Korn, the challenging work of bringing something new and meaningful into the world through one's own volition – whether in the arts, the kitchen, or the marketplace – is exactly what generates the authenticity, meaning, and fulfillment for which many of us yearn.

In this moving account, Korn explores the nature and rewards of creative practice. We follow his search for meaning as an Ivy-educated child of the middle class who finds employment as a novice carpenter on Nantucket, transitions to self-employment as a designer/maker of fine furniture, takes a turn at teaching and administration at Colorado's Ander­son Ranch Arts Center, and finally founds a school in Maine: the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, an internationally respected, non-profit institution.

This is not a "how-to" book in any sense. Korn wants to get at the why of craft in particular, and the satisfactions of creative work in general, to under­stand their essential nature. How does the making of objects shape our identities? How do the prod­ucts of creative work inform society? In short, what does the process of making things reveal to us about ourselves? Korn draws on four decades of hands-on experience to answer these questions eloquently, and often poignantly, in this personal, introspective, and revealing book.

Peter Korn is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, a non-profit school in Rockport, Maine. A furniture maker since 1974, he is also the author of several how-to books, including the bestselling Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship (Taunton Press, 2003). His furniture has been exhibited nationally in galleries and museums.

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"We read a book such as this for the most important of reasons: to find some insight into our own work and becoming."




Patrick Downes in Head, Hands, and Heart: Generations With Peter Korn

Read the full article here





In his beautiful book Why We Make Things and Why It Matters, Peter Korn invites us to understand craftsmanship as an activity that connects us to others, and affirms what is best in ourselves.                                                                                                                                                                                               -- Matthew Crawford,  author of Shop Class as Soulcraft
 
What is the point of craft in a completely mass-produced world?  Peter Korn's life, as told here, holds an answer. This fascinating account offers insights into the significance of the handmade object for the maker as well as for society as a whole.
                                                                                                                           -- Martin Puryear
 
Peter Korn writes that his work as a furniture-maker tries to accomplish three goals: integrity, simplicity, and grace. Fortunately, these qualities are also what distinguish his writing. In this book, he gives the reader an almost tangible sense of what it takes to be a creative craftsman, a homo faber, a maker of things, which is one of the central elements of the human condition. But he does much more than that: he explores what the search for self and for belonging entails in our rapidly changing times.                                               -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
 
Peter Korn's brilliant new book resonates with me as a visual artist in a profound way. I share his passion for craft and admire his ability to take a plank of wood and fashion anything he sets his mind to. Throughout the centuries, furniture makers and painters have shared a set of belief systems centered on craft. The pleasure and calm that I get as a painter fashioning a complicated work from colored dirt on canvas is, I believe, the same pleasure and peace that Peter Korn and his students get as craftsmen.                                                                                                                                -- Chuck Close

Here, furniture maker Korn shifts from how-to guides to a more philosophical approach to woodcraft. [...] This book documents Korn's personal philosophy, interweaves art and existence, and is based on a strong belief in his work.[...] An uplifting title for artisans, novice or skilled, who will benefit from the ideas of a kindred spirit.                                               -- Library Journal




This title is now available as an eBook through Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and other eBook retailers.

Appalachia USA
by Builder Levy



This book is an intense artistic exploration of a significant yet little understood and often overlooked region of the United States.

Despite the promise of alternative energy, coal still fuels most of our power plants and steel mills. The story of its extraction, and of the people who live, work, and endure in West Virginia, Southwestern Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, has been a source of fascination bordering on obsession for the photographer Builder Levy. For four decades, he has been witness to a dangerous industry where workers operate heavy machinery in close quarters underground, extracting ever-increasing tonnage of coal. Over the last two decades, at surface mines, Levy has seen powerful explosives tear apart mountain summits, followed by giant draglines that scoop out the exposed veins of coal in massive, destructive, quantities. He has also witnessed strikes and picket lines, desperation and rage, hope and dignity, and the inevitable natural and man-made disasters that are part of the territory.

Builder Levy is part of a grand humanist continuum that includes Lewis Hine, Paul Strand, Walker Evans, to name a few. Intertwining the traditions of fine art, social documentary, and street photography, Appalachia USA is an aesthetically and socially significant book that celebrates the human spirit; it is this spirit that shines through the coal dust in the faces of miners, in mothers struggling to protect their children, and in ravaged but resilient communities. Levy's photographs and accompanying captions capture the tension, the dignity, and the enduring humanity of this troubled corner of America. Includes 69 spot-varnished tritone photographs on large 9 9/16 by 12 inch pages.

Builder Levy's work has appeared in more than two hundred exhibitions, including over fifty one-person shows. His photographs appear in more than fifty public collections around the world. He has been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Alicia Patterson Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and two commissions from the Appalachia College Association. Monographs of his work include Images of Appalachian Coalfields and Builder Levy Photographer, and his photographs are featured in more than twenty-five other books. He lives in New York City with his wife, Alice Deutsch.


Splendor of Heart
by Robert D. Richardson

In The Education of Henry Adams, Adams presciently observed that "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Walter Jackson Bate, the legendary Harvard professor, was far more than a celebrated and decorated biographer; he was an inspired teacher. And books about great teachers are rare. Here Robert Richardson, himself a distinguished teacher and biographer, takes the reader back to the Harvard of the fifties when men like Bate could hold a classroom of undergraduates enthralled by making literature seem "achingly human, and real, and important," a task that involved not only exploring the work but the authors themselves – their lives, their hopes and their failures. Above all, Bate instilled in his students the heterodox notion that learning itself means nothing unless it leads to action, that simply understanding the text is a dead end unless the words affect and change behavior.

Goethe, in his conversations with Eckermann, also had it right: "Everywhere, we learn only from those whom we love." Clearly Richardson loved Bate, both as an inspired teacher, but also as one who believed – and made his students believe – that "Education is impossible apart from the habitual vision of greatness." Richardson ably transfers the enthusiasms of his quirky, vulnerable, opinionated, and charismatic professor to the reader; consequently, the teacher's passion for his subjects, for the great eighteenth-century figures of Johnson and Burke, for the Romantic poets (especially Wordsworth and Keats), for Dickens and Arnold, and for T.S. Eliot (whom he literally worshiped) is palpable and contagious. The result is this lucid, vivid, and (dare we say it?) thrilling evocation of a writer and teacher who clearly changed the life and dictated the destiny of another who proudly carries the torch.

Robert D. Richardson is a biographer and literary historian. His books include Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind (1986), Emerson: The Mind on Fire (1995), and William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism (2006). He has been the recipient of many prizes and fellowships, including a Guggenheim, a Huntington Library, and a National Humanities Center Fellowship. He taught for many years at the University of Denver, and he and his wife, Annie Dillard, have called Key West home since 1994.

Praise for Splendor of Heart

What better book is there about the example of one person teaching literature or the humanities at large?   I don't know of one, this is it.

It's also a lovely book in production and appearance.  I've read many tributes to teachers; this homage is unparalleled, the bibliography of Jack's work an unexpected bonus.
--James Engell, Harvard University

Extreme Opposites
by Max Dalton



This book should come with a warning: These are not your ordinary opposites, they are EXTREME! Extremely funny and extremely clever, that is. Those old, humdrum pairings neither yawning parents nor woefully wide-awake children want to hear night after night, year after year – hot and cold, tall and short, the list goes on – have no place in this catalog of catastrophically mismatched antipodes.

The brainchild of Argentine artist Max Dalton (The Lonely Phone Booth, Godine, 2010), Extreme Opposites combines superlatives and opposites to create a book that is both pedagogically superior (why teach your three-year-old just one grammatical category when she could be learning two, simultaneously?) and superlatively engaging. Knights and dragons, castaways and off-hour Santas, dinosaurs and pirates, mimes and scuba divers populate this imaginatively superior universe. And with just two words per page, you and your little one will have more time to linger over the irresistible illustrations and relish this recital of reverse attractions. Opposites have never been more droll, and less dull, than in graphic artist Max Dalton's all too amusing Extreme Opposites.

Max Dalton lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has been drawing since he was two or three years old. Max has too many interests to list here – from writing to painting to playing music and reading about animals – but his all-time favorite is drawing. He is the illustrator of The Lonely Phone Booth (Godine, 2010).

Praise for Extreme Opposites:

Subtle and wry, "Extreme Opposites" is as much a source of amusement for grown-ups and older children as a pedagogical exercise for younger ones. ~The Wall Street Journal


Pizza in Pienza
by Susan Fillion

What do children and adults love in equal measure? Food! And what food inspires rapture in the hearts of children and adults alike? Pizza! Have your children ever asked where pizza comes from? Who invented the Pizza Mar­gherita? How did anyone think of combining such scrumptious ingredients as mozzarella, tangy tomato sauce, and fresh-baked bread? Thanks to Pizza in Pienza, you and your young charges will have all the answers, in English and Italian, including a recipe for homemade pizza.

Here is the essential history of pizza, told by a charming Italian girl who lives in Pienza and whose favorite food is . . . well, you can guess it – pizza. Life in Pienza is pretty old-fashioned, and our young heroine knows everyone on the street and at the market by name. She comes home from school at midday to eat meals with her family, but in between her snack of choice is pizza, and her favorite place is Giovanni's, where Giovanni cooks pizza the old-fashioned way – in a hot brick oven heated by a wood fire. Her grandmother, of course, makes it by hand and teaches her how to make it too. Her love of pizza even leads her to the library, where our heroine learns all she can about this ancient and ever-popular food, and so do we.

Susan Fillion, author and illustrator of Miss Etta and Dr. Claribel: Bringing Matisse to America, has shifted her attention from France to Italy in this wonderful book for younger readers. While children will love the vibrant illustrations and simple story of this girl and her great love, adults will be riveted by the history and challenged by the bilingual text – for what good is a history of pizza in English only? Read the Italian out loud – Chiudo gli occhi e respiro il suo caldo profumo e il suo sapore – and your mouth will really start watering.

Susan Fillion is an artist and museum educator in Baltimore. After majoring in studio art and French at Middlebury College, she spent a year in Italy, learning Italian and studying art history. Pienza, a somewhat off-the-beaten-track town in Tuscany, became a favorite spot, eventually inspiring this bilingual tale of life and pizza in an Italian village.

Praise for Pizza in Pienza:

The history of pizza has been told before but never quite like this. Susan Fillion's Pizza in Pienza is a picture book, written in English and Italian, with charming illustrations rendered in the warm tones of Tuscany.
—The Boston Globe

The history of pizza charmingly unfolds in a bilingual story with handsome paintings that also celebrate the dish's county of origin...[the narrator's] whirlwind tour of Italian culture and history, filtered through a veil of mozzarella, is lively and sweet.
—Publisher's Weekly

[Fillion's] ingenuous voice is matched by equally enthusiastic, folk-style artwork, which looks to be made with oil pastels and is dominated by warm, Tuscan colors...Both tasty and just filling enough, just like a slice of pizza margherita.
—Kirkus Reviews

Where better to celebrate food than in Italy, home of perhaps the most globally popular food of all, pizza?...Fillion includes amusing touches in her handsome paintings...Given how much Americans like pizza, this book should find many interested readers.
—The New York Times

The Tyger Voyage
by Richard Adams

Here, for readers young and old, is the original Tyger Voyage, fraught with suspense and adventure, molten lava and footloose gypsies. In this charming tale, a gentleman tyger and his son set sail in a rather dubious boat into the unknown.  Together they roam across the seas, through jungles, past ice-covered mountains and erupting volcanoes to be rescued at last by a troupe of gypsies.  Eventually they return in triumph to Victorian England with many an extraordinary tale to tell.

First published in the US by Knopf in 1976, The Tyger Voyage was enthusiastically received both by the press and by readers, topping the Adult Bestseller list for several weeks! In the years since, it has become a much-loved classic. David R. Godine is proud to bring this unusual and luminous tale back into print in a large-format, full-color hardcover edition.
 
Richard Adams, born in 1920, is well known as the author of Watership Down and Shardik, but The Tyger Voyage is more unusual for being among his few children's books and is composed in rhyming quatrains. Adams, a best-selling author worldwide, is also a winner of the Carnegie Medal and lives a relatively quiet life in the English countryside.

Nicola Bayley remains one of England's best-loved artists. The Tyger Voyage, her first book, was published to universal acclaim. Her detailed, meticulous, and beguiling pictures have since been recognized by numerous prizes, and she continues to live in London.

Praise for The Tyger Voyage

Bayley is a brilliant artist whose pictures glow like medieval manuscripts.
—Alison Lurie, The New York Times

Nicola Bayley has created spectacular scenes, exquisitely detailed and enhanced by an inspired use of color.
—Publishers Weekly

The Tyger Voyage represents a near-perfect collaboration of writer and artist. In keeping with the 19th-century mood of the story, one should say, "Hip, Hip, Huzza!"
—Jerome Cushman, Los Angeles Times Book Review

The Arctic Regions
by William Bradford

A landmark in the annals of American photography and polar adventure, William Bradford's book The Arctic Regions was first published for subscribers in 1873. No more than three hundred copies of the leather-bound elephant folio are known to have been printed.  The book has been a prized possession of major American and European museums, libraries, and collectors ever since.

With an introduction written by the noted polar historian Russell A. Potter, The Arctic Regions is now available for the first time to the trade. As the pace of global climate change quickens and the magnificent Arctic icecap dwindles, its publication could not be more timely or important.

"This volume," artist William Bradford explained, "is the result of an expedition to the Arctic regions, made solely for the purposes of art, in the summer of 1869." Bradford had brought with him the eminent Arctic explorer and author Dr. Isaac Israel Hayes, and he had engaged the 450-ton steamer Panther to sail from St. John's, Newfoundland. On July 3rd they departed, carrying a "party of adventurers whose story is partially illustrated by the photographic views contained in this volume." Bradford became one of the first American painters to pursue the dream of painting the Arctic regions firsthand. He had made several previous voyages, but none this ambitious or far-reaching.  His purpose was always to study nature under its "terrible" aspects, to acquire material for later use in his artwork and after that in lectures illustrated with stereopticon views.  On this voyage Bradford brought along two photographers from Boston, John L. Dunmore and George P. Critcherson. They were the first photographic professionals to document so northerly a voyage. Their images added the crucial aura of "truth" to Bradford's work. While other artists had depicted the northern regions, none had made photography so central a part of the artistic process.
Today, the science-infused and art-driven narrative of The Arctic Regions offers a prophetic prelude to current news of the Earth's climate situation: these regions, first photographed under Bradford's direction, may yet vanish in our lifetime, never to be seen again.

William Bradford (1823-1892) was born and brought up in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Bradford began his professional art career painting ship portraits. In 1861, he obtained financial backing for a journey to sketch and photograph the coast of Labrador. On this and subsequent voyages, he became fascinated with the special qualities of atmospheric light in northern regions. In 1869, Bradford made a notable expedition to the Arctic on the Panther leading to the original publication of The Arctic Regions.

Available in both a trade edition and a special edition. The special edition is bound in full cloth, enclosed in a slipcase, and includes reproductions of five unpublished Dunmore and Critcherson photographs and of the original Arctic Regions prospectus.

Praise for The Arctic Regions

This new and elegant Godine edition [...] wonderfully showcases the historic duo tone photography of a 19th century polar expedition. Superbly reproduced photographs are provided with William Bradford's original captioning. This superbly produced Godine edition is [...] an impressive addition to community and academic library Photography and 19th century Arctic Exploration Studies reference collections.
—The Midwest Book Review

Sleet
By Stig Dagerman

Stig Dagerman (1923–1954) is regarded as the most talented young writer of the Swedish post-war generation. By the 1940s, his fiction, plays, and journalism had catapulted him to the forefront of Swedish letters, with critics comparing him to William Faulkner, Franz Kafka, and Albert Camus. His suicide at the age of thirty-one was a national tragedy. This selection, containing a number of new translations of Dagerman's stories never before published in English, is unified by the theme of the loss of innocence. Often narrated from a child's perspective, the stories give voice to childhood's tender state of receptiveness and joy tinged with longing and loneliness.

Praise for Sleet

Dagerman wrote with beautiful objectivity. Instead of emotive phrases, he uses a choice of facts, like bricks, to construct an emotion.
—Graham Greene

An imagination that appeals to an unreasonable degree of sympathy is precisely what makes Dagerman's fiction so evocative. Evocative not, as one might expect, of despair, or bleakness, or existential angst, but of compassion, fellow-feeling, even love.
—from the preface by Alice McDermott

Stig Dagerman writes with the tension that belongs to emergency—deliberately, precisely, breathlessly. To read Dagerman is to read with your whole body—lungs, heart, viscera, as well as mind. At once remote and intimate in tone, these works by one of the great twentieth-century writers come fully to life in a remarkable translation by Steven Hartman.
—Siri Hustvedt, author of The Summer Without Men

Stig Dagerman's fearless, moving stories should be placed alongside the short fiction of such luminaries as James Joyce, Anton Chekhov, and Raymond Carver. You'll find yourself holding your breath in wonder as you read, grateful to Dagerman (and Steven Hartman) for the gift of these stories.
—Edward Schwarzschild, author of The Family Diamond


This title is now available as an eBook through Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and other eBook retailers.

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