dwood@northshire.com's blog

Dafydd Wood - Events and Community Outreach Coordinator in Manchester

Dafydd, a Vermont-transplant from Louisiana by way of Austin, is the events manager for Northshire's Manchester location. He has happily found a new use for his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (on international interdisciplinary modernism). His tastes run arch and snooty from early 20th century culture generally to contemporary avant garde classical music, from Ethiopian Jazz and Afrobeat to historical materialism, art criticism, and poetics. He likes to read modernism (not so much the post-), history, travel literature, classics, poetry, fiction, drama, nonfiction, and essays. He also likes his wife (a midwife), his kids (two of whom are picture here), cooking, beer, B-movies, art, and nature.

Enter the Aardvark by Jessica Anthony - Book Review

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Enter the Aardvark Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316536158
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - March 24th, 2020

This book is a perfect delight and a fast read. Beginning with a short, enchanting history of the universe from the Big Bang to the evolution of the aardvark, Anthony spins two narratives. The first is of a closeted, reprehensible Republican congressman who receives an enormous taxidermied aardvark from Fedex which in a fine comedy of errors begins to unravel his hopes for reelection. The second narrative, set in Victorian England, is about its gifted taxidermist, the naturalist who hunted it, and his young widow. The two narratives skillfully counterpoint each other making this a quite rewarding novel. In addition to political satire, herein can be found a ghost story, pickled human eyeballs, street urchins dressed crudely as aardvarks, Hermann Goring’s father, and an abortive auction for a vial of Ronald Reagan’s blood. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

New and Collected Poems: 1952-1992 by Geoffrey Hill - Book Review

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New and Collected Poems: 1952-1992 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618001880
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Mariner Books - January 12th, 2000

Hill is probably the best British poet after Philip Larkin. This volume collects everything you’ll need (he started taking Prozac in later life and his output quadrupled to the detriment of his ability). His work is thorny, violent, full of gnarled syntax and rhetorical power but lyrical and rewarding. “In Memory of Jane Fraser” and “Merlin” are two perfect poems that will be remembered. “Funeral Music,” a sequence of poems about historic British beheadings he described as “a florid, grim music broken by cries and shrieks.” Mercian Hymns, probably his most famous, is a curious collection of prose poems inspired by ancient British history which collapses time, the present bleeding into the past. Sometimes even funny. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

Collected Poems 1943-2004 by Richard Wilbur - Book Review

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Collected Poems 1943-2004 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156030793
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Mariner Books - April 3rd, 2006

Wilbur was a New England poet just as good as Robert Frost, if not better. His skilled work and craftsmanship is unsurpassed. Poems of deep feeling, intellectual rigor, and a glorious sensitivity to “the things of this world.” Unlike most writers I like, his work is optimistic and joyful. He finds the miraculous in the mundane—a hint of angel feathers in the throwing out of mop water, in waiting for a drawbridge to drop the perfect simile for the expectation of a smile from his wife. An American master. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems (American Poets Continuum) by W. D. Snodgrass - Book Review

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Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems (American Poets Continuum) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781929918775
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: BOA Editions - April 2006

A great unsung American poet. Snodgrass helped spark the “confessional” movement in American poetry as a student in Robert Lowell’s workshop. “Heart’s Needle” is a painful, beautiful sequence about his divorce and losing custody of his daughter. He was a master craftsman who left the most a poet can really ask for, a handful of unforgettable lyric poems that will last the ages—“The pear tree lets its petals drop / Like dandruff on a tabletop.” “Sorting out letters…I happened to find / Your picture. That picture. I stopped there cold, / Like a man raking piles of dead leaves in his yard / Who has turned up a severed hand.” ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar - Book Review

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Immigrant, Montana Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525436676
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Vintage - June 11th, 2019

One of former President Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2018, Immigrant, Montana is a sheer pleasure—and Amitava was one of the most enchanting, inspiring events I’ve hosted. This is a novel full of life, situated beautifully in the no-man’s land between fiction and non-fiction, mixing memory and essay. A new kind of immigrant writing, that weds humor acute observation, sex and politics. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood


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Northshire Manchester Store

Northshire Manchester
4869 Main Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255
ph. 802.362.2200
ph. (toll free) 800.437.3700
Sun-Thu 10am-7pm Fri-Sat 10am-9pm
Directions to Manchester

Northshire Saratoga Store

Northshire Saratoga
424 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
ph. 518.682.4200
ph. (toll free) 855.339.5990
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