WITH ACID-TIPPED PEN TO VISIT BERKSHIRES: If you’ve listened
to National Public Radio’s All Things Considered anytime
in the last decade or so, you are no doubt familiar with author,
poet, social critic and all-around crank Andrei Codrescu.
Crank? You bet—he edits a journal called Exquisite Corpse,
fer Chrissakes. Well, here’s your chance to hear him in person.
On Wednesday (May 18), What is Enlightenment?
magazine will be sponsoring Codrescu’s lecture, The Living
Conditions of the Gods: A Journey to Israel, the Balkans and
the American South, at Foxhollow Forum (Route 7, Lenox,
Mass.). We leave it to you to ponder the possible connections
Codrescu might make between Jerusalem, Bucharest and New Orleans.
After the 7:30 PM lecture, Codrescu will sign copies of his
latest novel, Wakefield. So bring money—aside from
the $12 ($6 students) you’ll need to get in the door. For
more information, call (413) 637-6000.
. . . NOTHING BUT WINNERS: The PEN awards were announced
Monday (May 9), and a local-international literary figure
was among those honored. Pierre Joris was given an
award for translation, for his work on the poem “Lightduress”
by Paul Celan. This sets Joris alongside this year’s other
PEN honorees, including Wallace Shawn, Nick Flynn, Bich Minh
Nguyn, Amanda Jenkins, Imre Kertesz, Sam Harris and Yerra
Sugarman. . . . Bringing it closer to home—as in the Berkshires—the
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute was honored
again by the New England Museum Association. For the
fifth consecutive year, the folks at the Clark had two winning
entries in the publication awards competition. The winning
designs—for two elaborate, elegant exhibition invitations—were
by David Edge and Katie Persico, who were recognized for “excellence
in design, production and effective communication.” Congratulations.
. . . The National Endowment for the Humanities recently
announced that 33 projects at U.S. “museums, historical organizations
and libraries” had been awarded a total of $773,000 for “consultation
and planning grants to support the development of public humanities
programming.” We’ll avoid the whole looking-a-gift-horse-in-the-mouth-thing
(geez! not even a million bucks!) and celebrate the five sites
in New York state that will get a share of this dough. Specifically,
let’s celebrate two of the five sites—the local ones. The
Green County Historical Society will receive $10,000
toward developing an interactive exhibit for the Thomas
Cole Historic Site. The Shaker Museum and Library,
Old Chatham, will also receive $10,000 toward the development
of a permanent exhibit at the Mount Lebanon Shaker Village.
Ivy and Harley Quinn—well, at least a couple of ladies dressed
up as the Batman villainesses—were outside Earthworld
Comics on Central Avenue in Albany last Saturday (May 7),
trying to lure the unsuspecting in to buy comics as part of
Free Comics Day. This is a national event designed to draw
attention to comics.