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ROMANIAN 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.

WINNERS . . . 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.


Come Hither, Fanboys

photo:Rick Marshall

Poison 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.


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