The Latest from Burlington
candles for the Lane
arts series marks a milestone
1954, the Universitys George Bishop Lane Series burst onto the Burlington
entertainment scene to almost instant success. It took off like
gangbusters, says series manager Natalie Neuert. People were
hungry for culture.
Previously, Vermonters had few opportunities to see the caliber of artists
the Lane Series brought to the community the London Philharmonic
Orchestra and Vienna Boys Choir were highlights of the first season. There
were no huge entertainment agencies coordinating complex world tours for
performing artists, as there are today, and little competition for audiences
within the state. Getting artists to Vermont wasnt easy, but Lanes
early promoters persevered and soon Burlington became a regular detour
for performers making stops in Boston, New York, or Montreal. The UVM
venture quickly became one of the first non-urban cultural series in the
United States to thrive.
The series grew from a $300,000 endowment established as a memorial to
George Bishop Lane (Class of 1883 and founder of the Vermont Cynic)
by his widow, Nellie Lane, and daughter-in-law, Florence Barbour. Its
purpose was to enrich the cultural life of the University and the wider
community by sponsoring performances of the highest merit by artists in
the worlds of music, dance, and theater something UVMs Student
Association had been attempting on a smaller scale since 1951 through
the Lane Series forerunner, the UVM Program Series.
In 1954, a working committee of six students and five faculty members
set about creating the first Lane Series season. Their advisor and executive
secretary, English professor Jack Trevithick, soon became the series
first director. During his 21-year tenure, Dr. T nurtured
the fledgling Lane, along the way initiating a summer concert series that
evolved into the Vermont Mozart Festival. Terrance Demas 73, a former
UVM theater major, succeeded Trevithick as director. Demas would help
keep artists fees affordable by working with other New England promoters
to put together tours through the region.
Jane Ambrose, a former chair of the Music Department, has been Lane Series
director since 1989. Firm in her belief that the environment of
the mind is an unthinkably bleak landscape in the absence of art,
Ambrose has developed events that bring students and performers together,
such as master classes, workshops, residencies, and lectures. Each director
has campaigned for a dedicated performance space, with current hopes resting
on a proposed 500- to 600-seat theater in the planned University Commons.
The business of staging events has changed dramatically over five decades.
Imagine 1963 and being able to present a young folk singer named Joan
Baez for a 50-cent ticket. Contemporary artists fees are much higher,
and rise about 20 percent each year. Production costs escalate almost
as quickly. And there are unforeseeable challenges. Since the 9/11 terrorist
attacks, it has become more difficult to present international artists,
who have been the hallmark of every Lane season.
Burlington, of course, has changed dramatically. Theres often more
than one show in town and competition can be stiff. The Lane Series has
kept its niche with a signature roster of opera, chamber music, folk music,
and classical theater. The series offers intimate venues, such as the
UVM Recital Hall on Redstone Campus, and opportunities to get close to
the artists not only while they are on stage but also at post-concert
receptions. Ambrose, Neuert, and the Lane staff also often partner with
the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and St. Michaels College
to bring in top performers at more manageable costs, and several Lane
events each year are presented on the Flynn stage.
Weve changed with the times, says Neuert, without
insisting on being one thing.
Changed, yes, but the Lane Series has retained its tradition as a primary
cultural resource on campus and in the community. Since its beginning,
the series has hosted renowned performers, from Van Cliburn and Mahalia
Jackson to the Metropolitan Opera and the Moody Blues, as well as featuring
performers just establishing their reputations, such as Yo-Yo Ma (1984)
and Wynton Marsalis (1987). Students remain important participants, serving
as volunteers at concerts, representatives on the board of directors,
and audience members. For six dollars not much more than the price
of a cup of coffee and a muffin on Church Street students can purchase
rush tickets to series events.
The Lane Series was an integral part of my undergraduate experience,
both in performance (voice) studies and arts management, says Roxanne
Vought 02, who recently signed on as the organizations special
events and logistics coordinator.
As the Lane Series has weathered various cultural and economic trends,
its original endowment has grown to more than $4.3 million, and the performance
roster has increased from about 13 events each season to 25. Single ticket
sales are surging, and subscriptions are steadily growing within the University
and local audience base. Neuert attributes some of that growth to a renewed
focus on programming events that appeal to the increasingly ethnically
diverse population in Chittenden County.
This year, the Lane Series will present its usual stellar lineup of celebrated
artists, audience favorites, and budding talent, along with special 50th
anniversary events. The 2004/2005 season opened September 22 with pianist
Peter Serkin, hailed as one of the supreme musicians of our time and son
of keyboard virtuoso Rudolf Serkin, whom the series presented in 1956.
Appearing for the first time, on April 15, will be Audra McDonald, fresh
from her Tony Award-winning turn on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun.
The expanded season features 28 performances, including the return of
the popular baroque ensemble Red Priest and pianist Frederic Chiu, Twelfth
Night and The Invisible Man by the Aquila Theatre Company and
the Burlington debut of the Leipzig String Quartet.
Also slated are five special events, such as a dinner prepared by UVM
President Daniel Mark Fogel and St. Michaels College President Marc
vanderHeyden on February 15, and an evening of Food and Music from China
on April 6. With great food, beautiful music, and classical theater ahead,
this milestone year for the Lane Series promises to celebrate a legacy
of cultural enrichment in fine style.
Randall Headrick, assistant professor of physics, sees big things ahead
for the very small. Nanoscience, the emerging field of working with matter
at atomic scale, is a national research priority, with the Bush administration
calling for $3.7 billion in new inquiries over the next several years.
Headricks work on the fundamental science of thin films materials
so slender that they are essentially two-dimensional has, over
time, become a form of nanotechnology as advancing technology makes ever-skinnier
films possible. He won a $610,000 career grant this year from the National
Science Foundation to pursue his research, which also encompasses things
like quantum dots, particles so small that the removal of
an electron changes their properties. But generating quantum dots isnt
Headricks only challenge. The grant also supports his teaching efforts,
including a new seminar one that, he admits, presents the possibly
daunting challenge of introducing first-year students to the wonders of
nanotechnology without using calculus.
Q. Why is everyone talking about nanotechnology
A. Over the last twenty years or so, we have
developed new microscopes that let us see whats going on at the
atomic level. That has opened up a frontier. The tools and techniques
for seeing things at this level are advanced enough to actually let people
do something. Its important for chemistry, condensed matter physics,
biology, and drug development. All of the biological processes are basically
happening at the nanolevel. These techniques are having a broad impact.
Many people throughout the University, and the world, are working with
matter at the atomic scale or close to it even though they might not say
what theyre doing is nanotechnology.
Q. Fill me in: What does an atom look like?
The Styrofoam-and-drinking straw deal we had in high school?
A. When you imagine an atom, you usually
picture this hard spherical thing, but what you see when you look at one
is the electrons. Its sort of like cotton candy. You cant
pin the electrons down in one place, so you get this fuzzy ball. Its
remarkable to actually see it.
Q. Whats nanotech gonna do for me?
A. An enormous range of things has been proposed.
But when you look
at whats commercially available, its pretty simple. Like sunblock
A. Yes, the zinc oxide you put on your nose.
Its normally white, but one company has used nanotechnology to make
it transparent. On the much more serious end, circuits in computers have
shrunk to the point where they are approaching nanometer scale. As we
reach the end of the line for conventional integrated circuits, and no
longer see the increases in speed we have seen, we may need to jump over
to new technology. Looking into a big crystal ball, maybe well see
carbon nanotubes. Imagine a carbon molecule rolled like a cigar, just
four nanometers in diameter, and capable of conducting electricity. Thats
exciting for people who are working with electronics, who need somewhere
to go as silicon chips hit their limits. But my guess is that nanotechnology
is going to creep into our lives in all sorts of invisible, seemingly
by Sabin Gratz
Mention Ariel Kileys two-episode role in The Sopranos
as Tracee, a young, ill-fated stripper and chances are fans of
the show will wince. Its a reaction that would, most likely, please
the young actress. The pathos that Kileys characterization evoked
made Tracees brutal end at the hands of Sopranos mobster Ralph Cifaretto,
the father of her unborn child, all the more disturbing.
I wanted to bring the sex and violence together to show how horrible
it really is, Kiley says. A lot of subscribers canceled their
HBO service because of those episodes. Nothing against HBO, but I was
proud of that.
Its an unexpected comment from a young actress, but little in Kileys
story goes according to script, beginning with how she landed on the Sopranos
with relative ease. After moving to New York City from Vermont, she was
working an internship for a talent agency while attending NYU. A delivery
took her to the office of Georgianne Walken, casting director for the
Sopranos, who sensed a good fit in Kiley and offered her the audition
that led to the role.
Kiley prepared for her part by visiting adult clubs and talked with the
dancers her intention, to portray their exploitation and the sad,
gritty reality of their lives in a powerful way. Kiley wasnt comfortable
with all of the doors that her Sopranos performance opened offers
for pictorials in mens magazines or a cable TV series requiring
extensive nudity, both of which she turned down. But she did land a part
on Law & Order and representation by one of Hollywoods
Eventually, though, Kiley decided to return to Vermont and continue her
education at hometown UVM, where shes studying anthropology and
keeping her acting options open. Ultimately, Kiley says, her major dramatic
ambitions rest in writing.
Among those who encouraged Kiley to finish college before totally immersing
herself in show business was Soporanos star James Gandolfini, a
Rutgers grad. We had some long talks about it. He was a like an
uncle to me, she says. He always looked out for me to make
sure I was okay.
Now the Nation would never again have to confront their great fear, that
the Sox might actually win a Series and leave them with nothing to hope
Frank Mosher G67 in his new novel, Waiting for Teddy Williams, Houghton
the right to read freely
For a person who is both feminist and defender of First Amendment rights,
winning an award with Hugh Hefners name on it inspires some soul
searching. Trina Magi, library associate professor, received the Playboy
Foundations Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award in Education for
her leadership of a grass-roots protest of the USA Patriot Acts
impact on the privacy of library patrons. She shares the Hefner honor
with Linda Ramsdell, owner of the Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, Vermont.
When I first heard about the award I was really excited and surprised,
Magi says. The next day, I thought, Well, wait a minute
It didnt take her long to conclude that declining a First Amendment/free
speech award because she doesnt care for a good deal of Playboy
magazines content wouldnt make a lot of sense. Integrity test
completed, Magi says, I realized that the whole point is, I dont
have to like what somebody says. I dont have to like what they publish.
I dont have to ever buy it. But it doesnt mean that they shouldnt
have the right to do that.
Magi and fellow Vermont librarians and booksellers have drawn attention
for their reaction to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which gives federal
agents almost free rein to investigate records revealing individuals
reading habits. In her role as immediate past president of the Vermont
Library Association, Magi led an effort to speak out together against
what many saw as a violation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Their
strategy included an open letter to Vermonts congressional delegation,
and Congressman Bernard Sanders responded by drafting the Freedom to Read
Protection Act. The Sanders bill received an initial positive reception
from the House last March before it took a turn on the winding road of
legislative action and ended up back in committee. The bill currently
has 151 co-sponsors across party lines. Magi sees hope: A lot of
people in Congress are willing to say, This isnt the right
thing that we did and we need to make some adjustments.
An activist whose causes have ranged from fighting to gain womens
ordination as ministers in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to improving
quality-of-life issues for downtown Burlington residents, Magi says shes
learned the challenges of being heard. She is pleased with the attention
thats been drawn to the pitfalls of the Patriot Act and is quick
to share credit with the many library colleagues at UVM and beyond who
have joined in the effort. People have faith that when librarians
speak they usually know what theyre talking about, she says.
Weve done our homework, we have our facts together.
When Douglas Kinnard was a plebe at West Point, busting to finish his
studies so he could ship off to Europe to fight in World War II, the war
memorials scattered around campus were little more than clutter in the
path of an immortal 21-year-old.
Sixty years later, after serving in three wars, attaining the rank of
general, and completing a stint in academia that included 11 years as
a professor of political science in Vermont, Kinnard watched with wiser
eyes the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington he helped
The idea of needing a memorial for World War II used to be ridiculous.
The entire country was involved, either fighting or working in factories
or saving materials for the military, so we didnt need a memorial,
he says. But with the older generation dying out, its necessary
to tell the story for the future generations. The memorial is not for
my generation. For us, the memorial is in our heads.
The dedication symbolically closed the circle on the 82-year-old Kinnards
remarkable career. After graduating from the Point on D-Day, Kinnard went
to Europe as a forward observer in Pattons Third Army, witnessing
the liberation of concentration camps. Then through the ranks and two
more wars, cumulating with two tours in Vietnam as a general. After that
experience, Kinnard decided to trade Army for academia. He earned a Princeton
Ph.D. and found that he loved research and writing It was
like the story of the lady waking up in the morning at age 49 and suddenly
discovering that she could sing. I started writing, and I could sing,
he says. Seven books later, hes still working, writing the story
of his life in combat and academe.
Kinnards reflective bent served him well when President Clinton
appointed him to the 11-member American Battle Monuments Commission. Soon
after he joined, Congress asked the group to oversee the proposed memorial
and he and his colleagues found themselves winnowing 500-odd architectural
designs, raising $177 million in private money, haggling over historical
inscriptions and defusing controversy over locating the memorial on the
Washington Mall. Kinnard spent seven years working with the group and
is delighted by the finished structure, which was dedicated in late May.
As visitors walk through the memorials two massive arches, along
the bronze bas-reliefs and 56 granite pillars, Kinnard hopes they will
gaze into the pool and reflect on the necessity of crushing Hitlers
menace, the vast sacrifice of the troops, especially the 405,399 casualties,
and the countrys unity in the face of adversity.
Visit early in the morning, he says, its beautiful."
Its the details that fix the fading past meal tickets and
cross-country train rides, hairpins at reveille, the spooky suspension
of time on a boat when someone whispers the awful rumor of Roosevelts
death and passengers wait silently, dreading their arrival and confirmation.
The 250 letters in a new book, An Officer and a Lady: The World War
II Letters of Lt. Col. Betty Bandel, Womens Army Corps, which
was edited by UVM Assistant Archivist Sylvia Bugbee 63 and documents
a professor emeritas life in wartime, are rich in such observations.
The moments coalesce into a vivid picture of a little-known world: the
life of a female Army officer during World War II. The life in question
belongs to Betty Bandel, now 92, an English professor and Shakespeare
expert at the University for 28 years. Her revealing and often witty missives
depict a woman of formidable intelligence, patriotism, and spunk.
the story of her enlistment in 1942, as related to Bugbee: I was
sitting at my desk [at the Arizona Daily Star], and Emily Brown
was in the [newspaper] morgue getting some stories out, and she called
to me and she said, Hey Bandel, theyre organizing a womens
army. I said, Who is? And she said, The United
States. And I said Well, lets join. So we walked
down the street and did. Graduating second in her class at the first
womens officer candidate school, Bandel eventually became a lieutenant
colonel and one of the Armys highest-ranked women.
Trek 2004 new student wilderness orientation
altitude, in feet,of hikers high point
altitude, in feet, of kayakers low point
combined distance, in miles, traveled by canoe, sea kayak, bike, and on
amount, in words of Outdoor Programs director John Abbott, of trailmix,
oatmeal, pasta, rice, etc., purchased at Costco to fuel the participants
care of Vermont business
Matthew Mole 93 thinks analytically. He knew this about himself
before he went to college and while working on a degree in agricultural
economics and international agricultural development. It wasnt until
he graduated and started his own business, however, that he fully understood
the ramifications of this characteristic.
My college courses were very theoretical and analytical, says
the owner of Vermont Organic Fiber Company, a buyer and seller of certified
organic wool. I learned a lot, but in business you have to close
the deal. You have to be able to sell. I needed help in developing a sales
strategy in order to do that.
Analysis is fine, but Mole needed to shake some action. He got just the
help he needed last year in a sales and marketing course titled, Selling
Skills: Understanding Your Buyers Mind, offered through the
Vermont Business Center, a joint venture between the School of Business
Administration and Continuing Education.
VBC has a broad and ambitious mission of becoming a point of access for
all things business with an emphasis on helping Vermonters compete in
a global economy by offering seminars, customized programs, and training.
A tall order for sure, but certainly achievable given its bottom line
of giving the mid-level manager, CEO, or entry-level employee specific
answers to their individual business-related needs.
The shape and scope of the Vermont Business Center grew out of more than
75 meetings UVM administrators and faculty had with business leaders and
economic development officials beginning in 2002.
We heard again and again that there was a gap in the continuum of
education and training services businesses need in Vermont, says
Rocki-Lee DeWitt, business school dean. The Small Business Development
Center does a terrific job of providing technical assistance, predominantly
to early stage companies. The state colleges have a good workforce development
program and curriculum in place, and the Department of Economic Developments
Vermont Training Program supports manufacturers training needs very
well, but established growth companies looking for executive education
courses had few options.
and Gold White House?
As two Yalies vie for your vote, Professor Garrison Nelson clues us in
on University of Vermont alumni connections with the presidency past.
Figure that youd already know about it if FDR spent his freshman
year in Converse Hall the names are a bit more obscure.
William Almon Wheeler, Republican vice president to President Rutherford
B. Hayes from 1877 to 1881, attended UVM from 1838 to 1840. Sadly, an
eye infection disrupted his studies at the University. Nelson notes that
Wheelers impoverished diet of bread and water likely contributed
to his poor health as an undergrad, and quips that the Universitys
food plans have improved since then.
Though Wheeler would be the closest an alum would get to the White House,
Nelson points out that a number made it on the Democrats shortlist
at the lively 1912 convention, which required 46 ballots to nominate Woodrow
Wilson. Eugene Foss, a UVM alum and governor of Massachusetts, received
43 votes on the first ballot for president; John Osborne, a Class of 1880
Medical School grad and governor of Wyoming, drew eight votes for the
vice presidential slot; and Martin Wade, a UVM grad and U.S. Representative
from Iowa, took 26 votes of his own toward the VP nod.
In one unique political moment in 1912, Burlington could have produced
both Democratic presidential and vice presidential candidates, Nelson
a better boiler
Maple sugaring technique proves effective in Honduras
A smokestack bleeding a steady black plume rises from a shack in the Honduran
countryside. Its a disturbing photograph, evoking both poverty and
environmental degradation. But to the man who took it, its a source
For the past four years, Dan Baker, a lecturer in Community Development
and Applied Economics, has worked tirelessly to eradicate from the Honduran
landscape scenes such as the one he captured on film. During the summer,
over holiday breaks, and through a service-learning class he teaches in
the country, Baker strives to persuade rural sugarcane farmers in Taulabe
and the Comayagua region to break a bad habit: using burning tires as
fuel in the sugar-making process.
Smoke from the smoldering tires, a cheaper source of fuel than scarce
firewood, creates a major public health and environmental hazard. The
better practice Baker peddles in the jungles of Central America is firmly
rooted in the sugarbushes of Vermont. He urges and teaches local farmers
to replace the inefficient flat-pan evaporators they have traditionally
used to boil sugar cane juice into a block of dark sugar called panela,
with highly efficient, flue-style versions similar to the ones New Englanders
have used for 100 years to make maple syrup.
The maple-syrup-style evaporators burn so efficiently that Honduran farmers
are able to use the waste from the sugarcane itself the stalks
and leaves, or bagasse as fuel, saving money and eliminating
Baker first went to Honduras in the late 1990s with CDAE associate professor
Deep Ford to help with a project to empower small-scale coffee growers.
The sponsor of the project, the Partners of the Americas Farmer
to Farmer program, asked Baker to investigate the tire-burning problem
on cane farms. Baker, himself a maple syrup producer, saw an opportunity
to share with the Hondurans the technology he was using back north in
his Starksboro sugarhouse. On his next trip to Honduras, Baker brought
a flue pan with him and, over the next several visits, built the first
prototype evaporator and oven.
But success was slow in coming. Through two years and many modifications,
most were ready to give up on the effort. Baker wasnt. Im
pretty stubborn, he says. Eventually tweaks to the evaporators
design allowed farmers to produce panela of the proper hue and
flavor. The project shifted into full gear as farmers in the region used
their own money, about $450 per rig, to build 13 of the new evaporator-oven
combos. They not only began producing a better product, they also increased
profits as they eliminated fuel costs.
Other farmers noticed, as did potential sources of critical funding, and
the good word has continued to spread. Low-interest loans from the Interamerican
Bank have helped farmers build evaporators. And Baker has gained funding
support to run workshops designed as much to motivate farmers to change
their practices as to give them practical advice on how to build and use
the new evaporators. The enthusiasm of farmers and interest of the Honduran
ministries of agriculture and natural resources, combined with the success
of evaporators in use, bodes well for the future.
You dont often get a technology that can do so many good things,
says Baker. I feel lucky to be involved.
Vermont poet turns eye to Africa
Leland and Erwin Kinseys lives have, in many respects, run close
courses. They are double cousins (the sons of sisters married to brothers),
and grew up on farms within a few miles of each other in Vermonts
Northeast Kingdom. Their families hayed together, sugared together, went
to church together in Craftsbury every Sunday. When it came time for college,
both headed off to Burlington and the state university, where Leland earned
his degree in English in 1972 and Erwin graduated with a bachelors
in animal sciences in 1977.
their paths split. Erwin has spent his career with Heifer Project International
in Tanzania, where his work is focused on improving farming practices,
nutrition, and the economic well-being of local communities. Leland studied
for a masters of fine arts in creative writing at Syracuse University
before returning to northern Vermont, where he has written and taught
for decades. With volumes such as Sledding on Hospital Hill, Not
One Mans Work, and Family Drives, Kinsey has earned his
rank the unofficial poet laureate of the Northeast Kingdom,
as Vermont Sunday Magazine put it.
Though separated by thousands of miles, the Kinsey cousins have remained
close, meeting nearly every year when Erwin makes a return trip to the
states. Leland Kinsey took a deeper look into Erwins world in 1997
when he traveled to Tanzania for a month. No tourists idyll, most
of his time was spent shadowing his cousin at work, taking it all in with
a poets eye and ear, and faithfully scribbling down the details
in legions of pocket-sized yellow notepads. Over the past several years,
Kinsey has crafted his Africa experience into poetry, and the poems have
coalesced into a collection, In the Rain Shadow, published this fall by
University Press of New England.
Though the book is grounded in his firsthand impressions of Tanzania,
Leland Kinsey notes that a good deal more informs the work. At home in
Barton, his Morgan horse grazing in the pasture outside the window of
his study, the author says, It was important to me to have the background
of having talked to Erwin through the years. I find it somewhat presumptuous
for travelers to go for a little while, then write of a place. I was in
Tanzania for weeks, but it was Erwins long background there and
his experience that helped give me the weight to do it.
Lelands own experience in Vermonts dairy-focused agricultural
landscape created common ground when the conversation turned to issues
like harvest, forage, or care of animals. But he credits the focus provided
by Erwins work and his place in the community for truly creating
an insiders view. You rationally know about the day-to-day
difficulties of living there, but then you experience them visiting
the homes, the farmers, driving in the back country and that comes
home a little bit more.
Leland Kinsey didnt travel to Tanzania thinking that the experience
would necessarily become a focused volume of poetry, but it didnt
surprise me that happened. He adds that the visit still resonates
and theres ample material on those little yellow pads that he hasnt
used. Theres a wealth of information, a wealth of images,
Kinsey says. As poems that I specifically wrote about Africa sometimes
referred to Vermont, I find now that as I am writing about Vermont, there
may be images of Africa that slip in.
The Kinsey name is as strongly rooted to the Vermont landscape as most
of Lelands poetry. Kinsey Road is just up a bit from his home, tracing
back seven generations to his Scottish ancestry, a hint of which lingers
still in his unusual Kingdom accent. But Kinsey has a curious writers
mind and he is as likely to read about Chinese history or astronomy as
subjects closer to home. Africa is among many subjects that draw his interest,
but clearly retains a significant place in his imagination.
A small travel clock sits on Kinseys desk, between keyboard and
computer screen. Its a remnant, some seven years removed from his
trip, that still displays Vermont time and Tanzania time on its two faces.
Its an odd thing, Kinsey says. Sometimes I look
at that, think about what part of the day it is over there, what activity
might be going on.
Buzzards Bay: A Journey of Discovery
By Daniel Sheldon Lee 88
Buzzards Bay, which juts up between Cape Cod and the southern edge of
mainland Massachusetts, has been celebrated as one of the healthiest estuaries
on the East Coast. But the pressures of nitrogen pollution from rapidly
expanding residential development and recent oil spills threaten that
status. Alumnus Daniel Sheldon Lee is well-suited to the task of documenting
the bay at what he calls a critical juncture in her history.
Lee combines a wealth of firsthand experience with the bay, where his
family has owned a summer home since 1906, with the skills of an experienced
nature writer. His homage to Buzzards Bay, a graceful blend of human and
natural history, is notable for both depth of research and detail of observation.
Readers come away with a strong sense of the place past and present, and
cant help but absorb some of the authors commitment to protecting
the bays future.
Wild Horses of the Dunes
By Rich Pomerantz 79
Courage Books/Running Press
Alumnus Rich Pomerantzs paean in words and photos to the wild horses
of Assateague Island deserves a place on the shelf beside Daniel Lees
Buzzards Bay book. Like Lee, Pomerantz tells the story of one of the Atlantic
Coasts beautiful natural environments with an eye for where wild
places and human civilization meet. A photographer with publication credentials
that include National Geographic and Sierra Club calendars, Pomerantz
turns his lens to the wild horses of Assateague and the saltwater
cowboys of neighboring Chincoteague Island, volunteer firemen who
for the better part of the past century have herded and helped care for
the animals. The coffee-table-style book is rich in striking photographs
of horses and seashore. As a writer, Pomerantz deepens the mix with an
exploration of a unique symbiotic relationship where the physical well-being
of the herd and the economic health of the local community are closely
By Leslea Newman 77
Offering advice to budding writers on a Web site devoted to her ventures
in childrens literature, Leslea Newman writes, Allow your
writing to take you on a journey. Don't try to control it let your
writing lead you to new and exciting places. Newmans latest
work for young writers finds the author, in a literal sense, heeding her
own advice. Hachiko Waits is Newmans fictional treatment
of the true story of a faithful Akita in 1920-30s Japan and his daily
journey to the train station to await his master, a trip the famous dog
continued to make some ten years after the mans death. In addition
to Newmans authentic retelling of this story known to all Japanese
schoolchildren, young readers (ages 7 and up) will likely take to the
illustrations by Machiyo Kodaira. Bonus prize: the kids will pick up a
little Japanese along the way thanks to a glossary in the back.
Love and Conquest: Personal Correspondence of Catherine the Great
and Prince Grigory Potemkin
Edited and translated by Douglas Smith 85
Northern Illinois University Press
Catherine the Great and her lover/husband/co-emperor Grigory Potemkins
correspondence took years to reach the light of day because the tenor
of the letters didnt exactly fit with the vision of Russian history
various leaders, such as the Romanovs or Stalin, wished to project. Finally,
in the 1990s, a volume of a thousand letters was published in Russian
by V.S. Lopatin. Douglas Smith, a scholar of Russian history, has selected
from the best of that work to create a fascinating collection. Simon Sebag
Montefiore writes in the Financial Times: Smiths superb account
of Catherine and Potemkins peerless love-affair and political partnership
is an erudite but unforgettable, exuberant yet heartbreaking voyage into
the friendship and love, power, sexuality and ambition behind one of historys