Interviewer vs. Interviewer

Interviewer vs. Interviewer
( Click on picture to view) Elizabeth Lund--Host of Poetic Lines interviews Host of Poet to Poet-- Doug Holder

Thursday, April 26, 2018

May 1, 5PM Tim Devin Curator of the New Small Press Collection at the Somerville Public Library

Tim Devin: Curator of the New Small Press Collection at the Somerville Public Library

Tim Devin: Curator of the New Small Press Collection at the Somerville Public Library
By Doug Holder

I met Tim Devin at my usual corner of the Bloc 11 Cafe in Union Square. We were there to talk about his new project, namely a small press collection at the main branch of the Somerville Library—where Devin also works. Since I have been involved in small press publishing for decades, and a proud member of this group of ink-stained wretches, Devin's project was of utmost interest.

Devin is a man somewhere in middle age, of average height and build, who speaks in a calm and collected professional manner, but occasionally this composure cracks with a small press geek's enthusiasm—especially when he talks about a new find for the collection.

Devin has lived in Somerville since the 90s. He has been involved with a number of literary/art projects, and was on the board for the Somerville Arts Council. Devin told me, “ I love the sense of community in Somerville. It seems that people care about each other in this city.”

The definition of “small press" varies. Devin defines it as booklets, zines, magazines, that have a small press run, and are local in nature. The scope of the collection will include Somerville, Boston, Cambridge and other places in the immediate vicinity.

Devin told me that the small press collection idea was jump-started by New York Times columnist and noted writer Pagan Kennedy. Kennedy, a longtime Somerville resident, was a key figure in the zine scene in Allston and Somerville in the 80s and 90s. She has a collection of zines that has been collecting dust in her home, and she wanted to donate it to the Somerville Libray, rather than some academic library.

I asked Devin why the library would promote such an arcane collection of little magazines, etc... He reflected, “ I think the library's mission is to provide information. Here they provide an archive of local talent. They provide a sense of literary history in the city.”

Devin gingerly handled a bunch of his treasures in plastic sleeves. He talked enthusiastically about a zine named “Zunti”--a wildly colorful production that illustrates an author's florid dream. He showed me a comic book by the Somerville Media Center's Programming Director , Dave Ortega titled “Abuela.” This little book deals with Ortega's Mexican background, as well as Mexico's political and cultural landscape. There is also work by Somerville's Gilmore Tamny who has been producing artful poetry chapbooks for over twenty years.  The collection includes many other booklets, etc...that deal with pop culture, music, a plethora of genres.

The collection is just getting started, and for now it is not collecting standard perfect-bound books from the small press. Devin said he loves donations and now is a bit short on poetry. So if you have
a trove of small press publications, think about contacting Tim Devin at the library, and find a home for your favorite zines.

 Statement from the Library:

Patrons are free to check out items out of the library (although the older items in the collection are reserved for in-library use only). This collection is located near the graphic novels on the second floor of the Main Library at 79 Highland Ave.

We’re also actively building this collection! Are you a zinemaker? Did you recently come out with a booklet or small magazine or small art book? If so, get in touch with Tim at or 617-623-5000 x2963.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Poet Susan Richmond author of "Before We Were Birds" April 17 5PM

Poet Susan Richmond
 See it live at 5PM at

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

April 10 5PM Vietnam Vet Writer Marc Levy discusses his new book " How Stevie Nearly Lost the War and Other Postwar Stories"

How Stevie Nearly Lost the War and Other Postwar Stories

“Rhythmic, visceral, laconic, powerful, Levy’s stories will haunt the reader long after reading them.” Nguyen Ba Chung, William Joiner Center
“… Any family member, any therapist, who wants to know something of the pain that vets carry in their heads and hearts…should read this book.”
Hamilton Gregory, author of MacNamara’s Folly
“His quiet voice details a variety of experience hard to come by. The stories click with a kind of muted rage, a majestic astonishment, the fine appreciation of deep irony, and unmistakable authority. Buy this book, and learn a thing or two about the war that defined and baffled and energized a generation.”
Larry Heinemannauthor of Paco’s Story, recipient of the National Book Award
“Some of the most eloquent voices in the history of American war literature have come out of the tragedy of the American War in Vietnam. Enter Marc Levy, a dazzling stylist, who takes readers on a wild ride in this perfectly paced collection of stories. Funny and furious, his characters, with all their injuries, love and live to the hilt. How Stevie Nearly Lost The War is hard to put down. Levy is a master storyteller. This book will last.Demetria Martinez, Mother Tongue
“His writing is about the aftermath that follows you home. His words flow like poetry, exposing the carnage and madness of war.”
Frank Serpico
“Touring around Khe Sanh in the gloomy fog, I was reminded of a passage in veteran Marc Levy’s excellent collection of Vietnam war stories, How Stevie Nearly Lost the War and Other Postwar Stories. ‘VA Shrink: Were you in Vietnam? Vietnam Vet: Yes. VA Shrink: When were you there? Vietnam Vet: Last night.’ ”
Matthew Stevenson, contributing editor, Harper’s Magazine, author of Reading the Rails
“Levy got me with his first sentence – ‘Anyone can say they were in Vietnam.’ I pay his work the ultimate compliment that I pay Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried– the lines between fact and fiction are blurred, and that, my friends, is exactly what Vietnam was like. Read this collection.”
Doug Rawlings, co-founder, Veterans for Peace
“In these days when those with power over our fate are working overtime to obliterate truth and memory, Marc Levy’s brutal honesty and authenticity are just what we need. His new volume of stories will not let you forget the reality of Vietnam and of war.”
H. Bruce Franklinauthor of Vietnam and Other American Fantasies
Levy has collected some of his best short stories in a small but powerful book about life and death with the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam and his endless attempts since to describe, remember and deal with the memories and pain he still packs with him. “Wherever you were, whatever you did in war will always be with you,” he tells younger vets. “Always.”
Michael PutzelThe Price They Paid: Enduring Wounds of War
“In the words of his alter-ego in How Stevie Nearly Lost The War, Marc Levy writes with “the unerring chaos, the unpredictable beat, the cyclic consequences, the sorrow of war.” His prose breaks all bounds of fiction and non-fiction with exhilarating zeal. Get ready for a wild ride.”
Dave Zieger, director of Sir, No Sir!
These stories pull no punches. Something good or strange is always just around the corner. The best of them bring the war home — its casualties are tragic and frightening, yet almost hopeful in all their sorrow.
Paul Krassnerauthor of Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut
A bold and troubling, surreal, rambling account of a Vietnam veteran’s struggles with PTSD and memories. A former combat medic, Levy’s travels and traumas in search of human kindness and understanding offer grim testimony to the aftereffects of war.
John Ketwig, author of …and a hard rain fell: A G.I.’s True Story of the War in Vietnam.