March 10 @ 6:00 pm
March 11 @ 6:00 pm
With the sweep of an epic novel, Our Revolution follows Jenny Moore, a charismatic and brilliant woman whose life changed as she became engaged in the great twentieth-century movements for peace and social justice. Born into Boston society in 1923 and the first woman in her family to go to college, she set aside writing ambitions to marry Paul Moore, a decorated war hero who became Bishop Paul Moore. Together they had nine children—”a baseball team,” Jenny said, “a small orchestra.”
Rejecting a conventional path, the Moores moved to an inner-city parish in Jersey City and began their family while collaborating on a socially radical, multiracial ministry. In 1968, Jenny published her first book. “Everything was just starting,” she protested—meaning an independent life inspired in part by the new feminist movement—when she was diagnosed with cancer at fifty.
Jenny bequeathed to her eldest daughter, Honor, then a twenty-seven-year-old poet, her unfinished writing. As Honor pursued her own writing, she was haunted by her mother’s bequest. Decades later, she delves into Jenny’s pages and forges a new relationship with the passionate seeker and truth teller she finds there. Our Revolution is a vivid, absorbing account of two women navigating the twentieth century and a daughter’s story of the mother who shaped her life as an artist and a woman.
March 12 @ 6:00 pm
In this beautiful book of poems, which gives voice to unspeakable loss, Katherine Barrett Swett enlivens and animates old forms and makes them sing anew. Hers is a dazzling contemporary poetics, in which, in a wry, adroit crown of sonnets, based on paintings by Vermeer, “a grace note struck…shimmers like a pearl.” These poems bring to mind Mona Van Duyn’s stately, syncopated verses, tempered with flashes of humor and verbal derring-do and delineate not only dark places but also the pleasures of a long marriage, sitting out on a summer evening, watching the firefly’s “disco frenzy…impossible to trace with just the eye.” A marvelous collection.
March 25 @ 6:00 pm
Julian Tepper is the author of two novels, Balls (Rare Bird) and Ark (Dzanc). As the member of the band The Natural History, he recorded two albums and co-wrote the hit song, “Don’t You Evah” for the legendary indie-group, Spoon.
April 1 @ 6:00 pm
After a middle-class Republican childhood and a few years as a Communist sympathizer, Dorothy Day converted to Catholicism and became an anomaly in American life for almost fifty years. As an orthodox Catholic, political radical, and a rebel who courted controversy, she attracted three generations of admirers. Day went to jail challenging the draft and the war in Vietnam. She was critical of capitalism and foreign policy, and as skeptical of modern liberalism as political conservatism.
Her protests began in 1917, leading to her arrest during the suffrage demonstration outside President Wilson’s White House. In 1940 she spoke in Congress against the draft and urged young men not to register. She frequented jail throughout the 1950s protesting the nuclear arms race. She told audiences in 1962 that President Kennedy was as much to blame for the Cuban missile crisis. She refused to hear any criticism of the pope, though she sparred with American bishops and priests who lived in well-appointed rectories and tolerated racial segregation in their parishes.
Dorothy Day is the exceptional biography of a dedicated modern-day pacifist, the most outspoken advocate for the poor, and a lifelong anarchist. This definitive and insightful account explores the influence this controversial and yet “sainted” woman still has today.