Reading

Willard Spiegelman is the Hughes Professor of English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. From 1984 until 2016, he was also the editor in chief of Southwest Review. He has written many books and essays about English and American poetry. For more than a quarter century he has been a regular contributor to the Leisure & Arts pages of The Wall Street Journal.

Drawing on more than six decades' worth of lessons from his storied career as a writer and professor, Willard Spiegelman reflects with candid humor and sophistication on growing old.Senior Moments is a series of discrete essays that, when taken together, constitute the life of a man who, despite Western cultural notions of aging as something to be denied, overcome, and resisted, has continued to relish the simplest of pleasures: reading, looking at art, talking, and indulging in occasional fits of nostalgia while also welcoming what inevitably lies ahead.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

The goal of the all-volunteer Reading Is Fun Program (RIF) in Schenectady, NY is to keep helping Schenectady's needy 4-9 year olds in pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-3, to learn reading-readiness and conversational skills and vocabulary.  

We are joined by Founder and Executive Director Alvin Magid and Chief Operating Officer Mary Lou Russo.

  Gone with the Mind is Mark Leyner’s latest novel – in which a character named Mark Leyner is to give a reading from his autobiography, also entitled Gone with the Mind, in a mall food court. 

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're discussing the long and colorful history of American crime writing. Our guest is Harold Schecter, professor of English at Queens College, CUNY, and the editor of the Library of America's True Crime volume. A writer of true crime fiction himself, Harold recently served as the scholar-advisor for the New York Council's new Reading and Discussion series "True Crime an American Genre."

Sean Thomas / vogue.com

  Stephen Belber’s new play, The Dizzy Little Dance of Russell DiFinaldi, will be part of New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater’s Reading Festival this weekend.

A sprawling modern American epic about Russell DiFinaldi and his brother Jerry, two men trying to figure out what it means to do good in the world. David Cromer directs the reading and it stars Finn Wittrock.

Wittrock co-starred on American Horror Story: Freak Show and on HBO’s The Normal Heart. He was also in the most recent Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.

BIFF - The Paper Trail

May 28, 2015

  The Paper Trail is screening at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA as part of the Berkshire International Film Festival on Sunday, May 3st at 1:30pm.

The documentary is about writers and people in the literary world talking about what they do, how they do it, what it means to them - and the future of writing and publishing. The talking-head style doc features luminaries and authors who are just starting out.

We are joined by the film’s director, Kelly Carty, and the co-director,  writer, and producer, Jonathan Bee.

  

  Today in our Ideas Matter segment, we check in with the Vermont Humanities Council to talk about their program Standing Together: Veterans Book Groups. We are joined by Michael Heaney, a retired American History Professor, lawyer, and a wounded combat veteran of the Vietnam War. In 1965 and 1966, he served in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division as an infantry platoon leader. Much of his post-war life has been devoted to working with combat veterans, and to writing, teaching, and leading discussions about war- and veteran-related matters. For 15 years, he led wilderness expedition courses for combat veterans, in a program jointly sponsored by Outward Bound and the Veterans Administration.

  We are very happy to continue our weekly feature on the RT, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter. This morning we welcome the folks from NY Humanities to discuss the importance of remembering World War One through literature.

Wendy Galgan, Assistant Professor of English at St. Francis College joins us to discuss the New York Council for the Humanities' Our World Remade: WWI New Reading & Discussion Series.

  Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we welcome the folks from Mass Humanities to discuss the importance of reading on the occasion of The New Yorker taking its pay wall down.

  We are very happy to continue our weekly feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

Today we’ll learn about the Vermont Humanities Council’s “Vermont Reads” program – a statewide, one-book reading program that builds community through reading, discussion, and the exchange of ideas.

This year’s Vermont Reads book is Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Here to tell us more about the book and the program are Peter Gilbert, Vermont Humanities Council Executive Director and Amy Cunningham, Vermont Humanities Council Director of Community Programs.

    We are very happy to continue our new regular feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we spotlight MASS Humanities and their Family Adventures in Reading program. The idea is to explore diversity, knowing about the world; children responding to humanities themes through literature and illustration. The program emphasizes the importance of adult-child interaction with reading and conversation.

To discuss, we welcome, Mary Jo Maichack - a national award-winning singer, storyteller and creative teaching artist; and Hayley Wood - a Senior program Officer at Mass Humanities. She is the editor of Mass Humanities' blog, The Public Humanist and she manages Family Adventures in Reading.

  We are very happy to continue our new regular feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities.

It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we spotlight New York State’s Summer Reading kick-off. Erika Halstead is program officer for the NY Council for the Humanities and she joins us to tell us more.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Monday’s ceremony marked the installation of the Born Learning Trail, a series of signs along a pathway through a playground at Springside Park in Pittsfield, aimed young children and their families to encourage outdoor activity and reading.

The Born Learning Trail comes from efforts by Pittsfield Promise, a city-wide coalition that is working through a variety of projects with a goal of boosting  reading proficiency levels among Pittsfield third-graders to 90 percent by 2020.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and his administration have designated November as Family Literacy Month. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard brings us more details about what’s happening to help children and families become more engaged in reading in the Berkshires and across the Commonwealth.

November of 2012 has been recognized by Governor Patrick’s administration as the 16th Family Literacy Month. Throughout the month, cities and towns across Massachusetts will be holding events and hosting activities to engage parents and encourage early learning.

WAMC

    The latest results of standardized tests taken by Massachusetts students were a mixed bag.  The  2012 MCAS scores were the highest in the 14 year  history of the test.  Education officials say the achievement gap is closing between minorities and whites.  But early childhood education advocates decry the lack of progress in third grade reading, which is a strong predictor of future success in school. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

  

WAMC

Education officials in Massachusetts are stressing the importance of early childhood literacy when it comes to closing the achievement gap.  A pioneering reading proficiency program in Springfield has been nationally recognized.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.