West County Notebook: April 5, 2022

  • The First Congregational Church of Ashfield is marking the restoration of its 1903 George W. Reed organ, pictured, with an Organ Celebration Series. Staff File Photo

  • ESPADA

Published: 4/4/2022 3:05:43 PM
Reading, celebration planned for National Book Award winner

SHELBURNE FALLS — Renowned poet Martín Espada, winner of the 2021 National Book Award in poetry for his collection “Floaters,” will be honored at a reading and celebration on Friday, April 8, at 6 p.m.

The program, hosted by the Arms Library and the Friends of the Arms Library, will be held at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center at 53 Main St. The event is free. Masks will be required.

Montague resident Paul Mariani — who is a poet, biographer of poets and professor emeritus at Boston College — will introduce Espada, according to an Arms Library press release. A book signing and reception with refreshments will follow the reading. Books will be offered at a discount.

“We are pleased to host this reception and reading, and welcome Martín,” Arms Library Director Laurie Wheeler said in the release. “We appreciate his donation of copies of ‘Floaters’ to the Arms Library’s collection.”

To RSVP, call the Arms Library at 413-625-0306 or email armslibrary@gmail.com.

Espada, a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 1993, has published more than 20 books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. He and his wife, writer and teacher Lauren Marie Schmidt, moved to Shelburne Falls in the early stages of the pandemic, and look forward to meeting more community members.

Buckland painter to share work at community center

SHELBURNE    FALLS — Painter Ann Lofquist will talk about her work, its inspiration and the process, and present images of her paintings, on Wednesday, April 13, at 7 p.m. at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center at 53 Main St.

The program, sponsored by the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club, is free and open to the public.

After spending 20 years in Maine and 10 in southern California, Lofquist relocated to Buckland in 2019. She currently has a studio in The Mill at Shelburne Falls. Many of the scenes she paints are local. She has had solo exhibits in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Organ Celebration Series continues April 24

ASHFIELD — The First Congregational Church of Ashfield will continue its Organ Celebration Series, marking the restoration of its 1903 George W. Reed organ, with a free performance on Sunday, April 24, at 4 p.m.

Masks will be required inside the sanctuary. Event information will also be available at ashfielducc.org.

This concert of local organists and supporting musicians was postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release from Organ Celebration Series Committee member Margery Heins.

The April 24 performance will feature at the organ: Dennis Ainsworth, organist at the Heath Union Church; Sandy Epperly, interim organist at Plainfield Congregational Church; Joseph DiMarino, organist at the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew in Greenfield; Gregory Hayes, Goshen resident and faculty member at Dartmouth College; and Keith Rollinson, organist at Trinity Church in Shelburne Falls. Supporting musicians include the Ashfield Congregational Church Choir under the direction of Heins, as well as brass and string soloists.

Music planned includes early English keyboard works and music by G.F. Handel, J.S. Bach, Jacques Boyvin, Alec Rowley, Eugene Gigout and Martin Shaw, as well as a hymn with choir descant to be sung by the gathered audience, led by the choir and organ, the release states.

Two Organ Celebration Series events were held last fall, and following the April 24 performance, one more event remains. On Sunday, July 24, at 4 p.m., the Bob Sparkman Trio with Jerry Noble, piano and organ; Bob Sparkman, clarinet; Kara Noble, bass; and Tinky Weisblat, soprano, will perform an informal concert of jazz-era favorites.

The Organ Celebration Series concerts are supported by the First Congregational Church of Ashfield, an anonymous donor, and the cultural councils of Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont-Hawley, Conway, Plainfield and Shelburne.

Historical Society seeks Post Office memorabilia

BUCKLAND — The Buckland Historical Society is seeking memorabilia or photographs of the old Post Office on Upper Street.

“We plan to have an exhibit of the old metal boxes and furnishings from that (Post Office) in May,” the Historical Society explains in a Facebook post. “Please contact us if you have anything you might be able to loan to the exhibit.”

For more information, call 413-625-9763 or visit facebook.com/BHSMass.


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