Alice B Fogel was the New Hampshire poet laureate from 2014-2019. Her poetry collections include A Doubtful House, Interval: Poems Based on Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” which won the Schaffner Award for Music in Literature and the 2016 NH Literary Award, and Be That Empty, a national bestseller. Strange Terrain is her guide to appreciating poetry without necessarily “getting” it. Nominated twelve times for the Pushcart, she has been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other awards, and her poems appear regularly in journals and anthologies. In addition to leading writing workshops, she works one-on-one with students with learning differences at Landmark College in Putney, VT, and hikes mountains whenever possible.
ContactAlice Fogel Former New Hampshire Poet LaureateWalpole, NH email@example.comHome Phone: 603-499-6783
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "Beneficence," by Meredith Hall.
In the years after World War II, the Senter family built an Eden-like life on their isolated dairy farm in rural Maine. They know they are blessed people. "We can't ever know what will come," the wife and mother, Doris says.When tragedy arrives, everything each member of the family had faith in is shattered. Cast into the dark shadow of grief and guilt, they must find their way to forgive.A glorious debut novel by New York Times bestselling memoirist, Meredith Hall, Beneficence is a study of love, its gifts and its obligations, that will stay with you long after you've reached the last page. Like the best work of Kent Haruf and Marilynne Robinson, Beneficence beautifully illuminates the effects of love and loss, the possibilities of forgiveness, both of others and ourselves.
PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE THE BOOK PRIOR TO DISCUSSION.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "Citizen: An American Lyric," by Claudia Rankine, a genre-bending meditation on race, racism, and citizenship in 21st-century America.
Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seemingly slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV—everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "Exit West," by Mohsin Hamid.
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . .Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "Just Us: An American Conversation," by Claudia Rankine, a collection of essays and images exploring racism and white supremacy.
As everyday white supremacy becomes increasingly vocalized with no clear answers at hand, how best might we approach one another? Claudia Rankine, without telling us what to do, urges us to begin the discussions that might open pathways through this divisive and stuck moment in American history.
Just Us is an invitation to discover what it takes to stay in the room together, even and especially in breaching the silence, guilt, and violence that follow direct addresses of whiteness. Rankine’s questions disrupt the false comfort of our culture’s liminal and private spaces—the airport, the theater, the dinner party, the voting booth—where neutrality and politeness live on the surface of differing commitments, beliefs, and prejudices as our public and private lives intersect.This brilliant arrangement of essays, poems, and images includes the voices and rebuttals of others: white men in first class responding to, and with, their white male privilege; a friend’s explanation of her infuriating behavior at a play; and women confronting the political currency of dying their hair blond, all running alongside fact-checked notes and commentary that complements Rankine’s own text, complicating notions of authority and who gets the last word. Sometimes wry, often vulnerable, and always prescient, Just Us is Rankine’s most intimate work, less interested in being right than in being true, being together.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "The Humans," by Matt Haig.The bestselling, award-winning author of The Midnight Library offers his funniest, most devastating dark comedy yet, a “silly, sad, suspenseful, and soulful” (Philadelphia Inquirer) novel that’s “full of heart” (Entertainment Weekly).When an extra-terrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. Taking the form of Professor Andrew Martin, a prominent mathematician at Cambridge University, the visitor is eager to complete the gruesome task assigned him and hurry home to his own utopian planet, where everyone is omniscient and immortal.He is disgusted by the way humans look, what they eat, their capacity for murder and war, and is equally baffled by the concepts of love and family. But as time goes on, he starts to realize there may be more to this strange species than he had thought. Disguised as Martin, he drinks wine, reads poetry, develops an ear for rock music, and a taste for peanut butter. Slowly, unexpectedly, he forges bonds with Martin’s family. He begins to see hope and beauty in the humans’ imperfection, and begins to question the very mission that brought him there.Praised by The New York Times as a “novelist of great seriousness and talent,” author Matt Haig delivers an unlikely story about human nature and the joy found in the messiness of life on Earth. The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable tale that playfully and movingly explores the ultimate subject—ourselves.
Alice Fogel takes you through seven simple steps, and one hard one, toward understanding and appreciating more elements of poetry than you ever thought you could. In the end you'll see that you already knew them all along. This workshop is your quick, self-help program for "getting" poems. Fogel helps you develop your own confident relationship with poetry's shapes, words, images, sounds, emotions, mysteries, and more.
New Hampshire Humanities programs are made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this these programs do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or New Hampshire Humanities.