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Now Available: Domestication: Collected Poems 1996-2016.

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Domestication: Collected Poems 1996-2016. Published February 25, 2017. 

Available now from Shipwreckt Books in Rushford, Minnesota, and from Content Bookstore in Northfield, Minnesota. Also available on Amazon.

"Rob Hardy brings together the wide range of gifts that place him among the few whose common touch makes them exceptional. In work that is at once accessible, enjoyable, and wonderfully well-made Hardy shows, without pretentious display, that poetry is not an outsider’s cryptic game. His poems demonstrate what Henry David Thoreau teaches: that profundity may best be found in simplicity. Hardy gracefully combines his deep knowledge of the ancient classics and his wide interest in scientific learning with his first-hand experience of nature and human relationships." —Emilio DeGrazia



New Publication: An Essay on Phyllis Bottome (Critical Flame)

Phyllis Bottome was a British novelist, well-known during her lifetime, who observed the rise of Hitler first-hand during the years she lived in Munich in the early 1930s. In essays and in her novel The Mortal Storm, Bottome about the grave threat of European fascism, and of Hitler in general, at a time when the general mood was one of appeasement. My essay in The Critical Flame focuses on her novel The Mortal Storm (1938), and draws some connections with current events in the United States. 

Year of Reading Globally

This year I'm planning to read more books by writers who are not British or American, and more writers of color. In general I tend to read novels by British women novelists of the 20th century, so it's also a bit of a change for me to be reading more novels by men. I'll keep updating this post throughout 2017 with a list of my reading.

January

Hisham Matar, The Return (Libya, Great Britain)
Rabih Allamedine, An Unnecessary Woman (Lebanon, U.S.A.)

February

J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (South Africa)
James Baldwin, Go Tell It On the Mountain (U.S.A.)

March

Robert Walser, The Walk (Switzerland). Novella. 

New Publication: An Essay on Susan Glaspell (Ploughshares)

The current (Winter 2016-2017) issue of Ploughshares includes my essay "'We Live Close Together and We Live far Apart: A Look2 Essay on Susan Glaspell." Susan Glaspell was born in Davenport, Iowa, in 1876. With her husband, she founded the Provincetown Players, the pioneering experimental theater that launched the career of Eugene O'Neill. Her own plays for the Provincetown Players, including the classic Trifles, established her as one of the leading playwright of her day, and one of the founders of modern American theater. In 1931, she became only the second woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama. She's less well-known as a novelist. Fidelity (1915) and Brook Evans (1928), reissued by Persephone Books in London, are the only two of her nine novels currently in print. Ploughshares' "Look2" series features essay about neglected authors like Glaspell who deserve a second look. 

Literary Events in Northfield: January 13-28

Friday, January 13: Arts for Martin.The annual celebration of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at Arcadia Charter School. This year's event features art and poetry by Northfield sculptor Mac Gimse. More information here. 7pm. Arcadia Charter School, 1719 Cannon Rd., Northfield.
Sunday, January 15: Writers Resist: Hope is Greater Than Fear.

Thirteen local writers will participate in a “Writers Resist” event on Sunday, Jan. 15, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The “Northfield Writers Resist: Hope is Greater Than Fear” event is scheduled from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Cannon Valley Friends Meetinghouse, 512 Washington St.Participating writers are Northfield Poet Laureate Rob Hardy, Beth Breiland, Bella Callery, Florence Dacey, Adriana Estill, Doug Green, Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Rich Larson, Harmony Neal, Orick Peterson, Joy Riggs, Kaethe Schwehn, and Vicki Scott. The readings will address issues of social justice, freedom of expression, and the preservati…

A Poem for the First Northfield City Council Meeting of 2017

I thought it would be appropriate to start the year here in the Northfield City Council chambers with a poem in memory of one of the first women elected to public office in Rice County, Molly Woerhlin, who passed away on December 23. Molly was a woman of tough, practical kindness, who left a legacy that enriches all of us in Northfield. As I remember her, and reflect on what she did with her life, I think about how much good we can do with the one life we are given, and how much more good we can do when we join that life with the lives of others.
Northfield, Minnesota January 3, 2017

Molly’s Daisies Another year is gone, taking with it so many cherished lives, so many dreams that seemed so possible at the start. It was common in the last days of the year to count our losses, to share the tally of the year’s cruel subtractions, as if the only solidarity we could find was in our grief. Each December day was filled with a little more darkness. But sometimes we have to make our own l…

2016: The Year in Northfield Poetry

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Sidewalk Poetry. In 2016, nine new poems were added to Northfield sidewalks as part of the Northfield Sidewalk Poetry project. Reconstruction of Woodley Street between Division and Prairie Streets provided nearly a mile and a half of new sidewalk for poetry. 41 poems were installed along Woodley Street. The 2016 winning poets were Barbara Belobaba, Becky Boling, Julia Braulick, Steve McCown, Orick Peterson, Anne Running Sovick, Lori Stoltz, and Richard Waters.
Poetry Out Loud. In March, Arcadia Charter School student Anna Kochever was one of the top six finalists in the 2016 Poetry Out Loud state championship, held at The Loft in Minneapolis. Poetry Out Loud is an annual poetry recitation competition for high school students, sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. More than a dozen Arcadia students participated in the local competition. 
Poem in Your Pocket Day. On April 21, during National Poetry Month, Northfield again celebrated Poem in Your…