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December 2008 - January 2009


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Lee Capristo
Director of Publications
Email: lwcapristo@smcm.edu
Phone:240-895-4795
Anne Arundel 100

BOOK CORNER

Recent books by those connected to St. Mary’s College of Maryland:

Small Comforts

“When it comes to getting older, of course, we’re all in this together, says Jeffrey Hammond, professor of English, George B. and Willma Reeves Distinguished Professor in the Liberal Arts, and regular River Gazette contributor, in his new book Small Comforts: Essays at Middle Age (Kent State University Press). “I hope that this book convinces others of the comforts, however small, to be gained from editing and annotating our lives at middle age and thereby gaining a little clarity on a few things.”

Small Comforts’ collection of essays, including “I Want to Jump, But I’m Afraid I’ll Fall,” “The Wisdom of Sea Monkeys,” and “Brushes with Greatness,” quietly probes the mysteries of an ordinary life when reviewed at middle age. First, Hammond says, do not expect life’s fogs to dissipate as we age. Second, there comes a time to look at what we have become with courage, honesty and humor.

“Older readers will recognize the impulse. Younger ones might be amused to discover how elusive middle-aged ‘wisdom’ is to those of us who are supposed to have it.”

Mechanic on Duty

St. Mary’s College of Maryland alumnus Randy Bridgeman has proven you can indeed reinvent yourself.

Bridgeman fought in the tail end of the Vietnam War, and was in the Gulf War. After a 26-year career in the Navy, he retired to Southern Maryland and for seven years juggled a job at NAVAIR and college classes, receiving his B.A. in English in 2005.

That was when he remembered his early interest in writing. He took as many classes as he could under poetry professor Lucille Clifton, and was awarded the Edward T. Lewis Poetry Prize for the most promising emerging poet at St. Mary’s.

He has authored two collections of poems, South of Everywhere, and the new Mechanic on Duty. “I am certainly a poet of the every day,” he says, “asking people to revisit those mundane and routine parts of life that pass almost without notice.”

His book is available at Bay Books, Amazon.com, Target.com, and www.booksurge.com.

Voices of the Chesapeake Bay

On his radio show, Michael Buckley has interviewed hundreds of folks – paleontologists, boat captains, Native Americans, sailors, and of course watermen – who have worked and played on the Chesapeake Bay. He recently turned these interviews into a book, Voices of the Chesapeake Bay. “By listening to these stories, we can begin to understand the diversity of our world and how we play a part in an ecosystem that must be kept in balance,” says Buckley.

Editor and publisher of this marvelous collection, Lenny Rudow, graduated from St. Mary’s in 1990. Author of Boating’s Ultimate Guide to Sportfishing and Rudow’s Guide to Fishing the Chesapeake, and cofounder of Geared Up Publications publishing company, Rudow was being interviewed on the show when Buckley told him he was thinking of turning the interviews into a book. He persuaded Buckley to, as they say, come aboard.

“The Voices project seeks to maintain people’s lifelong learning experiences and to bring the bio-culture of the Chesapeake region to the world by allowing contributors to “talk” one-on-one with the reader,” says Rudow. The book is available at area bookstores and www.GUPBOOKS.com.