The place where artists and writers with Maine connections are showcased.

Posts from the ‘Books’ category

Fukurou’s book writing/art contest exhibit Sept 14 in Rockland Featured

The front cover of Coastal Maine in Words and Art – Photo titled Vanishing Point by Yohaku Yorozuya. And the back cover – Moonstruck by Ramona du Houx – the other the artist in the book/exhibit.

From Maine Insights News: Winners of Maine’s Solon Center for Research and Publishing’s first book writing/art contest announced — Exhibit opening September 14th at Fukurou Gallery in Rockland

See the article HERE.

The front cover of Coastal Maine in Words and Art – Photo titled Vanishing Point by Yohaku Yorozuya. And the back cover – Moonstruck by Ramona du Houx – the other the artist in the book/exhibit.                                  

The Solon Center for Research and Publishing announced its first writing/art project in conjunction with an exhibit at the center’s gallery, Fukurou, this past spring. The challenge for writers was to choose a fine art photograph that will be exhibited and write a story based on the image. The combination marries visual arts with the written word, helping Maine’s creative economy flourish. This unique new platform for writers in Maine brings the artistic community together with wordsmiths, which offers exciting unforeseen collaborations.

The result of our contest was pleasantly overwhelming. SCRP received eighty-eight entries to go with twenty-three images. Because of the quality of the submissions we decided some of the photographs would be paired with more than one story.

The images depict Rockland and the coast in its myriad situations, moods and emotions. “Our writers told stories with depth, insight, candor, irony, wit and humor. Anyone who has every visited Maine’s coast will be able to relate to them. They’ve put humankind’s instinctive emotional connection to the sea into words,” said Ramona du Houx, President and co-founder of the Solon Center for Research and Publishing.

The stories with art are published in Coastal Maine in Words and Art, which will be sold during the exhibit, on amazon, at local Maine bookstores, in the gallery, and worldwide through Ingram. Our winners herald from across Maine. Some have been published before, but for the vast majority this is their first book publication.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The writers are: Mark Aufiery, Eola Ball, S.M. Belair, M. E. Brinton, Donna Chellis, Diana Coleman, Steve Feeney, N.T. Franklin, Lee Heffner, Donna Hinkley, Khristina Marie Landers, Rosemarie Nervelle, Ed Peele, Lynn Smith, Sandra Sylvester, Lee Van Dyke, and John Holt Willey.

The opening night reception will be a book-signing night celebration with authors and the fine art photographers Yohaku Yorozuya and Ramona du Houx from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. on September 14th at Gallery Fukurou, 20 Main Street, Rockland.

Every writer published will receive a free book and promotion of their story on our multiple platforms. The exhibit will run to November. All proceeds from the sales of books and art will be placed into a fund for next year’s exhibit of the same kind. The book will be available for sale world-wide, the day of the book signing event September 14th.

The Maine Humanities Council has provided a generous grant for our project that will enable us to donate books to libraries across Maine. MHC is a statewide non-profit organization that uses the humanities, as a tool for positive change in Maine communities.”


Cellardoor Winery of Lincolnville graciously donated their delicious wine that captures the essence of Maine for the opening night reception. Cellardoor is a special local winery with a philosophy of giving back to their community and the State of Maine. Their logo, based on a Hobo symbol carved into their farm’s barn door by a traveler who left it as a signal to others that they too would find hospitality there, is the winery’s guiding spirit. As their website states, “when you see our Hobo symbol, know that you are in a safe and friendly place.” positive change in Maine communities.” https://mainehumanities.org/

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

More about a photographic artist, Yohaku Yorozuya, in the book—

Yohaku is an artist with gallery Fukurou. He is renowned for his use of classic darkroom techniques. He’s used Ansel Adams’ zone system, polarization, solarization, as well as a camera obscura and many other methods over his career. He sometimes develops his images using ocean water, following a tradition of a few of the masters. He is a true craftsman, ensuring that all his techniques are personally applied in the darkroom. Some of his images are prophetic, like the Twin Towers series, which depicts the Towers in the 1980s, when he felt compelled to extensively record them from various perspectives. His images immortalize their memory.

Yohaku (aka Takafumi Suzuki) is professor at Nihon University in Tokyo, where for many years he led the Department of Photography at the College of Art. He is the assistant dean and professor at the University of International Fashion in Tokyo, with branches in Osaka and Nagoya. He is a director of the Japan Society for Arts and History of Photography, as well as a member of Kokugakai (Society of Masters of Modern Japanese Art), the Japan Society of Image Arts and Sciences, and the Photographic Society of Japan.

The Solon Center’s Gallery Fukurouhttps://galleryfukurou.com/

Fukurou means owl in Japanese as well as prosperity and health. The owl in Ancient Greece often is associated with Athena, the arts and wisdom. Our gallery represents Maine artists, and fosters cross-cultural connections with Japanese artists and others. We work to help the humanities flourish in communities across Maine. Our books have themes of long-term intrinsic value and are published through our imprint, Polar Bear & Company.

The Solon Center for Research and Publishing is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Maine Public Benefit Corporation that helps build community in Maine and beyond through educational, literary, scientific and artistic means, with publications, research, exhibits, events and other initiatives. SCRP is also a platform where people from diverse disciplines can examine issues of cultural and environmental importance, while developing connections. http://soloncenter.com/

Book writing/art contest exhibit opening September 14th at Fukurou Gallery in Rockland

Neil Rolde’s comprehensive history of the War Refugee Board

tearBy Ramona du Houx

Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds were killed. Many of the same elements that led to the Holocaust survive today. Maine author, Neil Rolde, has dedicated himself to broadening our awareness of this era. His histories highlight the degree to which the U.S. helped save Jews during the war and what that required.

The War Refugee Board saved over 200,000 lives, but there hasn’t been a comprehensive written history about the extraordinary work that the Board did—until now.

Neil’s More Than a Teardrop in the Ocean, The Tempestuous Story of the War Refugee Board is the definitive history of this heroic organization.

“The War Refugee Board’s feat of saving some 200,000 targeted innocents is surely worthy of respect. I’m proud to have told the saga of the War Refugee Board in its detailed entirety, in these two volumes,” said author Neil Rolde.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-12-07-40-pmA new documentary by Ken Burns, The Sharps’ War, is the story of how a Unitarian minister and his wife risked their lives to save an estimated 125 Jews, during the height of WWII. Burns said that their story needed to be told.

While researching, Rolde found a treasure trove of stories where people accomplished extraordinary things to save Jewish refugees but their actions were rarely attributed to the work of the War Refugee Board.

For example, Raoul Wallenberg, a heroic Swede who saved at least 20,000 Hungarian Jews is known. “But not many people know that the War Refugee Board had sent Wallenberg secretly to Hungary,” said Neil. “Most of the workers weren’t Jewish. They were a small group of about thirty people doing extraordinary things.”

Tragically, during WWII the U.S. didn’t help refugees as much as the should have because of the U.S. State Department official in charge of matters concerning all European refugees during the Holocaust, Breckinridge Long.(click to view Neil’s book on Long)

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-11-43-45-am“When I researched Long I came across the War Refugee Board and soon saw the need to write about their work. That lead to my latest about what happened to the Jews after the allies ‘liberated’ Europe. It concentrates on the Bricha, which is Hebrew for escape.”

Rolde’s books are always extensively researched. Neil has won awards for his books from the Maine Historical Society, the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, and the Maine Humanities Council.

Breakthrough book about J.K.Rowling’s work, and the ties her series has with religion and its influence with the 9/11 generation

413f8NUwPXL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_Marilyn R. Pukkila will read from and sign her book The Skill of a Seeker: Rowling, Religion, and Gen 9/11 on January 10th at the Waterville Public Library, from 2 to 4 pm.

Marilyn’s book is considered a breakthrough in research about Rowling’s work, and the ties her series has with spirituality, religion and its influence with the 9/11 generation.

“This is a book for everyone: the 9/11 generation, who view their lives through the prism of Harry Potter’s experiences, and their elders who seek to understand them. It has much to say to those who have never read the series but struggle as Harry Potter does to accept death and achieve integrity,” wrote Debra Campbell as an endorsement. Campbell is a Professor of Religious Studies at Colby College.

Pukkila’s book helps us understand the continued success of the Harry Potter series, and the impact it has had, and continues to have, on our ever-changing society.

“Marilyn R. Pukkila has delved deep into the world of the spirit and the world of J.K. Rowling. Like Hermione Granger, she brings intelligence and research to bear on her subject, but like Harry himself she also brings a deep love, both for stories and for spirit, teasing out the threads of Rowling’s moral and ethical framework, and suggesting ways that framework may influence millions of young readers and viewers in an increasingly secular age,” endorsed author Jane Raeburn in the book.

Marilyn answers some compelling questions about the Harry Potter series:

What inspired you to do your research?

“I taught a course at Colby College on religious responses to Harry Potter in January of 2010.  I realized from that course that many students didn’t have much in the way of religious background, but that they were comfortable exploring religious and spiritual questions through the medium of Harry Potter because Rowling presented those concepts in a non-denominational fashion.  Read more

Conversations with Quetzalcoatl- short stories by Esther Pasztory with intriguing historical insights

Conversations with Quetzalcoatl

From an article in Maine Insights.
coverIn this intriguing collection, Esther Pasztory, explores the interweaving of the intellect and the imagination with the daily life inside a traditional marriage and the gifts each has to give to the other. The readers’ many transitions between the two worlds, reflective of Ms. Pasztory’s own life, are easy, as both worlds are attractive, and yet, it is Pasztory’s imaginative apparitions and musings that are most illuminating.

When Quetzalcoatl’s pre-Columbian baritone in Conversations with Quetzalcoatl, forces open the quiet in Anna’s twenty-first-century study, and he appropriates the most comfortable piece of furniture in the room, a love seat, readers know they are in for a love story. However, this is not only a love story of an inspired female intellect searching for the true identity of Quetzalcoatl (is he pre-Columbian because he dreams in Nahuatl or Colonial Mexican, the greatest god in Mesoamerica?) but also the tale of a tender twenty-first-century marriage between Anna and her husband, Roy, one in which the couple eat by candlelight, wait for each other in bed, love their children and grandchildren. Quetzalcoatl offers Anna a world beyond the clouds. Roy offers her a Friday fish fry dinner down at the Dockyard Café to celebrate a beautiful late summer’s day in Maine.

Conversations with Quetzalcoatl is Published by Maine’s Polar Bear & Company of Solon. Read more

Maine Fiction

cover-2My Tainted Blood

In My Tainted Blood, a true story, the author hides to avoid capture during WWII. In the book the author, a German Jew teenager, has to hide himself and his loved ones to avoid capture during WWII. This 400 page tuner is based on the true-life story of Hubert C. Kueter.

My Tainted Blood follows Hubert as a boy and teenager in wartime Breslau and postwar Germany. People’s names have been changed but the circumstances are all too real. Read more

Maine’s Neil Rolde launches his new book, “Real Political Tales: Short Stories by a Veteran Politician”

Neil Rolde's Political Tales

Author/Statesman Neil Rolde has written a new book, Real Political Tales: Short Stories by a Veteran Politician.

“If you’ve ever served in a state legislature, lobbied one, or just read about their activities in the newspaper and wondered what goes on behind the scenes, you’ll love this book! From page one I couldn’t put it down and I loved every word of Neil’s stories crafted from ‘behind the scenes’ in the Maine legislature,” wrote Congresswoman Chellie Pingree in the book. “The characters may be fictional, but thanks to Neil’s insights and knowledge, coupled with his wonderful writing style, they all came to life.”

“Neil Rolde is one of Maine’s preeminent historians, and we always look forward to his new projects. Real Political Tales: Short Stories by a Veteran Politician is a great chance for us to host Neil holding forth on politics as only he can,” said Josh Christie, manager of Sherman’s in Portland, ME, where Neil will launch his book.

  • On April 3rd at 6pm Neil will speak about Political Tales and answer questions during this first book signing at Sherman’s, 49 Exchange Street.
  • On April 21st at 6pm Neil will hold another book event reading/signing at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, just down the road from the Capitol.

Read more

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 10.35.06 AM

“The digital revolution, Amazon, electronic books, the disappearance of so many indie bookstores, has been a disruption,” said Novelist Richard Russo, who won the Pulitzer Prize for “Empire Falls,” a story set in a fictional Maine mill town. “It’s especially difficult for younger writers to break in.”

On March 20th Russo launched a new concept in Maine — a literary introduction series — to promote newly-published authors across the country. It’s was held at the Think Tank in Portland, co-sponsored by The Authors Guild, a New York City-based organization of which Russo is a vice president. The series, which will be filmed and archived, has Russo introduce readers to first-time novelists.