John Ross Reading and Memorial April 29

| 0 comments | Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Northtown Books will host a reading of poems and stories in memory of John Ross on Friday, April 29th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The well-known journalist, who died this past winter in Mexico, has been celebrated in Mexico City and San Francisco’s Mission District, both for his writing and his devotion to be-bop and rebellion.

John Ross lived in Humboldt County for a decade beginning in the mid ‘70’s, mostly in the three or four blocks of downtown Arcata. His first poetry chapbooks were read and published on H Street, and while others were issued from San Francisco and Mexico City and his journalism brought him international renown, the poems and stories of those years appear throughout his work.

The event will be hosted by Jerry Martien and will feature old friends and fellow writers reading from John’s work, followed by a performance of some of his poems set to the music of SquarPeg.

A memorial ceremony will take place the following Sunday, May 1, in Trinidad. Meet in front of the elementary school at 2 PM, rain or shine. Bring a single red flower. Be prepared to walk to the cemetery (about a quarter mile). Arrangements will be made for anyone unable to walk this distance (email in advance).

For much more about John and his life and work, go here.

Benjamin Ross presents The Polluters April 13

| 0 comments | Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In conjunction with Humboldt Baykeeper, Northtown Books welcomes Oxford University Press author Benjamin Ross Wednesday, April 13th at 7 p.m. for a presentation on his book The Polluters: The Making of Our Chemically Altered Environment.

The Polluters reveals at last the crucial decisions that allowed environmental issues to be trumped by political agendas. It spotlights the leaders of the chemical industry and describes how the...y applied their economic and political power to prevent the creation of an effective system of environmental regulation. Research was slanted, unwelcome discoveries were suppressed, and friendly experts were placed in positions of influence, as science was subverted to serve the interests of business. The story of The Polluters is one that needs to be told, an unflinching depiction of the onslaught of chemical pollution and the chemical industry's unwillingness to face up to its devastating effects.

"The engrossing, infuriating history of American pollution... An important, disheartening account of widespread willful ignorance."--Kirkus Reviews

"Startling, intense, and brilliantly elucidated... sharply relevant to the present-day disasters of the BP oil spill and the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion... an unlikely page-turner."--Booklist

"The Polluters documents how the strategies used by today's polluters to duck regulation of their toxic chemicals were pioneered by polluters who poisoned the American landscape and killed hundreds of Americans in the early twentieth century. For nearly one-hundred years, corporate polluters have subverted democracy and corrupted public officials to control government regulation of toxic chemicals maximizing profits at the expense of public health."--Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Sharon Levy Friday, April 8

| 1 comments | Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sharon Levy brings her new popular science book from Oxford University Press, Once and Future Giants: What Ice Age Extinctions Tell Us About the Fate of Earth’s Largest Animals, to Northtown Books on Friday, April 8 at 7 p.m.

Mammoths, camels and saber-toothed cats once walked the ground that has become Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, and foraged on the marsh land now buried beneath Chicago’s streets. Then, just as the first humans reached the Americas, these Ice Age giants vanished forever. Today great beasts like elephants, lions and grizzly bears are threatened worldwide. Sharon’s talk will explore relationships between people and big wild animals, past and present, and the vital lessons ancient extinctions can hold for modern conservation.

Sharon is a veteran science journalist and biologist who covers conservation and biology for OnEarth, New Scientist, BioScience, Audubon, Nature, and other magazines. She has lived in Arcata since 1994.

For more info on Sharon and her work, please go here.

Novelist Summer Wood February 26

| 0 comments | Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Summer Wood presents her new novel Wrecker, set in part in the Mattole Valley, at Northtown Books Saturday, February 26 at 7 pm.

It’s June of 1965 when Wrecker enters the world. The war is raging in Vietnam, San Francisco is tripping toward flower power, and Lisa Fay – a young innocent from a family farm down south – is knocked nearly sideways by life as a single mother in a city she could barely manage to navigate as just one.

Three years later, she’s alone again. Kids aren’t allowed in prison. And Wrecker, scared silent, furious, and hell-bent on breaking every last thing that crosses his path, is shipped off to live with distant relatives in the wilds of Humboldt County.

Wrecker is a wonderful portrait of a California long lost, but still alive here. Wrecker will wreck your heart and then put it back together again, with the big heart of a chosen family.” —Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon and Take One Candle Light a Room

“This novel is a love song to well intentioned, wholly dedicated, and deeply flawed motherhood. Summer Wood creates more than just a great story, deftly, elegantly, and intricately told. She broadens both our notion of family, and our appreciation for whatever we call our own. Wrecker is a big-hearted, big-loving compassionate book.” — Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness

Nicholas Karavatos returns February 3

| 0 comments | Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Briefly returning to the United States from the United Arab Emirates, poet Nicholas Karavatos will be performing in spontaneous collaboration with electric guitarist Jeff Kelley Thursday, February 3 at Northtown Books at 7 pm.

In December 2009, Amendment Nine published Karavatos' first book, titled No Asylum, designed by Richard LaPreziosa and printed by Robert Arena at Bug Press in Arcata.

Nicholas Karavatos lives near Dubai, teaching literature and writing at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. He’s been an Assistant Professor there since 2006. He taught general studies at a small private college in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman from 2001 to 2006.

Jeff Kelley will be playing guitar in spontaneous collaboration with Nick. These spoken word performances are the latest phase in an aural collaboration that dates from 1983.

“Nicholas Karavatos is a poet of great range and clarity. This book is an amazing collection of smart sharp political poetry in tandem with astute and tender love lyrics. All of it voiced with an impressive singularity.” - David Meltzer

John Ross 1938-2011

| 0 comments | Thursday, January 20, 2011

We're very sad to note the recent passing of poet and journalist John Ross, a longtime friend of Northtown Books.

John was a fixture on the poetry scene in Arcata in the 70s, and after he moved his home base to Mexico he'd still make regular stops in Humboldt on his various book tours. We'll miss him.

His friend Frank Bardacke gives a good account of John's life and work at Counterpunch.

Photo from the North Coast Journal Blogthing.