Wilderness House Literary Retreat is Pleased to Announce Lunch with Louisa Solano, Former Owner of the Grolier Poetry Bookstore on August 5, 2006, Noon-4 p.m.

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Louisa Solano former owner of the Grolier Poetry Bookstore, "oldest continuous bookshop" devoted solely to the sale of poetry and poetry criticism in the US will be the guest of the Wilderness House Literary Retreat on August 5th, 2006 as part of the Literary Lunch series.

Louisa Solano was the owner of the Grolier Poetry Bookstore from 1974 till 2006 when she retired. Virtually everyone in modern American letters has visited the Grolier Poetry Bookshop in Harvard Square Cambridge. The Grolier Poetry Bookshop is the "oldest continuous bookshop" devoted solely to the sale of poetry and poetry criticism, was founded in 1927 by Adrian Gambet and Gordon Cairnie; the subsequent owner, Louisa Solano, a 1966 graduate of Boston University and bookstore habitué since 1955, took over operation of the store in 1974 after Cairnie's death.

Solano turned the store into a self-sustaining business. For many years Grolier's has sponsored an annual, national poetry contest as well as a reading series in nearby Adams House, a dormitory at Harvard. Solano's knowledge of poetry was well known in the Cambridge and Harvard community, and in the era before Internet bookselling, she was considered a valuable source for people seeking rare and unusual poetry titles. Under Solano's management, for example, the store was the first to stock Language Magazine, the periodical that launched the avant-garde L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry movement.

In addition to owning the Grolier bookstore, Solano has to her credit:

  •     1987 & 1998 judged American Book Awards with with Robert Creeley and William Arrowsmith
  •     Co-founded the Grolier Poetry Prize with Gail Mazur
  •     Served with Peter Davison as a judge for the Massachusetts Book Award
  •     Recipient of an award for lifetime achievement from the Lannan Foundation
  •     Received an award from the Women's National Book Association with the likes of Frances Steloff, founder of the Gotham Book Mart, and Margaret Chase Smith, former diplomat at the U.N. for women who had contributed the most to the support of literature in this country.
  •     Sponsored the Grolier Rhymes, a softball team (it never won) and a basketball team as well.

In March of 2006, the store was officially sold, to Nigerian poet Ifeanyi Menkiti, a professor at Wellesley College.

August 5th at Wilderness House, 32 Foster Street (Wilderness Road), Littleton MA

$10.00. Bring a picnic.

Link to Publication*: http://www.wildernesshouse.org


Wilderness House is a 7-bedroom cabin built in the early 20th century as a sportsman retreat by a large wealthy family. Situated deep within several hundred acres of forest, Wilderness House sits on the second highest point in Littleton MA with an unobstructed view of the Wapack Range and, on a clear day, Mt. Monadnock some 40 miles distant in New Hampshire. A series of trails lead from the cabin atop Wilderness Hill through this primitive preserve to a private dock nestled in a secluded corner of Littleton’s Long Lake.

Wilderness House is owned and managed by the New England Forestry Foundation in cooperation with the Littleton Rotary Club.

Wilderness House will offer a series of intense literary workshops lead by an acknowledged literary master of their genre. Each week a different literary genre will be presented. We may have poets one week, mystery writers the next followed by playwrights after that. The goal of the Wilderness House Literary Retreat is to embrace the literary goals of each participant in such a way as to empower each writer to become better than when they arrived and to inspire each participant with a new sense of what can be.

See http://www.wildernesshouse.org for more information and background

Wilderness House is accessible by car from Rt. 2 and Rt. 495 as well as commuter rail (the Fitchburg line) at the Littleton/495 station. Wilderness House is an easy mile walk from the station.

MEDIA CONTACT:    Steve Glines 978-952-6340

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