Monday, August 13, 2012

"A Playpen in the Democracy of Art"

Sebastian Smee profiles Bill Corbett, "The Man Who Nourished Boston's Literary Scene"

     "Jhumpa Lahiri wasn’t sure she could be a writer. Although as a child she had harbored dreams of doing just that, they had gradually been eaten away by self-doubtshe could scarcely believe the books she loved had been written by real people.  “At twenty-one,” she recalled in a 2011 New Yorker essay, “the writer in me was like a fly in the roomalive but insignificant, aimless, something that unsettled me whenever I grew aware of it, and which, for the most part, left me alone. After graduating Barnard in 1989 with a degree in English literature, Lahiri moved to Massachusetts to take classics courses at Harvard. She also found work at the cash register in a Harvard Square bookstore with a friend of a friend, Marni Corbett, a daughter of poet William Corbett and his wife, Beverly, Marni’s father, a tall man with a commanding, jowly face and mischievous eyes, used to visit the store to say hello to his daughter and to buy books. Big armloads of books. . . . "

How many of us has Bill supported, encouraged, published, celebrated? Read this long and interesting profile to get a sense of the legacy he is leaving as he and his wife Beverly Corbett head to Brooklyn after forty-something years in their South End townhouse in Boston.

Here's a link to WBUR's interview:
Bill Corbett is Taking His Legendary Literary Salon to Brooklyn

Go here and here to see some of the books Bill has written, edited, and published.

John Wieners, Lee Harwood, Lewis Warsh, Bill Corbett at Walden Pond.
(Photo: Jud Walker)
Sebastian Smee's Boston Globe Mag profile