23 Jan

This winter, my podcast, ReadLocalNH, will help broaden your booklist even more, with seven additional episodes, featuring winners of the 2023 New Hampshire Writers Project Literary Awards. Helped by three wonderful interns at Southern New Hampshire University, I’ll introduce you to novelists, poets, non-fiction writers, children’s authors and more – who work right here in the Granite State.

The project kicks off in early February, with a cookbook author and Public TV star, known nationally and even internationally for her work promoting Italian food. If you guessed New Hampshire’s Mary Ann Esposito, you’re right…get ready to be inspired by her new book “Ciao Italia: Plant, Harvest, Cook,” which won the NHWP non-fiction award in 2023.

In mid-February, we turn our attention to poetry and the work of Liz Ahl, who won the Poetry Award at the NHWP Literary Awards last fall. New Hampshire has a long history of famous poets – from Robert Frost to Maxine Kumin to Donald Hall. Liz Ahl has written several works of poetry, including the prize winner “A Case for Solace.” 

We’ll close out February with NH children’s author Matt Forrest Esenwine. His book “I am Today” won the Literary Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, and I’ve heard through my librarian grapevine that Matt is a favorite among NH children’s librarians overall, for his many books for kids.

In early March, fiction is our focus, as we talk with Joe Pace, who won the Fiction category at the NHWP Literary Awards. I’m reading Joe’s book called “Moss” right now. It’s a story of writing, ambition, the universal sorrow of war, and a doozy of a father-son relationship. Pick up this page-turner at your local bookstore.

With the arrival of April and spring, we’ll welcome Thomas Tosi to the podcast. Thomas has written a number of successful books for kids and teens, including the one that won the NHWP Award in the Young Adult category, titled “Six Thousand Doughnuts.”

Our last award-winning guest will be David McPhail, who was inducted in 2023 into the NHWP Literary Hall of Fame. McPhail has illustrated and/or written about 200 children’s books. His work has been recognized by the NY Times, the Boston Globe, Publisher’s Weekly, and many others. But my favorite McPhail book is “Truffle,” because I am the narrator for the audiobook version!

We’ll close out the series with a special interview: Masheri Chappelle, Board Chair of the New Hampshire Writers Project. We’ll talk about her organization, the Literary Awards process, the incredible breadth and depth of talented writers in our state, and her own work: both as an author and helping other authors find their voice.

Earlier this month, I checked out the SNHU studio with David Moloney, the project’s faculty advisor. David’s an English professor and a writer. His novel, "Barker House," centers on nine New Hampshire corrections officers at a fictional private prison…read more here!

It’s going to be a wonderful podcast series! I’ll have more information about how you can listen, once it’s up and running. So…stay tuned!

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