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Rich Michelson to receive 2019 Samuel Minot Jones Award

AMHERST – Richard Michelson was announced as a winner of a 2019 Samuel Minot Jones Award for literary achievement by the Jones Library in Amherst.

The “Sammys,” named for the library’s first benefactor, is Amherst’s signature event honoring the community’s vibrant literary heritage. An awards presentation will take place April 25, 2019. Other honorees include The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and author Bruce Watson.

Michelson’s 19 children’s books have been listed among the Ten Best Books of the Year by The New York TimesPublishers Weekly, and The New Yorker; and among the Best Dozen Books of the Decade by Amazon.com. He has been a three-time Massachusetts Book Award Finalist, a Harlem Book Fest Wheatley Award Finalist, and a three-time National Jewish Book Award Finalist, as well as receiving two Skipping Stones Multicultural Book Awards, a National Parenting Publication, two Gold Medals from the Association of Jewish Libraries, and the 2018 National Jewish Book Award.

His poetry for adults has been published in many anthologies, including The Norton Introduction to Poetry. A resident of Amherst, Michelson has served two terms as Poet Laureate of Northampton and hosts Northampton Poetry Radio. See his poem, Venery: a Prayer, written after the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh:

Venery: a Prayer

Tree of Life Synagogue, Squirrel Hill–10/27/18

I.

A convocation of eagles

A business of flies

A clattering of jackdaws

A parliament of owls

A congregation of plovers

II.

A scurry of squirrels

A destruction of cats

A leash of foxes

An ambush of tigers

A murder of Jews

III.

An army of ants

A nest of vipers

A bellowing of bullfinches

A scold of jays

A deceit of lapwings

A pitying of turtledoves

IV.

Joyce Jew

Richard Jew

Rose Jew

Jerry Jew

Cecil Jew

David Jew

Bernice Jew

Sylvan Jew

Daniel Jew

Melvin Jew

Irving Jew

V.

A shepherd of gays

An inflammation of immigrants

A molestation of Catholics

A bullet of black boys

An anguish of mothers

A coward of congressmen

A plague of Martyrs

A martyr of angels

Reprinted from Tikkun Magazine

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