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State of the Arts: Eli Clare, Phoenix Books

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This Saturday, November 3, writer Eli Clare will read from his collection of poetry and short prose, The Marrow's Telling, at Burlington's Studio STK, at 4 p.m. Published by Homofactus Press, a small press focused on work by female-to-male transsexuals, the book tells a harrowing life story, taking the poet in stutter-steps from childhood abuse to adult activism. Clare's language grounds itself in vibrant evocations of the natural landscape. In a prose piece called "Gaping, Gawking, Staring," he demonstrates what he's learned about people's reactions to "difference" and disability from a lifetime with cerebral palsy. But he offers advice to those who've suffered for such differences: "Resist the urge to ignore your body."

MARGOT HARRISON

We wrote recently that former Book Rack & Children's Pages owners Mike DiSanto and Renee Reiner were turning another page in the book biz - with the aptly named Phoenix Books, a new store rising approximately in its old location at Essex Shoppes & Cinema, a.k.a. "the outlet mall." But this time the couple is adding some vini to the culture. Accordingly, they'll be serving wine at a grand opening on Saturday, November 3, at 5 p.m. (And no, Ribbon-Cutter-in-Chief Jim Douglas was not invited to do the honors.) The downside is, the drinks are no longer free, à la gallery openings. "Now that we have a liquor license, we have to sell it," notes Reiner. At the opening, Vermont poet Daniel Lusk will recite a poem he wrote to commemorate the new bookshop. Sweet Clover Market, the organic market in Essex, will cater.

PAMELA POLSTON

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