While volumes of poetry, sadly, may not sell the way, say, a Stephen King novel does, Ifeanyi Menkiti knows firsthand that poetry’s gifts are priceless. That’s why, in 2006, he purchased the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, a historic literary enclave down an unassuming Harvard Square side street.Menkiti was a young Harvard Ph.D. candidate studying under John Rawls when he first encountered the Grolier in 1969; he was also a burgeoning poet who’d go on to publish several collections, all the while unaware that he’d someday become the shop’s third owner and poetic steward. In its 88-year lifespan, the Grolier has struggled to stay afloat, with the rise of online retailers and frequent lulls in sales. “The poetry business isn’t what it used to be,” lamented Menkiti, who is originally from Nigeria.Founded in 1927 by Adrian Gambet and Gordon Cairnie, the Grolier is touted as the oldest continually run bookshop solely dedicated to poetry. In its heyday, the shop was a common stop for the “Who’s Who” of the poetry world, including Robert Lowell, Robert Creeley, Elizabeth Bishop, and others. In 2004, the Academy of American Poets designated the store a national poetry landmark.More than that, said Menkiti, the store is a cultural institution. And when the shop went up for sale in 2006, the retired Wellesley College moral philosophy professor didn’t hesitate. “I wanted to see a powerful institution continue,” he said. So he phoned in with an offer. It was the right thing to do.— Sarah Sweeney
The Syracuse women’s rowing team returns to the water Friday against Cornell and No. 1 Yale, in an annual battle for the Cayuga Cup. This year’s contest returns to James A. Ten Eyck Boathouse, located at Onondaga Lake Outlet in Longbranch Park.The crew will carry over momentum from last week’s success at No. 20 Boston University into tonight’s races. Last week, the Orange made its season debut by winning four of six races against BU. The rowers of the novice four boat, which consisted of freshmen Tija Bross, Victoria DiNapoli, Calli Giannopoulus, Emma Karpowicz and Anna Stolzenburg, earned the first-ever Big East Crew of the Week Award for its success.Head coach Kris Sanford is hopeful that with each victory her young team notches, the more confidence it will build.‘A win versus Cornell would be a huge confidence boost for our team,’ Sanford said. ‘If you look at Cornell, they are a very solid team, and comparable to us. It is always a dogfight between us and them.’The Orange’s Varsity Eight boat will look to start out strong and stay even with Cornell and Yale, especially through the first 1,000 meters of the race. However, the challenge that could possibly await SU might come in the third 500 meters, where the team struggled last week.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter opening up a solid lead on the Terriers, the Orange could not hold on, as BU out-maneuvered it to pull ahead. Syracuse was not able to overcome the blow late in the race. Staying strong and out-shifting its opponents will be one the Orange’s main objectives against the two Ivy League teams.‘We did not respond to the BU crew that came through us in the third 500 meters,’ Sanford said. ‘We needed to counter them. In practice this week, we worked on making shifts and counter moves.’Countering and shifting is not the only thing on the minds of the rowers and coaches this week. Last week’s average of 33 to 34 strokes per minute was below where the Orange wants to be.Senior coxswain Kate Todd said the team needs pick up its speed if it wants to have a shot at beating the Big Red and the Bulldogs.‘Unity is essential,’ Todd said. ‘You are pulling for the person behind you and in front of you. And everything starts with short strokes. Ideally, we would like to get up on Cornell and then creep up on Yale, but we are going to need more speed in the boat through 2,000 meters.’However, Sanford sees it slightly differently. Although understanding that speed is necessary, the head coach realizes that it is still early in the season and that SU just needs to begin to improve.It is still only the second race of the season, and Sanford recognizes the meaning of that.‘This early on in the season, sure, the outcome is important, because we are all competitors and we all want to win,’ Sanford said. ‘But speed at the beginning of the season is very different from speed at the end of season. As a coach, I am always watching and addressing weaknesses that we have. I want us to go as fast as our potential will allow us to.’There may be a lot left in the season, but opportunities to race the best team in the country do not come every day. ‘Anytime you have the opportunity to race with the No. 1 crew in the country, it is a golden opportunity to learn something,’ Sanford said. ‘We have nothing to lose, so we are going to throw everything we have at (Yale), and Cornell as well. We want to improve on race strategy from last week.’[email protected] Published on April 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
IBF Lightweight Champion Richard Commey has confirmed the inclusion of renowned American boxing manager Keith Connolly to his management team.This comes a few hours after the Ghanaian denied reports suggesting the said appointment.The 31 year old took to his official twitter handle to confirm the news, with Connolly set to work alongside Commey’s longtime manager Michael Amoo-Bediako. Connolly also manages Daniel Jacobs, Adam Kownacki, Sergey Derevyanchenko and Marcus Brown.Commey was slated to fight unified champion Vasyl Lomachenko in April before suffering a hand injury in his title clinching bout against Russian Isa Chaniev back in February.