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Short Takes: April 2013 

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No Safe Ground
Julia Pomeroy
Five Star, 2013, $25.95

Pomeroy crafts an adrenaline-pounding thriller from a hot-button topic: the treatment of women in the US military. When his long-abandoned daughter turns up on his Columbia County doorstep, burned-out limo driver "Pack" Packard reluctantly steps up. AWOL after witnessing the murder of a fellow female soldier, Vida's sure she'll be next. Believable characters and tense pacing keep the pages turning. Appearing 4/6 at 5pm, Chatham Bookstore.

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Light at Point Reyes
Joan L. Siegel
Shabda Press, 2012, $14

This third collection by prize-winning Orange County poet Siegel assesses a broad range of human experience: raising a daughter, losing a mother, music, art, the atrocities of war. "Sometimes / things are simply what they are." Sinewy, haunting, and subtle, Siegel's poems get under your skin. Appearing 4/9 at 7pm, Orange County Community College, and 4/30 at 6:30pm, Thrall Library, Middletown.

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Why Knot? How To Tie More Than 60 Ingenious, Useful, Beautiful, Lifesaving, and Secure Knots!
Philippe Petit
Abrams Image, 2013, $19.95

When you walk on a highwire a quarter-mile up, you better know the ropes. The French funambulist whose unauthorized stroll between Twin Towers was dubbed the "artistic crime of the century" interweaves descriptions of the Monkey's Fist, Marline Spike, and Highwayman's Hitch with anecdotes and original drawings. Appearing 4/19 at 7:30pm, Woodstock Writers Festival at the Kleinert-James Arts Center.

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The Running Sonnets
Duncan Christy
CreateSpace, 2012, $9.95

Talk about iambic feet! Former Rhinebecker Christy celebrates his sport of choice in 41 traditionally structured sonnets, studding the Elizabethan rhyme-scheme with such unexpected words as endorphins, spandex, carbo-loading, bromantic, and BQE. "These are the things I wished firmly to etch / On my memory, a dawn runner's sketch." Appearing 4/20 at 4pm, Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck.

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Her: A Memoir
Christa Parravani
Henry Holt & Co, 2013, $26

Identical twins Cara and Christa Parravani survived a tough childhood to blossom as artists: writer and photographer, respectively. After a brutal rape, Cara spiraled downhill, overdosing at 28. Her bereft sister writes about unspeakable loss and survival, honoring her lost twin by assuming her literary promise. Appearing 4/21 at 5:30pm, Woodstock Writers Festival at the Center for Photography.

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Dada Poetry: An Introduction
William Seaton
Nirala Books, 2013, $23

Poet-scholar Seaton undertakes the "sweet treason" of translating four German poets of the post-WWI Dada movement. These impassioned iconoclasts include darkly bohemian Emmy Hennings, incantatory wild man Richard Huelsenbeck, language collagist Hans Arp, and "sound poet" Hugo Ball, posthumous lyricist of the Talking Heads' "I Zimbra." Presenting "Introduction to Dada" 4/30 at 5pm, SUNY New Paltz Lecture Center 102, with Professor Anja Wielen.

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