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Library showcases two poets tonight

REPORTER FILE PHOTO The Shelter Island Public Library will feature poets Linda Stern and David Katz tonight at Friday Night Dialogues.
The Shelter Island Public Library will feature poets Linda Stern and David Katz tonight at Friday Night Dialogues.

Poets Linda Stern and David Katz will share the spotlight for an evening of poetry tonight, August 12, when they read from their works at the Shelter Island Library’s Friday Night Dialogues series.

Their appearance marks the latest installment in the library’s on-going poetry program, which includes the weekly Art Barnett Roundtable and Bliss Moorhead’s periodic “Poetry Project” events.

Although Ms. Stern didn’t release her first collection, “Why We Go by Twos: Poems 1970-2014,” until 2015, she has been “writing and publishing poetry for a long time; since high school,” she said. “It’s been poetry for us all along.”

Her work has appeared in the New Criterion, Promethean, Pot Hooks ‘N’ Hangers, and Umbrella.

Her husband, David Katz, has published three volumes of his work, “The Warrior in the Forest,” in 1982; “Claims of Home,” in 2011; and “Stanzas of Oz,” this year. His poems have been featured in the Southwest Review, New Criterion, Hopkins Review, and Shenandoah Review, among other publications.

“To read David Katz’s shapely, sonically savvy poems is to enter with the poet into an ongoing dialogue between contemporary talk and our modern literary past … as well as with ancient Jewish culture,” wrote David Yezzi of Dos Madres, the publisher of the poet’s last two books.

Mr. Katz and Ms. Stern also co-published and edited the poetry magazine, Endymion. “After about five years,” she said, “we decided to have children instead of a magazine.” In her biography, she says that the title reflected an enduring love of the poetry of the Romantics, but her current tastes are more wide-ranging.

Residents of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the poets are long-time visitors to Shelter Island, having first stayed at the Bowditch House on Route 114 in the 1970s.

“We loved visiting the library,” Mr. Katz said, “and particularly enjoyed the book sales!”

In their non-poetry lives, they are both writers and editors. Mr. Katz is a financial journalist and editor, and Ms. Stern edits college textbooks.

Coming up: You don’t have to be Jewish to love kosher food, to paraphrase the iconic tag line of an ad for Levy’s Real Jewish Rye, and food historian, Roger Horowitz, comes to the library to tell us why, discussing his new book, “Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food.” The book is a thoroughly-researched, thoughtful and lively account of how ancient religious practices, cultural ethnicity and the American food industry converged.

In a dialogue scheduled for August 19, Mr. Horowitz will discuss ways orthodox rabbinical organizations merged the requirements of kosher law with the modern production of popular foods and beverages, overcoming challenges to reach America’s predominantly non-Jewish consumers.

“Kosher USA” is anchored in the lives of the author’s own family and bolstered with a wide range of sources — from scientists to home cooks, from rabbis to animal rights activists and from leaders of the industrialized food industry to its marketers.

Simply put by noted culinary historian, Laura Shapiro, “Kosher USA” is “an exhilarating study of how an ancient religious scruple became a modern American empire.”

Rich with personal stories, the book tells of great achievements in the face of stubborn limitations in the effort to reformulate classic products to meet kosher standards, as well as concurrent ethical issues of environmental responsibility and the health and welfare of workers.

Roger Horowitz is a graduate of Brandeis University and holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and a law degree from Harvard University. In addition to “Kosher USA,” he’s the author of “Putting Meat on the American Table: Taste, Technology, and Transformation.”

The director of the Center for the History of Business, Technology and Society at Delaware’s Hagley Museum and Library, Mr. Horowitz heads the Monette-Horowitz Trust, which provides annual awards to individuals in areas ranging from academic research and creative expression to activism and community organization.

Friday Night Dialogues at the Library — like all programs and events at the library ­— is free, but donations are much appreciated. Talks take place in the lower level community room and begin at 7 p.m. For more information, call (631) 749-0042.

Next up: Friday, September 2, features “Letters of Note,” curated and read by Kathy and Terry Brockbank.