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Dr. Sascha Feinstein, professor of English at Lycoming College, recently released his second collection of poetry, "Ajanta's Ledge." A book-signing will be held at Otto's bookstore in downtown Williamsport on Friday, Oct. 5, from 5-8 p.m. Copies are also available at the College's Streeter Campus Store.
"Ajanta's Ledge" revisits many of Feinstein's greatest passions, including family, travel and jazz. Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky calls the book "A surge of joy in art . . . wide-ranging, heartfelt and beautifully made." The press has nominated "Ajanta's Ledge" for a Pulitzer Prize, a gesture that Feinstein calls "ridiculous in terms of practicality but very flattering and humbling."
The title poem, a crown of sonnets, celebrates the Ajanta caves in India, where Feinstein and his wife visited in 1999. The longest poem in the book, "Everything Happens to Me, 1965," is a series of dramatic monologues, also in sonnet form, spoken by famous alto saxophonists in that year.
Feinstein, who has worked at the College since 1995, is a poet, essayist and editor. His first collection of poetry, "Misterioso," won the Hayden Carruth Award. His poems have appeared in such publications as "American Poetry Review," "The Georgia Review," "The Missouri Review," and "North American Review," as well as various anthologies including "American Poetry: The Next Generation," "The Penguin Book of the Sonnet" and "Poets Against the War."
His other books include a memoir, "Black Pearls: Improvisations on a Lost Year;" a collection of interviews, "Ask Me Now: Conversations on Jazz & Literature;" and two related scholarly books, "Jazz Poetry: From the 1920s to the Present" and "A Bibliographic Guide to Jazz Poetry."
Feinstein's essays have appeared in numerous publications, and he has written liner notes for albums by John Tchicai and Lynn Baker, and program notes for Jazz at Lincoln Center. He writes regularly for "JAZZIZ" magazine. He founded nbsp;"Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz & Literature" in 1996, and has also co-edited four books: "The Jazz Poetry Anthology," "The Second Set," "The Jazz Fiction Anthology" and "Keystone Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club."
In 2008, he received the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Artist of the Year. Since 2006, he has hosted Jazz Standards on WVIA, the NPR station for central Pennsylvania. An amateur saxophonist, he enjoys performing at local venues.
Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., the College fosters academic rigor, a supportive faculty and successful outcomes. It offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 educational institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812, Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation.