Archives For Shakespeare


This distinctive new book is both a poignant and funny teaching memoir, 
and a keen reading of William Shakespeare’s play ROMEO AND JULIET:

The Teacher Diaries:
Romeo & Juliet

Callie Feyen

Paperback: TS Poetry Press, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

An excerpt from this book:

It’s easy to wince when reading the Nurse’s debut scene. In fewer than fifty lines, we learn of her daughter’s death, and she shares the very palpable details of how she weaned Juliet, as well as her body’s reaction to that weaning. We learn that her husband is also gone, and we hear a little anecdote about Juliet’s toddler years. After my first reading of the Nurse’s speech, I wrote in the margin, “Girlfriend could’ve started a blog.”

Shakespeare’s Nurse is off-color, and she gives far more information than she needs to. She is also the person Juliet trusts most. When I teach Romeo and Juliet and we get to this part in the play, before we read, I give my students a warning.

“She says way too much, and she might make you squirm a bit.”

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Can the Original be Reimagined?

A Feature Review of 

Vinegar Girl: A Novel
Anne Tyler

Paperback: Hogarth Books, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Cara Meredith


Yesterday afternoon, my son and I snuggled together at the local movie theater for the newly released Pixar feature, Finding Dory. While Dory – who might just be my spirit animal – did not disappoint, I couldn’t help but wonder about most of the preview trailers. Could Ghostbusters, Adventures in Babysitting and Pete’s Dragon, all favorites of mine from the late 70’s and 80’s, actually be reimagined into something better than the original?

I scanned the darkened room, hoping to lock eyes with another parent who understood my dilemma. But I was alone. The rest of the audience did as they were supposed to do: they stared straight ahead at the screen, absorbed in the entertainment.

It’s the same for us today.

You see, I can’t help but ask a similar question of Anne Tyler’s newest release, Vinegar Girl: can the original, a modernized retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, really be improved upon?

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The Story of a Man and his Obsession


A Feature Review of

The Millionaire and the Bard: Henry Folger’s Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare’s First Folio
Andrea Mays

Hardback: Simon and Schuster, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Anna Visser
In her prologue to The Millionaire and the Bard, author Andrea Mays says all that needs to be said about the book that is to follow: “This is a story of resurrection, of a magical book and two men, an American millionaire and an English playwright—the man who coveted the First Folio, and the man who composed it” (xvi). In this one, summative sentence, Mays reveals her awe and fascination with Shakespeare and his works, and she draws us into this tale of a man who revered Shakespeare even more than she does. The story that follows is, indeed, somehow magical—even to a reader who might not necessarily otherwise identify as a Shakespeare enthusiast.
Mays begins by explaining the history behind this magnificent book that would become the object of academic affection and collectors’ obsession—Shakespeare’s First Folio, a massive 900 page collection of 36 plays, collected and edited by two of Shakespeare’s contemporaries and fellow actors, John Heminges and Henry Condell.

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One of this week’s best new book releases…


The Millionaire and the Bard: Henry Folger’s Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare’s First Folio
Andrea Mays

Hardback: Simon and Schuster, 2015
Buy now: 
Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


Read an excerpt from this new book (via LitHub)…


Listen to an NPR interview with the author:

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Anna Akhmatova

Today is the birthday of poet Anna Akhmatova, born 1889.

A poem from

Akhmatova (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets)
Hardback: Everyman’s Library, 2006.
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Tania RunyanIn 2013, we are encouraging our readers to mix up their reading habits, and read (or re-read) classics in addition to new books, such as the ones we review here in the ERB.

Broadly speaking, a classic is any book that is not a new book, or in other words that is worth reading five, ten or even one hundred years after its initial publication. ERB Editor Chris Smith has an article on The Huffington Post website arguing for reading a mix of classics and new books in 2013.


We’ve asked a number of noted writers to pick the classics that they often return to, and we will be running these lists as a weekly feature on our website through 2013.

This week’s post in the series is by Tania Runyan.

Writers on the Classics:
[#1 – Shane Claiborne ] [#12 (Previous Post) – Brent Bill ]


Tania Runyan is the author of Second Sky (forthcoming from Antler in 2014), A Thousand Vessels (WordFarm), Simple Weight (FutureCycle Press) and Delicious Air (Finishing Line Press), which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Image, Mid-American Review, Atlanta Review, Indiana Review, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Christian Century, Willow Springs, Nimrod, and the anthology In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare. Tania was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2011. She tutors high school students and edits for Every Day Poems and Relief.


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We  have recently made a slight change to our format and the reviews, excerpts, poems, etc. of our Midweek update will be posted to “pages” on the ERB website, and announced via social media.  If you’re a “first-to-know” sort of person, you can get these updates when they first come out in one of two ways:

Otherwise, in our regular issue each Friday, we will recap the content of our midweek update.  For instance, this week’s update included:

In our continuing effort to fund the publication and free distribution of The Englewood Review, we are going to be collaborating more intentionally with Christian Book Distributors. Primarily, we will be offering you the opportunity to buy bargain books from CBD that we think of are interest. Buying books this way is a win / win / win proposition. You get great books for a great price, CBD gets the sale and we get an excellent referral fee from CBD.

This week’s bargain books on the theme
Poetry (Click to learn more/purchase):

67048: Dietrich Bonhoeffer"s Prison Poems Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Prison Poems

By Edited by Edwin Robertson / Zondervan

$6.99 – Save 53%!!!

From his prison cell where he awaited execution for conspiring to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Bonhoeffer wrote ten powerful poems, charged with the white-hot emotions and disarming candor of a man who lived and ultimately died by the truth.Here, laid bare with moving eloquence, is the soul of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, twentieth-century martyr. And here is a celebration of life, faith, and hope, and of a victory that even the final enemy, death, cannot quench.

14537: Sonnets Sonnets

By William Shakespeare / Penguin Classics


The general editors of the new series of forty volumes–the renowned Shakespeareans Stephen Orgel of Stanford University and A. R. Braunmuller of UCLA–have assembled a team of six eminent scholars who have, along with the general editors themselves, prepared new introductions and notes to all of Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Redesigned in an easy-to-read format that preserves the favorite features of the original, including an essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare, an introduction to the individual play, and a note on the text used. This is an excellent resource for students, teachers, and theater professionals. 164 pages, softcover from Penguin Books.

225071: Resources for Preaching and Worship-Year A: Quotations, Meditations, Poetry, and Prayers Resources for Preaching and Worship-Year A: Quotations, Meditations, Poetry, and Prayers

By Westminster John Knox Press

$2.99 – Save 90%!!!

This is the third volume published in a three-volume set of lectionary resources, providing preachers and worship leaders of all denominations a host of written material for worship and reflection. Designed to complement the three volumes in WJK’s acclaimed Texts for Preaching, this book weaves together a rich tapestry of quotations, meditations, poems, and prayers. With material from both classic and contemporary spiritual writings, Resources for Preaching and Worship compliments the lectionary readings for Sundays and important festival days in the church’s year. Includes biblical and thematic texts.


Sonnet LIV
William Shakespeare


O! how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give.
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour, which doth in it live.
The canker blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses.
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses:
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwoo'd, and unrespected fade;
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths, are sweetest odours made:
     And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
     When that shall vade, by verse distills your truth.


Ok, so this was supposed to come out yesterday, but a host of complications conspired against that.  Let’s just say that this first podcast has been a technological learning experience.  Things hopefully will be smoother next time around…

This is part of a new feature that we are calling multimedia Tuesdays.  One week we will post a podcast, the next week a relevant video, and then we’ll repeat this 2  week cycle.  Let us know what you think as things unfold here…



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