Grolier Poetry Book Shop Documentary Film

Press Release

Directory Huang Speaks atCambridge Public Library

By Victor Chen,

Boston, Sept. 6, 2019, — A good documentary film can bring a topic into focus by the public, and might also save a historical bookstore. On Tuesday this week, the Cambridge Public Library of Massachusetts invited Chinese international filmmaker and director Weiying Olivia Huang to hold a documentary film screening and discussion of “Grolier Poetry Book Shop: The Last Sacred Place of Poetry”. The symposium also invited a well-known poet of Massachusetts, Doug Holder, who is the founder of Ibbetson Street Press, to participate in a discussion with Director Huang after the screening.

‘Last Sacred Place of Poetry’ honors Grolier,

fragile treasure, at a free screening Tuesday

As the oldest continuously running bookshop dedicated to poetry in America, Harvard Square’s Grolier Poetry Book Shop has hosted T.S. Eliot, e.e. cummings, Robert Lowell, Anaïs Nin, Seamus Heaney and Robert Pinsky. Now, with new concerns about the shop’s legacy since the death of owner Ifeanyi Menkiti this summer, comes a screening of Weiying Olivia Huang’s documentary, “Grolier Poetry Book Shop: The Last Sacred Place of Poetry.”......

Documentary Screening at the Cambridge Public Library, Sept. 3

On August 27, 2019, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

By Meia Geddes

Weiying Olivia Huang, Director/Producer (left), and Mengyuan Lin, Cinematographer/Editor (right) ~Photo credit: Ru Fang

Filmmaker Weiying Olivia Huang’s beautiful documentary featuring the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, “the last sacred place of poetry,” will be screened at the Cambridge Public Library this Tuesday, September 3rd at 6 p.m., followed by a discussion between Huang, director and producer of the film, and local poet-publisher Doug Holder.

The Last Sacred Place of Poetry Draws Rave Reviews at MIFF

By Xinming Li, 

Boston, August 31, 2018, — The Last Sacred Place of Poetry, a documentary about the Grolier Poetry bookshop by Director Weiying (Olivia) Huang and Editor Mengyuan Lin, who received master degree in Digital Media program at Northeastern University. This is the only Chinese international student’s film, has been officially selected to the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival (MIFF) 2018. The premiere drew rave reviews from the audience at the Regent Theatre in Arlington on August 25.

Film recounts Grolier story; playing catchup with Mass Book Awards 

By Nina MacLaughlin     AUGUST 17, 2018

"Focus on Grolier Poetry Book Shop The potent, diminutive Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Harvard Square is the subject of a tender new documentary directed by Weiying “Olivia’’ Huang and Mengyuan Lin, which will screen as part of the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival this week. The Grolier, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, is the longest operating poetry-only bookshop in the country, and the storied space has been a gathering spot for some of poetry’s brightest luminaries — T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, E.E. Cummings, Jorge Luis Borges, William Carlos Williams. “The Last Sacred Place of Poetry,’’ filmed almost entirely within the store, features interviews with local poets like Ben Mazer, Patrick Sylvain, Susan Barba, Gloria Mindock, and owner Ifeanyi Menkiti and Carol Menkiti. It also examines the struggle to keep it operating. On a good day, sales could be $300-$400, explains Grolier employee Elizabeth Doran; a slow day means about five books are sold. Menkiti uses his own money to help keep the shop afloat. More than anything, it’s a portrait of an institution and the passionate community that wants to keep it alive. The film screens Saturday, Aug. 25 at 8 pm at the Arlington Regent Theatre."



    AUGUST 09, 2018

"Poetry can contain the whole world, but can it pay the rent? That’s the nagging question in local filmmaker Olivia Huang’s short documentary “Grolier Poetry Book Shop: The Last Sacred Place of Poetry” (Aug. 25 at 8 p.m.). Founded in 1927, the Grolier is the oldest bookstore dedicated solely to poetry — and may be the last. A one-room establishment packed with books in the heart of Harvard Square, it is a cultural landmark that has hosted such luminaries as E.E. Cummings , T.S. Eliot , Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, Marianne Moore, Robert Pinsky, Lloyd Schwartz, Adrienne Rich, Ruth Stone, and many others.

There are days when the store sells only a couple of books, but the current owner — poet and Wellesley College professor Ifeanyi Menkiti — has been resourceful in seeking funding from various sources. Making money doesn’t matter, he says. What’s more important is seeing a high school student rapt for hours reading poetry. Even if she doesn’t buy anything. 

Through interviews and footage of some of the store’s cozy, uplifting readings Huang captures the spirit of a precious, endangered resource."

Somerville’s Olivia Huang celebrates the Grolier Poetry Book Shop with a new documentary

On November 8, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

In the coming weeks the Grolier Poetry Book Shop will be celebrating its 90th anniversary. This famed bookstore in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been in operation since 1927. It is an all poetry bookstore, and has seen the likes of Lowell, Eliot, Ginsberg, Hall and many other much-lauded poets grace its environs.



Weiying Olivia Huang (Director/Producer)
is a director and producer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a background in fine arts and graphic design. She holds a master's degree in digital media from Northeastern University. Her documentary "Grolier Poetry Book Shop" has been screened at many festivals such as the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival, North Beach Film Festival, World Premiere Film Awards, Barcelona Planet Film Festival, AltFF Alternative Film Festival, and others.  In 2019, She is working on a documentary on Graffiti Alley in Cambridge thanks to a grant from the Cambridge Arts Council. 
Mengyuan Lin (Director/Editor)
is a editor with a background in Film & TV Conductor, Video Production and a master degree in Digital Media. 

Get in touch

Contact information

+1 617 447 6407

379 Columbia Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
We in social networks

Your information

© Copyright Grolier Poetry Book Shop Documentary Film