Category Archives: Books and Reading

Awesome Autumn Options III

In case you haven’t noticed, the days of Summer are indeed dwindling down……https://www.cute-calendar.com/event/autumnal-equinox/26446.html)  And yet, autumn – and our national political angst, unleash the creative energies of many for whom the season and the challenge peak in times such as these.   In truth, there is so much happening that no one would have time to read a length post anyway.  What follows  is a quick smattering of ways in which creative people help to inform and inspire an engaged community.

September 29 – Dr. Betty Bright will deliver the 54th James Ford Bell Lecture, “Past in Present: The Book’s Evolving Persona, 7:30 PM at the Open Book, Target Performance Hall. Free and open. Reservations online.  https://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/54thjames-ford-bell-lecture/

September 29-30 – Twin Cities Zine Fest:

And be sure to read Jon Jeffryes’ essay on “Zines: Inspiring assignments and art” – it’s a great overview of zines history and the U of M collection as well as background information on a U of M Libraries exhibit entitled “Protest Publishing and Art.” curated by U of M Arts & Architecture Librarian, Deborah Utan https://www/continuum.umn.edu/2017/09/zine-collection-inspiring-assignments

More about the collection and the exhibit here: https://gormanartspeccoll.tumblr.com/post/159231439651/protest-publishing-and-art-from-the-copy-machine

October 14, 7:00 PM. Opening Reception of Collectively We Support Your Autonomy, Soap Factory,  http://www.soapfactory.org/exhibition/monica-sheets-collectively-we-support-your-autonomy

October 14. Water Bar and Public Studio storefront will celebrate their grand reopening https://www.facebook.com/waterbarandpublicstudio/In case you missed them at the Fair, you can still learn the latest plans from this unique community resource. https://www.facebook.com/waterbarandpublicstudio/ or earlier post here https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/drinking-and-thinking-water-in-northeast-minneapolis/

November 18-10 – Minneapolis Craftzahttps://craftza.com or https://www.facebook.com/Craftstravaganza

And a few more items of note……

To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.

Georgia O’Keeffe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case you haven’t noticed, the days of Summer are  dwindling down https://www.cute-calendar.com/event/autumnal-equinox/26446.html)  And yet, autumn – coupled with  our national political angst – unleashes the creative energies of many for whom the season and the challenge peak in times such as these.   In truth, there is so much happening that no one would have time to read a lengthy post anyway.  Thus, what follows  is a quick smattering of ways in which creative people help to inform and inspire an engaged community.

September 29 – Dr. Betty Bright will deliver the 54th James Ford Bell Lecture, “Past in Present: The Book’s Evolving Persona, 7:30 PM at the Open Book, Target Performance Hall. Free and open. Reservations online.  https://www.continuum.umn.edu/event/54thjames-ford-bell-lecture/

September 29-30 – Twin Cities Zine Fest:

October 14, 7:00 PM. Opening Reception of Collectively We Support Your Autonomy, Soap Factory,  http://www.soapfactory.org/exhibition/monica-sheets-collectively-we-support-your-autonomy

October 14. Water Bar and Public Studio storefront will celebrate their grand reopening https://www.facebook.com/waterbarandpublicstudio/  If you missed the Water Bar at the State Fair, you can still learn the latest plans from this unique community resource. https://www.facebook.com/waterbarandpublicstudio/ earlier post here https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/drinking-and-thinking-water-in-northeast-minneapolis/

November 18-10 – Minneapolis Craftzahttps://craftza.com or https://www.facebook.com/Craftstravaganza

And a few more items of note……

 

Advertisements

Young poet envisions “a world worth building!”

These days my head has been teeming with images of the many faces of Resistance – mostly the ways in which people of good will have gathered to blend their skills and societal commitment to share truth, experiences and opinions — eventually, to take arms (or voice, or knitting needles, laptop, paint brush, cello, chisel or camera) to oppose – and end – the “sea of troubles” in which the nation is floundering.

The splash this weekend has been news of Amanda Gorman, a young woman whose powerful presence and poetry have taken the nation by storm.  As the first National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda was omnipresent in the media as she spoke out at last weekend’s Social Good Summit.

Learn more about this powerful young woman of words — and listen to her message — here: http://mashable.com/2017/09/17/amanda-gorman-us-youth-poet-laureate-social-good/#ydD41XQL_iqg.  Or read this piece about Amanda and the National Youth Poet Laureate title here: https://www.pw.org/content/amanda_gorman_named_national_youth_poet_laureate

Because Amanda is the first to wear the laurel wreath as National Youth Poet Laureate it’s important to know more about the backstory of the initiative.  The project itself reflects the vision of Urban Word, a “youth literary arts and youth development organization” whose mission is “to elevate the voices of teens while promoting civic engagement and social justice.”  (http://urbanwordnyc.org) The project places youth in “spaces of power” where they can “creatively respond to the litany of social and political factors that impact their cities and their lives.”  https://www.pw.org/content/amanda_gorman_named_national_youth_poet_laureate

Last month, the youthful Poet Laureate met with the Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and staff of the Poetry and Literature Staff of the Library of Congress. The description of that informal gathering, prepared by LC staffer Anne Holmes, offers a thoughtful overview of the Youth Poet Laureate initiative and insights about Amanda’s experience. You’ll feel the flicker of hope springing eternal: https://blogs.loc.gov/catbird/2017/07/amanda-gorman-inaugural-national-youth-poet-laureate/

Reflecting on her experience as a participant in the Social Good Summit, Amanda shared these elegant words with Summit attendees:

With one microphone, we streak/ across the globe like an eclipse. We strike our plans into stone/ and from this we build a summit worth climbing, / a goal worth reaching, / a world worth building.”

 

Banned Books Week honors a fundamental right

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when adults are afraid of the light. Plato

Given the free flow of and ready access to misinformation and disinformation it would seem that there should be a special category for “lies in print.”  And yet, the defenders of free speech who sponsor Banned Books Week,  (September 24-30, 2017)  would shun the concept – with great justification.  They are more concerned to respect the right to read and their focus is on the reader who decides the quality of a book, aware that some books don’t deserve to be read.

Banned Books Week began in 1982 “in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries.” BBW continues to be sponsored by the Banned Books Week Coalition. (http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/about))  It’s interesting to note that some titles on the list of banned books are perennials, while others reflect the times or the expressed outrage of a few committed censors.  The BBW Coalition website is a great starting point.  Among other tools the site provides free and reproducible graphics, available in multiple formats for digital or print distribution.

Another essential starting point is the American Library Association, an indispensable source for background information, including legislation related to access. The ALA  tabulates and posts each year the “top ten” challenged titles: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10

The site is also the source of eye-catching graphics, http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned  The press kit posted on the ALA site is the key to jumpstarting a BBW campaign.

BBW on Twitter offers another approach to a complex and volatile topic https://twitter.com/BannedBooksWeek?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bannedbooksweek.org%2Fcensorship%2Fbannedbooksthatshapedamerica

The Library of Congress has mounted a wonderful exhibit entitled “Books that Shaped America”,  described as books that “have had a profound effect on American life.” They also created a companion list of books from that exhibit have been banned or challenged….

http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/bannedbooksthatshapedamerica  LC also sponsors Banned Books online site – which is blessedly sparse just now:  https://catalog.loc.gov/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=13848727

http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/ offers an abundance of promotional tools, videos, a section on Mapping Censorship and excellent graphics.  A unique feature of this site is a guide to planning a Virtual Read-Out. http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/

Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us ~   William O. Douglas

Fun update from Shelf Awareness 9/20

Banned Books Week Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Bookstores, libraries and other organizations across the country are preparing for Banned Books Week 2017, which runs next week, September 24-30Shelf Awareness takes a look at what some stores are planning:

In celebration of Banned Books Week, Ingram is running a special promotion for independent bookstores. Through October 5, indies can receive additional discounts on orders of 25 or more books from a list of over 450 banned and challenged titles. Ingram has also teamed up with American Booksellers for Free Expression to create promotional kits for ABA members. So far, this year’s kit has been sent to more than 500 stores.

Digital audiobook platform Libro.fm, meanwhile, has created a Banned Books Week playlist featuring many of the most-challenged books in the United States, so “readers can choose to listen freely.” Included on the playlist are the audiobook versions of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and many, many more.

Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., got a head start on Banned Books Week earlier this month with a store display featuring banned and challenged books from years past, and is once again supporting a D.C.-wide scavenger hunt organized by the D.C. Public Library called #UncensoredDC. For the scavenger hunt, copies of banned books have been hidden around the capital in libraries, museums, cafes and bookstores and will be there until the end of the month. The books feature a special black cover and are “free to those who find them.” Next Monday, September 25, P&P is co-sponsoring an offsite event with Salman Rushdie, who lived under police protection for close to a decade after Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa for his death in response to Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses. Rushdie will discuss his new novel, The Golden House, in downtown D.C.

In Omaha, Neb., indie bookstores Solid Jackson Books and Dundee Book Company are hosting a Banned Books Week party at Brothers Lounge on Thursday, September 28. Readers are invited to “come grab a pint or two, join the conversation about why it’s important to keep free speech free, and stick it to the book-burners by perusing important books that some want to label as obscene. And some that are obscene!” A selection of banned books will be available for purchase.

City Books in Pittsburgh, Pa., is hosting a day-long Read-Out this Sunday, September 24. “In direct response to the recent events in Charlottesville and across the nation,” the store has decided to “shine a spotlight on books that feature equity, diversity, and inclusion as a primary function of character and plot” by choosing Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl and Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry as the Read-Out selections. The event will run from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m, and readers can sign up for 20-minute reading slots. Food and beverages will be provided by City Books.

In New York City, the Strand Book Store is hosting a Banned Books Week discussion panel on Monday, September 25, in partnership with PEN America. Authors David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy), Coe Booth (Kinda Like Brothers) and Ariel Schrag (Adam) will discuss their experiences of having their books banned or challenged, and how to get skeptical readers to give their books a chance. Jason Low, publisher and co-owner of multicultural children’s book publisher Lee & Low Books, will moderate the discussion.

The Clinton Book Shop in Clinton, N.J., is taking part in the official Banned Books Virtual Read-Out, now in its seventh year. On Sunday, September 24, the bookstore will dedicate space for customers to record brief videos of themselves reading aloud from banned or challenged books or discussing a favorite banned book and what it means to them. The Book Shop will then upload the videos to the store’s Facebook page and submit them to be shared on a dedicated YouTube channel. Anyone who participates in the Virtual Read-Out will receive a 25% off coupon for any book on the banned books list.

And last but not least, Skylight Books in Los Angeles, Calif., is partnering with a local high school for Banned Books Week. Skylight will put up a behind-the-counter display of banned and challenged books with each title featuring a small sign explaining why it was banned or challenged. Customers can then purchase those books at a 20% discount to be donated to the high school’s library. —Alex Mutter

And more….

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/17-of-americas-most-surprising-banned-books/ar-AAslJl6?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE01DHP

https://twitter.com/BannedBooksWeek?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bannedbooksweek.org%2F

http://www.bookglow.net/30-quotes-from-banned-books-to-celebrate-banned-books-week/

Things to do during this “odd uneven time”

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.   Sylvia Plath

 Sylvia Plath didn’t know about the Minnesota State Fair – had she known she would have realized that the best of summer is definitely not gone….Nor did she know about the amazing array of options that lure us during this “odd uneven time.”  Just a few of the possibilities, including some that escape the headlines….

Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Steve Sack is guest speaker at Talk of the Stacks at Minneapolis Central Library on Thursday, August 17.  Doors open at 6:15, program at 7:00 PM.  Free and Open to the public.  Sponsored by Friends of the Library.  https://www.supporthclib.org/steve-sack

To Really See, is a unique art exhibit on display through September 27 at the Minneapolis Central Library.  Subtitled “art exploring the medication-taking experience” the exhibit is presented by Spectrum ArtWorks, a program of RESOURCE.  Learn more about RESOURCE and Spectrum ArtWorks here:  https://www.resource-mn.org/about-resource/

Though the days are indeed getting shorter, the East Side Freedom Library is determined to fill them with a robust series of late summer programs.  All are free and open to the public.

~~~~~

Looking ahead – Details to follow about these forthcoming activities

Expanding the Feast at Eat My Words!

Long ago there was a vague concept, an idea that the vibrant arts community of Northeast Minneapolis somehow needed a stronger voice for the creative folk who live, write, perform or otherwise work with words, books, literary forms of every sort.  Over time the concept morphed.  It would take the words written or spoken by community members to speak for the role of the written word in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Area.  And thus began Voices of Northeast, video interviews with those good people whose words and work with words expand the very definition of the arts community.

What video conversations need more than easels and potting wheels is “recording space” — not so much “30 Rock” stages and cameras but quiet space that conveys a bookish feel, space that welcomes the viewer/reader to connect with the speaker, and for the guest speaker to feel not on stage but in a comfortable setting.

Eat My Words! Bookstore, the unique bookstore in the heart of the arts community, offered an ideal setting, a cozy space (complete with piano and an ever-changing art exhibit) that I’ve come to call “the parlor.” Most important, EMW extended knowing welcome to two volunteers with a hand-held camera and lights, a mission to share the views of those who give life to words, and a mission to incorporate the “literary arts” into the Northeast arts community. Thus, for the past couple of years, scores of episodes of Voices of Northeast have emanated from the back room at EMW.  One of the interviews is with Scott VanKaughnett, friend and proprietor of EMW  http://umedia.lib.umn.edu/node/1347781

All of which is background, a roundabout way of sharing my unbounded excitement about the new home of Eat My Words Bookstore.  Just last weekend EMW moved from the original site at the corner of 2nd Street and 13th Avenue Northeast just up the block to 214 13th Avenue NE, former home of Two12 Pottery.   Past posts have covered the basics of the move, the collaboration with the previous owner, potter Bob Sorg, and hopes for the expanded bookstore. (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/eat-my-words-a-moveable-feast/)

Beyond our highest expectations, we can now share with readers just how wonderful this move is – all of the good things that will be happening in the NEW Eat My Words!   The space offers bibliographic elbow room for the shop’s 20,000 volumes (no more iffy basement…)   It’s bathed in gentle sunlight room and nooks just right for cozying up with a great read, tantalizing displays of Bob Sorg’s pottery, unique greeting cards, and, still room enough for Voices of Northeast to continue weekly interviews with people whose art form is the written or spoken word!

There is also great space for the incredible public programming series that EMW is now able to expand! This month’s programs are but a sample of the mix:

  • Thursday, August 10, 7PM – – Poetry Reading: Freddy La Force, Georgia Linden, Stephanie Mann. P
  • Friday, August 11, 7PM — Nate Graznow & Steven Hildreth
  • Friday, August 18, 7PM — Film Meets Poetry: Kathryn Oakley & Damian Kussian.
  • Friday, August 19, 3PM – Michelle Leon—I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland

Each of these programs is announced and generously annotated in the beautifully wrought EMW online events calendar.  In fact, there is so much going on at EMW that the only way to stay in touch is to make haste to get on the list:  http://www.eatmywordsbooks.com/events/?view=calendar&month=August-2017

It is an honor to congratulate and thank Scott VanKaughnett and the staff of this unique community treasure.  Congratulations on your new digs – and sincere admiration for your vision, your commitment and your voice for the writers, readers and word lovers who weave their ideas and energy into the very fabric of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts area.

 

Eat My Words! Moves on up to its new home!

 His hands were weak and shaking from carrying far too many books from the bookshop. It was the best feeling. ― Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The quote no doubt expresses the post-move reflections of some, if not all, of the volunteers of every gender, age, and reading preference who showed up last weekend to heft thousands of tomes up the hill from the original Eat My Words! Bookstore to its new home at 214 13th Avenue Northeast.  As noted in a previous blog post, EMW has relocated to its new site at the former home of 212 Pottery.  See previous pre-move post here: https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/eat-my-words-a-moveable-feast/

And what comes next?

A TWO-DAY CELEBRATION —  Saturday and Sunday, August 5-6

It’s a busy weekend, beginning with a day of Bookstore Bingo beginning at 11:00 AM – with a busy agenda throughout the day:

3:00 PM – Pottery demonstration by local artist Bob Sorg (of 212  Pottery fame)

5:00 PM – Poetry reading featuring Terrance Folz, Morgan Grayce Willow, Tony the Scribe and Tony Plocido.

7:00 PM – Wayne Nelson will screen several of his animated films based on the poems, stories and songs of other people.

And there will be Music! Music! Music!

The music starts Saturday evening at 7:30-8:30pm when Branden Cravallho will share his unique classical guitar talent and repertoire.

And music continues on Sunday when the day’s program is sponsored  in tandem with Open Streets Northeast.  Music will fill the streets for seven hours Noon – 7:00 PM as Eat My Words will host seven bands:  Each band is on stage for an hour, beginning at Noon with Mama Caught Fire, an all-female trio.  The afternoon schedule continues with DMC at 1:00, Nathan Elliot (2:00, Cat and Fox (3:00), Mumblin’ Drew (4:00), Peter Breen at 5:00 and Gabe Barnett wrapping up the afternoon at 6:00.

For much more information about the two-day celebration, including background on the readers, the filmmaker and the musical performers, check the EMW website at http://ww3.eatmywordsbooks.com/emw-is-growing/

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15db08c68b316ff4

 

 

Libraries on the move – Not such a new idea

This post was prompted by recent hype over the Subway Library that now serves some New Yorkers some times (SubwayLibrary.com)  New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library are now collaborating to reach straphangers with the incredible resources of those great institutions.  Bibliophiles who ride the E and F lines will now be on the lookout for the ten brightly colored “subway libraries”—outfitted with seats designed to look like books on a shelf!

Mobile reads include children’s and YA titles, adult fiction, books about NYC, and new releases – readings are geared to short hops, longer rides and inevitable delays.  If you happen to be headed for Gotham City in the near future, you’ll probably want to learn more – if not, here’s a quick intro:  http://gothamist.com/2017/06/08/nypl_subway_library.php#photo-1

For some reason, probably because it’s summer in Minnesota, the subway library hype got me thinking about a legendary movement to expand access to good books and mobile library service.  Though New Yorkers claim credit for most innovative thinking, the fact is that mobile library service enjoys a long and noble heritage.

In 1905 Mary L. Titcom, Librarian of the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown, Maryland, launched the first book wagon.  Pulled by two horses, driven by the library janitor, the wagon shared library services with rural residents throughout the County.

And thus began the evolution of the bookmobile, a story beautifully shared by library lover Larry T. Nix in The Library History Buff, http://www.libraryhistorybuff.org/bookmobile.html

One way to celebrate Independence Day is to think about the ways in which libraries and  librarians through the years have honored the individual’s right to read and the right to know.  These photos will trigger your memory or expand your image and expectations: