Friday, April 23, 2010

8th Annual Reading Across Rhode Island Program

On Saturday May 1st over 700 people from all over Rhode Island will gather at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet to discuss the Reading Across Rhode Island 2010 selection, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and to hear Annie Barrows, one of the co-authors speak.

This is RARI’s 8th year and the participation and excitement about this program seems to grow each time. In order to make next year’s program as successful and community-wide as possible, we need your help.

Now is the time to suggest a title for consideration as the 2011 Reading Across Rhode Island selection. The guidelines for selection are not extensive.

The Reading Across Rhode Island selection should be:

  • A good story, with a universal theme

  • Appealing to both women and men

  • Appropriate for a range of readers, from age 14 to senior citizens

  • Accessible in both language and content, and available in different formats (paperback, audiobook, etc.)

  • Author: alive and affordable

Over time, the titles selected should reflect diversity in content, culture and genre.

Suggesting a title for 2011 is easy. Just send an email, with the title and author (and publisher and year of publication, if you know them) to Thanks for your help.

Monday, April 12, 2010

National Poetry Month AND National Library Week

April is National Poetry Month and the week of April 12th through April 17th is National Library Week. What better way to celebrate both than with some poems about libraries! In fact, I have found two very good, very interesting poems about libraries.

Library by Valerie Worth is from the book All the Small Poems and Fourteen More.

No need even
to take out
a book: only
go inside
and savor
the heady
dry breath of
ink and paper,
or stand and
listen to the
silent twitter
of a billion
tiny busy
black words.

The second poem is entitled My First Memory (of Librarians) by author and sometime poet Nikki Giovanni. Giovanni conjures up an image of a long-ago library, with an actual card catalog and green bankers’ lights. The welcoming smile on a librarians’ face is something we hope you see at our library often!

This is my first memory:
A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky wood floor
A line of green shades – bankers’ lights down the center
Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply
too short
for me to sit in and read
So my first book was always big.

In the foyer up four steps a semi-circle desk presided
To the left side the card catalogue
On the right newspapers draped over what looked like a quilt rack
Magazines face out from the wall.

The welcoming smile of my librarian
The anticipation in my heart
All those books – another world – just waiting
At my fingertips.

Come in to the library this week and help us celebrate National Library Week and National Poetry Month by picking up a book of poetry. Meg

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

National Poetry Month - Robert Frost

One of America’s most popular poets, Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, but moved to New England when he was a boy, and many of his poems have a distinct New England flavor.

Some of his most popular and recognized poems are Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening and The Road Not Taken, but one of my favorites is a very simple, very short poem entitled Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Recommended books of poetry by Mr. Frost include: The Robert Frost Reader: Poetry and Prose and Early Poems.

For an introduction to the poet try these two excellent children’s books: A Swinger of Birches: Robert Frost for Young People and Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening illustrated by Susan Jeffers. Meg

Thursday, April 1, 2010

National Poetry Month - A Beginning

What is National Poetry Month?

National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. “ Their goal is to increase everyone’s interest in the art of poetry, living poets and America’s rich cultural heritage of poems, poetry books and journals.

To start your celebration of National Poetry Month here are two really good, really accessible books of poetry that are highly recommended.

* American’s Favorite Poems, edited by Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz

The “favorite poem project” was started by Robert Pinksy when he was America’s Poet Laureate, and was dedicated to exploring and encouraging the importance of poetry in American lives. Americans (over 18,000 of them) from all over the country submitted their favorite poem and explained how this poem had touched them.

This book includes quite a number of those poems with an explanation of the poem’s significance to the person submitting it. There is also a wonderful web site that contains videos of people reading their selections.

* Poem a Day, edited by Laurie Sheck.

This lovely paperback contains a very wide range of poems, long and short, simple and complex, to get you started reading “a poem a day.” Sheck also includes short comments and stories about the poets and their work.

During the month of April, we will be sharing favorite poems and favorite books of poems and about poetry. Check back often. If YOU have a favorite poem, please share it with us. Meg


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