Poetry Rules!

National Poetry Month poster, courtesy of Academy of American PoetsApril is National Poetry Month, and it’s rhyme time in Seattle. The sponsoring Academy of American Poets suggests 30 Ways to Celebrate the month. And whether you’re in to writing or reading or listening to poetry, there’s lots going on locally to help you do just that.

The Seattle Public Library sponsors many poetry events in April. The North East Branch has a month-long poetry contest, with submissions of an original poem by children, teens, and adults taken from April 1-30, and a gala poetry awards ceremony and open mike on May 20. At the ceremony, someone will walk away with the coveted Wedgie Award trophy, and everyone can grab fortune cookies with custom poetry fortunes. The Green Lake Branch is hosting three events by Poets West: a public forum on April 5, a prose sharing open mike on April 12, and a poetry sharing open mike on April 19. They intend to continue this series at Green Lake on the first three Saturdays of the month from May to September after that. The Southwest Branch is hosting a Continue reading “Poetry Rules!”

Free Books @ the library!

In what some have called a daring and radical departure from the successful business models of Barnes & Noble, Netflix and iTunes, The Seattle Public Library is loaning books, DVDs and music free of charge to anyone with a library card. In a scheme well-calculated to take advantage of the image-of-seattle-library-book-return-courtesy-of-leffcurrent thrift craze (or cheap chic), Seattlites can browse from a vast collection of new, used and even rare materials at over twenty-five neighborhood locations, or via an extensive online catalog. Of course there’s a catch: you’ll have to return the items when you’re done, so that someone else can use them.

What will they think up next? Free coffee?

A conversation with Daniel Schorr

It’s been more than a week since he came to Town Hall, but our conversation with Daniel Schorr is still on my mind. Mr. Schorr shuffled out on fragile limbs but, at nearly 92, his wit and mental clarity are razor sharp and  “the voice”- – pure gravitas.  His relationship with us seemed almost intimate.  We offered a standing ovation when he stepped onto the stage; he seem genuinely touched by our welcome. Mr. Schorr told us something he’s never told an audience about how his father’s death affected him. But I’m keeping that to myself – but you can listen to the  podcast. 

Eric Lui, President of the Seattle Public Library Board of Trustees, interviewed him with questions centering on his new book Come to Think of It We heard how he creates his editorials for NPR by keeping himself immersed in the news of the day – and a very good research assistant. He told tales of his days with Richard Nixon-the president who put him on his list of his enemies and had him investigated by the FBI.

He defined his role as someone who helps to convey meaning in a world awash in information.  Mr. Schorr made it clear that he values his experience and perspective as his most important assets. But it’s the courage he’s shown over the years to stand up for his values that make him so special. 

Calling all Parents! Homework Help to the Rescue

dlrhomeworkhelp.jpgIs your kid’s homework getting YOU down? How’s that “new math” working out at your house? Fortunately for you and your children, The Seattle Public Library offers free homework help in-person on-line. Trained volunteers at some of our Branch Libraries are on hand to assist your children and teens with their homework.  Student who work with our Homework Help volunteers consistently report getting better grades and have much better understanding of their assignments.

Of course, sometimes you can’t get to the library (or the library is closed). With a computer and Internet connection (and your Seattle Public Library card number and PIN),  students may use our On-Line Homework Help. This service matches the student with an expert tutor in whatever subject and grade level they select.   

Check for the Branch Homework Help times and locations and the link to log into the on-line service here.

Rejoice! Let Homework Help ride to the rescue at your house.    

Book review: Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell

dreamers-of-the-day.jpgMary Doria Russell visits The Seattle Public Library this Thursday (March 20) to introduce her new book, Dreamers of the Day, to the delight of her many Seattle fans. Mary’s first book, The Sparrow, won the James Tiptree award in 1996 and the Arthur C. Clarke award in 1998, and still is in constant demand by book groups and library patrons who are discovering her talent for the first time. The sequel, Children of God, continues this literary philosophical science fiction story, though it has not received due acclaim. A Thread of Grace (2005) captured the hearts of readers with a masterfully conceived historical novel set in World War II Italy.

Lit lovers have come to expect great things from Russell’s creative mind, and Dreamers of the Day delivers. We loved Father Emilio in The Sparrow and Renzo in A Thread of Grace, and we cannot help but be enchanted by Agnes Shanklin in this fourth novel by the virtuoso of characterization and surprising plot nuance. The only surviving member of her family after the Great Influenza, Agnes shakes off grief in an uncharacteristic visit to Cleveland’s shopping district. Hair bobbed and stylishly attired, the shy and unattractive 40-year-old spinster ignores her ghostly “mumma’s” cautionary Continue reading “Book review: Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell”