A Poet Who Knew It

Brooks2Gwendolyn Brooks @ 100

Gwendolyn Brooks is one of the most highly regarded, highly influential, and widely read poets of 20th-century American poetry. She was a much-honored poet, even in her lifetime, with the distinction of being the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois. Many of Brooks’s works display a political consciousness, especially those from the 1960s and later, with several of her poems reflecting the civil rights activism of that period. Her body of work gave her, according to critic George E. Kent, “a unique position in American letters. Not only has she combined a strong commitment to racial identity and equality with a mastery of poetic techniques, but she has also managed to bridge the gap between the academic poets of her generation in the 1940s and the young black militant writers of the 1960s.” From poetryfoundation.org.

And now its time to celebrate the life of this remarkable poet, 100 years on.

100 libraries, museums, and cultural centers all over the state have agreed to celebrate the centennial.

A little over a week after the 100th anniversary of her birth, “Matter in the Margins: Gwendolyn Brooks at 100,” an exhibition at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, opens tomorrow, June 16, showcasing selections from Gwendolyn Brooks’s personal archives. Brooks was an inveterate note-taker and self-chronicler, and her archives are filled with Post-Its, hotel stationery, and other scraps of paper on which she recorded her daily life and current events. She sketched out future plans and recorded meaningful memories in the fly-leaves of notebooks and on the backs of photographs, and she interrogated others’ ideas and narratives in the margins of letters she received and books she read. Here, the poet worked out the process of becoming, raising important questions about completion, authority, self-fashioning, and memory.

For more information on the Gwendolyn Brooks and the centennial celebration you can visit the official “Celebrating Gwendolyn Brooks @ 100” site here.

Celebrate the fall of Barad-dur at the Moline Library!

Tolkien Reading DayAccording to The Tolkien Society, Sauron, the evil Lord of the Rings, was finally defeated on March 25. To celebrate this momentous occasion in fantasy literature (and later, fantasy film) March 25 was declared, by the people who declare such things, Tolkien Reading Day!

So stop into the Moline Library and grab a Tolkien book and find a comfy chair. It doesn’t have to be the LOTR either – The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin, The Book of Lost Tales, whatever scratches the Middle-Earth itch.

Author Birthdays – October continued

Elmore Leonard (b. October 11, 1925, New Orleans, LA; d. August 20, 2013, Bloomfield Hills, MI)

What a cool guy“There are cities that get by on their good looks, offer climate and scenery, views of mountains or oceans, rockbound or with palm trees. And there are cities like Detroit that have to work for a living.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Get Shorty and Raylan

For more information on Elmore Leonard, click here.

 

 

Friedrich Nietzsche (b. October 15, 1844, Röcken, Germany; d. August 25, 1900, Weimar, Germany)

Say what you will about his ideas, man could grow a mustache“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Beyond Good and Evil

For more information on Friedrich Nietzche and his philosophy, click here.

 

P.G. Wodehouse (b. October 15, 1881, Guildford, UK; d. February 14, 1975, Southampton, NY)

This guy looks like he knows a joke or two“It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: My Man Jeeves

For more information on P. G. Wodehouse, click here.

 

Mario Puzo (b. October 15, 1920, New York, NY; d. July 2, 1999, West Bay Shore, NY)

Good fella“I have always believed helping your fellow man is profitable in every sense, personally and bottom line.” Read more quotes here.

What you should read: The Godfather

For more on Mario Puzo, click here.

 

 

Author Birthdays – When September ends

Samuel Johnson (b. September 18, 1709, Lichfield, UK ; d. December 13, 1784, London, UK)

John Madden?“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labor tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Any of his essays or poems

For more information on Samuel Johnson, click here.

 

William Golding (b. September 19, 1911, Newquay, UK; d. June 19, 1993, Perranarworthal, UK)

Like Gandalf's younger brother“The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.” You can find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Lord of the Flies

For more information on William Golding, click here.

 

H.G. Wells (b. September 21, 1866, Bromley, UK; d. August 13, 1946, London, UK)

More lost Earp brothers.“While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles, I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he were sure of it. If at the end your cheerfulness in not justified, at any rate you will have been cheerful.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds

For more information on H. G. Wells, click here.

 

Stephen King (b. September 21, 1947, Portland, ME)

Growing on me“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings – words shrink things that seem timeless when they are in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.” Read more quotes here.

What you should read: The Stand, The Shining, Misery, 11/22/63, The Green Mile, and The Dead Zone

For more on Stephen King and  his work, both new and old, click here.

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald (b. September 24, 1896, Saint Paul, MN; d. December 21, 1940, Los Angeles, CA)

This BEFORE his hair got really crazy, believe it or not“The easiest way to get a reputation is to go outside the fold, shout around for a few years as a violent atheist or a dangerous radical, and then crawl back to the shelter.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Great Gatsby

For more information on F. Scott Fitzgerald, click here.

 

Jane Smiley (b. September 26, 1949, Los Angeles, CA)

Aptly named“If to live is to progress, if you are lucky, from foolishness to wisdom, then to write novels is to broadcast the various stages of your foolishness.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age

For more information on Jane Smiley and her books, click here.

 

Miguel de Cervantes (b. September 29, 1547, Alcalá de Henares, Spain; d. April 22, 1616, Madrid, Spain)

Look at this BAMF“One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world will be better for this.” Read more quotes here.

What you should read: The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha

For more on Cervantes, click here.

 

Truman Capote (b. September 30, 1924, New Orleans, LA; d. August 25, 1984, Los Angeles, CA)

He looks so normal in an intense sort of way“Friendship is a pretty full-time occupation if you really are friendly with somebody. You can’t have too many friends because then you’re just not really friends.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood

For more information on Truman Capote, click here.

Book Lovers Day!

Yup, yup

You can probably figure out why this is a big deal for us.

If you are a book lover too but are struggling to find ways to adequately show your devotion to your favorite word and wood pulp sandwich here is a handy list of ten ways to celebrate National Book Lovers Day from The Huffington Post – we think number one is a particularly good idea.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zola-books-/national-book-lovers_b_5662137.html

 

 

Happy Geek Pride Day!

You don’t have to be a geek to love the library but it doesn’t hurt!

Geek

Be Proud!

Are you a geek? Do you have a greater than average interest in a particular subject? Does that interest in said subject manifest itself as a working knowledge of the minute, possibly technical, details of that subject?  Do people that don’t share your particular interest tune you out or roll their eyes when you start talking about it? I can sense some of you grinning sheepishly and nodding.

If you answered ‘yes’ to the questions above, then you, my friend, are a geek – movie geek, cooking geek (aka foodie), NASCAR geek, comic book geek; it doesn’t matter, you’re still a geek. Chances are you already knew that, but if you didn’t it might have come as a surprise. It’s okay. You’re among friends. The Greatest Generation won World War II, the Baby Boomers waged the Cold War, Gen X… had grunge rock, I guess… BUT Millennials made being a geek okay. Heck, in some cases, even cool.

Plus, May 25th is a great day to be a geek. Geek pride is celebrated with parades, cosplay, conventions, parties and gaming sessions all over the world today. Scheduled to coincide with the original cinematic debut of Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope, May 25, 1977,  it celebrates all the those “geeky” things that people love so much. And geeks themselves, of course.

Celebrate all things geek with a trip to the library today. No matter what your particular interest is we are bound to have something that will allow you to immerse yourself as deeply in your own geekiness as you would care to go.

Special Mention: As an added bonus for many geeks, May 25 is also important to fans of quirky, British, sci-fi authors; doing double-duty as the date of the People’s Revolution of the Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May, and subsequent annual celebrations of the revolution, in Terry Pratchett’s much-loved Discworld series AND Towel Day, a tribute to Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book/series, and towels, “the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.” You can check out (see what I did there?) books by Pratchett and Adams at the Moline Public Library.

Happy Towel Day!