The Poet's Voice

andrew motion

A spanking new website will now allow you to listen to your favorite English-language poets read their own works.
The Poetry Archive, under the auspices of Andrew Motion, the poet laureate of Britain, is nothing if not impressive.
You can browse by poets, titles, theme and poetic forms. Try out ones by Margaret Atwood; Seamus Heaney and Allen Ginsberg.
There is even an entire archive for children.

Rosetta, Rosetta, Sit by Me by Linda Walvoord

Frederick Douglass enrolls his nine-year-old daughter Rosetta, in an all white private school. She is put in a class by herself and is not allowed to play or learn with the other girls. After her famous father returns from a business trip, he confronts the principal and begins the process of integrating Rochester public schools. This fictional portrayal of Rosetta Douglass touches on the life and times of her famous father. A comprehensive timeline and a detailed synopsis of the great orator's life are included.

Pearl Harbor Day

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, a "date which will live in infamy". Below are three recent titles to commemorate December 7, 1942: Lightning Strike: The Secret Mission to Kill Admiral Yamamoto and Avenge Pearl Harbor, by Don Davis, The Eagle and the Rising Sun: The Japanese-American War, 1941-1943, by Alan Schom, and the fictional Day of Infamy, by Harry Turtledove.

U.S. Postal Service Honors Children's Literature Stars

Starting in January, the United States Postal Service will be honoring some of children's literature's most beloved characters. Eight different animals will be featured on the 16-stamp sheets.

Appearing on the stamps will be Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar, Lucy Cousin's Maisy from Maisy's ABC, the Wild Things from Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, Curious George from Margret and H.A. Rey's Curious George Flies a Kite, the pig Wilbur from E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, Leo Lionni's mouse Frederick, Ian Falconer's Olivia and Dr. Seuss's tongue-twisting Fox in Socks.

2005 Whitbread Literary Awards shortlist

The 35th Annual Whitbread Literary Awards announced its 2005 shortlist on November 16, 2005.

The Whitbreads, one of the most prestigious book awards in the British Isles, was begun in 1971 by Whitbread PLC, a leader in the hospitality industry in the United Kingdom.

The shortlist winners in their respective categories are:

Whitbread First Novel Award

Tash, Aw. The Harmony Silk Factory
Evans, Diana. 26a
Hobbs, Peter. The Short Day Dying (this title will be ordered on December 15, 2005)

Earth Mother

When Earth Mother blows across the deserts she becomes the wind beneath hawk’s wings. She fills the waterholes and sharpens the thornbushes. She flings spears of lightening into the sky and powders the trees with snow. She takes complaints from man how frogs nourish his belly, but “bad, bad, bad mosquito” torments him. From frog, she hears how “sweet, delicious mosquito” makes him happy but how he fears "bad, bad, bad Man” who eats him. She listens to Mosquito as he tells how delicious Man tastes if only there were no useless frogs. At day’s end, she spangles the trees with fireflies and goes to sleep in a perfect world. Earth Mother written by Ellen Jackson and beautifully illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, is a quietly magical book, perfect for ages 3-10.

The Worst Hard Time

Today on The Diane Rehm Show, author Timothy Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times, discusses his book The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (on order). Despite our recent spate of hurricanes and floods, Egan's stories about individuals who survived the dust storms during the height of the Great Depression reveal Mother Nature at her most devastating. The Worst Hard Time received a starred review in Publisher's Weekly.

Looking for insipration in all the right (?) places

Are you poking around on so that you won’t have to face an empty canvas, or page, or monitor? Well, maybe your “research” just paid off.

Check out Letters to a Young Artist by Julia Cameron fashioned after Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. Maybe Letters to a Fiction Writer might help you.

Letters not your thing?

Maybe you’re more of a project person. 52 Projects might fan your creative fire. Or you can go back to Julia Cameron, have you done The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.

Who painted the portrait of George Washington on the $1 bill?

The Answer: Gilbert Stuart, 1755-1828.

George Washington posed for Gilbert Stuart, the son of a Newport, R.I. snuff grinder and a student of Benjamin West on April 12, 1796. Stuart replicated this portrait over and over again, including the one used on the $1 bill.
Two other Washington portraits by Gilbert Stuart are currently generating much controversy as the New York Public Library offered them up for auction, hoping to fetch up to $23 million for an endowment fund.

Richard Bak Talk on Community Access Television

Local author, historian and journalist Richard Bak can be seen on CTN Channel 17 during the week of December 6 through 10 speaking on his fascinating book A Distant Thunder: Michigan in the Civil War. The talk was recorded last December at Mr. Bak’s appearance in the Library’s Sunday Edition book talk series. The book is a comprehensive, well-illustrated chronicle of the contributions and sacrifices of the people of Michigan during the war between the states. Videos of the presentation are also available for home viewing. Mr. Bak is also the author of The Corner: A Century of Memories at Michigan and Trumbull, Detroit: Across Three Centuries and Henry and Edsel: The Creation of the Ford Empire.

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