David Cherry's blog

Writers in the Schools’ Poem A Day Project Comes to HCPL’s Facebook Page

Writers in the Schools A Poem A Day BannerMaybe it’s because their sense of wonder has not been tamped down by too many peeks behind the wizard’s curtain, or maybe it’s because their language has not been clogged up with convention and cliché. Whatever it is, children and teens seem to have a felicity with poetry that adult poets can spend their careers trying to recapture.

Writers in the Schools (WITS), a local nonprofit organization, actively encourages children (K-12) in over 350 area classrooms to develop those skills. Each April, WITS celebrates National Poetry Month by sharing some of the students’ work with the community through its Poem A Day project. We at Harris County Public Library are excited to participate in this year’s event. Starting this Monday, April 2 and running through the month, fans of HCPL’s facebook page will get to read these inspiring poems.

Adrienne Rich (1929 - 2012)

Cover Art: Diving into the Wreck by Adrienne RichOnce Adrienne Rich got the pretty (though pointed) rhyming verse out of her system (and she did that early--her first book was published when she was still at Radcliffe) Adrienne Rich constructed a voice for herself that was equal parts lyric brilliance, surgically precise language, and undiluted rage. To call her a feminist poet, while probably accurate, diminishes her project. Yes, the overarching issue of her writing, perhaps its sole impetus, was the struggle to carve out a place for women in society and as such she can be seen as a political/activist poet, few if any of her poems can be read as merely political statements.

Something about Nothing: Harvey Pekar and Slice of Life

Cover Art: The Quitter by Harvey Pekar, Art by Dean HaspielGone are the days when people with both a weakness for comic books and aspirations of becoming “serious” writers had to slink across town and hope no one they knew drove past as they walked out of the shop with the latest issue of Zap! or Weirdo wrapped in plain brown paper (to give it that little extra patina of shame).

I miss those days.

Join a Book Club at HCPL

Photo Credit: Book Club by Robert Michalove via Flickr Creative Commons
For many people, one of the only things better than reading a good book is talking about a good book, which explains the continuing popularity of book clubs and discussion groups across the country. Yet, book clubs are much more than a place to gab about a ripping good yarn. They’re a chance to meet new people, explore new areas of interest, and get good tips on what to read next, and sometimes, book clubs are a good way to get yourself featured on Voice of America. This is exactly what happened recently to one of Harris County Public Library's many book groups. VOA featured our Tomball College & Community Library’s Paranormal Book Club in a story about the growing popularity among older readers of supernatural romances aimed at young adults (See video below).

Jacinto City Branch Library Reopening Ceremony: March 21, 2012

Jacinto City Branch Library exteriorIn truth, the library is already open for business, but we want everyone to come see our new look, so Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman and Harris County Public Library invite you to celebrate the official reopening of Jacinto City Branch Library on March 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM.

The library, which is a cooperative undertaking of Harris County and the Jacinto City municipal government, has undergone extensive remodeling including new carpeting, paint and furnishings, as well as the addition of a new much-needed public meeting room. The renovations and expansion, funded with a federal grant, are the first since the library moved to the building in 1992.

HCPL and Houston Center for Literacy

ESL Class at Maud Marks Branch LibraryHow many words have you read today? Just think of them all: the emails, street signs, restaurant menus, websites, product labels, grocery lists, text messages, billboards, fortune cookies, instruction manuals, advertising circulars, and bills, to say nothing of the chapter of the latest Stephen King or the handful of Shakespeare’s sonnets you will read before turning out the light tonight. Chances are, if you thought about it, you would consider each and every one of those words vital to the way you want to live your life. Your ability to read not only allows you to move safely and efficiently through the world, it also enriches your inner life immeasurably.

Nothing’s Certain, but…April 17 is Coming: AARP Tax Aide @ HCPL

Photo Credit: TAX DAY by MoneyBlogNewz via Flickr Creative CommonsWhen it comes to doing our taxes, most of us manage to put up a brave front, but the fact is that when we find ourselves staring at a blank tax form and a fast-approaching deadline is staring back at us, even the most unflappable among us tends to get...well... flapped.

Harris County Public Library and AARP can’t do anything about your tendency to procrastinate, but we can help.

Sumo Wrestlers Come to West U. (Yes, You Read That Right).

 

Photo Credit: Clash by TJ Morales via Flickr Creative Commons

West University Branch Library will have the honor of hosting four professional sumo wrestlers this Friday, March 9 at 3:00 PM in the West University Place Community Building & Senior Center. The rikishi, as they are known in their native Japan, will answer questions about the ancient sport of sumo, it's techniques, history and rituals, and will pose for pictures afterward.

The athletes appearing include Yama who wrestles in the top division in Japan: the Pro Sumo Makuuchi Division, and also happens to hold the distinction of being the heaviest Japanese person on record. At 6 ft. 4 in. tall, he weighs in at 601 lbs. He will be joined by his training partner, Noro (5 ft. 11 in. 300 lbs), eighteen year sumo veteran, Waka (6 ft. 2 in. 360 lbs), and Mongolian wrestler Byama (6 ft. 1 in. 360 lbs).

eBook Education Week at HCPL: March 4 - 10

Photo Credit: Reading My Kindle in the Hammock by The Creative PennHere at Harris County Public Library, we love books whether they come bound between covers, recorded on CDs or downloaded onto Kindles or iPods, and we believe that this is a great time to be a reader. There are not only more books to choose from than ever before, but thanks to new technology, there are more ways to get one’s hands on them as well.

We know that many people have already embraced eBooks. HCPL has seen circulation of eBooks nearly triple over the last two years. We also know that a lot of people, for a variety of reasons, are less eager to try them out. We understand their reluctance. The sheer variety of devices and formats on the market can be daunting even for the tech-savvy reader. HCPL can help.

Galena Park Renovations to Begin March 3.

Galena Park Branch LibraryGalena Park Branch Library will be closing temporarily for renovations beginning at 1:00 PM on Saturday, March 3. The grant-funded improvements will include new carpeting, paint and furniture, as well as the addition of a great new computer lab!

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