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Open Mic Night: Poem In Your Pocket – Thursday April 28, 6:30 PM

Posted by Michael Gorzka on April 23rd, 2016

Poem in your PocketIn honor of National Poetry Month, Thursday April 28th will be Brunswick’s designated Poem In Your Pocket Day.

Short poems and stickers will be distributed throughout the town.

Community members are encouraged to put a favorite poem in their pocket, wear a sticker with the logo, and share poems with each other.

In the evening, people of all ages are invited to listen to featured poets, read their own poem and celebrate the magic of poetry.

Day & Time: Thursday, April 28, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Location: Morrell Meeting Room

Contact: Sarah Brown 725-5242 x229 sbrown @ curtislibrary.com

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction: Station Eleven

Posted by Pamela Bobker on April 20th, 2016

station elevenIn Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, 99% of the world’s population has been killed by a devastating flu.  The story opens at a production of King Lear, where aging actor Arthur Leander drops dead of a heart attack, just as the flu pandemic strikes.  The narrative is organized around several characters present at the theater, and goes back and forth in time following the characters as they make their way through a dystopian world.  Kristin, for example, is one of the survivors, who was a child onstage with Arthur when the flu struck and is now part of a traveling troupe of musicians and actors. Arthur’s friend Clark is part of a stationary group stuck for years in an airport and he takes on the role of curating a kind of museum to the past. Though Arthur dies at the outset of the book, he provides the connection among the characters, as he has touched each of them in some way.

Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian–what’s the difference? Apocalyptic is when the devastating event happens during the book;  in post-apocalyptic fiction, the story happens after some sort of catastrophic event.  And dystopia is just the opposite of utopia – a future that is not desirable.  The end of civilization may be caused by nuclear war, climate change, pandemic, divine judgment, an impact event (comet), cybernetic revolt, supernatural phenomena or an alien invasion. A current trend is the zombie apocalypse, in which the world is taken over by zombies, the undead who usually attack people.  In Station Eleven, there are no zombies or other creepy things.  It simply traces the story of how several people survive after the pandemic, and how their lives intersect.  Even if you think post-apocalyptic books are not your “thing” I urge you to give it a try; it’s about people, relationships, and the fragility of life as we know it.

If post-apocalyptic books ARE your thing, here are some others:

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (2009)stand

Flood by Stephen Baxter (2008)

The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig (2015)

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (2012)

The Children of Men by PD James (1993)

The Stand by Stephen King (1978)

The Leftovers by Tom Perotta (2011)

Zone One by Colin Whitehead (2011)

Who will be minding the store?

Posted by Paul Dostie on March 31st, 2016

On Tuesday next week, seven of us from Curtis will be flying out to Denver, courtesy of the Friends of Curtis Library, for our Public Library Association’s biennial national conference. We’re all leaving from Portland but somehow one of us will be connecting in Chicago, two in New York, another in Atlanta and three of us will spend five hours of quality time in Newark. Go Priceline!

The conference is an opportunity to network among thousands of public librarians. We go to seminars, share information, get ideas for programs, hear authors speak, parry with vendors (rule # 1 is don’t make eye contact), take home some swag. A number of us who lead book discussion groups will be going to workshops for better book groups. We’ll take notes!  We’ll be listening to speakers such as poets Nikki Giovanni and Sherman Alexie,  food writer Ruth Reichl, journalist Anderson Cooper (who, this week, told Donald Trump that “I didn’t start it” was “the argument of a 5-year-old.”) and Reclaiming Conversation‘s Sherry Turkle.  I count myself among the legion of geeks (aka, sentient human beings) who greatly admire these people. We’ll be honing skills, reclaiming perspective, and dipping into the great well of shared passions. In short, we go to be reminded why we took what are, arguably, the best jobs in Maine.

The library is a place for stories. We create and recount or shelve and stack and catalog them every day. We’ll bring back our stories from PLA-Denver (along with some swag) to merge with your own and those on the library shelves. You’ll read some in coming blogs. All of us contribute to the treasure trove of stories that is Curtis Library.

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