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Archive for the ‘Authors’ Category

Thursday, October 11, 2012; 6:30-8:00 P.M.

Jack Dempsey, author of the 2012 Michigan Notable Book Michigan & the Civil War:  A Great and Bloody Sacrifice, will visit the library to discuss his book.  

Copies will be available for purchase and signing.  

All author proceeds are donated to Michigan’s Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration.

Registration begins September 13th.

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Natasha Trethewey, Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2012-2013.
Photo by Nancy Crampton.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Emory University English and creative writing professor, Natasha Trethewey has been named by the Library of Congress as the 19th U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2012-2013.

The first poet to hail from the South since Robert Penn Warren in 1986, Trethewey is one of the youngest laureates to take up residence in Washington, whose term begins this September—coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the poetry center. Trethewey will also have the unique distinction of serving as Mississippi’s poet laureate while concurrently serving as the U.S. laureate.

It is altogether fitting that Trethewey has been named U.S. Poet Laureate during the Civil War’s Sesquicentennial: she won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2007 for her volume Native Guard about a black Civil War regiment, the Louisiana Native Guards, who were assigned to guard white Confederate POWs on Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi.

While holding the position as Poet Laureate Trethewey intends to promote national activity around the writings and to connect with the library and people who visit it in the nation’s capital.

For more information on the U. S. Poet Laureates and poetry in general visit: http://www.loc.gov/poetry/

And for your reading pleasure check out:
The Poets Laureate Anthology, edited by Elizabeth Schmidt (W. W. Norton & Co., 2010.)

Poems by each of the 43 poets who have been named our nation’s Poet Laureate since the post (originally called Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress) was established in 1937.

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The third installment highlighting my favorite British detective writers.

Thomas Lynley, Lord Asherton, follows in the footsteps of other aristocratic English detectives like Ngaio Marsh’s Roderick Alleyn or Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey. Lynley is paired with Barbara Havers, a working class detective sergeant. Through seventeen novels, their friendship and professional partnership has grown and weathered both personal and professional losses. In the latest book of the series, Believing the Lie, Lynley investigates the “accidental” death of Ian Cresswell and the possibility that a close family member was involved in the death.
George, is often compared to the great British detective writers of today including Ruth Rendell and P.D. James, and is the winner of both the Anthony and Agatha awards for mystery fiction. The Inspector Lynley series was also a BBC television series that ran from 2001 to 2007.

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In 2005 the first Man Booker International Prize was awarded to Albanian poet and writer Ismail Kadare.  In Kadare’s novel “The Ghost Rider” an old woman is awoken in the dead of night to find her daughter Doruntine standing at her front door.  The daughter claims she was brought home by her brother Konstandin. But unbeknownst to her, Konstandin has been dead for years.  Who is this mysterious ghost rider?

 

The Financial Times called Kadare “…a great writer, by any nation’s standards.”

 

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Join us on Monday, March 7th from 6:30-8:00 P.M., as Michigan author Greg Tasker traces the history of Sanders, Detroit’s beloved confectioner, in a visual presentation that includes rare photographs of early Detroit stores and Sanders family members.  His presentation chronicles the company’s humble beginnings–a leased storefront and a barrel of borrowed sugar–to its explosive growth in the city and suburbs over the next several decades.  Afterward, Tasker will answer questions and have copies of his book available for purchase and signing.  Register for this program online at: www.milfordlibrary.info

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With an eye on the upcoming Halloween season, the Milford Public Library will be hosting a program on Thursday, October 7th from 7:00-8:30 P.M. for Gerald S. Hunter, author of the books Haunted Michigan and More Haunted Michigan.  Rev. Hunter will discuss his books and his own experiences with the paranormal.  Following the program he will be signing copies of his books, as well.  Register for this program online at:  http://tinyurl.com/2bq9jlp

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Shel SilversteinI recently got reacquainted with an old friend from my youth—but in a totally unexpected way. I was brought up on Shel Silverstein courtesy of my father, an elementary teacher. (The poems in Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic are still fondly remembered by my sister and I.) While attempting to track down a copy of a Silverstein song I discovered a whole other side to Uncle Shelby just by perusing the online catalog.

Though best remembered as an author and illustrator of children’s books like The Giving Tree, Silverstein began his career drawing adult cartoons for the military during his stint as a GI in Japan and Korea in the 1950s. A collection of these cartoons were published by Pacific Stars & Stripes as Take Ten, and later republished as Grab Your Socks!

In 1957 Silverstein began a long association with Playboy magazine as one of their cartoonists.  His work would continue to appear there through the mid-1970s.  From 1957 through 1968 Playboy sent Silverstein to locations all over the world.  From Asia to Europe (where he fought a bull in Spain), to Arabia, to Africa (where he hunted and killed a water buffalo before getting in a serious car accident that laid him up for months recuperating.)  Silverstein visited what at the time were the two newest states to the Union:  Alaska and Hawaii.  He also made jaunts to Greenwich Village during the beginning of the beat movement, and to Haight-Ashbury in 1968 where he engaged hippies in a 2-part segment.  This amusing series of travelogues/cartoons was recently collected and posthumously published in 2006 as Playboy’s Silverstein around the World, and in it readers can see the development of his unique style.

For more of Silverstein’s adult cartoon work there is also Different Dances, which was originally published in 1979. Silverstein’s family saw fit to republish this book for its 25th anniversary in 2004. Described as “an adult collection of social satire and sexual politics,” these cartoons (which were culled from his work in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s) are at once an irreverent, amusing, and poignant commentary in pictures on “the social calamities and absurdities of the adult world.”

In addition to his work as a cartoonist Silverstein was an accomplished songsmith as well. Numerous artists have recorded his work over the years including The Irish Rovers, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Bobby Bare. Johnny Cash had one of his most whimsical hits with “A Boy Named Sue”; while Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show had a close association with Silverstein covering many of his tunes such as “Sylvia’s Mother” and “The Cover of the Rolling Stone.” These songs, along with Silverstein reciting his poetry or singing some of his songs, can be found on the 2005 Columbia/Legacy compilation The Best of Shel Silverstein: His Words, His Songs, His Friends. Earlier this year Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein a tribute album performed by various artists was also released.

Silverstein was also an adept playwright. Some of his later works can be found in various editions of the annual compilation Best American Short Plays. “The Devil and Billy Markham” can be found in the 1991-92 edition, and originally appeared on a double-bill with a David Mamet play in New York. Written in rhyming verse it details the trials and travails of Billy Markham trying to outsmart the Devil in a series of comical vignettes. The following year, 1992-93, saw the publication of “Dreamers,” a short play wherein two plumbers attempt to come to terms with the nature of their very disturbing (and sexual) dreams. Finally, “The Trio” from the 1997-98 volume is an abstract piece where a composer waxes philosophically on love and music with his musician-girlfriend.

A word of caution to fans of Silverstein’s juvenile work: his adult work is precisely that—adult. In it you will find adult themes:  sex, nudity, drug-usage, and foul language. If you are easily offended by any of that, then his ‘other works’ may not be for you. But if you wish to discover other facets of his work, I think you will be surprised to find that amidst all the bawdy humour Uncle Shelby is simply sharing the experiences of being human, to young and old alike.

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