50th Anniversary of Woodstock

This August will be the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, a rock concert that some historians believe “defined an entire generation and its effects on music and American culture can still be felt today.”

Check out the Chicago Tribune Historical newspaper and the New York Times Historical newspaper to get a 1969 perspective of the concert.

Apollo Moon Landing

“We choose to go the moon.” U.S. President John Kennedy stated in 1962. On July 20, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong left his footprints on the surface of the moon. Kennedy’s quixotic vision became reality.

This July, America is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Why not check out the MVCC catalog and become familiar with one of the greatest events in the 20th century? Also, you may want to view the MVCC historical newspaper databases to read the actual articles that appeared in the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times on that historic date.

View this silent film, A Trip to the Moon (1902). “This movie was made before we even thought it was possible to land on the moon. For its time, this is absolutely brilliant.”

Joy Harjo–First Native American Poet Laureate

Joy Harjo was named the first Native American Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress on June 19th, by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

Our library has three (3) of her books in our collection, two books of poetry and her memoir.

  • How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems by Joy Harjo – “This collection offers a selection of Joy Harjo’s body of work, including poems from She Had Some Horses and Mad Love and War. Known for her signature blend of storytelling, prayer, and song, her work draws from the American tradition of praising the land and the spirit. She began writing in 1973 in the age marked by the takeover at Wounded Knee and the rejuvenation of world indigenous cultures through poetry and music. Recognized today as one of our foremost American poets, Harjo has created a necessary volume that explores how we became human in poems of sustaining grace.”–Back cover.
  • Conflict Resolution For Holy Beings: Poems by Joy Harjo – “A long-awaited poetry collection by one of our most essential Native American voices. In these poems, the joys and struggles of the everyday are played against the grinding politics of being human. Beginning in a hotel room in the dark of a distant city, we travel through history and follow the memory of the Trail of Tears from the bend in the Tallapoosa River to a place near the Arkansas River. Stomp dance songs, blues, and jazz ballads echo throughout. Lost ancestors are recalled. Resilient songs are born, even as they grieve the loss of their country.”–Publisher description.
  • Crazy Brave: a Memoir by Joy Harjo – “In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo details her journey to becoming a poet. Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a haunting, visionary memoir about family and breaking apart necessary in finding a voice.”–Back cover.

So what is a “poet laureate?” The Poet Laureate of the United States is a person appointed annually by the Library of Congress and, “during his or her term, the[y] seek to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry. The Library keeps to a minimum the specific duties required of the Poet Laureate, who opens the literary season in the fall and closes it in the spring. In recent years, Laureates have initiated poetry projects that broaden the audiences for poetry.” (loc.gov)

To learn more about Joy Harjo, visit her Poet Laureate page at the Library of Congress.

June Is Audiobook Appreciation Month

If you have never tried an audiobook format, June is the perfect month. Besides the fact that June is “Audiobook Appreciation Month,” it is also the start of summer vacations. If you are looking for something to listen to while traveling, try out an audiobook. If a hardcover format of a book is on a L-O-N-G library holds list, try out the audiobook version.

During the month of June, we will highlight some audiobook choices that may be of interest to you. This week, it is Hamilton: The Revolution, read by Mariska Hargitay, Lin-Manuel Miranda, & Jeremy McCarter.

This audiobook “gives listeners an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter… traces [the show’s] development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later.”

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Hamilton closes here in Chicago on January 5th, 2020, so if you have gone to see it, or are going before the close, check out this audiobook about the famous musical play.

Never watched Game of Thrones? You can still catch up!

Never watched Game of Thrones? Want to catch up to the rest of the world and watch the series finale on Sunday, May 19th?

Do not fear! You do NOT have have to watch all 72 episodes by Sunday. Joanna Robinson at Vanity Fair has outlined the “15 most essential episodes” or Game of Thrones.

This is the fast-forward version of the show. They are:

SEASON 1, EPISODE 1: “WINTER IS COMING”
SEASON 1, EPISODE 9: “BAELOR”
SEASON 2, EPISODE 9: “BLACKWATER”
SEASON 3, EPISODE 5: “KISSED BY FIRE”
SEASON 3, EPISODE 7: “THE BEAR AND THE MAIDEN FAIR”
SEASON 3, EPISODE 9: “THE RAINS OF CASTAMERE”
SEASON 4, EPISODE 1: “TWO SWORDS”
SEASON 4, EPISODE 8: “THE MOUNTAIN AND THE VIPER”
SEASON 4, EPISODE 10: “THE CHILDREN”
SEASON 5, EPISODE 8: “HARDHOME”
SEASON 5, EPISODE 10: “MOTHER’S MERCY”
SEASON 6, EPISODE 2: “HOME”
SEASON 6, EPISODE 5: “THE DOOR”
SEASON 7, EPISODE 4: “SPOILS OF WAR”

Of course, you may need to get yourself an HBO subscription (check out their free trial) or you can find check all seven seasons from our library.

Celebrate Poetry Month with the United States Poet Laureate

On Saturday, April 27, the Chicago Public Library (The Harold Washington Library Center) will host an all day poetry celebration with Tracy K. Smith,the 22nd US Poet Laureate, as the keynote speaker.

Follow Ms. Smith on The Slowdown podcast.  “The Poet Laureate delivers a different way to see the world-through poetry.”

 

The Cathedrals of Europe

The flames that engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral have died out but the ramifications of this disaster will be analyzed by historians for years to come. This cathedral and numerous other cathedrals are recognized for their historical and cultural significance by the  UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Want more information on this fascinating topic?  Check out the MVCC catalog.  One book that I would highly recommend is the historical novel, Pillars of the Earth.  We have numerous titles to choose from if you prefer non-fiction.   Also, our historical databases have informative articles that  explain the intricacies of medieval churches.

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, promises that Notre Dame will rise from the ashes in the next five years.  Vive Notre Dame!

Utah Jazz’s Kyle Korver’s Statement on Privilege in the NBA

This week Kyle Korver of the Utah Jazz published a powerful article in the The Players’ Tribune simply entitled “Privileged.” He explores race and equity of the NBA (and by extension, of the US in general.) His statements reflect some of the discussions that are occurring in many places, so I thought that this was worth sharing.

He writes:

“When the police break your teammate’s leg, you’d think it would wake you up a little.

When they arrest him on a New York street, throw him in jail for the night, and leave him with a season-ending injury, you’d think it would sink in. You’d think you’d know there was more to the story.

You’d think.

But nope…

…There’s an elephant in the room that I’ve been thinking about a lot over these last few weeks. It’s the fact that, demographically, if we’re being honest: I have more in common with the fans in the crowd at your average NBA game than I have with the players on the court.

And after the events in Salt Lake City last month, and as we’ve been discussing them since, I’ve really started to recognize the role those demographics play in my privilege.”

Read the full article here: Privileged by Kyle Korver.