Events

21Feb2022

Downeasterly Migration

William H. Holst: Student, Teacher, Artist

From 4.30 pm until 5.30 pm

William H. Holst (1912-1995), modernist disciple of Hans Hofmann, taught and painted in Stonington and Deer Isle for close to four decades. A close friend of Haystack's founding director, Francis Merritt, he spent at least nine summers as an instructor there beginning in the late 1950s. Holst died at his home in Stonington on September 20, 1995 at the age of 83.
 
Andrew Young, part-time resident of Castine, shares highlights of his seventeen years researching Holst's art and life as a student, teacher, and artist. For sneak preview, visit Andrew's web-based inquiry into Holst's legacy: http://williamholst.info/.
 
Register online at Eventbrite to receive the Zoom link to Andrew's presentation. (Note: This is the first time we are using Eventbrite for registration. You can sign up to attend for Andrew's Zoom talk without creating an Eventbrite account. Follow the steps when you click the link above. Please contact us, 367-5926 or stonington.public.library@gmail.com, with any questions, and we would be glad to help.)

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28Feb2022

BIPOC Women: Akwaeke Emezi

Book club discussion of Emezi's 2020 novel, The Death of Vivek Oji

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. February kicks off a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men.

But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.

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28Mar2022

BIPOC Women: Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Book club discussion of Cornejo Villavicencio's exploration of undocumented people and communities in the US

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Writer Karla Cornejo Villavicencio was on DACA when she decided to write about being undocumented for the first time using her own name. It was right after the election of 2016, the day she realized the story she'd tried to steer clear of was the only one she wanted to tell. So she wrote her immigration lawyer's phone number on her hand in Sharpie and embarked on a trip across the country to tell the stories of her fellow undocumented immigrants--and to find the hidden key to her own.

Looking beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMers, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented--and the mysteries of her own life. She finds the nation of singular, effervescent characters often reduced in the media to political pawns or nameless laborers. The stories she tells are not deferential or naively inspirational but show the love, magic, heartbreak, insanity, and vulgarity that infuse the day-to-day lives of her subjects.

In New York, we meet the undocumented workers who were recruited into the federally funded Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11. In Miami, we enter the ubiquitous botanicas, which offer medicinal herbs and potions to those whose status blocks them from any other healthcare options. In Flint, Michigan, we learn of demands for state ID in order to receive life-saving clean water. In Connecticut, Cornejo Villavicencio, childless by choice, finds family in two teenage girls whose father is in sanctuary. And through it all we see the author grappling with the biggest questions of love, duty, family, and survival.

In her incandescent, relentlessly probing voice, Cornejo Villavicencio combines sensitive reporting and powerful personal narratives to bring to light remarkable stories of resilience, madness, and death. Through these stories we come to understand what it truly means to be a stray. An expendable. A hero. An American.

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25Apr2022

BIPOC Women: Angeline Boulley

Book club discussion of Boulley's debut young adult novel, Firekeeper's Daughter

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.

Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she'll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

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23May2022

BIPOC Women: Nell Painter

Book club discussion of Painter's memoir about attending art school after retiring from academia

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over by Nell Painter

How are women, and artists, "seen" and judged by their age, race, and looks? And how does this seeing change, depending upon what is asked of the viewer? What does it mean when someone states (as one teacher does) that "you will never be an Artist"—who defines "an Artist," and all that goes with such an identity, and how are these ideas tied to our shared conceptions of beauty, value, and difference?

Old in Art School represents an ongoing exploration of such questions, one that ultimately honors curiosity, openness, and joy—the joy of embracing creativity, dreams, the importance of hard work, and the stubborn determination of your own value. Nell Irvin Painter's journey is filled with surprises, even as she brings to bear the incisiveness of her insights from two careers, which combine in new ways even as they take very different approaches—one searching for facts and cohesion, the other seeking the opposite. She travels from her beloved Newark to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design; finds meaning in the artists she loves, such as Alice Neel, Faith Ringgold, or Maira Kalman, even as she comes to understand how they are undervalued; and struggles with the ever-changing balance between the pursuit of art and the inevitable, sometimes painful demands of a life fully lived.

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27Jun2022

BIPOC Women: Mieko Kawakami

Book club discussion of Kawakami's second novel in translation, Heaven

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

Heaven by Mieko Kawakami

Hailed as a bold foray into new literary territory, Kawakami’s novel is told in the voice of a 14-year-old student who subjected to relentless torment for having a lazy eye. Instead of resisting, the boy chooses to suffer in complete resignation. The only person who understands what he is going through is a female classmate who suffers similar treatment at the hands of her tormentors.

These raw and realistic portrayals of bullying are counterbalanced by textured exposition of the philosophical and religious debates concerning violence to which the weak are subjected.

Kawakami's simple yet profound new work stands as a dazzling testament to her literary talent. There can be little doubt that it has cemented her reputation as one of the most important young authors working to expand the boundaries of contemporary Japanese literature.

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25Jul2022

BIPOC Women: Tanya Talaga

Book club discussion of Talaga's history of racism toward Indigenous peoples in Canada

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga

In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.

More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.

Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.

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22Aug2022

BIPOC Women: Bernardine Evaristo

Book club discussion of Evaristo's Booker Prize winning novel

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Teeming with life and crackling with energy — a love song to modern Britain and black womanhood

Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.

Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.

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26Sep2022

BIPOC Women: Li Juan

Book club discussion of Li's journey with China's Kazakh herders

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

Winter Pasture: One Woman's Journey with China's Kazakh Herders by Li Juan

Li Juan and her mother own a small convenience store in the Altai Mountains in Northwestern China, where she writes about her life among grasslands and snowy peaks. Encouraged by her neighbors, Li decides to join a family of Kazakh herders as they take their 30 boisterous camels, 500 sheep and over 100 cattle and horses to pasture for the winter. The so-called "winter pasture" occurs in a remote region that stretches from the Ulungur River to the Heavenly Mountains. Li vividly captures both the extraordinary hardships and the ordinary preoccupations of the day-to-day of the men and women struggling to get by in this desolate landscape. Her companions include Cuma, the often drunk but mostly responsible father; his teenage daughter, Kama, who feels the burden of the world on her shoulders and dreams of going to college; his reticent wife, a paragon of decorum against all odds, who is simply known as "sister-in-law."

In bringing this faraway world to English language readers here for the first time, Li creates an intimate bond with the rugged people, the remote places and the nomadic lifestyle.

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24Oct2022

BIPOC Women: Margaret Verble

Book club discussion of Verble's work of historical fiction about a horse diver

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky by Margaret Verble

Two Feathers, a young Cherokee horse-diver on loan to Glendale Park Zoo from a Wild West show, is determined to find her own way in the world. Two’s closest friend at Glendale is Hank Crawford, who loves horses almost as much as she does. He is part of a high-achieving, land-owning Black family. Neither Two nor Hank fit easily into the highly segregated society of 1920s Nashville.

When disaster strikes during one of Two’s shows, strange things start to happen at the park. Vestiges of the ancient past begin to surface, apparitions appear, and then the hippo falls mysteriously ill. At the same time, Two dodges her unsettling, lurking admirer and bonds with Clive, Glendale’s zookeeper and a World War I veteran, who is haunted—literally—by horrific memories of war. To get to the bottom of it, an eclectic cast of park performers, employees, and even the wealthy stakeholders must come together, making When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky an unforgettable and irresistible tale of exotic animals, lingering spirits, and unexpected friendship.

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28Nov2022

BIPOC Women: Marcia Chatelain

Book club discussion of Chatelain's history about McDonald's in Black America

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America by Marcia Chatelain

Often blamed for the rising rates of obesity and diabetes among black Americans, fast food restaurants like McDonald’s have long symbolized capitalism’s villainous effects on our nation’s most vulnerable communities. But how did fast food restaurants so thoroughly saturate black neighborhoods in the first place? In Franchise, acclaimed historian Marcia Chatelain uncovers a surprising history of cooperation among fast food companies, black capitalists, and civil rights leaders, who—in the troubled years after King’s assassination—believed they found an economic answer to the problem of racial inequality. With the discourse of social welfare all but evaporated, federal programs under presidents Johnson and Nixon promoted a new vision for racial justice: that the franchising of fast food restaurants, by black citizens in their own neighborhoods, could finally improve the quality of black life. Synthesizing years of research, Franchise tells a troubling success story of an industry that blossomed the very moment a freedom movement began to wither.

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19Dec2022

BIPOC Women: Susan Abulhawa

Book club discussion of Abulhawa's novel about a young Palestinian refugee

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa

A sweeping and lyrical novel that follows a young Palestinian refugee as she slowly becomes radicalized while searching for a better life for her family throughout the Middle East.

As Nahr sits, locked away in solitary confinement, she spends her days reflecting on the dramatic events that landed her in prison in a country she barely knows. Born in Kuwait in the 70s to Palestinian refugees, she dreamed of falling in love with the perfect man, raising children, and possibly opening her own beauty salon. Instead, the man she thinks she loves jilts her after a brief marriage, her family teeters on the brink of poverty, she’s forced to prostitute herself, and the US invasion of Iraq makes her a refugee, as her parents had been. After trekking through another temporary home in Jordan, she lands in Palestine, where she finally makes a home, falls in love, and her destiny unfolds under Israeli occupation.

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23Jan2023

BIPOC Women: Joy Harjo

Book club discussion of US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo's most recent memoir

From 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm

SPL book club meets on the fourth Monday of every month. 2022 is a yearlong exploration of recently published books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) women. Titles alternate between fiction and nonfiction. To join our Zoom discussions, register below.

Poet Warrior by Joy Harjo

Poet Laureate Joy Harjo offers a vivid, lyrical, and inspiring call for love and justice in this contemplation of her trailblazing life.

In the second memoir from the first Native American to serve as US poet laureate, Joy Harjo invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her “poet-warrior” road. A musical, kaleidoscopic meditation, Poet Warrior reveals how Harjo came to write poetry of compassion and healing, poetry with the power to unearth the truth and demand justice.

Weaving together the voices that shaped her, Harjo listens to stories of ancestors and family, the poetry and music that she first encountered as a child, the teachings of a changing earth, and the poets who paved her way. She explores her grief at the loss of her mother and sheds light on the rituals that nourish her as an artist, mother, wife, and community member. Moving fluidly among prose, song, and poetry, Poet Warrior is a luminous journey of becoming that sings with all the jazz, blues, tenderness, and bravery that we know as distinctly Joy Harjo.

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