I just lost my entire post—grrrrr. This mac is acting nutty, so I’ll keep this short: had to share this beautiful drawing sent to me by my niece, Maya. How did she know that I read “Millie Eckstine the Singing Swine” during my poetry workshop this morning? I love that Maya gave her earrings…
There’s a lot going on this weekend. The poetry workshops I lead are sponsored by the Brooklyn Public Library. Those of us who value libraries and librarians will be out in force on Saturday for a 24-hour read-in. You can contact your local elected officials by going here, and you can also donate funds to help keep books on our shelves. This is what’s at stake:
Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget for FY’11 calls for a reduction in funding of $16.9 million for Queens Library, $20.6 million for Brooklyn Public Library, and $37 million for New York Public Library. This represents a cumulative 30% decrease in funding since 2008. If enacted, the budget cuts will result in the closure of 40 libraries citywide, 30% of library staff will be laid off, and library service hours for many branches will be reduced to 2-3 days. Unless the City Council votes to restore funding, libraries’ ability to provide New Yorkers with job search help, afterschool tutoring, computer access and instruction, English classes, and research assistance will be sharply reduced by July 1, 2010.
Book culture is also alive and well in other parts of the city: if you’re free Monday night, come hear me read from Wish at Franklin Park (I’ll be on last). Other artists include:
Matt Gallagher, author of the Iraq war memoir Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little Warm, hailed for being both humorous and harrowing; and poet Hila Ratzabi presenting, “The Apparatus of Visible Things.”Aimee Norwich, an experimental artist who performs with her own specially made instruments, will round out the night with “a piece about Michael Jackson, God and swimming goggles.”
The reading series starts at 8pm, but you could come a little early and stop by LaunchPad to see the portraits of community members interviewed by the teens in the Crown Heights Oral History Project. They celebrated their accomplishments this past Wednesday, and I’m planning to go back so I can listen to the other interviewees. You should, too!