Reading Room Blog

American Life in Poetry: Column 266

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

The great American poet William Carlos Williams taught us that if a poem can capture a moment in life, and bathe it in the light of the poet’s close attention, and make it feel fresh and new, that’s enough, that’s adequate, that’s good. Here is a poem like that by Rachel Contreni Flynn, who lives in Illinois.

 

The Yellow Bowl

American Life in Poetry: Column 265

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Tell a whiny child that she sounds like a broken record, and she’s likely to say, “What’s a record?” Jeff Daniel Marion, a Tennessee poet, tells us not only what 78 rpm records were, but what they meant to the people who played them, and to those who remember the people who played them.

78 RPM

Great Lives Series: Elvis Presley

On Tuesday, April 20, 2010, Gardner Campbell of Baylor University will give a talk on the King of Rock 'n' Roll. This lecture, part of the university's Great Lives series, is free and open to the public.
For more on the life of Elvis Presley check out this list of materials recommended by the reference staff of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

The Wild Life of a Children's Book Author

 

Writer Sy Montgomery has been chased by a gorilla, bitten by a vampire bat, and assaulted by an amorous parrot. But it’s all good – these experiences and more have found their way into her award-winning books for children. 
 
This coming Saturday, April 17, Montgomery will be accepting the Children’s Book Guild of Washington Nonfiction Award at the National Geographic Society in Washington. Both kids and adults are welcome. Ticket information is available at www.childrensbookguild.org. 
  

American Life in Poetry: Column 264

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Wendy Videlock lives in western Colorado, where a person can stop to study what an owl has left behind without being run over by a taxi.

 

The Owl

Beneath her nest,
a shrew's head,
a finch's beak
and the bones
of a quail attest

the owl devours
the hour,
and disregards
the rest.

Spring Flings

          The arrival of spring brings thoughts of gardens, poetry and spring training.  Kevin Henkes’ new picture book, “My Garden,” will get your preschoolers in just the right mood for digging in the dirt.  The young narrator helps her mother in the garden, shooing away the rabbits, watering and weeding.  “But if I had a garden…” the little girl muses and, before you know it, she has imagined a special garden all her own. 

 

 

American Life in Poetry: Column 263

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Music lessons, well, maybe 80 out of every 100 of us had them, once, and a few of us went on to play our chosen instruments all our lives. But the rest of us? I still own a set of red John Thompson piano books that haven’t been opened since about 1950. Here Jill Bialosky, who lives in New York City, captures the atmosphere of one of those lessons.

 

Music Is Time

Celebrating Spring Holidays


    From board books to gorgeously illustrated picture books, there are plenty of ways to share the upcoming holidays with young readers.   Tomie DePaola’s “My First Passover” is simple enough to read with your toddlers.

Great Lives Series: Thomas Edison

On Tuesday, April 6, 2010, Paul Israel of Rugters University and author of Edison: A Life of Invention will give a talk on the inventor. This lecture, part of the university's Great Lives series, is free and open to the public. For more information on "The Wizard of Menlo Park," check out this list of materials recommended by the reference staff of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.