Reading Room Blog

05/10/2010 - 5:39pm

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

If writers are both skilled and lucky, they may write something that will carry their words into the future, past the hour of their own deaths. I’d guess all writers hope for this, and the following poem by Peter Cooley, who lives in New Orleans and teaches creative writing at Tulane, beautifully expresses his hope, and theirs.

 

The One Certain Thing

05/04/2010 - 12:02pm

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Here’s a poem by Susan Meyers, of South Carolina, about the most ordinary of activities, washing the dishes, but in this instance remembering this ordinary routine provides an opportunity for speculation about the private pleasures of a lost parent.

 

Mother, Washing Dishes

04/30/2010 - 3:00pm

 

    Meet authors Michael Hemphill and Sam Riddleburger tomorrow at 10:00 as they bring their wacky senses of humor to the Headquarters Library.  Kids ten and up will love their story about Stonewall Hinkleman, a typical twelve-year-old boy whose parents are ardent Civil War re-enactors.  This means that every weekend he’s dragged (his word) to another Civil War battle site.  His father reveres an ancestor, Cyrus Hinkleman, who fought and died in the war, despite the fact that, as Stonewall puts it, “He was shot in the butt… Which can only mean one thing.  He was running away when he was shot.”  Dressed in a scratchy wool uniform and dragging a bugle that he barely knows how to play, Stonewall sulks around wishing he could play his Game Boy.

04/27/2010 - 2:43pm

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

04/19/2010 - 2:58pm

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

04/16/2010 - 8:54am

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.

04/14/2010 - 11:33am

 

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. 
  
04/12/2010 - 11:50am

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.

04/12/2010 - 11:25am

          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. 

 

 

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