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Forget the Turkey: Poems of Thanksgiving

posted: , by Elizabeth Hartsig
tags: Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture

An image of the children's book "Giving Thanks."

Forget the turkey. Do you think of the Thanksgiving table as a place for jokes, speeches, storytelling, banter, quiet rumination…or…poetry? Take a gander at the Cranberry Cantos, a sampler of Thanksgiving-related poems chosen by the editors at the Poetry Foundation. Selections include Richard Blanco’s poem “América,” from his book “City of a Hundred Fires,” which you can find at PPL (Blanco’s new memoir, “The Prince of Los Cocuyos,” is also well worth a read). Or find other poets at PPL who are mentioned in the sampler: Maxine Kumin, Joy Harjo, Eamon Grennan, CK Williams, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and Sharon Olds.

If you read just one of the poems, be sure to check out Dunbar’s very wonderful “Signs of the Times,” which wins my vote for poem I’d most love to hear read aloud at the Thanksgiving table.

Speaking of recitations…here’s a link to a recording of poet Kevin Young reading aloud Sharon Olds’ selection, “First Thanksgiving,” (a poem of a daughter coming back from college for the first time since she’s left home). PPL also has Kevin Young’s own new collection, “Book of Hours.”

A picture of Kevin Young.

Kevin Young.

Other possibilities for your Thanksgiving poetry reading:

If all this isn’t enough poetry for you, please join us in December for PPL’s Poetry Aloud Winter Poem Spectacular. What’s Poetry Aloud all about? Bring a poem you love by a published author to read aloud to your fellow poetry-lovers in the Rines Auditorium on the night of Monday, December 22. Since our readings have gone so quickly in the past, feel free to bring two “short or medium sized” poems or one longer poem to read. Doors open at 5:45; the reading will take place from 6-7 sharp on the eve of December 22. We’ll have wonderful treats as usual. And we don’t usually focus on specific themes, but this time around, feel free to share one of your favorite wintry, festive, or holiday poems!


Choosing to Participate

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Adults | Seniors | Government

Portland Public Library’s Choose Civility Initiative invites you to engage in conversation about how we can make a difference in our local community.  What kind of engagement interests you?  What opportunities exist?  Where is there need? Also, meet with local organizations that seek volunteers – someone like you!

November 25th

  • 7:30am :  Coffee, treats & networking
  • 8:00am :  Opening program — exploring volunteerism’s benefits for individuals, organizations and communities (and the challenges, too!)
  • 8:45 (ish) :  Volunteer Resource Fair – Organizational introductions and small conversations.  Meet representatives from local organizations and learn about opportunities for participating in Portland.

indexConfirmed organizations include (but are not limited to) :  United Way of Greater Portland;  YMCA of Greater Portland; Greater Portland Animal Refuge League; Maine Tool Library; Learning Works; 2Degrees Portland and more!

(*If you’d like to share information about a project or civic engagement effort or opportunity for volunteering, please contact Kim Simmons at Simmons@portland.lib.me.us)

The social justice organization Facing History and Ourselves offers online resources on “Choosing To Participate.”  Featuring an online exhibit, in partnership with the Smithsonian Exhibition.  Among the questions they ask, is a central query : How can I make a positive difference in the world?”

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Online Learning and Technology Offerings at PPL

posted: , by Samantha Soucy
tags: Online Services | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Science & Technology

Did you know that the Library has resources for learning online?

Lynda.com is an online learning site that helps people to learn a variety of skills, from software development to business marketing. It has a library of over 1,000 courses, appropriate for all levels of experience. The site contains video instruction on topics like SEO, flash photography, cloud computing, accounting, business intelligence, and DSLR video. The courses cover technical skills, creative techniques, business strategies, and more. Users are granted a 2 week pass to the website to follow as many courses as desired within that time frame, and you can renew your subscription to complete a course by signing up for another pass. To gain access, please fill out this form on the Maine State Library website.

Another option for users is the resources on the Learning Express Library. This resource has information on basic computer and Internet skills, as well as more college prep courses—SAT, ACT, PSAT, and admissions essay assistance. There is an adult learning center to help improve math, reading, and grammatical skills; a career center for occupational exam preparation and job skill assessment; a college center for math, reading, science and writing; information in Spanish, and much more.

In addition to these online tools, the Public Computing department has resumed Friday tutoring hours, for individual assistance with computer issues. You can call to make a half hour appointment, 207-871-1700, extension 708. Basic computing, and intermediate computer skills classes will return in January 2015.

 

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