April is National Poetry Month—a time to celebrate poets and poetry, the beauty of language, and the richness poetry brings to the Portland Public Library and to our community. Special programming around poetry this month includes poetry you can carry in your pocket, poetry you can see on the bus (more info soon!), and poetry that you can share with others at PPL.
“Your Favorite Poem” April 23
“Your Favorite Poem” is an event for library patrons to gather and celebrate their favorite poems and poets. On Wednesday, April 23rd, bring your favorite poem by a published author to recite or read aloud in the Rines Auditorium. Come at 6:30 p.m. to sign up for a time slot, talk poetry, and enjoy refreshments. The reading of poems will take place between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Guidelines: One poem per reader, with a time guideline – fans of “Howl” and “Hiawatha,” please bring a short poem to share so that everyone gets a chance!
“Poem in Your Pocket” April 24
On Poem in Your Pocket Day, people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. On April 24 Portland Public Library is helping to promote the Poem in Your Pocket initiative by printing and handing out poems at our public desks at the Main Library. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pplpocketpoem and #pocketpoem. Get your pocket poem at PPL on April 24—while supplies last.
And don’t forget to check out the collections of poetry at PPL!
For some ideas on getting started, take a look at a few of our staff lists for poetry. The Portland Room brings us a list of “Lesser Known Maine Poets,” City of Readers suggests “Phenomenal Women: Poets at PPL,” and Teen offers “If There Is Something to Desire: Poetry.” New books of poetry we’re looking forward to in 2014: Carolyn Forche and Duncan Wu’s anthology “Poetry of Witness;” Veteran Kevin Powers’ “Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting;” and a new collection of work from James Baldwin, “Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems.”
We hope you join us in celebrating poetry this month—and hope to hear you sharing “Your Favorite Poem” at the Main Library on April 23!
By Elizabeth Hartsig
Active Hope : A facilitated conversation
Spring — a season of renewal, a season of mud. April seems to me to be a perfect time to engage in reflection about what sustains our civic engagement when the cold persists, the mud tracks in, the rain falls. We keep at our community projects in part because we believe that the sun will shine on us again and that the outcomes will be meaningful and worth our time and attention. However, we also keep volunteering or keep on with activism because the alternative is to give up a sense of optimism and connection and even identity…. Activism is an antidote to despair about civic problems, but even the most intrepid activist experiences discouragement, frustration and burn-out at times.
This 2-part workshop stems from work by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone and their book Active Hope, but it is not necessary to read the book to participate! We will also draw on many other resources, included some shared here.
We are offering two distinct sessions – come to one or both!
Saturday April 12th 10:15am – 12:00pm — Meeting Room 5 –> explore the spiral of the work that reconnects including our biggest concerns for the future and our greatest hopes.
Tuesday April 29th 3:30 -5:00pm — Meeting Room 5 –> explore exercises designed to help sustain hope during dark times and to promote individual and collective self-care without encouraging a turning away from social problems.
Both of these public conversations are intended as starting points – an opportunity for developing and sustaining an Active Hope group will be considered by the group.
Free and Open to the Public - Preregistration is requested to help us plan.
On March 20th, a national project organized by Let It Ripple will launch community conversations about the “Science of Character” all over the country. PPL’s Choose Civility Initiative is pleased to screen the 8 minute video.
Thursday, March 20 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Location: Main Library – Rines Auditorium
Bring your lunch!
- What character traits do we value the most in ourselves and in others?
- What kinds of character building experiences do we offer our kids, ourselves, and each other?
- What kind of projects might we support as we build the character of individuals and our larger community?
If you can’t make it to our public conversation, consider participating online through social media (#CharacterDay), by reviewing Let It Ripple’s online resources or check out a book from PPL’s Choose Civility collection!