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A List of Further Possibilities: June Staff Picks

posted: , by Elizabeth
tags: Library Collections | Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Seniors | Readers Writers

 

Our hearts are saying hi! June Staff Picks explore LGBTQ+ voices in music, poetry, art, and our nonfiction and fiction collections.

 

Marie’s Pick 

My June pick is the soundtrack for the original Broadway musical Fun Home, adapted from Alison Bechdel’s brilliant graphic memoir of the same name. Bechdel came out to her parents in college, and shortly after learned that her father was a closeted gay man. Fun Home explores these broad plot strokes with countless other precise and memorable details about Bechdel’s life. The stage production won five Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and is the first musical ever to feature a lesbian protagonist. Both the memoir and musical are complex stories, artfully told, but the soaring music and clever lyrics (by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron) make the soundtrack especially worth picking up. Check out the tracks “Changing My Major” for a sweet, comic take on first love, and “Ring of Keys” (quoted above) for an innocent, profound moment of discovery. 

 

 

Nora’s Picks 

So many wonderful LGBTQ+ writers have found a way to stretch their luminous bodies in poetry. Perhaps it’s something about the elasticity of language and form that embraces a more fluid identity. Ocean Vuong (Night Sky with Exit Wounds). Richard Siken (Crush). Adrienne Rich (The Dream of a Common Language). Audre Lorde (The Black Unicorn). Allen Ginsberg (Kaddish). Chen Chen (When I Grow Up I Want To Be A List of Further Possibilities). Marty McConnell (wine for a shotgun). Eloise Klein Healy (Passing). Andrea Gibson (Lord of the Butterflies). Gibson, a Calais native, yearns to feel butterflies and goosebumps, while serving us the kind of poems goosebumps are made of. Poems that are struggles of the body, poems that are gifts to the body. 

 At the moment, I’m also relishing a collection of Molly Malone Cook’s photographs with accompanying text by her life partner, beloved poet Mary Oliver. What a delight to hold a book that softly glows with Oliver’s love as she speaks of Cook’s craft. The very titleOur Worldbrings forth the idea of two artists finding a way to approach the world we all share, but also a way to share it intimately as a pair. A reminder of all love should be allowed to be: simple, abiding, proud. 

 

 

Sarah R’s Picks 

On a recent and rare trip to the movies I got to enjoy Wild Nights With Emily, in which Molly Shannon gives life to Emily Dickinson’s lesser-known but delightfully gay side. Pulling from a collection of love letters, which history had straight-washed, the film sheds light on the (sometimes secretive) queer romances of great poets. Why not get whisked away by some verse from LGBTQ+ wordsmiths across the ages? Might as well begin with the many translations and unearthed fragments of Sappho, the Ancient Greek poet laureate for women who love women. Onward to the early twentieth century: spend some time with Maine-born bisexual icon and Pulitzer Prize for Poetry-winning Edna St. Vincent Millaywhose own sapphic correspondences can be found in a book of collected letters. For woke and hilarious poetry by a living, breathing, captivating writer, check out Nature Poem by Tommy Pico. The book-length poem muses on colonialism and pop culture among other things, and is full of cheeky remarks on dating as an Indigenous, queer city dweller: “I don’t like boys, men, or guys,” the protagonist states at the top of a page, later concluding with, “Men dancing is fine tho. / Or like maybe men in socks? I dunno.” 

 

 

Elizabeth’s Picks 

“In the beginning, there is no he. There is no she.”

In her 2015 novel She of the Mountains (our Reader’s Advisory June 10 Book of the Week) Vivek Shraya shares two tales of love: stories of the goddess Parvati and her beloved Shiva intertwine with those of two lovers in modern Canada.  A lyrical exploration of the complexities of individuality, queerness, and understanding, and a powerful story about hearing your own voice over the din of the crowd, Shraya’s riveting work challenges homophobia and identity policing from all corners. This swift, heartfelt, thought-provoking read resonates.  

Bonus picks: Vivek Shraya’s new nonfiction title I’m Afraid of Men looks at “how we might reimagine gender for the twenty-first century.”

And Ocean Vuong’s phenomenal debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, is finally here. 

 

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As ever, thanks for reading! Check out more resources and to see all that we’re doing at PPL for Pride Month here.


PPL Business: A Windfall for Small Businesses

posted: , by Williams Bandoma
tags: Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | College & Career | Seniors | Business | Government | News

 

When envisioning a public library, what one is likely to imagine are old books on shelves and old librarians with glasses. Libraries do have books; however, every book is not old, and every librarian does not wear glasses. Just like the weather in Maine, we are dynamic, and we continually evolve with new technology and new materials in order to support our growing communities.

In 2018 a total of 145,536 small businesses in Maine (99.3% of Maine businesses) employed a total of 284,658 employees (56.9% of Maine employees). The importance of small business’s contribution to the socio-economic development of Maine cannot be overemphasized.

As we celebrate Small Business Week during the month of May [5th – 11th ], it is helpful to know what PPL Business offers to assist small businesses in the Greater Portland Area. PPL Business focuses on three subject areas: books, databases, and events.

With a concise collection management policy, PPL Business offers a comprehensive collection of physical books covering all subject areas in business and business research. If you are thinking of starting, managing, restructuring, planning, or searching for ways to fund your business, look no further than PPL. We have access to the information and materials you need.

Starting a business can be complicated and PPL’s host of databases can help. Your library card number is your key to accessing all of our resources for your business information needs, from creating to running a business. Databases include but are not limited to: sample business plans, community demographic information, industry trends, competitive intelligence, detailed mailing lists of potential clients, and in-depth market research. You can also download and print legal forms, read full-text trade journals, and access popular magazines in the areas of business and industry.

PPL Business also offers an array of in-person events and programs to support small business owners. In partnership with the Small Business Administration Programs and Services, PPL will host Small Business Administration SBA 101 on May 8th, 2019 at 10 am – 12 pm. Entrepreneurs can also check out our monthly Business Data Workshops where businesses are introduced to the basic techniques on how to use and get the most out of our collection of online databases.

While at PPL, you will have unlimited access to affordable meeting spaces for group gatherings,  quiet (in some cases — virtually silent) and comfortable areas to read, space to do work or conduct research, free access to good quality high-speed wireless internet, Internet-enabled computers, faxes, and photocopiers. We can also refer you to useful community resources.

Portland Public Library’s Business offerings are a gold mine of information for small business-people – you just need to learn how to access our riches!

Happy Small Business Week and thank you to all the small businesses for their contribution to job creation and socio-economic development in the region.


Constitution Day September 17, 2018

posted: , by Williams Bandoma
tags: Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Seniors | Business | Government

As part of the national celebration of the September 17, 1787 signing of the United States Constitution, Portland Public Library will be giving out FREE pocket-sized copies the US Constitution. These will be available on a first come first serve basis starting on September 17, 2018, while supplies last. For details please contact the Research Desk at 207-871-1700 X 725

For more on Constitution Day 

 

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