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Montgomery’s View: Recent poetry titles

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April is Poetry Month

In celebration of Poetry Month – we want to let you know of some fairly recent arrivals to our shelves in the children’s room. These are just a few of the wonderful poetry books and collections that you are able to find here.

Kaneko, Misuzu.  Are You An Echo?: the lost poetry of Misuzu Kaneko 

Nesbett, Kenn.  One Minute till Bedtime: 60 second poems to send you off to sleep

Stoop, Naoka.  Sing With Me

Fogliano, Julie.  When Green Becomes Tomatoes

Frost, Helen.  Among a Thousand Fireflies

Singer, Marilyn.  Echo Echo: Reverso poems about Greek myths

Raczka, Bob.  Wet Cement: a mix of concrete poems

Cleary, Brian P.  I Saw an Invisible Lion Today: quatrains

Brown, Skila.  Slickety Quick: poems about sharks

As an added bonus – there is a short novel by the beloved author, Patricia MacLachlan (Sarah, Plain and Tall) which was published in the fall:  The Poet’s Dog.  It is about a very special Irish Wolfhound, Teddy who learns about words from the poet who rescued him from the shelter.  When the poet dies Teddy needs to mourn the loss and find love in a new place.  It is a spare and moving book – which has an adult feel to it – but the story and Teddy are charming.  Teddy is able to talk once he understands words – but only children and poets are able to understand him.

Find a poem this month and read it out loud – and CELEBRATE Poetry Month!


Movie of the Month: Tower

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On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman took an arsenal to the top of the clock tower on the campus of Texas University in Austin and opened fire, killing 16 people and wounding another three dozen. It was America’s first mass shooting.

But this movie isn’t about Charles Whitman. It’s about the people to whom he happened–the victims, the survivors, the witnesses. Using a unique combination of rotoscope animation and archival film footage, filmmaker Keith Maitland recreates the events of that day as told by the people who lived it.

A mass shooting may seem an unlikely topic for animation, and animation may seem an unlikely medium for a documentary, but Maitland says he realized early on that he would not be able to use the Texas University campus to recreate events with live actors. With animation, he could portray the geography of the campus from the points of view of his various narrators, who include students, news reporters, law enforcement agents, and civilians who were there.

The result is a surprisingly moving account of ordinary men and women responding to what was, at the time, an unthinkable crisis. In 1966, there was no such thing as grief counseling or “closure” (just as there was no such thing as hostage negotiations–law enforcement made no attempt to capture Whitman alive.) Several of the interview subjects reveal that they have never spoken of these events to anyone in the fifty years since the shootings occurred, and it is evident that the emotion is still raw.

This film has, deservedly, won several awards, including the Critics Choice Award for Most Innovative Documentary, and the SXSW Film Festival’s Audience Award and Grand Jury Award. The Portland Public Library is proud to make this extraordinary film available to its patrons. Click here to request it.

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