Homesteader Wife’s Letters
Provide Dust Bowl Insight
The personal letters and magazine articles of Caroline Henderson, Oklahoma Panhandle homesteader, were gathered into a volume called “Letters from the Dust Bowl” and edited by longtime “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” scholar Dr. Alvin O. Turner.
Insights from that book will be the focus of discussion Thursday night at McAlester Public Library, when Dr. Carol Humphrey, history professor from Oklahoma Baptist University, will give a scholarly presentation on the book as part of the LTAIO reading and discussion program, sponsored by the Oklahoma Humanities Council.
Events begin at 6 p.m. in the Whiteacre Room, and the public is invited to attend. Free refreshments and a door prize will be part of the evening. Local funding for LTAIO is provided by Friends of the Library and the J.G. Puterbaugh Foundation.
As part of “The Worst Hard Time Revisited: Oklahoma in the Dust Bowl” theme, participants read a variety of literature, view documentaries and movies, and hear from humanities scholars. Books, services and other materials are provided by the OHC with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Inasmuch Foundation. Participants may attend one or more, or all, sessions of the series.
Dr. Humphrey’s interest in history is apparent in her lively discussions on, among other topics, the press’s role during wartime. Previously, she has spoken here about Thomas Paine, Early American presidents and Latina literature.
She has received numerous awards for her papers through the American Journalism Historians Association. She also has served as a manuscript reviewer for various journals and publishers. She is the author of numerous published articles as well as seven books on topics such as the Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, and the role of New England Newspapers during the American Revolution.
Dr. Humphrey is the historian for the Shawnee chapter of Habitat for Humanity. She is also an active member of First Baptist Church in Shawnee where she is a member of the sanctuary choir and works as the church clerk.
For more information on this or any other library program, call 918-426-0930.
You are invited to the 7th annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival on the campus of East Central State University at Ada, says Festival coordinator Dr. Kenneth Hada.
Mark your calendars for April 5-7, when the Festival will be highlighted by Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey.
Poet Natasha Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Domestic Work (Graywolf Press, 2000), Bellocq’s Ophelia (Graywolf, 2002), and Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. She is also the author of a book of creative non-fiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Georgia, 2010).
Also featured will be Norbert Krapt, Indiana Poet Laureate. He received his M.A. in English from Notre Dame and also his Ph.D. in English and American Literature, with a concentration in American Poetry. He taught at Long Island University 1970-2004, where he is now emeritus Professor of English, was Poet Laureate 2003-2007, and directed the C. W. Post Poetry Center. He twice served in Germany as a Senior Fulbright Professor of American Poetry, at the Universities of Freiburg and Erlangen-Nuremberg. He was also a U.S. Exchange Teacher at West Oxon Technical College, England.
In June of 2008, he was appointed to a two-year term as Indiana Poet Laureate, in which capacity he plans to continue his efforts to reunite poetry and music, try to bring Indiana poetry to TV and radio, give readings and talks in libraries and other venues, and visit schools to share with students his enthusiasm for reading and writing poetry and prose memoir.
A stellar lineup of 54 authors will be reading from their work. You may visit www.ecuscissortail.blogspot.comto see author biographies, find hotel information and learn of many other events and details of the festival.
LOOK WHAT’S NEW in the children’s section! Friends of the Library recently purchased this nifty play cube for the
younger set. The cube sits in the children’s section, just past Gutenberg, the library bookworm.
Let’s all grab our Slinkys and twist them real tight (everyone has a personal Slinky toy, right?) because it’s time to Spring Forward at McAlester Public Library. March brings with it much more than Daylight Savings Time, blooming jonquils and colorful jelly beans. We have perennial book clubs, a bouquet of various films, and the flowering of all sorts of programs for every age group, including one very colorful discussion group called Socrates Café. What will spring up next? Who knows? Stop in often to find out.
Take a look at these carefully cultivated activities:
*Thursday, March 1—The Bookies book club met from 1-3 p.m. in the Conference Room to discuss “The Lace Reader” by Brunonia Barry. This unusual tale of the Whitney women will give you the shivers. Next month, The Bookies will read Lisa See’s “Dreams of Joy.” They meet on the first Thursday of every month. Darlene Rising and Janice Saaranen lead the group.
Did you know that all the books from our three ongoing adult book groups are added to the library collection? You can find the the book sets along the top shelves in the Fiction sections. Start your own book club with any of these titles!
*Wednesday, March 7—Computer Tech Anthony Smart will lead computer classes every Wednesday from 5-6 p.m. this month. This first session is on Basic Computing. Call the library at 918-426-0939, or stop by the front desk, to register.
*Thursday, March 8—The first event of the Spring 2012 “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” program is the 6 p.m. screening of a hard-to-find documentary about the Great Depression from director Philippe Mora, which uses authentic newsreels, clips from Hollywood films of the 1930s and other media to tell the story of the times. This season’s “Let’s Talk” theme is “The Worst Hard Time Revisited: Oklahoma in the Dust Bowl Years.” Books are still available–but going fast–so hurry in to sign out your copies today. Books, services and other materials for this series of programs are provided by Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma, a project of the Oklahoma Humanities Council, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Fundign for this series was provided by a grant from the Inasmuch Foundation.
*Saturday, March 10—Second Saturday Cinema features the first film made from a Dr. Seuss story. March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, also known as “Read Across America Day.” And with the March 2 release of the new 3-D Seuss movie, you’ve heard a lot about the Lorax lately. Come to the library to get some Retro Seuss, with this family film about a boy who battles a nefarious piano teacher. There will be plenty of free popcorn.
*Sunday, March 11—Daylight Savings Time begins. Spring forward (with or without your Slinky).
*Monday, March 12—Arthouse Theater features a 2012 Academy Award winner. This Owen Wilson film, directed by Woody Allen, won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. It’s rated PG-13. Free popcorn, as always.
*Wednesday, March 14—We’ll be using acrylic paints as we create Wooden Block Crafts displaying our favorite messages. The Free Crafts Workshop meets every second Wednesday of the month from 1-3 p.m., and pre-registration is required. March is National Crafts Month, but every month is crafty at the library. Join us! Then at 5 p.m., another Basic Computing class meets in the Whiteacre.
*Thursday, March 15—Dr. Bill Corbett, recent winner of the Oklahoma Humanities Council’s 2012 Public Humanities Award, will give a scholarly presentation on “The Worst Hard Time,” the National Book Award-winning history by Timothy Egan. His presentation will kick off “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” at 6 p.m. in the Whiteacre Room. Group discussion of the book will follow. A “light supper” refreshment table, and door prizes, are two more reasons to attend. You’ll meet interesting people at every LTAIO session.
*Monday, March 19—The library will be closed for a one-day Spring Break holiday. We’ll reopen Tuesday at 9 a.m. as usual.
*Tuesday, March 20—The Friends of the Library will meet in the Whiteacre Room for their regular noon luncheon. Then at 6:30 p.m., the Night Readers will meet in the Conference Room to discuss Suzanne Collins’s “The Hunger Games.” This book is wildly popular this month, due to the March premiere of the movie, so join the always au courant Night Readers for their discussion.
*Wednesday, March 21—Computer Files and Folders is the name of the third computer class this month, set to begin at 5 p.m. in the Whiteacre Room.
*Thursday, March 22—In a LTAIO Movie Special at 6 p.m., Ryan O’Neal and Tatum O’Neal star in a tale of Depression-era grifters. This PG film was directed by Peter Bogdanovich. We’ll have the free popcorn waiting in the Whiteacre Room East.
*Saturday, March 24—March is also Women’s History Month, and this month’s Documentary Matinee looks at the business of motherhood in Ricki Lake’s unrated documentary about maternity. There are graphic scenes in this film, so be warned.
*Monday, March 26—The Light Readers, led by Ellen Barlow, have a special meeting date this month due to the holiday. Join them at 6 p.m. in the Conference Room as they discuss “Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy” by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt and David Weaver-Zerchur. This book looks at the aftermath of a horrible mass murder in an Amish school, and how forgiveness became the headline of the story. Also on March 26, the Film Movement independent film “Vasermil” begins at 6 p.m. This movie, from Israel, is unrated and will have English subtitles. Free popcorn as usual.
*Tuesday, March 27—Socrates Café meets on the final Tuesday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon in the Conference Room. A group of conversational enthusiasts meets for brunch and philosophical discussion. What does it take to participate? Just a willingness to ask questions and be respectful of others. Please join us as we solve the riddle of existence.
*Wednesday, March 28—Computer Class at 5 p.m. in the Whiteacre Room will feature the Microsoft Office programs Word and Excel.
*Thursday, March 29—Dr. Carol Humphrey, professor of history at Oklahoma Baptist University, will present “Letters from the Dust Bowl” by Caroline Henderson in this second LTAIO session. Dr. Alvin O. Turner edited this collection of Atlantic Monthly articles written by a Panhandle woman during the Great Depression. As always, there will be dandy refreshments and door prizes. The LTAIO program is sponsored locally by Friends of the Library and the J.G. Puterbaugh Foundation.
*Saturday, March 31—It’s the deadline for our third Essay/Short Story Contest for adults. Make sure your entry arrives at the front desk before closing time at 5 p.m., so you’ll be eligible for the $50 first prize. This year, we’re awarding first-fourth place prizes, and the theme is “Where Do I Belong?” Winners will be announced during National Library Week in April. A complete set of rules is available at the front desk, or on our website at www.mcalesterlibrary.net.
Teen activities this month are spelled out on the Teen Calendar, available at the front desk, and in Teen Librarian Erin Austin’s new blog at www.mcalesterlibraryteens.blogspot.com. In addition to all the regular monthly activities—game time, book club, movie time and the various clubs, Erin has scheduled lots of fun activities for Teen Tech Week March 4-10.
Children’s Librarian Anita Ross has Lapsits, story and game times, movies and more. Pick up a children’s calendar at the front desk.
Displays this month include: China, Past and Present, in the main display area; books to boost your brain power from Ellen Barlow; rock ‘n roll movies from Janice Saaranen; the Question of the Week “Are You on the Right Track?” from Nathan Forrest; a display of antique and rare needlework from Ellen’s personal collection; tornado history from Steve Adams; books and films about the Great Depression; and Women’s History Month.