Thursday, February 11, 2016

Poetry Friday--Poetry Out Loud

Beginning next week, students in the fifty states will begin the final rounds of the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest for 2016. The finals in our state, New Hampshire, will take place on March 21.

If you're wondering about the poems included in the contest, we have a copy of The Anthology: Poems for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. Students must pick poems from the "more than 100 celebrated poems that are suitable for performance." The Anthology is also found here. The online pages also include additional sanctioned poems.

Here's an example of a poem from The Anthology:
My Grandmother’s Love Letters
by Hart Crane

There are no stars tonight
But those of memory.
Yet how much room for memory there is
In the loose girdle of soft rain.

There is even room enough
For the letters of my mother’s mother,
That have been pressed so long
Into a corner of the roof
That they are brown and soft,
And liable to melt as snow.

Don't you wish you had written this? Read the rest here.

Last year's New Hampshire champion, Dessaline Etienne, represented us in the National Finals:

Kimberley is this week's Round-Up host, she hangs out at Written Reflections!

Don't Forget Your Valentine!

Sunday is Valentine's Day, so consider this fair warning--ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT TO GET A GIFT!

When in doubt, there's always chocolate! Two decades ago you probably didn't have much choice in chocolates--there was milk chocolate and dark chocolate (white chocolate doesn't count) and that's about it. Today, you can't keep track of all the fabulous chocolates that are available. Even your local supermarket now carries "gourmet" varieties of chocolate.

Have you ever thought about making your own gift of chocolate? Do a Google search on "make your own chocolate truffles" and you'll come up with dozens of easy recipes!

Or why restrict yourself to candy? There are chocolate cakes and cookies. Mason jars filled with hot chocolate mixes. You can even treat your Valentine to a Mexican dinner--homemade, of course--that includes chocolate. Again, search Google for "Mexican mole recipe."

To learn more about chocolate, you can visit the Exploratorium's "The Sweet Lure of Chocolate," borrow Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light by Mort Rosenblum [641.3374 ROS], or, if you're adventurous in the kitchen, there's Chocolate on the Brain: Foolproof Recipes for Unrepentant Chocoholics by Kevin Mills [641.6374 MIL].

Have a very happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Happy Birthday, Laura Dern!

Actress Laura Dern was born on this day in 1967. She is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, so it's no surprise that she, too, excels at acting.

Dern is known primarily for her roles in film but she has also made a name for herself in television as the star of Enlightened. She will be appearing in the new Twin Peaks, which is scheduled for 2017.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Nature Photography

Photo by Wendy Lorentzen.

Last Friday, after the snowstorm ended, one of our town employees who was helping shovel out snapped the above photo as the sun was setting. Lovely.

A lot of nature photography is being in the right place at the right time, but, there are some things you can learn to help get the best shot possible! That's where the Library comes in.

With 100 Ways to take better Nature & Wildlife Photographs by Guy Edwardes [ebook], you can read about taking photos and actually take them on your smart phone. Ah, the wonders of the 21st century!

Monday, February 08, 2016

Happy New Year!

Today, February 8, is the Lunar New Year. It is celebrated in many Asian countries and in communities all over the world!

To celebrate, we are holding a Chinese New Year celebration here at the Library on Saturday the 13th beginning at 1:00 pm. No registration is required.

This program is for anyone interested in celebrating the Chinese New Year and learning about the history of the holiday. There will also be a demonstration of a Chinese Tea Ceremony, a concert of songs played on an Erhu (two-stringed, traditional instrument), and a traditional Lion Dance.

Other activities will take place, and special Chinese treats will be served!

2016 is The Year of the Monkey.

Information on the Chinese Zodiac can be found in Chinese Zodiac Animals by Sanmu Tang [J 133.5 TAN] or Why Rat Comes First: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Clara Yen [JP YEN].

Friday, February 05, 2016

Poetry Friday--A Poem for Black History Month

Unless you're someone who is a big reader of poetry, if I were to ask you to name a black poet, you'd probably say, "Langston Hughes." Hughes' poetry is accessible and his recognition is justified, so, for today, I'd like to offer this poem by Hughes that is short, provides a tiny history lesson, and, ultimately, is painful to read.

Colored child at carnival:

Where is the Jim Crow section
On this merry-go-round,
Mister, cause I want to ride?
Down South where I come from
White and colored
Can't sit side by side.
Down South on the train
There's a Jim Crow car.
On the bus we're put in the back--
But there ain't no back
To a merry-go-round!
Where's the horse
For a kid that's black?

From Selected Poems of Langston Hughes [811 HUG]

Tricia will be hosting the Round-Up at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Photo by Arthur Rothstein (1939), courtesy Library of Congress.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Opening Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will be released in theaters. It is based on the book by Seth Grahame-Smith, the full title of which is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance--Now With Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! [F GRA, also ebook]. That book was based upon Jane Austen's classic, Pride and Prejudice [F AUS, AB/CD AUS]. There have been many filmed versions of the classic, as well as retellings and extensions of the basic book. Somehow, though, I think Jane Austen would have been most surprised by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Here's the U. S. trailer for the film (warning: if you're squeamish, please skip the trailer).

A few other, less gruesome, Pride and Prejudice related books are Longbourn by Jo Baker [F BAK, also ebook], which is a story of the kitchen staff at the Bennet family's estate, Ladies of Longbourn by Rebecca Ann Collins [ebook] about an imagined grandchild of Jane and Mr. Bingley, and Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James [F JAM, AB/CD JAM, ebook, and DVD DEA], in which Lydia's scoundrel husband, Mr. Wickham, is murdered (but not eaten by zombies)!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

There's a Reason For Everything!

If you're a regular reader of Kurious Kitty, you'll have come across a number of topics I visit over and over again. One of those topics is cheese. I love cheese. You might just say I'm addicted to cheese, but who can be addicted to a dairy food? Well, it turns out you can be addicted to cheese!

The British newspaper, the Evening Standard, ran an article titled, "Cheese Triggers the Same Part of the Brain as Hard Drugs, Say Scientists."

It make cheese seem almost sinister, doesn't it! Oh, well, this is one addiction I don't want to beat! Which way to the mac and cheese? (And I don't mean the easy reader by Sarah Weeks [E WEE]!)