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Boston Public Library’s May Author Talks and Programs

Posted on April 27th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

Desktop291Events take place at Central Library and Branches Throughout the City

Boston Public Library’s May schedule is filled with author talks and lectures, book sales, and programs honoring Mother’s Day. Visit www.bpl.org/calendar for a full schedule.

  • Make a gift for a special mother in your life with clay artist Sabrina Pilet-Jones on Wednesday, May 4, at 4 p.m. at the South End Branch, located at 685 Tremont Street.
  • Make homemade bath products for a mother or yourself on Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m. at the Uphams Corner Branch, located at 500 Columbia Road in Dorchester.
  • Create your own comic book-themed drink coaster for Mother’s Day on Saturday, May 7, at 11:30 a.m. at the Uphams Corner Branch, located at 500 Columbia Road in Dorchester.
  • Hear stories celebrating mothers on Saturday, May 7, at 11 a.m. in the Children’s Library at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Paul Lewis, editor of The Citizen Poets of Boston: A Collection of Forgotten Poems, 1789–1820, speaks about mostly anonymous works that reveal the vibrant, lost world of Boston’s post-revolutionary poetry and provide access to the culture and daily life of the city. He is joined by Danielle Legros Georges, Poet Laureate of Boston, on Monday, May 9, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Local author Lisa E. Pearson discusses her book Arnold Arboretum, the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series, on Monday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Connolly Branch, located at 433 Centre Street.
  • In honor of Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, children’s author Thanhha Lai discusses her novel Inside Out & Back Again, which won numerous accolades including the National Book Award and the Newbery Honor Medal. It is the story of a young girl in 1975 who, along with her family, leaves her home in Vietnam to start a new life in Alabama. Tuesday, May 10, at 12 p.m. at the Adams Street Branch, located at 690 Adams Street in Dorchester.
  • Joseph Bagley, author of A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts, highlights some of the city’s fascinating past —from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—and demonstrates how historical objects offer a unique and accessible introduction to Boston’s history and physical culture. Wednesday, May 11, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the Local and Family History Series.
  • Hear the incredible story of a Holocaust survivor persecuted by the Nazis and victimized by the American court system in When God Looked Down and Wept. This presentation includes a short film followed by a discussion with the lawyer who represented the survivor in his fight for his First Amendment rights. Thursday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the West End Branch, located at 151 Cambridge Street.
  • Award-winning Boston Globe journalist Emily Sweeney gives a slide lecture regarding her book Boston Organized Crime, which explores the region’s shadier side, taking a closer look at the mobsters and racketeers who once operated in the greater Boston area. Saturday, May 14, at 2 p.m. at the Brighton Branch, located at 40 Academy Hill Road.
  • The Friends of the North End Branch hold their annual book sale on Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the North End Branch, located at 25 Parmenter Street.
  • The Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture in collaboration with the Boston Public Library present Boston’s Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges reading from her new collection of poems The Dear Remote Nearness of You on Sunday, May 15, at 2 p.m. in the Abbey Room at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Join bee experts Joseph Wilson, Olivia Messinger Carril, and Thomas Seeley for a bee keeping panel, which will include an introduction to the many different types of bee species, as well information on the lost pastime of bee hunting, on Monday, May 16, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Peter Grinspoon discusses Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction: A Memoir, which describes his journey to overcoming addiction and ultimately becoming a more compassionate doctor for it on Monday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the South Boston Branch, located at 646 East Broadway.
  • The Friends of the South Boston Branch hold their springtime book sale on Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the South Boston Branch, located at 646 East Broadway.
  • The Lower Mills Branch at 27 Richmond Street welcomes mystery author and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan for a talk and book signing on Monday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m.

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Quincy Carroll, Author of “Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside,” Brings a Captive Audience to Rural China.

Posted on April 8th, 2016 by kmiller@private.bpl.org in General

On a rainy Thursday evening in Boston, Quincy Carroll took his audience’s imaginations to the countryside of China. The crowd in the Commonwealth Salon in the Central Library in Copley Square sat engaged as Carroll discussed the inspiration for the novel “Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside” as well as reading two carefully chosen passages from the book.

Carroll began the talk by discussing how his background and personal experiences influenced the novel. Born and raised in Natick, Massachusetts, Carroll attended Yale University. After graduating in 2007, Carroll headed to New York to enter the financial world in sales and trading. It didn’t take long for Carroll to realize that he wanted a different life, leading him to quit his job and move to China. Before departing he found a graphic novel, “East meets West,” by Yang Liu that informed his knowledge of the differences between the cultures. Upon arriving in China, however, he found quickly there was a gap in the literary world for an exploration of foreigners living and experiencing China and Chinese culture. After returning to America, Carroll enrolled in the Creative Writing MFA program at Emerson College and the journey of writing “Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside,” began.

The first passage Carroll read was a particularly meaningful one, considering the location of the talk. Carroll revealed to the audience that this portion of the novel was written just a few yards away in Bates Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square. This passage is also significant as it’s the first time we meet two of the main characters, Thomas Guillard and Bella while they waited for a train to Ningyuan. The scene creates an image for the audience of Guillard’s nonchalant attitude towards the Chinese culture, through his smoking and staring at a nearby girl. The passage sets the audience up to learn more about these two characters and how their different backgrounds will influence their relationship.

The second passage Carroll read introduces the other main character, Daniel. Daniel is traveling by bus to visit friends and the contrast between him and Thomas is immediately felt. At one point Daniel automatically nods to a man he passes and is embarrassed because “Simply because they came from different countries did not mean they owe each other a hello.” This quote spoke to Daniel’s mindfulness of the culture and his role as an outsider.

Carroll ended the night thanking everyone who attended, as well as answering numerous questions from the audience. In response to the questions, Carroll discussed the artful act of infusing Chinese into a novel meant for English speakers, his plans for the next novel, and that the characters were hybrids of many different people he met in his travels.

This talk is part of the Boston Public Library’s Author Talk Series. The next talk in the series will take place on Monday, May 9, 2016, at 6 p.m. featuring Paul Lewis, editor of “The Citizen Poets of Boston: A Collection of Forgotten Poems, 1789-1820, and taking place in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square. Learn more via here.

April Literary Events and Programs at Boston Public Library Locations

Posted on March 29th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

booksBoston Public Library offers a multitude of literary events and celebrates National Poetry Month throughout the system in April:

  • Poet Barbara Helfgott Hyett holds an 8-week poetry program for adults 55+ beginning on Monday, April 4, at 2 p.m. at the South End Branch. Please call 617.536.8241 to register.
  • Jen Doyle reads from Calling It, her first published novel, which details a couple’s journey falling in love on Tuesday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Faneuil Branch, located at 419 Faneuil Street in Brighton.
  • Quincy Carroll discusses his debut novel Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside, which tells the story of two Americans living and teaching in rural China who fight to establish primacy in Ningyuan, a remote town in the south of Hunan, with one of their more overzealous students caught in the middle. Thursday, April 7, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center and The Trustees exhibition From the Sea to the Mountains: The Trustees 125th Anniversary opens April 2, featuring historic items documenting Massachusetts land from the past to the present. The Map Center is located in the Central Library at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Lisa E. Pearson, head of the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library and Archives, speaks about her new book Arnold Arboretum, which details the rich history and collections of this National Historic Landmark on Monday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the Charlestown Branch, located at 179 Main Street.
  • Anthony Mitchell Sammarco gives a lecture on Jordan Marsh, Boston’s first department store, on Monday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the Adams Street Branch, located at 690 Adams Street in Dorchester.
  • Local poet Mary Pinard examines grief, sudden and everlasting, and the potential ways it can transform us in her recent book of poetry, Portal. Monday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the West Roxbury Branch, located at 1961 Centre Street.
  • Margaret R. Sullivan, Records Manager and Archivist for the Boston Police Department, presents “On the Job: Ancestors Who Worked in the Public Sector and the Amazing Records They Left Behind” on Wednesday, April 13, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the Local & Family History Series.
  • The Associates of the Boston Public Library’s Writer-in-Residence, Jennifer De Leon, leads a poetry workshop on Wednesday, April 13, at 3 p.m. in Teen Central at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Peter Zheutlin reads from his book Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs, and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway on Thursday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Roslindale Branch, located at 4246 Washington Street.
  • Diane M. Boucher provides an overview of Freedmen’s Bureau officials’ efforts to provide education, health care, housing assistance, and employment arrangements to former slaves after the Civil War as a temporary means to self-sufficiency and independence on Wednesday, April 27, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the Local & Family History Series.
  • Join local poet Frances Donovan for a poetry workshop on Saturday, April 23, at 12 p.m. at the Roslindale Branch, located at 4246 Washington Street.
  • Celebrate National Poetry Month with Shel Silverstein’s poems and a fun activity on Monday, April 25, at 3:30 p.m. in the Children’s Library at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • A poetry workshop in English and Spanish is offered on Saturday, April 30, at 11:30 a.m. at the Egleston Square Branch, located at 2044 Columbus Avenue.
  • View the Roslindale Branch’s Dreamy Italian Islands exhibition on display through April 30, in which local artist Maria Conte displays her paintings based on her memories of growing up in Italy. Meet the artist on Saturday, April 16, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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Boston Public Library Welcomes Bestselling Irish Author Colm Tóibín for a St. Patrick’s Day Author Talk

Posted on March 11th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

brooklynBoston Public Library’s Author Talk Series features renowned Irish author Colm Tóibín on Thursday, March 17, at 12 p.m. in the Abbey Room at the Central Library in Copley Square in collaboration with the Consulate General of Ireland.

“St. Patrick’s Day in the City of Boston holds a special place in my life,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “It is a festive celebration of Irish culture, and we are fortunate to have such a talented writer coming to visit the Boston Public Library on this occasion. We welcome Colm Tóibín and I encourage the people of Boston to take a moment to stop by and hear about his work.”

“We welcome Colm Tóibín to the Boston Public Library for this special St. Patrick’s Day author talk and are grateful to the Consulate General of Ireland for their work to bring this to fruition,” said Boston Public Library Interim President David Leonard. “The talk promises to be a wonderful opportunity for the audience to learn more about his works and career as a bestselling author, during this year of great significance to members of the Irish community at home and abroad.” (more…)

Boston Public Library March Literary Events and Programs at Branch Locations Across the City

Posted on February 25th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

Colm Tóibín gives St. Patrick’s Day Talk at Central LibraryDesktop282

The month of March offers a wealth of author talks and Irish-themed programs for people of all ages to enjoy. Below are highlights of the upcoming month, for a full listing visit the BPL Calendar of Events.

  • The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center invites kids ages 5-11 to explore the world, enjoy activities, and learn about Ireland’s geography and culture on Tuesday, March 1, at 4:30 p.m. in the Map Center, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Linda M. Blair takes the audience back to the 17th century as she reads passages from her novel Cauldron of Dreams, which details the lives of women yearning to pursue their dreams on Thursday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Roslindale Branch, located at 4246 Washington Street.
  • Honor Molloy, a Dublin-born, Brooklyn-based writer, actor and director, talks and reads from her lyrical book, Smarty Girl, Dublin Savage, an autobiographical novel set in the 1960’s, on Saturday, March 12, at 1 p.m. at the West Roxbury Branch, located at 1961 Centre Street.
  • Hear Irish music in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish folk concert featuring Boston’s Erin Og on Monday, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Connolly Branch, located at 433 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain.
  • Patrick’s Day-themed story times and crafts for children ages 0-5 take place on Wednesday, March 9, at 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, March 16, at 4 p.m. at the South Boston Branch, located at 646 East Broadway.
  • BPL’s Collaborative Library Services Manager Anna Fahey-Flynn discusses the shoe industry in Massachusetts, dating from the 1800s through World War I, when the Commonwealth was the largest producer of shoes in the United States. Wednesday, March 16, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the Local & Family History Lecture Series.
  • Irish author Colm Tóibín speaks about his novel Brooklyn, made into a film starring Saoirse Ronan, on Thursday, March 17, at 12 p.m. in the Abbey Room at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. This program is presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Ireland.
  • Author David Ira Rottenberg reads his humorous stories accompanied by ballet dancers from Sheila Rosanio’s School of Dance in Revere on Friday, March 18, at 1:30 p.m. at the Charlestown Branch, located at 179 Main Street. A program for children and their caregivers.
  • The South Boston Branch hosts a St. Patrick’s Day book sale on Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at 646 East Broadway.
  • The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center and the Boston Map Society welcome Joni Seager, Professor and Chair at Bentley University to talk about her book State of Women in the World Atlas. Tuesday, March 22, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. This author talk is presented in conjunction with the Map Center exhibition Women in Cartography: Five Centuries of Accomplishments.
  • Historian Christopher Daley details the history of the Irish community in Boston in his “No Irish Need Apply” talk on Tuesday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. at the Fields Corner Branch, located at 1520 Dorchester Avenue.
  • Historian Alex Goldfeld explores the lives of people of African descent in the predominantly white Massachusetts Bay Colony in his talk “The Black Community in Colonial Dorchester and Boston” on Wednesday, March 30, at 6 p.m. Part of the Local & Family History Lecture Series.
  • Irish flute player and singer Shannon Heaton, accompanied by a string quartet, blends new compositions and old ballads rooted in the Irish tradition on Thursday, March 31, at 2 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.

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