The First Folio: How We Almost Lost “Macbeth”

first folio

The First Folio of Shakespeare is a unique literary treasure.  Collected, edited, and published in 1623 by Shakespeare’s close friends and fellow actors John Heminge and Henry Condell, the nearly 1,000-page book collects 36 of the Bard’s plays – 18 of which had never before appeared in print.  Without the First Folio, Shakespearean masterpieces such as Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, and Taming of the Shrew would have been lost forever.  On Sunday, February 14th at 3 pm, Helen Page – Professor Emerita of English at Oakton Community College – and Joseph Page – actor with the Muse of Fire Theater Company – will visit EPL to explore this great book’s fascinating history as part of #DiscoverWill: Illinois Libraries Celebrate Shakespeare’s First Folio.  In anticipation of their lecture “The First Folio: How We Almost Lost Macbeth,” we recently spoke with the Pages via email about the technical definition of a “folio,” Shakespeare’s creative process, the literary significance of the 1623 First Folio, and the “Anti-Shakespeare” movement.

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Poetry 365: Dean Young

Dean Young

Poet Dean Young

This month for Poetry 365 we’re highlighting Dean Young’s excellent new book Shock by Shock.  Influenced by the New York School poets and Surrealists such as Andre Breton, this twelfth collection from the Pulitzer Prize finalist is his first of all-new work since undergoing a life-saving heart transplant in 2011.  Slightly more meditative while still bursting with his trademark wit and agile imagery, these finely-crafted poems show why the American Academy of Arts and Letters named Young “one of the most inventive and satisfying poets writing today.”  So don’t miss this terrific new book, sample a library-related poem below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.

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Local Art @ EPL: Oliver Baldwin Edwards

Oliver Morocco

We are very pleased to introduce photographer and ETHS junior Oliver Baldwin Edwards as the next featured artist in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  His show Traveling Light: Morocco is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through the end of February.  In August 2015 Edwards made his sixth visit to Morocco traveling from the Atlantic coast through the Middle and High Atlas Mountains and into the Sahara.  Whether beneath the harsh North African sun or the clear night of the desert, his striking portraits and landscapes are alive with a maturing curiosity, respect for the Moroccan people, and a fascination with the experience of travel.  You can meet Edwards and learn more about his photography at a reception on Thursday, February 18th at 4:30 pm, and make sure to check back with Off the Shelf later in the month for a featured interview with the artist himself.  Stay tuned.

An Interview with Jamil Khoury of Silk Road Rising

Jamil Khoury Silk Road Rising is a Chicago theatre company founded in 2002 with the mission of “telling stories through primarily Asian American and Middle Eastern American lenses.”  On Monday, February 8th at 7 pm, they join EPL in sponsoring the lecture “Shakespeare in the Middle East” featuring the former Syrian Minister of Culture and award-winning author Riad Ismat.  One of six February programs planned as part of #DiscoverWill: Illinois Libraries Celebrate Shakespeare’s First Folio, “Shakespeare in the Middle East” will explore the lengthy performance history of the Bard’s work in the region and how it connects today to a broader Middle Eastern audience.  In anticipation of this fascinating program, we recently spoke via email with Silk Road Rising’s Founding Artistic Director Jamil Khoury about the company’s 2007 adaptation of The Merchant of Venice and the challenges of translating Shakespeare for a non-Christian, Arabic-speaking audience.

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Local Art @ EPL

cowan blog

We are excited to introduce Julie Cowan – an Evanston graphic designer and the founder of artruck and archKIDecture – as the next featured artist in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  Her show is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through the end of January.  Influenced by her work with master printer Tomas Svoboda in Prague, Cowan’s exhibit features a striking series of electronically-manipulated photographic images layered with multiple stages of printmaking and coloring.  Focusing on her interests in architecture and portraiture, her work explores “how space affects us, invades us and defines us.”  You can see more of Cowan’s art by visiting her website, and make sure to stop back later in the month for a featured interview with the artist herself.  Stay tuned.

NU’s Scientific Images Contest Winners 2015

nu images 2015

“Chaos to Order” by James Hedrick (2nd Place)

Don’t miss the twelve stunning winners of Northwestern University’s 2015 Scientific Images Contest as they make their annual stop at EPL.  Selected by a panel of artists, scientists, and community leaders, the eye-popping images were captured during wide-ranging scientific research and “invite you to enjoy both the aesthetics and innovation of NU science.”  Prints of the images are available for purchase, and you can learn more about the annual contest by visiting HELIX – an online magazine produced by NU’s Science in Society.

Local Art @ EPL

porter ali

We are pleased to welcome Chicagoland art therapist and portrait artist Anthony Porter as the next to be featured in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  His show Civil Rights (The 1960s) is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through January 2.  Influenced by his studies at the School of the Art Institute, Porter’s exhibit features two dozen imaginative portraits of civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, and the Kennedys.  You can meet Mr. Porter at a closing reception on Tuesday, December 29th at 7 pm, and make sure to visit Off the Shelf later in the month for a featured interview with the artist himself.  Stay tuned.