An Interview with ‘Paris, He Said’ author Christine Sneed

sneedWe last talked with author Christine Sneed back in early 2011 shortly after she published her first short story collection Portraits of A Few of the People I’ve Made Cry.  Already the winner of the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, her stunning debut became a magnet for literary awards and was eventually named a finalist for the LA Times’ Book Prize for First Fiction.  But Sneed was just getting started.  In the years that followed, the NU writing teacher has published two critically-acclaimed novels – Little Known Facts (2013) and Paris, He Said (2015), graced the cover of the NY Times Book Review, and continued to collect writing honors including the Carl Sandburg 21st Century Award and a Booklist nod for a Top Ten Debut Novel.  This Saturday, April 9th, you can hear Sneed read selections from her recent work when she visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room at 4 pm along with author and comedienne Julia Sweeney.  In anticipation of her visit, we recently spoke with her via email about the life of a successful novelist, her forthcoming story collection The Virginity of Famous Men, the resurgence of short fiction, and her favorite recent reads.

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An Interview with Teresa Parod

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“Forest” by Teresa Parod

Teresa Parod is a painter, quilter, and the latest Evanston artist to be featured in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  Her colorful exhibit is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through the end of March.  Included are nearly two dozen paintings that express the challenges of our “everyday quest” through life and four, intricately-designed quilts that were created through a grant from the Judith Dawn Memorial Fund.  We recently spoke with Ms. Parod via email about how her Aunt Marg sparked her interest in art, her use of shadow in her paintings, and the remarkable family that inspired her quilts.

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Talking to “Locked Down, Locked Out” author Maya Schenwar

mayaschenwarMaya Schenwar is Editor-in-Chief of Truthout – an independent social justice news website – and the author of the recent book Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better.  On Monday, March 7th, she will discuss her book when she visits EPL as part of the special program Unlocking America: How to Change Our Broken Prison System.  Cosponsored by Chicago Books to Women in Prison and Cabrini Green Legal Aid, the program will also feature Dr. Crystal T. Laura who joins Schenwar to explore the impact of prison on families and advocate for a sweeping overhaul of our criminal justice system.  In anticipation of this important discussion, we recently spoke with Schenwar via email about how her sister’s incarceration inspired her activism, the goal of “decarceration,” the crucial work of community groups like Curt’s Cafe, and how to achieve true lasting safety.

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An Interview with Oliver Baldwin Edwards

 

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Find “An Interview with Oliver Baldwin Edwards” at Off the Shelf’s new home on Evanston Public Library’s redesigned website.

See you there!!

 

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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An Interview with David Pritchett

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David Pritchett is a photographer, educator, and the latest Evanston artist to be featured in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  His fascinating show Daily China was on display at EPL’s Main Library throughout November and explored China’s careening city buses, rural Buddhist temples, and street-side restaurants in an effort to “reflect a shared humanity amid the unique present of an ancient culture.”  We recently spoke with Mr. Pritchett via email about how the Peace Corps inspired his art, his creative process, and his conviction that “there is more in cultural diversity that unites us than separates us.”

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An Interview with Lorna Galich

Dragon%202011Lorna Galich is a retired corporate consultant and the next Evanston artist to be featured in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  Her show – which is dedicated to the memory of her daughter and EPL librarian Gigi Galich – is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through August 31st.  Featuring stunning watercolors, colored pencil drawings, and multi-layered portrayals of animals, her exhibit conveys her fascination with “all things natural, most particularly wild life.”  We recently spoke with Ms. Galich via email about her artistic origins, unique style, and future plans.

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Poetry 365

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Poet Kate Tempest

This month for Poetry 365 we’re featuring Kate Tempest’s extraordinary long poem Brand New Ancients.  Winner of the 2012 Ted Hughes Award, the British poet/rapper/novelist’s second book of verse finds the mythic in the mundane story of half-brothers Thomas and Clive and their violently converging fates in southeast London.  Hypnotic, operatic, and “written to be read aloud,” Brand New Ancients was lauded by The Scotsman as “a torrent of poetry so brilliant that the words often seem to glow and smoke with intensity.”  So check out this powerful new voice, sample an excerpt below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.

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Poetry 365

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Poet Erin Belieu

This month for Poetry 365 we’re highlighting Erin Belieu’s savvy new volume Slant Six.  Crisp and conversational, this fourth collection from the LA Times Book Prize finalist explores “politics, pop culture, and parenthood” while reflecting on “our collective moments of hypocrisy and hope” in contemporary America.  Favorably compared to the work of Frank O’Hara and Tony Hoagland, these 23 smart, satirical poems show why the NY Times praises Belieu as “a comedian of the human spirit.”  So check out this fantastic new volume, sample a poem below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.

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An Interview with Ed Ravine

ed ravineEdward Ravine is a practicing psychotherapist, local painter, and the next featured artist in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL.  His show – Live Life Like a River – is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through May 31st.  Representing 15 years of artistic study under Leslie Hirshfield at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, Ravine’s striking watercolors capture his quiet moments spent in the peace of wild places like Utah’s Big Cottonwood Canyon and Glencoe’s Skokie Lagoons.  We recently spoke with him via email about how the Vietnam War influenced his art, Winslow Homer, his forthcoming book, and his need for time in the wilderness.

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