Tag Archives: Celebrate the Arts Sundays

living, speaking poetry

Poetry is necessary!  It supplies our minds and souls with valuable access to this mysterious gig we call life. Beyond that, I’ll let you in on a secret: poetry is fun. Somewhere along the line, poetry got a bad rep for being indecipherable, cryptic and awkwardly rhymed, but I prefer Emily Dickinson’s description quoted in this passionate essay:

“If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know. Is there any other way.”

With her own visceral response to inspire us, it’s fitting that Dickinson is the first poet we’ll discuss in our brand new book discussion called “3 Poems by…” The 3 Poems by… Poetry Discussion Group will discuss three poems by a selected poet or about a selected topic. Join us for lively discussions of your favorite poetry!  Here’s our schedule:

October 9, 2008
3 Poems by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death
There’s a certain Slant of light
After great pain, a formal feeling comes

November 13, 2008
3 Poems by e.e. cummings

January 8, 2009
3 Poems by Mary Oliver

February 12, 2009
3 Poems by Billy Collins
(Attend the discussion to enter to win tickets to the Drue Heinz Lecture Series on March 2, 2009!)

March 12, 2009
3 Poems about…Time

April 9, 2009
3 Poems by Sharon Olds

All discussions will meet from7:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the Center for Museum Education – Classroom A. Discussions are free and open to the public.  Registration is encouraged, but not required.  To register or ask questions, contact poetry fans and Eleventhstack blogonauts Renée or Don at newandfeatured@carnegielibrary.org or 412-622-3151.


As long as I’m talking up poetry, I have to remind you to treat yourself to some live and in person (and free, of course!) verse by going to the next Sunday Poetry and Reading Series at 2:00 pm on September 21st: Barbara Edelman and Sharon F. McDermott will give readings.


Also, don’t forget to check out the phenomenal International Poetry Collection on the second floor of the Main branch. Collecting poetic works in both the original language and in translation plus plenty of poetry recordings, it’s a poetry lover’s dream come true!



Filed under Uncategorized

No Shushing in this Library

Back in the ancient days of yore, libraries around the world were known as shushing zones.  That meant no talking above a whisper, no humming and certainly no music.  Perhaps my factitious tale of library history is slightly exaggerated, but it certainly can’t be argued that times have definitely changed. 

As part of Celebrate the Arts Sundays, the First Floor hosts the Sunday Afternoon Music Series the second Sunday of the month from 2:00 – 3:00 pm.  Despite its formal name, the series welcomes an array of performers that are just as diverse as the tastes of our patrons.  From chamber music to roots revival, there is something for everyone.  Performances usually take place in the Quiet Reading Room and warm weather even invites the opportunity for outdoor performances. 

This Sunday, the series features classical guitarist Chris Anderson.  Anderson describes his approach as balancing “pieces at the core of the classical guitar’s repertoire with others that are rarely heard.” 

Sunday Afternoon Music Summer Series

Circuits of Steel
Sunday, May 11, 2008
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Rick Gribenas, Margaret Cox, Steve Boyle and tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE are four artists representing the Circuits of Steel compilation series, which showcases Pittsburgh’s electronic/experimental music scene. Expect sounds far beyond conventional boundaries.
July 13th, 2008
Resonance is a world fusion ensemble made up of five musicians: three percussionists, guitar and bass.  They use the distinct sound of the steel drum to draw audiences into their compelling mix of Caribbean jazz and global fusion music.

Jennie Snyder
August 10th, 2008
Jennie Snyder, a rural Pennsylvania native, performs her mountain-flavored roots originals in the vein of Gillian Welch, Buddie and Julie Miller, and Hazel Dickens.  She is currently at work on her first solo record.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Mad River, Boneshaker, Red Sugar

My favorite poet Jan Beatty just released her newest book Red Sugar last week, and I am so excited.  While the library’s copy of Red Sugar hasn’t hit our shelves yet, you can certainly tide yourself over with one of Beatty’s earlier collections of gritty, fierce Pittsburgh poetry.  Mad River (1995) includes the poem “My Father Teaches Me to Dream.” Boneshaker (2002) includes poems with titles like “After Therapy, I Dream of Keith Richards & the Failure of Language” and “The Waitress Angels Speak to Me in a Vision.”  Her poetry addresses topics like longing, class and sexuality through poems about waitressing, music, her steelworker father, or challenges of growing up female.  Poems in these collections witness a troubled veteran’s public outburst, recount a conversation between grocery store checkout girls and narrate an encounter with one of William Blake’s angels at a peepshow.  Whether the subject matter is difficult or the musings transcendent, the verse never strays far from exploring immediate, visceral experiences of the body.

If you enjoy these books, then mark your calendar to hear Jan Beatty read at the Main library for the Sunday Poetry & Reading Series, our free monthly reading series that occurs every third Sunday of the month from 2 to 3 pm.  It’s part of our Celebrate the Arts Sundays  program series, which showcases musicians, world artists, writers, films and visual artists every week.

Jan Beatty will read in the Sunday Poetry & Reading Series on October 19th with another terrific local writer and poet, Tess Barry.  Don’t worry, I’ll remind you when the date approaches.  Until then,  more academic, experimental and spoken-word Pittsburgh poets and writers will grace our microphone every month.  Come lend an ear! 

Sunday Poetry & Reading Series 

Sunday, April 20, 2008
Ed Steck and Brandon Som

Ed Steck is a human being and enjoys science fiction. He encourages the DIY ethics of printing one’s own writing.
Brandon Som works for a local bookseller and has taught writing at the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College, and NYU.

Sunday, May 18, 2008
Terrance Hayes

Terrance Hayes is the author of Hip Logic, Wind in a Box and Muscular Music and has been the recipient of many honors and awards. He teaches creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University.

If you’d like to receive monthly announcements of upcoming library events, you can subscribe to our enewsletters.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized