Sex and the Constitution

 

I heard the author of this book on the radio.  He said that at the time the Constitution was written most Americans were not religious, certainly not the writers.   RJN

 SEX AND THE CONSTITUTION by Geoffrey R. Stone

SEX AND THE CONSTITUTION

Sex, Religion, and Law from America’s Origins to the Twenty-First Century

KIRKUS REVIEW                     

Sexual expression, obscenity, contraception, and abortion are the focus of this wide-ranging legal, political, and social history.

Stone (Law/Univ. of Chicago; Speaking Out!: Reflections on Law, Liberty and Justice, 2010, etc.), a constitutional scholar whose previous books include an award-winning history of free speech, offers a broad, fascinating overview of the nation’s shifting, often incendiary, attitudes toward sexuality and the impact of those attitudes on politics and law. Colonists “clearly and emphatically rejected” Puritans’ repressive views about sex, and the country’s founders, Stone asserts, had no interest in regulating sexuality nor in promoting Christianity. Most were “broad-minded skeptics who viewed religious passion as divisive and irrational, and who consistently challenged, both publicly and privately, traditional Christian dogma.” The claim that America is a “Christian nation” originated in the Second Great Awakening, which swept the country from the 1790s to the 1840s. At a time of unsettling social change, “charismatic preachers” excited religious passions that infused “politics, culture, education, relations between the sexes, attitudes about sex,” and, most significantly, views on the relationship between religion and government. Believing sex to be sinful, evangelicals mounted a campaign against masturbation and contraception; without fear of pregnancy, they claimed, women’s inherent lasciviousness would be uncontrollable. After the Civil War, those ideas were taken up by Anthony Comstock, who policed sexuality with unabated vigor, specifically the dissemination of obscene material through the postal service; obscenity laws persisted even after his death in 1915. In the 1970s, Protestant fundamentalists incited a third awakening, embraced by the Republican Party that coveted the voting power of the Moral Majority. Stone enlivens his narrative with deft portraits of the many judges involved in cases on obscenity, contraception, abortion, and same-sex marriage. Some Supreme Court justices, appointed to uphold the views of the Christian right, disappointed their constituencies. The author applauds decisions that reflect the “protection of human dignity and equality” and believes, maybe too optimistically, that religious groups are now “on the defensive.”

A compelling history of a nation grappling with the moral and legal freedoms that the founders strived to ensure.

so

Building Walls

 

About 100,000 years ago, the glacier dropped an enormous number of stones  it had been grinding and carrying a very long time on New England. Most stones were buried but rose to the surface with thawing and freezing.  After white settlers cut down all the trees for farming, there was more freezing and thawing,  pushing more stones up to litter the farm fields.  They had to be removed and were used  for building fences/walls, marking off property, enclosing pastures and barnyards, and for building houses.  The walls had to be rebuilt, mended, from time to time.  RJN

Image result for photo new england wall

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Robert Frost

 

Image result for fieldstone house photo

 

 

Donald Didn’t Do “The Deal”

 

Note:  no one suggests that “ghost writing” is bad–it often results in a good book.  Usually the subject of the book recognizes the contribution of the ghost-writer.  Check the end of this post for more on that.  RJN

___________________________

Product DetailsProduct Details

 

‘Art Of The Deal’ Ghostwriter On Why Trump Should Not Be President

Tony Schwartz (from left), Ivana Trump, photographer Francesco Scavullo and Donald Trump celebrate the publication of Donald Trump's 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, which was ghostwritten by Schwartz.

Tony Schwartz (from left), Ivana Trump, photographer Francesco Scavullo and Donald Trump celebrate the publication of Donald Trump’s 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, which was ghostwritten by Schwartz.  Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images

In 1987, the book The Art of the Deal elevated Donald Trump from playboy developer to best-selling author.

From the opening paragraph of Trump’s self-portrait as a shrewd and creative dealmaker:

“I don’t do it for the money. I’ve got enough, much more than I’ll ever need. I do it to do it. Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully on canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks.”

Trump’s name is on the cover of that book. But there’s another one, too — beneath the portrait and the big golden letters spelling out TRUMP — the name of Tony Schwartz, the book’s ghostwriter.

Schwartz did not weigh in on the presidential campaign until this week in a lengthy interview with The New Yorker.

Schwartz tells All Things Considered‘s Robert Siegel that he is speaking out now because he is extremely concerned about what Trump would be like as a president.

He says the portrait that he painted of Trump in The Art of the Deal is not accurate.

“I helped to paint Trump as a vastly more appealing human being than he actually is. And I have no pride about that. … I did it for the money. It’s certainly weighed on me over the years,” Schwartz says. “Now, since he’s … in a position to potentially become president, it makes my decision back then look very different than it did at the time.”

Schwartz spent 18 months on the book, including eight or nine months sitting in Trump’s office virtually every morning to get the information he needed.

“One of the chief things I’m concerned about is the limits of his attention span, which are as severe as any person I think I’ve ever met,” Schwartz says. “No matter what question I asked, he would become impatient with it pretty quickly, and literally, from the very first time I sat down to start interviewing him, after about 10 or 15 minutes, he said, ‘You know, I don’t really wanna talk about this stuff, I’m not interested in it, I mean it’s over, it’s the past, I’m done with it, what else have you got?’ ”

The idea of a president in an “incredibly complex and threatening world who can’t pay attention is itself frightening,” Schwartz says.

Add to that the fact that Trump is so easily provoked, that what Schwartz calls Trump’s insecurity “makes him incredibly reactive whenever he feels threatened, which is very, very often.”

As an example, Schwartz says, his interview in The New Yorker came out on Monday. On Tuesday, he received “a long and threatening letter from his lawyer designed, I think, to muzzle me.”

“For 25 years, I think Trump has done a very, very effective job of muzzling anyone who has worked for him or with him by signing very, very strict nondisclosure agreements before they start working with him,” Schwartz says. “It just turns out that I started with him so early that he hadn’t thought of it yet.”

“The reason I’m stepping up is because no one else seems to be free or willing to do so,” Schwartz says. “Believe me, it is not fun.”

___________________________________________________________A ghostwriter is a person who is hired to authorbooks, manuscripts, screenplays, speeches, articles, blog posts, stories, reports, whitepapers, or other texts that are officially credited to another person.Celebrities, executives, participants in timely news stories, and political leaders often hire ghostwriters to draft or edit autobiographies, magazine articles, or other written material. A common form of literature ghostwriters are hired for is a celebrity’s memoirs. In music, ghostwriters are often used for writing songs and lyrics. Screenplay authors can also use ghostwriters to either edit or rewrite their scripts to improve them.  Wikipedia

John Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage is a 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning volume of short biographies describing acts of bravery and integrity by eight United States Senators throughout the Senate’s history …

Profiles was widely celebrated and became a best seller.John F. Kennedy is credited as the author, although the extent of his contribution has been questioned. In his 2008 autobiography, Kennedy’s speechwriter Ted Sorensen wrote that, while Kennedy provided the theme and supervised its production, Sorensen had written most of the book.  Wikipedia

 

Elmore Leonard and Mom

 

Image result for photo fat book

Today, while I was working on a story, I remembered several things.  For one thing, I remembered how our mother ripped through books very quickly.  When I remarked on that she said, “Oh, I only read the talking.”

Second thing, there are several writers like Tom Clancy making a lot of money writing big fat exciting boooks. Remember Hunt for Red October, book or movie?   Once I picked up one of these with the idea of reading every third page.  I enjoyed the story, never felt I had missed anything.

These thoughts led me to Elmore Leonard”s 10 rules for writers, specifically #10: Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

Come to think of it, I think I stepped on #6 today.  I’ll have to check,

 

Elmore Leonard: 10 Rules for Good Writing

Elmore Leonard: 10 Rules for Good Writingd. 2013                                                                      
Elmore Leonard started out writing westerns, then turned his talents to crime fiction. One of the most popular and prolific writers of our time, he’s written about two dozen novels, most of them bestsellers, such as Glitz, Get Shorty, Maximum Bob, and Rum Punch. ( Books of reasonable length, often funny about crooks)  Unlike most genre writers, however, Leonard is taken seriously by the literary crowd.  (A lot of his work has ended up in the movies or on television. rjn)What’s Leonard’s secret to being both popular and respectable? Perhaps you’ll find some clues in his 10 tricks for good writing:

  1. Never open a book with weather.
  2. Avoid prologues.
  3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
  4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.
  5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
  6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
  7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
  10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

____________________________________

 

Most Challenged Books

Image result for photos bad book

 

Shortly after Niles North H.S. opened, I was working in the library when Art Colver, a kind of assistant principal, called to ask if we had the title Candy, said he’d had a complaint about it. I said I’d check.

I had read a very entertaining, raunchy, crazy book by Terry Southern titled Candy that no competent, sane librarian would buy for a school library.

When I checked, I found Candy,  an innocuous “young adult novel”, about a high school girl who volunteers at a hospital, a “candy-striper” because of the uniform.

I called Art back, told him we had a book titled Candy but nothing anyone would complain about.  He said, “Get it out of there ” and hung up.

I just went on with my work, but later I wrote a complaint policy statement that had  a form for the complainant to complete, including the question, “Have you read the entire book?”  I don’t remember hearing of another complaint about any of our 20,000 volumes.

We did have some questionable books: a history of the U.S.  occupation of Japan, from which our head librarian from Minnesota  had excised the pictures of nude entertainers and a slang dictionary which she kept under her desk.

She lasted a long time–until she slapped a student.

Most libraries have a policy statement  giving the mission of the library, the  principles of book selection, and a complaint process.

I’ve just remembered that in the 60’s maybe into the 70’s at the Glenview Public library we had visits from the FBI asking who had borrowed certain books, notably Chairman’s Mao’s Little Red Book.  The boss’ response was always, “The library will obey a valid court order.”  I don’t know of such an order ever issued.

These days libraries clear the record of a loan electronically soon as a book is returned.

RJN

_________________________________________

 

‘The Holy Bible’ Makes Library Association’s List Of Most ‘Challenged’ Books  source

Many books are challenged because of "sexually explicit" content or content "unsuited for age group."

Many books are challenged because of “sexually explicit” content or content “unsuited for age group.” Courtesy of American Library Association

The Holy Bible, along with several other books that incorporate aspects of religion, made the American Library Association’s list of top 10 most challenged books in 2015.

At No. 6 on the list, the Bible was challenged for “religious viewpoints,” based mainly “on the mistaken perception that separation of church and state means publicly funded institutions are not allowed to spend funds on religious information,” said Deborah Caldwell Stone, deputy director of the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom — the organization that tracks the book challenges.

But the Bible wasn’t the only book on the list to be challenged on religious grounds.

The novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was challenged for religious viewpoint and “atheism,” as well as for offensive language.

Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, a children’s book about a little girl trying to get an education in Afghanistan, was also challenged for religious viewpoint and violence.

The book was challenged in at least one community in Florida because the child protagonist in the story says a prayer to Allah. At least one parent felt that it was indoctrinating children with Muslim beliefs and therefore challenged the book.

The ALA defines a challenge as a “formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.”

Stone says 275 such challenges were made last year — lower than previous years — and while that’s something the association views as a positive, Stone says not all challenges make it to the Office for Intellectual Freedom database.

“It’s a snapshot,” she said, explaining that the organization relies on voluntary reporting of challenges and its own monitoring of news reports.

The presence of the Bible on the list for the first time, along with the other books challenged on the basis of “religious viewpoint,” show that faith is “very present on the minds of many people in society,” Stone said.

“As a society, considering an ‘index of complaints’ helps us to understand who we are and where we’re going,” James LaRue, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom wrote. “Cultures change over time, and the things we fear, or celebrate, change with them.”

In fact, last year, the children’s book about a transgender girl called I Am Jazz (No. 3 on the list) sparked controversy, discussion, and ultimately, more inclusive school policies in Mt. Horeb, Wis. (where the cave and the mustard museum are,  west of Madison.  rjn)

There was a transgender girl in a classroom of a local elementary school and the teachers were going to read I Am Jazz to the students as a way to introduce the issue to the students and make the transgender girl feel less alone, Stone said. But when a parent found out and raised the issue with a Christian advocacy group, the group threatened to sue the school if the book was read. When the school board capitulated, however, the “community responded in a beautiful way,” Stone said.

The Wisconsin State Journal covered what happened next:

“In a turnout that stunned organizers, nearly 600 people filled the library here Wednesday night to hear a public reading of a children’s book about a transgender girl, with many in the crowd expressing strong support for a local family with a transgender child.”

Ultimately, the school board changed its policy and allowed the book to be in the schools.

“In an ideal world we would have more tolerance for the idea that people have different ideas, different beliefs and live in different cultures,” Stone said. “Books are a way of exploring these different worlds and can help us appreciate the differences between us.”

The top ten most frequently challenged books of 2015 are:

source 

  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
  3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
  6. The Holy Bible
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

Read a Dogcatcher Story ?

Well, so he’s not just a dogcatcher.  He’s a Humane Officer officer who loves animals and works hard to enforce laws protecting them in the deteriorating neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.  In Pelecanos’ many stories set among the D.C. poor: the good, bad, black, white, loving, selfish, the fascinating element is the author’s insight to encounters among people and people and dogs,   rjn

Drama City by         George Pelecanos

Drama City
Lorenzo Brown just wants to stay straight. After eight years in prison on a drug charge, he’s come “uptown”-back to the Washington, DC neighborhood where he grew up, where his old cohorts still work their corners and their angles, trying to get ahead and stay alive. But Lorenzo’s had enough of the life: Now he has a job as a Humane Society officer, policing animal abusers and protecting the abused. In the dangerous streets he used to menace, Lorenzo plays a part in maintain- ing order-and it’s a role reversal some of his former friends don’t appreciate. Rachel Lopez, Lorenzo’s parole officer, tries to help him, even as she battles her own demons and excesses. Trying to stay one step ahead of her troubled past is a daily struggle. It looks like they both might make it, until a malevolent young killer, working for the powerful local drug boss, changes everything with one violent act. Now Lorenzo finds himself caught between the light and dark sides of the street, struggling to stay legit-or throw everything away to exact revenge.  source

Poetry Month

 

What month?   April, of course .                                                                                                         Why?  Opinions vary.  See links below.

My nose was running                                                                               Yesterday. I used a lot                                                                                         Of tissues then to stem                                                                                   the flow of phlegm.

My nose is running                                                                                         Again today. If I wore                                                                                         A tie it would sport                                                                                            a glistening spot of snot.

Tomorrow I will blow                                                                                       my nose some more                                                                                           and, like as not,                                                                                           Sort out some more                                                                                           important issues.

rjn

Poets

Poetry Foundation

Wikipedia

 

 

 

Rare Shakespeare Book To Visit Lake County

 

 

 

source

TableContents_FirstFolioFolger

First Folio
© Shakespeare First Folio, 1623. Folger Shakespeare Library

The Lake County Discovery Museum has been selected as the host site for the state of Illinois for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, a national traveling exhibition of the Shakespeare First Folio, one of the world’s most treasured books. The exhibition will be available to the public February 3–28, 2016. 

The Folger Shakespeare Library, in partnership with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring a First Folio of Shakespeare in 2016 to all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.

“It is an honor for Lake County to have been selected as the Illinois host site,” said Katherine Hamilton-Smith, Director of Public Affairs and Development for the Lake County Forest Preserves. “The exhibition will provide an important, once-in-a-lifetime humanities opportunity for our residents, and will bring significant economic impact to the county because of the exhibition’s likely draw of visitors into the county from the Chicago region, downstate Illinois, and southern Wisconsin.”

Many of Shakespeare’s plays, which were written to be performed, were not published during his lifetime. The First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death. Two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors compiled 36 of his plays, hoping to preserve them for future generations. Without it, we would not have 18 of Shakespeare’s plays, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It.

All 18 appear for the first time in print in the First Folio, and would otherwise have been lost. “The First Folio is the book that gave us Shakespeare. Between its covers we discover his most famous characters—Hamlet, Desdemona, Cordelia, Macbeth, Romeo, Juliet and hundreds of others—speaking words that continue to move and inspire us,” said Michael Witmore, Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. “Shakespeare tells the human story like no one else. He connects us to each other, to our history, and to themes and ideas that touch us every day. We are delighted that we can share this precious resource with people everywhere, from San Diego, California to Gurabo, Puerto Rico, from Eugene, Oregon to Duluth, Minnesota.”

The Folger Shakespeare Library holds 82 copies of the First Folio, by far the largest collection in the world and more than a third of the 233 known copies in the world today. It is believed that 750 copies were originally printed. The Shakespeare First Folio is one of the most valuable printed books in the world; a First Folio sold for $6.2 million in 2001 at Christie’s and another one for $5.2 million in 2006 in London. It originally sold for one British pound (20 shillings)—about $200 today. When the First Folio arrives in Wauconda, IL, its pages will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare and one of the most quoted lines in the world, “to be or not to be” from Hamlet.

Accompanying the rare book will be a multi-panel exhibition exploring the significance of Shakespeare, then and now, with additional digital content and interactive activities.

During the exhibition, the Lake County Discovery Museum is planning numerous programs for the public and families around the First Folio exhibition.

The Lake County Discovery Museum would like to thank all of its Lake County and Chicago area partners including: College of Lake County, Kirk Players, Visit Lake County, Lake Forest College, Loyola University, University of Chicago, University of St. Mary of the Lake, Citadel Players, Wauconda Area Library, Adler Cultural Center, Lake County Regional Office of Education, the Illinois Humanities Council, the Illinois Office of Tourism, Newberry Library, Bristol Renaissance Faire and others, who have pledged assistance with promotion, contribution of programming in their own venues, or expertise in support of the exhibition.

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the generous support of Vinton and Sigrid Cerf and the Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation. Sponsorship opportunities of this major exhibition and the Folger’s other Wonder of Will programs commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death are available; learn more at www.folger.edu.

About the Lake County Discovery Museum: The Lake County Discovery Museum is located on Route 176, just west of Fairfield Road and east of Wauconda in Lakewood Forest Preserve. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm, Sunday from 1 pm to 4:30 pm. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for seniors ages 62 and older and students ages 18 to 25, and $2.50 for youth ages four to 17. Children three years and under are free. On Discount Tuesdays, admission is $3 for adults, free for youth 17 years and under. Admission is always free for Museum members. The Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Follow the Museum on Facebook and Twitter @LakeCoMuseum or visit LCFPD.org/Museum for updates on First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare.

About Folger Shakespeare Library: Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. It is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500-1750). The Folger is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; an innovator in the preservation of rare materials; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K–12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs—theatre, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures and family programs. Learn more at www.folger.edu

About Cincinnati Museum Center: Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of only 16 museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org.

About the American Library Association: The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of librarians nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. Projects include book and film discussion series, literary and cultural programs featuring authors and artists, professional development opportunities and traveling exhibitions. School, public, academic and special libraries nationwide benefit from the office’s programming initiatives. Additional information can be found at www.ala.org/programming

About the National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.

 

Poetry–Opinion

Opinion

Marianne Moore, writer and baseball fan

poet Marianne Moore

Image result for marianne moore photosd. 1972

                                  Poetry

(Suggested by post-game broadcasts)

I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all                                         this fiddle.Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one                         discovers in

it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
they are
useful. When they become so derivative as to become
unintelligible,
the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
do not admire what
we cannot understand: the bat
holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf
under
a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that
feels a
flea, the base-
ball fan, the statistician–
nor is it valid
to discriminate against ‘business documents and

school-books’; all these phenomena are important. One must
make a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
result is not poetry,
nor till the poets among us can be
‘literalists of
the imagination’–above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, ‘imaginary gardens with real toads in them’, shall
we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is on the other hand
genuine, you are interested in poetry.

——————————————-

Her baseball poem.

She liked athletics and was a great admirer of Muhammad Ali, for whose spoken-word album I Am the Greatest! she wrote the liner notes. She became known as a baseball fan, first of the Brooklyn Dodgers and then of the New York Yankees. She threw out the ball to open the season at Yankee Stadium in 1968.   Wikipedia

Moore was a Dodger fan for most of her life but felt so betrayed by the team’s move to Los Angeles that she switched to the Yankees.   source

How 1st Harry Potter Book Came to be Published

 

After rejection by 72 publishers, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone finally reached the right hands, those of a little girl.                           Product Details

BBC Witness interview with Harry Potter’s publisher

Rowling-and-Potter

Aug 12, 2015

Posted by: Emma Pocock

You can listen to the episode here.  Video

 

BBC News said:

‘The Harry Potter series has sold 450 million copies worldwide to date. But before the first book was published, numerous publishers had turned the first book down.

Barry Cunningham was the man who decided to take a gamble on J.K. Rowling after he and his daughter became enchanted by the story.’

Cunningham says in the episode that many people ask how long it is before a publisher knows that they like a story, and in regards to what caught his attention, he says:

 ‘I was gripped by Harry’s situation … The thing that I really liked about the story was the friendship … It was the friendship between the children that really moved me’.

His daughter, Alice, read Rowling’s manuscript the night he had received it, and it was her response that solidified the deal:

‘She couldn’t stop reading

A deal with Rowling’s agent was then made at a ‘relatively low price’, ending ‘the most significant purchase made in publishing in the last fifty years’. Cunningham laughs, saying

‘I laugh about it now, but, you know, I never would have guessed’.

Jo apparently took some convincing before she believed she was being called by a publisher, and was ‘lost for words’ when the realisation finally hit, after so many rejections. Cunningham says he wasn’t aware of this ‘journey’ she’d been on to finally be published. We’re so glad she never gave up!

J.K. Rowling’s stories have reached millions, whether by page or screen, and we definitely recommend giving this a listen! Cunningham goes on to talk about Rowling’s past, her ‘revolutionary’ proposal of turning Harry Potter into a multi-part series, and the overwhelmingly positive response to the books a year after being published. The episode features readings from Stephen Fry, Rowling herself, and snippets from book releases and fan events. Cunningham said:

‘It was at this point that we realised something was changing in the world of children’s books’.

The age of the Potterheads had arrived.

Witness is a World Service radio programme of the stories of our times told by the people who were there.

 

VIDEO