OCTOBER 17-20, 2019

and year round

in partnership with the MADISON PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION

23

Jan

The Recovering

Leslie Jamison

01/23/2019 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Room 302

With its deeply personal and seamless blend of memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and reportage, The Recovering turns our understanding of the traditional addiction narrative on its head, demonstrating that the story of recovery can be every bit as electrifying as the train wreck itself. Leslie Jamison deftly excavates the stories we tell about addiction--both her own and others'--and examines what we want these stories to do and what happens when they fail us. All the while, she offers a fascinating look at the larger history of the recovery movement, and at the complicated bearing that race and class have on our understanding of who is criminal and who is ill.

 

The Recovering -  - <span class="date-display-single">01/23/2019 - 7:00pm</span>

06

Feb

An Orchestra of Minorities

Chigozie Obioma

02/06/2019 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Room 301

Set on the outskirts of Umuahia, Nigeria and narrated by a chi, or guardian spirit, An Orchestra of Minorities tells the story of Chinonso, a young poultry farmer whose soul is ignited when he sees a woman attempting to jump from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his prized chickens into the water below to express the severity of such a fall. The woman, Ndali, is stopped her in her tracks.

 

An Orchestra of Minorities -  - <span class="date-display-single">02/06/2019 - 7:00pm</span>

07

Feb

The Banished Immortal

02/07/2019 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Madison Room

From Ha Jin, the National Book Award-winning author of Waiting, a narratively driven, deeply human biography of the Tang dynasty poet Li Bai—also known as Li Po. In his own time (701–762), Li Bai’s poems—shaped by Daoist thought and characterized by their passion, romance, and lust for life—were never given their proper due by the official literary gatekeepers. Nonetheless, his lines rang out on the lips of court entertainers, tavern singers, soldiers, and writers throughout the Tang dynasty, and his deep desire for a higher, more perfect world gave rise to his nickname, the Banished Immortal. Today, Bai’s verses are still taught to China’s schoolchildren and recited at parties and toasts; they remain an inextricable part of the Chinese language.

 

The Banished Immortal -  - <span class="date-display-single">02/07/2019 - 7:00pm</span>

09

Feb

Settlin'

Muriel Simms

02/09/2019 - 3:00pm

Central Library - Community Rooms 301 & 302

Only a fraction of what is known about African American settlers in the Midwest, and the vibrant and cohesive communities they formed, has been preserved in traditional sources. Much is contained in the hearts and minds of their descendants. Seeing a pressing need to preserve these experiences, lifelong Madison, Wis., resident Muriel Simms collected the stories of twenty-five African Americans from Madison whose families arrived, survived, and thrived here in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

 

While some struggled to find work, housing and acceptance, they describe a supportive and enterprising community that formed churches, businesses, and social clubs -- and frequently came together in the face of adversity and conflict. A brief history of Madison's African American settlement sets the stage for the oral histories.

Settlin' -  - <span class="date-display-single">02/09/2019 - 3:00pm</span>

11

Mar

The Body Is Not an Apology

Sonya Renee Taylor

03/11/2019 - 7:00pm

Mitby Theater

Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world--for us all. Presented in partnership with Madison College Office of Equity and Inclusion.

The Body Is Not an Apology -  - <span class="date-display-single">03/11/2019 - 7:00pm</span>

18

Apr

Look

Solmaz Sharif

04/18/2019 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Madison Room

Solmaz Sharif’s astonishing first book, Look, asks us to see the ongoing costs of war as the unbearable loss of human lives and also the insidious abuses against our everyday speech. In this virtuosic array of poems, lists, shards, and sequences, Sharif assembles her family’s and her own fragmented narratives in the aftermath of warfare. Those repercussions echo into the present day, in the grief for those killed in America’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and in the discrimination endured at the checkpoints of daily encounter.

 

At the same time, these poems point to the ways violence is conducted against our language. Throughout this collection are words and phrases lifted from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms; in their seamless inclusion, Sharif exposes the devastating euphemisms deployed to sterilize the language, control its effects, and sway our collective resolve. But Sharif refuses to accept this terminology as given, and instead turns it back on its perpetrators. “Let it matter what we call a thing,” she writes. “Let me look at you.”

Look -  - <span class="date-display-single">04/18/2019 - 7:00pm</span>
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