Wednesday, July 18
Poetry Night: Jeff Allesanndro, Paul Brooke, Kyle Flak, Jennifer Knox and Kyle McCord
The Man on High: Essays on Skateboarding, Hip-Hop, Poetry and the Notorious B.I.G.
Twenty years after the murder of The Notorious B.I.G., The Man on High melds the creative and the critical, and questions what legacy means in the 21st century. Contemplating Biggie through the lens of both skateboarding and poetry, Jeff Alessandrelli's The Man on High illuminates how The Notorious B.I.G. will always be rapping in the present tense.
Sirens and Seriemas: Photographs and Poems of the Amazon and Pantanal
Within Sirens and Seriemas, Paul Brooke explores the wild places of Brazil through photography and poetry. A former biologist and naturalist, Brooke travelled the Amazon and Pantanal regions of Brazil studying culture, history and natural history. The poems address pressing environmental issues such as deforestation, extinction, overhunting, overpopulation, urbanization and wildness. The photographs chronicle the amazing beauty and danger, the culture of Amazonian peoples and multi-colored landscapes.
I Am Sorry for Everything in the Whole Entire Universe
Kyle Flak was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1983. His previous things of poetry include: What Hank Said on the Bus (Publishing Genius, 2013) (Winner of the Chris Toll Prize), The Secret Admirer (Adastra Press, 2010), and Harmonica Days (New Sins Press, 2009). In 2013 he was a finalist for a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from The Poetry Foundation. In 2015, he was chosen as a “Poet to Notice” by Grandma Moses Press. His writing has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He studied at the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Days of Shame and Failure
Jennifer L. Knox was born in Lancaster, California. She received a BA from the University of Iowa and an MFA from New York University.
Knox is the author of Days of Shame and Failure (Bloof Books, 2015), The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway (Bloof Books, 2010), Drunk by Noon (Bloof Books, 2007), and A Gringo Like Me (Bloof Books, 2007).
Knox’s poetry is known for its darkly imaginative humor. The poet Patricia Smith writes, “I cannot imagine what the inside of her head must be like, all tango and blaring and pinball, locked in its relentless churn. I can’t believe that mere covers were able to contain this tender, this snorting laughter, these rampant truths.”
Knox has previously taught creative writing at Hunter College and New York University. She currently lives in Iowa, where she teaches at Iowa State University.
Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders
Kyle McCord is the author of five books of poetry including National Poetry Series Finalist, Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders (Trio House Press 2016). He has work featured or forthcoming in AGNI, Blackbird, Boston Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly and elsewhere. He’s received grants or awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Baltic Writing Residency. He holds an M.F.A. from University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. He served as associate poetry editor of The Nation and currently serve as Co-Executive Editor of Gold Wake Press. He is married to the visual artist Lydia McCord and teaches in Des Moines.
Sunday, July 22
Meet the Author: Teresa Holmgren
Country Boy, City Girl: Trials and Triumphs During The Great Depression
The Great Depression has important and urgent lessons for 21st century young people. This new fictionalized biography, Country Boy, City Girl: Trials & Triumph During the Great Depression is the story they need to read for the motivation some are sorely missing.
This captivating book is also perfect for the older generation, bringing back memories and relatable stories of two teenagers who “want a better life” and who must struggle through enormous obstacles to achieve that goal.
Country Boy, City Girl is told in alternating chapters, featuring the author’s 1936 Olympic-swimming mother and her farm-boy father, who rode the rails across America in the 1930s to earn money for college. House fires, family deaths, parental illness, and other trials challenge them, but in the end they both triumph, one with the help of a successful businessman and the other from an astounding encounter with the most famous athlete of the 20th century. There are 125 historical photographs.
Family has always been vital to Teresa Holmgren. She and her tall blonde husband raised their five children and still live on Iowa farmland that has been in her family since 1876. She is a retired behavior disability teacher and has told her favorite stories about that gig in her first book, Never A Dull Moment. She is a long-suffering lefty who also suffers from arachibutyrophobia, which has nothing to do with spiders.
Tuesday, July 24
Mystery Book Club
Come join this group that has been meeting for over 20 years! New members always welcome; all you need is a love of mysteries and a burning desire to talk about them with a fun group of folks!
Selection this month: The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
Saturday, July 28
Meet the Author: Laura Lee
In all his life [Oscar] has never written me a letter that was unkind or at least unloving and to see anything terrible in his handwriting written directly to me would almost kill me.
This was written by Lord Alfred Douglas in 1897, before the contents of Oscar Wilde’s long letter written in prison and addressed to Douglas, De Profundis, were revealed; in which Wilde indicted Lord Alfred’s vanity and blamed him for his downfall ‒ "appetite without distinction, desire without limit, and formless greed."
Years after Oscar Wilde's death, two of his closest friends, Lord Alfred Douglas and his literary executor Robert Ross-- both had been Wilde's lovers--engaged in a bitter battle over Wilde's legacy and who was to blame for his downfall and early death. The centerpiece of the conflict was Ross's handling of Wilde's prison manuscript, De Profundis. Each man tried to use intimate secrets from their once close friendship against the other. The furious dispute led to stalking, witness tampering, prison and a series of dramatic lawsuits. The feud had long-lasting repercussions, not only for the two men, but also for how we remember Oscar Wilde today.
Laura Lee divides her time equally between writing and producing ballet educational tours with her partner, the artistic director of the Russian National Ballet Foundation. She is the author of 20 books. Her most recent tile is the history/biography Oscar’s Ghost. Her Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation has also been re-released this year in a completely updated edition. In addition to her non-fiction, she has written two novels and a children’s book (A Child’s Introduction to Ballet). She brings to her writing a unique background as a radio announcer, improvisational comic and one-time professional mime.
Thursday, August 9
Beaverdale Book Browsers Book Club
Beaverdale Books' original book club is once again open to new members!
This book club was at capacity for a while, but as people come and go there are openings for new readers looking for a book club. The club started when the store opened in 2006 and has been going strong ever since. What began as a group of strangers has been a testament to the power of books to bring people together. Selections are eclectic and the discussion is always interesting. Food and wine are always part of the fun as well. Anyone is welcome!
Selection this month: Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Tuesday, August 14
Hunter’s Picks Book Club
The Hunter’s Picks Book Club takes its inspiration from Paul’s Book Club at Prairie Lights in Iowa City, which Hunter attended while in college. This book club will read primarily literary fiction. The quirk of this book group, like that of Paul’s, is that Hunter will be the one choosing all book club selections. Suggestions are welcome, but Hunter will have final say. He’s such a control freak that way.
Selection this month: Stephen Floridarch by Gabe Habash