Poetic Opportunities @ 2010 ALA Annual Conference
Angela Thullen | June 08, 2010
Attendees at the 2010 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, to be held June 24–29 in Washington, D.C., who are looking to include poetry in their upcoming library programs have the chance to discover several relevant events. These events range from opportunities to meet the poets, to live readings, to a discussion of poetry and library programming related topics:
On Saturday, June 26, 8–10 a.m., the ALA Public Programs Office with support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will offer “Poetry as a Community Builder: Expanding Community Outreach through Poetry” in the Washington Convention Center, Room 102A. This presentation will include real-world strategies from libraries for making poetry accessible to their community. Poet Kwame Alexander and the program director of Poetry Foundation, Steven Young, will share the podium with Mary Davis Fournier, deputy director of the ALA Public Programs Office, and Linda Holtslander, assistant director of the Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library.
Also presented by the ALA Public Programs Office with support from NEA is the LIVE! @ your library reading stage. This year, the lineup features readings by both renowned poets and new talents. Featured poets include Kwame Alexander, Nickole Brown, Henri Cole, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and Gwendolyn Zepeda. The LIVE! Stage, located at the end of the 2600 aisle in the exhibits hall, will feature live readings on Saturday, June 26, and Sunday, June 27, from noon–4 p.m., and on Monday, June 28, from 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Poet Benjamin Alire Sáenz is also one of the featured writers at the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Author Coffee Klatch on Sunday, June 27, from 9–10 a.m. in the Washington Convention Center, Room 207A/B. This informal program allows attendees to meet with their favorite writers for coffee and a short break from the hustle and bustle of the conference. YA librarians are invited to take a seat while award-winning authors and poets take turns visiting tables.
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) will present “Celebrating the Spoken Word with Poetry for Young People” on Sunday, June 27, from 10:30 a.m.–noon, in the Washington Convention Center, Room 103A. The children’s poet laureate Mary Ann Hoberman will lead a discussion on how to make poetry an interactive experience for young adults. The presentation will end with a performance by the teenage finalists of the 2010 Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest, a competition dedicated to fostering public speaking ability in young adults by encouraging them to memorize and perform pieces of poetry.
The 7th Annual Poetry Blast, also organized by ALSC, will take place Monday, June 28, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. in the Washington Convention Center, Room 144A. Designed with children and young adults in mind, the event presents poetry at its best—as an aural performative experience. Ten poets, including Marilyn Singer (co-host of the Poetry Blast), Calef Brown, and Tony Medina, will present their work.
On Sunday, June 27, from 1:30–3:30 p.m., in the Washington Convention Center, Room 147A, the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) will host a viewing of Judith Schaefer’s documentary So Long Are You Young: Samuel Ullman’s Poetry and Passion as part of the program “One Poem Enriching Lives Across the Globe: Samuel Ullman, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and ‘Youth.’” Historian Margaret Armbrester will lead a discussion about the relationship of poetry and history after the screening.
Angela Thullen is Program Officer/Communications for the ALA Public Programs Office.
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