Weekend Picks

It’s National Poetry Month! So, when you’re not pondering a pantoum or if you’re in need of a break from all of those virile villanelles, then check out these films. Or, show up to the third annual St. Albert Teen Poetry Slam, held at the Library tomorrow from 2-4 PM, and expect everything!

Louder Than A Bomb

Every year, more than 600 teenagers from over 60 Chicago-area schools gather for the world’s largest youth poetry slam, a competition known as ‘Louder than a Bomb.’ Founded in 2001, it is the only event of its kind in the country, a youth poetry slam built from the beginning around teams. This film captures the real story: the teamwork, the love and the poetry, rather than the points.

Trailer

Howl

Dramatizes the events leading up to accusations of obscenity against Allen Ginsberg and his poem “Howl, ” and the subsequent trial where he had to defend his most famous work. Don’t miss James Franco acting…in a movie. Yes, another one…

Trailer

Weekend Picks

What You Should Read Based on Your Childhood Favourites

child-316511_640Buzzfeed.com is known for pop culture news and fun quizzes. The website also has a great Books section, with it’s most recent post about which adult book you should read based on your childhood favourite: 22 Books You Should Read Now, Based on Your Childhood Favorites .

Which favourite from your childhood do you still love to read? Which adult book does it remind you of?

Monday Evening Book Club April Selection

ConfabulistThe Monday Evening Book Club will meet April 13 at 7 pm in Forsyth Hall. We will discuss the novel The Confabulist by Steven Galloway, one of last fall’s StarFest authors. As some of you were at the event we should have an interesting conversation, enriched by your impressions.

Booklist review:

Confabulation is the invention of imaginary memories to compensate for memory loss. It’s not lying because the confabulist is not aware the memories are false. This fascinating novel is narrated by Martin Strauss, who confesses to two things: he is the man who killed Harry Houdini (twice), and he suffers from a degenerative condition that affects his brain’s ability to store memories. Strauss tells a fascinating story about the unknown Houdini: stage magician—sure, we all know that—but also a secret spy for the U.S. Treasury Department, advisor to the American military, confidant of a Russian spy, faker of his own death. Strauss’ story so cleverly mixes historical fact with fiction that it is virtually impossible to separate the two (and, remember, Strauss believes it’s all true). Author Galloway will often take a real event, such as Houdini’s escape from a prison transport in Moscow, and layer on fictional elements, but it’s done so seamlessly that it’d be easy to think the whole episode really happened (as Strauss, in fact, does). The book’s title itself could easily apply either to Strauss (for obvious reasons) or to Houdini himself, whose escape-artist persona, even his name, was an embellishment of the real man. A brilliant novel, and one that virtually demands multiple readings to pick up all the subtleties (especially concerning the end of the book, and enough said about that).

Author biography

Author interview

Youtube video of interview

Reviews

Discussion Questions

Harry Houdini on Wikipedia

Spiritualism