West Branch Renovation Update
Thursday, April 25th at 11:15 AM, West Branch Library, 40 College Ave  

Join the City of Somerville, the Somerville Public Library, Library Trustees and Friends, as we break ground on the renovation and restoration of our beloved West Branch Library. When completed, the West Branch Library will provide accessible entryways; flexible spaces to increase educational and programmatic opportunities; beautiful reading areas for patrons of all ages; modernized mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and computer networking systems; landscaping and open space that meets 21st century needs while preserving the integrity and history of this beautiful Carnegie Library. The ceremony will feature a brief speaking agenda followed by a "shovels in the ground" celebration.
Announcing our Second Annual Comix Con!!

Saturday, May 4th from 10 AM - 4 PM, Central Library

You're invited to the Somerville Public Library's second annual Comix Con! The SPL Comix Con is an all-ages celebration of fandom combining the worlds of film and television, science fiction, fantasy, comic books, graphic novels, anime, books, cartoons, gaming, and collectibles. Children will enjoy a pop-up dance party, costume parade, face painting, and crafts. Attendees of all ages can challenge their fandom knowledge with trivia in our Teen Room, watch a Princess Bride themed lightsaber battle performed by Boston Lightsaber, or participate in a library-wide scavenger hunt. More serious comic enthusiasts will not want to miss our comic drawing workshop, comic artist vendors and panel discussion. 
Upcoming Programs

Sunday, April 14 at 1:15 PM, Central Library Auditorium

Get your feet moving with quick footwork danced to lively jigs and reels, with great LIVE music! This workshop is an introduction to soft shoe Irish step dancing: learn the basics, an easy jig step, and a social dance! All backgrounds welcome, no experience required. Wear light sneakers, ballet shoes, socks, or other soft-soled shoes. This event was rescheduled from March due to weather. 

  Saturday, April 27th at 11 AM, Central Library Lawn

 Celebrate spring and Sustainaville by helping Somerville grow! Learn about gardening in raised beds with Green City Growers, plant trees with the Somerville Urban Forestry Division, get crafty and visit with local organizations working on gardening and sustainability in Somerville. 
Sunday, April 28th at 1:30 PM, Central Library Auditorium

 "I am a first generation American, daughter of first generation latino immigrants. I grew up between two different cultures following the traditions that my family brought from El Salvador and Guatemala, but also wanting to adopt the American lifestyle that I grew up with outside of home. I share with you the story of an immigrant family." - artist Iaritza Menjivar

Join us in a reception celebrating the art of Iaritza Menjivar in her exhibition, First Generation.  
Poetry and Sustainability Recommendations
Adult Recommendations 
There are two themes this month, for National Poetry Month and Sustainaville week. Read on for poetry or environmental themed recommendations. Special thanks to Tim, Heidi, Jim, and Mary at the Central Library.

Grassroots Mapping Forum presents DIY ways to test for environmental pollution; it is published by the Public Lab network, which is partly based in Somerville.
Recommended by Tim
Permaculture Magazine, subtitled Solutions for Sustainable Living, offers advice and practical guidance on organic gardening, sustainable agriculture, alternative technology, eco-architecture, community development, and more. 
Recommended by Mary

While living in New York City with his wife and small child, author Colin Beavan decides to try an experiment: for exactly one year, the family will leave no carbon footprint!
Recommended by Heidi
  Oliver shares the many various poems written over her lifetime on the subject of one of her favorite subjects - and companions - dogs.    Ranging from whimsical to familiar to poignant, every dog lover and poetry seeker will find much to enjoy in this single-themed collection. 
Recommended by Jim

Still looking for more? See the Staff Picks page! 
YA (Young Adult) Recommendations
This issue's YA recommendations come from ShanTil and Karen of Central Library.

Kaur's second collection of poetry follows the life cycle of a flower as she deftly articulates on themes of love, abuse, healing, and the feminine body. Easily finished in one sitting with words that will resonate in the reader's heart long after the last page is turned. 
Recommended by ShanTil

This inspirational poem, initially performed for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, encourages everyone to take a leap of faith into their dreams, although all Reynolds can promise is the struggle.

our dreams could be
as far away as forever
or as close as lunchtime."

Recommended by Karen


Looking for a couple of extra recommendations? Check out our YA Staff Picks ! 
Children's Recommendations
This issue's recommendations come courtesy of Jim and Kerry at the Central Library and Alison at the West Branch.
For kids and  adults, and told entirely in haiku (3-line stanzas, with 5 syllables in the first and third lines, and 7 in the middle), this wonderful children's picture  book t ells the tale of a sweet stray dog who, one by one, wins over the hearts of the kind family that he'll eventually be able to call his own!

Recommended by Jim
Echo Echo by Marilyn Singer

Read start to finish, each poem tells a familiar story (fairy tale or Greek myth).  Read backward, the poem tells the same story from a different perspective.  Clever, entertaining, and educational!

Recommended by Alison
This book features many craft projects that use recycled materials, including "t-shirt alchemy," which teaches readers how to turn old t-shirts into personalized creations.
Recommended by Alison 

Myers re-imagining of Lewis Carroll's work is clever, colorful, and creative; breathing new life and meaning into this infamous nonsense poem. An all-time favorite of mine!
Recommended by Kerry
 An Interview with Somerville Poet Laureate, Lloyd Schwartz! 
You seem to do everything, from scholar of Elizabeth Bishop to classical music editor to everything in between. Why poetry?

Poetry actually came first in my life, but a little bit later. It happened when I was a senior in high school, with no interest and very little knowledge of poetry. My mother read me poetry when I was younger, but I didn't think much about it. I had a wonderful high school teacher who was very excited about poetry and conveying his excitement. I have this vivid memory of my high school teacher leaping on his desk and reciting the Macbeth speech. I learned that poetry can actually mean something, that it's not just pretty words. I college, I got on the school literary magazine and was writing poems and then made my way up to poetry editor by my senior year. I knew I wanted to be a teacher.

And why did you want to be the Poet Laureate of Somerville in particular?

Four years ago I knew that Somerville was going to get its first poet laureate, and I admired Somerville and I thought, why not? I've been teaching poetry all my life and I care about it and want people to be more aware of it in their community and in their lives. Robert Pinsky was the national poet laureate and he had this "Favorite Poem Project" where he went around the country with poetry readings and had non-poets talk about their favorite poem, and I thought it might do some good for Somerville to have this, too. Poetry is the center, most important aspect of my work.

As librarians we are really passionate about providing opportunities for connection, and so we're particularly excited about your Armory "Poems We Love" event. What do you think poetry can do for Somerville?

For the Armory "Poems We Love" event, no poets, no one in the poetry world is allowed to speak. The mayor, some of the city councilors, the owner and chef of one of my favorite restaurants, a medical person, and an artist will be speaking.  I am hoping to get some students from Somerville High School as well. 

Some people think poetry and might think back to a rather uninspiring English class. How do you plan on getting people past that roadblock?

I'm hoping that these events will be interesting enough! I'm hoping that some might be curious about what poems the mayor will be reading. Even just knowing that there are poetry events in Somerville will in some way peak interest. With these meetings at the East Branch, my hopes are that at some point people will start writing their own poem, or read a poem not originally in English. I am very interested in translation. How can we know about other people if we can't read what they've written? Reading translated works is not just a literary, but a moral act.

If you could make the people of Somerville read just one poem, what would it be?

It would have been the poet that I'm closest to and knew, Elisabeth Bishop's poem "In the Waiting Room". She wrote it fairly late in her life, it's about her as a little girl looking through the world through pictures in a National Geographic magazine. It's about how people are so different but we are all human beings. It's about what makes us all one. It's very direct and moving and a little scary.

Another is Jill McDonough's "Accident, Mass. Ave." which has as you can imagine some very vivid language. It is a prize winning poem that will make you laugh and cry, it's very direct and a firecracker just like the author herself. I encourage people that don't like to read poetry to read this poem.
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